There were numerous times where Erasmus actually translated from Latin into Greek. Not just the last 6 verses. There are other places in Revelation where he filled in by translating from Latin into Greek and created readings that are still in the TR today that have never been found in a Greek manuscript anywhere in the world. So if you are a TR-only guy, you believe that God re-inspired the Bible in 1516. You can’t get around it.1
A TR-only argument I hear is this: “Sure, maybe there’s a word we can change here or there, but overall, it’s still much more accurate that that corrupted Critical Text.”
Here’s the problem with that: once you’re ok with saying that there are parts of the TR that are wrong, however small, then you have to ask the question, what methodology do we use to fix them? What’s the standard? This forces you to do textual criticism. And if you want to apply consistent textual criticism, you’re going to have to reject a lot of the inconsistent weirdisms and eclectic readings of the TR.
Here’s what this looks like in practical terms. The majority of the arguments I’ve seen in favor of the Comma are defended based on the fact that it did make its way into the TR and because it was accepted for a few hundreds years thereafter. But the moment you’re willing to accept the fact that there are parts of the TR that are wrong, you’re admitting that Erasmus, Stefanus, Beza, Scrivener, and 300 years of church tradition can be wrong. If they can be wrong about a verse in Revelation, they can be wrong about a verse in I John. So you have to throw out all that line of argumentation and instead you have to focus on the merit of the arguments prior to Erasmus and his TR. And at that point, if you’re still trying to defend the Comma, you’re bringing a knife to a gun fight.
I think it’s a recognition of this that makes modern TR-only advocates so hesitant to change one jot or tittle of the TR. They know that the moment they do that, they’ll be forced to stop using traditionalism and be forced to deal with the real arguments in favor or against these hotly debated passages. And they know that the cards are all against them in a fair fight. So they capitulate to holding up Erasmus and his work to a pedestal he never intended, as clearly demonstrated by his own writings.
- James then proceeds to give Revelation 2:2 as an example of where, to this day, the TR has a reading that came from Latin and has zero support in Greek. ↩︎