The entire Scrivener 1894 Textus Receptus edition of the Greek
The Trinitarian edition (currently in print) reproduces without change Scrivener’s original text of 1894, which Scrivener had artificially constructed from various early printed Greek editions. Scrivener’s purpose was to provide (290 years later!) a Greek text which most closely could be said to underlie the English text of the Authorized Version of 1611—a text which could then be utilized to illustrate clearly the differences between the underlying Greek of the AV 1611 and that of the English Revised Version of 1881. A similar procedure was also performed by R.V.G. Tasker in 1964, when he attempted to reconstruct the underlying Greek text of the New English Bible from its English text, since the translators otherwise had provided no Greek edition of their own.
Because of this, the Scrivener 1894 text should not be considered in any way a product of applied textual criticism and certainly not equivalent to the autograph form of the New Testament text; this was not Scrivener’s intent. Rather, the Scrivener edition merely “fitted” the text which appears in the Authorized (King James) Version of 1611 to readings found in various printed Textus Receptus editions. Primary among these were Theodore Beza’s edition of 1598 and Robert Stephens’ editions of 1550 and 1551, which were known to have been used by King James’ translators. Beza’s editions (nine different ones) were themselves variations upon those of Stephens, and Stephens’ editions (four different ones) were basically edited reproductions of the 1527 and 1535 editions of Erasmus.
Scrivener freely borrowed from the Greek of other early printed Textus Receptus editions to construct his text, especially when the English text of the Authorized Version did not clearly correspond to the Greek found in the primary editions utilized by the Authorized Version translators as mentioned above.
In a few places, the Authorized Version apparently drew from Latin Vulgate readings and its English text fails to conform to ANY early printed Greek text. Scrivener chose in such cases to follow the nearest possible printed Greek text but did NOT attempt to retranslate from the Latin back into the Greek (as Erasmus has been criticized for doing in the Apocalypse). Thus, in Jn 10:16 the Authorized Version follows the Latin Vulgate by reading “one fold” (Latin, unum ovile, requiring μια αυλη as the Greek which should be restored as “underlying” the Authorized Version). Scrivener instead followed the reading of ALL early printed Greek texts, ALL known Greek manuscripts, Fathers, and other early versions, and printed μια ποιμνη, or “one flock”—even though this does not precisely reflect the AV’s underlying Greek text; such was the closest Scrivener could honestly come without having to perform re-translation from Latin into Greek.
Note that there are a number of places where Scrivener’s Greek text appears to reconstruct italicized passages in the Authorized Version (e.g., Mk 8:14, 9:42; Jn 8:6, Ac 1:4; 26:18; 1 Jn 2:23; 3:16; Rev. 16:14; 19:14, 18). Some of these italicized places in fact reflect textual variants known to the Authorized Version translators; other places reflect words supplied by the AV translators where there was insufficient or no Greek manuscript evidence. Many of these passages, however, were not italicized in the original 1611 AV printing, and Scrivener apparently followed that non-italicized format as the basis for his restoration. Many of these italicized passages which were not so marked in the original 1611 printing were added in later revisions by Blayney and others, up through 1769. Most of Scrivener’s reconstructed italicized readings were nevertheless drawn from one or another early printed Greek edition, rather than being a new translation from English into Koine Greek.
This Scrivener edition of the “Textus Receptus” or “Received Text”, even though artificially constructed, yet reflects a general agreement with other early printed Greek texts also called by that name. These include editions such as those of Erasmus 1516, the Complutensian Polyglot of 1514/1522, Colinaeus 1534, Stephens 1546, Beza 1565, and (the one from which we obtain the term “Textus Receptus”) Elzevir 1633. As mentioned above, George Ricker Berry correctly noted that “In the main they are one and the same; and [any] of them may be referred to as the Textus Receptus” (Berry, “Interlinear,” p.ii).
All these early printed Greek New Testaments closely parallel the text of the English-language Authorized (or King James) Version of 1611, since that version was based closely upon Beza 1598, which differed little from its Textus Receptus predecessors. These same Greek TR editions all generally reflect the “Byzantine” (otherwise called the “Majority” or “Traditional”) Textform which predominated throughout the period of manual copying of Greek New Testament manuscripts.
The user should note that the Scrivener 1894 TR edition does NOT agree with modern critical editions such as that published by the United Bible Societies or the various Nestle-Aland editions. Those editions follow a predominantly “Alexandrian” Greek text, as opposed to the Byzantine Textform which generally underlies all TR editions. Note, however, that 85%+ of the text of ALL Greek New Testament editions IS identical.
One should also recognize that NO printed Receptus Greek text edition agrees 100% with the aggregate Byzantine manuscript tradition (Majority/Traditional Text), nor with the Greek text presumed to underlie the Authorized Version. However, all printed Receptus texts DO approximate the Byzantine Textform closely enough (around 98% agreement) to claim a near-identity of reading between those Receptus forms and the majority of all manuscripts.
The significant differences between the modern critical texts, the Authorized Version, and the Byzantine (Majority) Textform are most clearly presented in the NU-text and M-text footnotes appended to editions of the “New King James Version,” published by Thomas Nelson Co.
No verse or verse number found in the Authorized Version is lacking in the Scrivener 1894 TR edition.