Part 11: Riders: Occult Connections of Westcott and Hort

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Almost all of the Bible translations since the late 19th century - for
the New Testament - are based upon the Greek text of Westcott and Hort
(1881). The New International Version (NIV) first published in 1978
claims to be based on the Nestle-Aland Greek Text, which is similar to
the Westcott-Hort text because it is also based on the Alexandarian
Greek texts. The Alexandarian texts are the Sinaiticus and Vaticanus.
Sinaiticus was found in the trash at a religious site at the foot of
Mount Sinai in A.D.1844. Codex Vaticanus, a 4th century document, was
found in 1481 in the Vatican library in Rome, where it had apparently
been for a long time. Both Greek texts are believed to have been
created in or near Alexandaria, Egypt,

There is a strong possibility that there were 3rd and 4th century
gnostic influences upon some verses in the Greek New Testament texts -
Sianaticus and Vaticanus - used by Westcott
and Hort for their 1881 Greek text.

Dean Gotcher, the authority on the use of the dialectic in society and
in Christian discourse, on his website,
Source of the King James Bible

says "Faith does not come by hearing mans opinion of God's word (there
is no certainty, conviction, or conversion in opinions), but rather
faith comes by hearing God's word itself. It is important you know
(you are certain) that what you are hearing, reading, studying,
preaching, and teaching is God's word. "Man does not live by bread
alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the God."
Jesus quoting Deuteronomy 8:3

What eventually became entitled the Textus Receptus or the "received
text" (1633) was first presented by Erasmus (Novum Instrumentum omne,
1516). It was compiled from several manuscripts from the 'Majority
text,' i.e. the Byzantine (Syrian) text, which were a large number of
manuscripts and fragments originally protected by the eastern church
from the western church's (Roman Catholics church's) efforts to
destroy them, and therefore were not accessible to the western world
until after the 1453 conquest of Constantinople by the Ottoman Empire.
By Christians fleeing from the east into the west, these guarded
manuscripts were eventually accessible to western scholars.

Today there is a major move to confuse the Protestant Church and bring
it back under Roman Catholic rule (the "ecumenical" movement). By
discrediting the use of the Textus Receptus as God's Word, examining
(and thus negating) the Word of God in the "light" of Gnostic text,
the Protestant Church is being seduced, deceived, and manipulated,
drawn away from the preaching and teaching of sound doctrine and into
the dialoguing of mans opinions.
The Alexandrian and Origen text (Gnostic texts) are the basis for
almost all contemporary translations. Oregenes Adamantius 185-245 AD,
was a Greek, Egyptian-born Gnostic writer, teacher, & mystic, who,
with his contingent of scribes, synthesized philosophical teachings
into the scriptures (which no longer made them God's word but rather
the opinions of men, needing enlightened men thereon to interpret
them). These Gnostic texts, with their humanistic, philosophical base,
have opened the churches and seminaries up to humanistic reasoning
(higher criticism or vain speculations) and dialogue, with the
opinions of men in control of the meaning of God and His Word. Almost
all translations today carry this error (heresy).
Most Christians who detected the error of the "Church Growth
Movement," the emergent church, etc. were using translations from the
Textus Receptus (King James, Geneva, Tyndale, Luther, etc. bibles)
They discerned the compromise, i.e. the structural change of the word
of God, and the resulting humanism being practiced within the
"contemporary" church, by their having been raised in Churches using
translations from the Textus Receptus."

And - Westcott and Hort were interested
in occult phenomena according to their sons who both wrote biographies
of their fathers. Gnosticism was a source for the 19th century English
occult movement, which Westcott and Hort took part in. Now we are
seeing a revival of gnosticism and gnostic influences in the New Age
Occult movement, which has seeped over into the Christian Church.

The documentation that Westcott and Hort were very interested in the
occult is important
in understanding the motivations of this pair of Englishmen for
wanting to replace the Textus Receptus and the King James Version.
Why were they opposed to the Textus Receptus and the King James?

Why did they select two fourth century Greek texts, the Sinaiticus
Vaticanus, associated with Alexandaria, Egypt rather than some other
Greek texts?

However, we have to look at their 1881 Greek text in comparison with
the Textus Receptus to understand its problems.

Helena Blavatsky (1831-1891) was an important figure in the 19th century occult
movement in England. Several Anglican Spiritualists were part of the
occult revival that included Fenton John Anthony Hort and Brooke Foss Westcott.

Westcott and Hort were active in the British nineteenth century Ghost
Society and in the Society for Psychical Research. They were
interested in paranormal phenomena. These two
Anglican theologians created a Greek text which disagrees in many verse
wordings with the Textus Receptus Greek text, used for the King James
Version of 1611. Almost all recent New Testament translations are from
the 1881 Westcott-Hort Greek text - and not from the Textus Receptus.

The loyal followers of Westcott and Hort - the Riders on their
Wrecking Machine - will deny that the two Anglican theologians had
anything to do with the 19th century English occult revival. This is
why we should be more careful than Christians usually are in
identifying our sources for
the claim that Westcott and Hort were important figures within the
British nineteenth century occult movement.

Alan Gauld in The Founders of Psychical Research, NY:Schocken Books,
1968, p. 66, says "Cambridge professor, Fenton John Antony
Hort, Anglican clergyman, Brooke Foss Westcott . and the future
Archbishop of Canterbury, Edward White Benson, founded the Cambridge
Ghost Society in 1851."

Then Arthur Westcott tells us in Life and Letters of Brooke Foss Westcott, New
York Macmillan and Co., 1896, Vol. I, p. 118, 119, that "His devotion
with ardour is indicated in a 'Ghostly Circular' authorized by him.
'The interest and importance of a serious and
earnest inquiry into the nature of the phenomena which are vaguely
called 'supernatural' will scarcely be questioned." "His" refers to
Arthur Westcott's father, Brooke Foss Westcott.

On page 118 Arthur Westcott writes that his father Brooke F. Wesctott
said in the "Ghostly Circular" that "Many persons believe that all
such apparently mysterious occurrences are due either to purely
natural causes, or to delusions of the mind or senses, or to willful
deception. But there are many others who believe it possible that the
beings of the unseen world may manifest themselves in extraordinary
ways...If the belief of the latter class should be
ultimately confirmed, the limits which human knowledge respecting the
spirit world has hitherto reached might be ascertained with some
degree of accuracy."

Brooke F. Westcott wanted to investigate occult phenomena to see if it
could be shown to reliably exist.

Yet at least 17 verses in the Bible warn against dealing with familiar
spirits. Other texts say not to consult wizards, soothsayers,
astrologers, or diviners. Many followers of Westcott and Hort will
refuse to consider that these two
were violating Biblical law by dealing with the occult.
Ezekiel 13: 22 can be interpreted to teach that the promoters of
Westcott and Hort have "...strengthened the hands of the wicked, that
he should not return from his wicked way..." Some may be caught in the
Westcott-Hort trap,
and are boxed in so that they will not see the problems of these two
unbelieving Anglican churchmen.

W.H. Salter in his book,The Society For Psychical Research, An Outline
of It's History, London, 1948, p. 8, says "The original objective of
the Society for Psychical.Research (S.P.R,). was to conduct research
into "that large group of debatable phenomena designated by such terms
mesmeric, psychical and spiritualistic." Committees were organized to
examine telepathy, hypnotism, mesmeric trance, clairvoyance, ESP,
apparitions, haunted houses, and to determine the laws of physical
spiritualistic phenomena. In recognition of the important work
accomplished by Benson, Westcott and Hort -- the leaders of its
precursor, the Cambridge Ghost Society -- the S.P.R. Historical
Outline posits, "It would hardly have been possible for the new
Society to undertake an enquiry of such a kind or on such as scale if
several of its
leading members had not already gained previous experience of the
difficulties attaching to that type of investigation."

The son of Fenton Hort, Arthur Hort, in Life and Letters of Fenton
John Anthony Hort, Macmillan, 1896, Vol 1, pp. 170-172 wrote that his
father was active in "Two other both of which Hort
seems to have been the moving spirit...the other called... the Ghostly
Guild. The object was to collect and classify authenticated instances
of what are now called psychical phenomena."

Hort and his associate Westcott were both heavily involved in the
Society for Psychical Research.

There is a reference which says that the Society for Psychical
Research held seances and interviewed Helena P. Blavatsky, who is a
forerunner of the present New Age Occult movment. "In its early
stages, the S.P.R. (Society For Psychical Research) held séances in
the townhouse of Arthur Balfour of which his sister Eleanor was the
principle organizer. Various mediums of reputation were investigated
with the purpose of ruling out charlatans and determining if entities
from the spirit realm or deceased persons did in fact communicate with
the living. In 1884, Madame H.P. Blavatsky, founder of the
Theosophical Society, was interviewed by a committee of the
S.P.R....the S.P.R. was at first -- "…considerably impressed by the
evidence of Mme Blavatsky and her friends..." From: W.H. Salter, The
Society For Psychical Research, An Outline of it's History,
London,1948, pp 21-22.

In addition, the Society For Psychical Research sponsored a number of
seance settings from 1889 to 1890 by spirit medium Leonora Piper of
Boston, and by Rosalee Thompson, a British spirit medium in 1897 and
1898. There are a few links on Google to these seances held by the
Society For Psychical Research. Type in the names of the two spirit
mediums above and "Society For psychical Research."

In studying the occult, the Anglican theologians and other members of
the English elite class made the occult more acceptable. This same
process seems to have happened in the seventies and eighties when
American psychologists and communications professors studied hard core
pornography. They made pornography more acceptable, not only to the
college students they showed it to, but also to others.

Psychologist Leonard Berkowitz of the University of Wisconsin and Ed
Donnerstein - another Wisconsin professor - showed a porno movie of
two men tying up and raping a
woman. This was reported in the Journal of Personality and Social
Psychology. See Donnerstein, E. & Berkowitz, L. (1981). Victim
reactions in aggressive erotic films as a factor in violence against
women. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 41, 710-724.
Berkowitz was one of my professors at Wisconsin.

Acceptance of porno came in on the heels of the counterculture, and
was part of the process of breaking down Christian morality and
weakening the family. The Dot Com Culture on the Internet has helped
to spread acceptance of pornography. Very few people over the years
have understood the occult and satanic implications of porno.