Sunday, September 18, 2011

Pauline Interpolations (2) - 1st Cor. 11:3-16

'Pauline Interpolations' - 1st Cor. 11:3-16

Chapter 5 of Walker (2001) deals with 1st Cor 11:3-16.

It begins by noting that the passage "presents serious problems for the exegete".
He quotes G.D. Fee in support:
"it is full of notorious difficulties, including:
(1) the 'logic' of the argument as a whole, which in turn is related to
(2)  our uncertainty about the meaning of some absolutely crucial terms and
(3) our uncertainty about prevailing customs, both in the culture(s) in general and in the church(es) in particular (including the whole complex question of early Christian worship." (Fee, 1st Epistle to the Corinthians, p.492)
However, the reader is not tipped off to Fee's actual position on this passage until several pages later:  "Fee characterizes my proposal as a 'counsel of despair' " (i.e., Fee is against the interpolation argument).

A review of Chapter 2 is required in order to fully assess the methodology of Walker, but those interested in textual criticism here will be interested in the short paragraph a few pages into this chapter (pg 95):

2. Text-Critical Evidence for Interpolation

There is no direct text-critical evidence suggesting that 1st Cor. 11:3-16 might be an interpolation.  The passage appears in all of the extant manuscripts - and indeed at the same location in all of the manuscripts.   As was noted in Chapter 2, however, the absence of direct text-critical evidence for interpolation should be seen as precisely what it is: the absence of evidence.  In the face of otherwise compelling arguments for interpolation, this absence of evidence should not be allowed to decide the issue."
Wow!  Internal evidence of whatever strength and nature trumps External evidence.  Why?  Because in the case of 'interpolations', no textual evidence is needed, and no evidence at all of an interpolation is worthless, because textual evidence is meaningless in the face of Internal evidence.

The consequences of this need to spelled out.  In cases where there are no textual variants, Walker is proposing that critics are free to chop, cut and paste the text, because textual evidence in favor of a given form and content of a document are powerless next to 'solutions' that can explain a passage or verse as an interpolation.   This is 21st century textual reconstruction.

Picture how this methodology would work against the most important and difficult textual problems of the NT:  

1)  In case one were to argue that Mark's Ending was authentice, because its existance predates its omission, and every single ancient and modern copy of Mark has the verses, except two 4th cent. Uncials, even this is irrelevant, since "Internal Evidence" of whatever kind, makes all textual evidence, all patristic evidence, all versional evidence, moot.

2)  In case one were to argue that John 7:53-8:11 was authentic, because it is referenced as Holy Scripture from the mid-300's forward, is quoted dozens of Early Christian Writers, and has been considered a part of the text of John for nearly 2,000 years, and that the structural, thematic, and linguistic evidence affirms its origin and position in John, we can throw all that out.   What matters is whether the passage has 'features of an interpolation'.  This will override any and all other forms of evidence and argument, even if that evidence is contradictory Internal Evidence!

Of course, many critics would love to practice a form of "reasoned eclecticism" that allowed such a free reign over the text.  Each such critic would embrace the power power to pick and choose his own NT.   But how far now have we strayed from any and every scientific historical-critical method, in adopting such a subjective, conjectural approach?

What has gone wrong here?  Walker proposes erasing all distinction between conjectures about proto-texts, sources, methods of composition, and conservative textual criticism, which involves the assessment and application of actual hard historical documentary evidence.

In the past, textual criticism was distinguished as the task of discovering the original text, or at least arriving at the earliest and most primitive archetype, using the extant evidence, including manuscripts, patristic, and versional evidence.  It was from the beginning recognized as having higher authority than mere conjectural exercises, or even ancient and respectable church traditions, never mind literary criticism.

Literary criticism was distinguished as an investigation into the composition of those texts, the detection of sources, authors' editorial and stylistic practices, motivations and concerns, purpose of writing, and the process of construction.   This was openly admitted to be a 'softer science' type investigation, a nebulous, conjectural realm, with a tentative and provisional character. 

 In the past, Literary Criticism was a humble, if fascinating inquiry behind the scenes, with much the same authority as movie reviews and excursions into the intent of play-writers.  It never exalted itself to the status of historical investigations, political analysis, economic theory, or theological construction.

But Walker seems to imagine that Literary Criticism now reigns supreme over even the hardcore historicity of extant manuscripts, patristic quotations, and versional disclosure.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

W. Walker, Jr., - Pauline Interpolations (1)

William O. Walker, Jr., Interpolations in the Pauline Letters. Journal for the Study of the New Testament Supplement Series 213. Sheffield Academic Press  2001.

This book new comes in around $150, too much for most people's budgets; but exposure and analysis of Walker's arguments here is rather important, especially for those who value Majority-Text arguments.

There is a preview of portions of the book here at Googlebooks:\

And a few scattered reviews, such as here:

 - for convenience, here are the passages which Walker proposes are

"Professor Walker devotes a chapter apiece to discussing the debates over and the case for seeing as interpolations
1 Corinthians 14:34-35 (silencing women);
11:3-16 (the veiling of prophetesses);
2:6-16 (secret wisdom about the archons of this age and the deep things of God);
12:31b-14:1a (the "love chapter"); and
Romans 1:18-2:29 (the sins of idolaters; the parity of righteous Jews and Gentiles). 

Then, more briefly, he presents the basics of the case for seeing another group of texts as interpolations, skipping the refutations and counter-refutations:
Romans 16:25-27 (the doxology);
2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1 (unequal yoking with unbelievers and Beliar);
1 Thessalonians 2:13-16 (God's judgment on persecuting Jews);
Romans 13:1-7 (obey the authorities);
1 Corinthians 10:1-22 (idols are devils in disguise). 
And he says, in effect, that interpolations are like cockroaches: if you can spot some, there must be a lot more lurking somewhere.

And he lists passages that have attracted scholarly stares of suspicion:
1 Corinthians 1:2; 4:17; 6:14; 7:29-31; 11:23-26; 15:3-11; 15:21-22; 15:31c; 15:44b-48; 15:56; Galatians 2:7-8; Philippians 1:1c; 2:6-7; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8; 4:10b-12; 4:18; 5:1-11; 5:27.

And of course J.C. O'Neill (whose views of Romans 1:18-2:29 he accepts) posited a number of other interpolations in Romans and Galatians."


Saturday, September 10, 2011

James Snapp Jr. on the colophons for Mark's Ending

I have taken this verbatum from Willker's TC-List, with some added formatting:

--------------------------------------- QUOTE ---

Post #6619:

Regarding the question about how many copies of Mark have annotations, and the nature of those annotations, here is an excerpt from a lecture I plan to give in the near future, covering that very subject. Once we set aside copies in which the annotations is simply the Commentary of Victor of Antioch, here is what we have:

". . . . That note in the Commentary of Victor of Antioch is not the only note that should be considered when evaluating the evidence about the ending of Mark.
Bruce Metzger wrote that

"Not a few manuscripts which contain the passage have scribal notes stating that older Greek copies lack it, and in other witnesses the passage is marked with asterisks or obeli, the conventional signs used by copyists to indicate a spurious addition to a document." (Bruce Metzger, p. 123, A Textual Commentary on the Greek N. T., � 1971 by the United Bible Societies.)

The second part of Dr. Metzger's statement is incorrect.
To the best of my knowledge, not a single manuscript that does not have a note about the passage has been shown to place asterisks or obeli alongside it to convey scribal doubt about the passage. When copyists wanted to signify doubt about a large passage, they ordinarily placed a *series* of asterisks or other marks alongside it. But the marks that have been claimed to signify scribal doubt about the passage in unannotated manuscripts are solitary. I looked into this, and in every case that I could track down, where the presence of a mark at Mark 16:9 has been verified, and it does not refer to a note in the margin, the same mark appears elsewhere in the same manuscript at places where there is no textual issue, but there is  a lection-division."

(Time out. See, regarding this, my earlier posts about those copies here at textualcriticism. There is still one MS in Spain that I have not been able to check out. But it's a MS with a commentary accompanying the text. Time in.)

"In other words, these manuscripts were studied superficially, and marks that were made as part of the lectionary apparatus were misidentified as if they were made to convey scribal doubt. In the real world, instead of conveying scribal doubt, they do just the opposite, showing that the passage was expected to be read in the churches as a normal part of the church-services on Ascension-day, and as part of an eleven-part series of readings about Christ's resurrection.

What about the manuscripts that contain notes? There is no reason to vaguely refer to this as "not a few" copies. They consist of 14 copies in three specific groups:

The first group is manuscripts 20, 215, and 300. Manuscripts 215 and 300 are sister-manuscripts. 20 and 300 both feature the "Jerusalem Colophon," stating that the text was checked using the ancient and approved copies at Jerusalem.  At or near Mark 16:9, a note in these three manuscripts says, "From here to the end forms no part of the text in some of the copies. But in the ancient ones, it all appears intact." The facts thus give a very different impression from what one gets by reading Metzger! Instead of "stating that older Greek copies lack" verses 9-20, this note affirms that although some copies lack the passage, the ancient ones include it. And from the "Jerusalem Colophon," it may be deduced that the ancient copies being referred to are those "ancient and approved copies at Jerusalem."

There is simply no way that anyone could reasonably draw from this evidence the conclusion that the annotator intended to guide the reader to reject the passage. This note does just the opposite, by affirming that Mark 16:9-20 is in the ancient copies.

The second group consists of some members of family-1, specifically, 1, 205, 205abs, 209, and 1582. The Gospels-text in these copies, to one extent or another, is Caesarean. The note in these five manuscripts runs as follows:
"Now in some of the copies, the evangelist's work is finished here, as is also Eusebius Pamphili's canonization. But in many, this also appears." 
In Codices 1 and 1582, this note is not in the margin; it is situated directly above verse 9.

This note informs the reader that "some copies" stop the text at the end of verse 8, and that the Eusebian Canons do not include Mark 16:9 to 20, but that many copies include verses 9-20. In addition, even though the note explicitly says that the Eusebian Sections stop at verse 8, the Section-numbers in 1 and 1582 include the passage: Section 234 begins at 16:9, Section 235 begins at 16:10, and Section 236 begins at 16:12.

The third group consists of five secondary members of family-1: specifically, manuscripts 15, 22, 1110, 1192, and 1210. In these manuscripts, a note before verse nine says,

"In some of the copies, the Gospel is completed here, but in many, this also appears."
This is basically the same note in Codices 1 and 1582, minus the phrase about the Eusebian Canons. Somebody, at a time and place where the Eusebian Canons had been expanded so as to include the passage, removed the phrase about the Eusebian Canons, because it appeared not to be true.

There is one more manuscript with a note about Mark 16:9-20: minuscule 199, which was made in the 1100's. Referring to verses 9-20, a brief note in minuscule 199 says, "In some of the copies, this does not occur, but it stops here." Although this note's wording is unique, Minuscule 199 should be classified with the first group of manuscripts that have the "Jerusalem Colophon." Its text in Luke is aligned with the text of the Luke found in another codex, which is partly uncial Lambda and partly minuscule 566; in that manuscript, the "Jerusalem Colophon" appears at the end of each Gospel.

So: we are dealing with just fourteen annotated manuscripts. And we are not dealing with 14 independent notes: the notes found in 199, 20, 215, and 300, are related, via a link to the manuscripts mentioned in the "Jerusalem Colophon." Codices 1, 205, 205abs, 209, and 1582 share the same note because they share the same ancestor-manuscript. And, the note in codices 15, 22, 1110, 1192, and 1210 is the same note that is in Codex 1, except the phrase about the Eusebian Canons has been removed.

Plus, with the exception of the short note in minuscule 199, these notes appear to have been written, not to raise doubts about the passage, but to assure the  reader that the passage is authentic, being found in either the ancient copies, or in many copies." [end of James' tentative lecture]

There you have it.

Yours in Christ,

James Snapp, Jr.

Message #6623:

"The first set of annotated manuscripts to examine consists of manuscripts 20, 215, and 300. They share a very similar text, and manuscripts 20 and 300 appear to be among the few manuscripts which can confidently be considered sisters;  that is, they shared the same exemplar. Burgon noticed that in both of these manuscripts, in the Gospel of Mark, which is accompanied in both manuscripts by Victor of Antioch's commentary (though in each it is attributed to Cyril of Alexandria), although the number of lines per page is different, "every page begins with the same syllable, both of Text and Commentary." [See page 289 of Burgon's 1871 book The Last Twelve Verses of St. Mark Vindicated, in Appendix D.]

In addition, manuscripts 20, 215, and 300 all feature, in one form or another, the Jerusalem Colophon. This is an annotation, found in 37 Greek manuscripts, which states that the manuscript has been checked using the ancient and approved copies at Jerusalem.

In 20 and 300, the colophon states after the end of Mark,
κατα Μάρκον
εγράφη και
ομοίως εκ των
στίχοις αφς′
that is, "The Gospel according to Mark, similarly written and checked from the best copies - 1,700 lines, 237 chapters (or, sections)."

In 300, the colophon at the end of the Gospel of Matthew says,
κατα Ματθαιον
εγράφη και
αντεβλήθη εκ
αντιγράφων, εν
στίχοις βφιδ′ 

"The Gospel according to Matthew, written and checked from the old copies at
Jerusalem, in 2,514 lines."
[For further details see Tommy Wasserman's article "The Greek New Testament Manuscripts in Sweden with an Excursus on the Jerusalem Colophon", in Svensk Exegetisk Ǻrsbok, 2010.]

Manuscripts 20, 215, and 300 have the following note at, or near, Mark 16:9 (with some words abbreviated):

εως του τέλους
εν τισι των
αντιγράφων ου
κειται· εν δε
τοις αρχαίοις

"From here to the end forms no part of the text in some of the copies. But in the ancient ones, it all appears intact." 

In 20 and 300, this note is not located at the beginning of 16:9; it
is located, as Burgon stated, "in the wrong place in both of them, viz. at the
close of ver. 15, where it interrupts the text." However, this does not indicate that the copyist was confused; only that he was forgetful: the copyist placed the note in a convenient place on the page, and forgot to add asterisks to direct the reader to the beginning of verse nine.

[See pages 118-119 of Burgon's 1871 book The Last Twelve Verses of St. Mark Vindicated, especially the footnotes, and compare to this pages 365 and 366 of C. R. Williams' article "The Appendices to the Gospel according to Mark", in Transactions of the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences, Vol. 18, Feb. 1915, Yale University Press.]

Also, if you download the 242-page French Intro to NTTC by J.P.P. Martin, on page 14 (as digitally counted) you can see a reproduction of the pertinent page (140r) of Codex 20.

Is there anything else that needs clarification?

Yours in Christ,

James Snapp, Jr.

------------------------------ END QUOTE ---

Thanks for this to James, from

Sunday, September 4, 2011

On the Medical Language of St. Luke

We get early well-articulated notice of Luke's medical language from M.F. Sadler, The Gospel Acc. to St. Luke, (1890, NY): Introduction:
'I have given in an excursus at the conclusion of my notes on the Acts of the Apostles some instances of the use of medical language by St. Luke. This subject seems exhausted in a treatise by the Rev. W. K. Hobart, of Trinity College, Dublin, "The Medical Language of St. Luke." He seems to prove  very clearly, not only that St. Luke uses medical terms in describing the miracles of healing, which the other Evangelists do not use, but that his vocabulary is that of one who had received a medical education and studied medical treatises; and when writing respecting non-medical matters he yet uses very many words which Hippocrates, Galen, Dioscorides, and other Greek physicians were in the habit of employing even when not writing on diseases and their remedies. To give Dr. Hobart's own words,
"There is a class of words running through the third Gospel, and the Acts of the Apostles, and for the most part peculiar to these books of the New Testament writings, with which a medical man must have been familiar, as they formed part of the ordinary phraseology of Greek medical language. In thus using words to which he had become habituated through professional training, St. Luke would not be singular, for the Greek medical writers, also, when dealing with unprofessional subjects, show a leaning to the use of words to which they were accustomed in their professional language."
I wish I could now give instances.  ...So that a searching examination of St. Luke's phraseology yields a striking confirmation to the truth of the words of the Apostle, which describe him as a physician.'
To find detailed description of this language, however, we will have to turn to such above mentioned published works.  Hobart's book is out of copyright, but is online at Archive.Org.

Preface:  "...In order to bring the work withing reasonable bounds, It was found necessary that the number of examples of the medical use of a word should not, in any case, exceed ten; in  many instances they could be cited indefinitely. ...An asterisk has been prefixed to those words which are peculiar to the Third Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles, and also to a few words, which, though not peculiar to these writings, are used in them alone of the NT in a medical sense." 


(1)  Luke 4:23 Ιατρε, θεραπευσον σεαυτον (cf. Galen Comm. vi. (xvii. B. 151)

(2)  Healing of Demoniac  Luke 4:35 *ριψαν, μηδεν βλαψαν αυτον (cf. Hippocrates, Epid. 1160)

Consulting the Table of Contents allows for a quick listing of important cases. Citations in non-Biblical medical works are found in the main text.


The Premature ABU Revised Version NT (1860)

Not to be confused with the American Sunday School Union, the American Bible Union (ABU) offered a series of books in the 1850-1880 period, notably:

1857 - The Book of Job ; the Common English Version the Hebrew Text and the Revised Version of the American Bible Union, by Conant,  (ABU, 1857)

1858 - The Gospel According to Mark translated from the Greek on the basis of the Common English Version. With Notes.

1860 - Notes on the Greek Text of the Epistle of Paul to Philemon, as the basis of a Revision of the Common English Version; and a Revised Version, with notes. (anon., apparently written by Horatio B. Hackett) (ABU, 1860).

1861 - Tne Meaning and Use of BAPTIZEIN philologically and historically investigated, by CONANT, T.J.(1861), 8vo.

1865 - The New Testament of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ The Common English Version, Corrected By the Final Committee of the American Bible Union (1865, 2nd Revision, reprinted, 1873)

1868? - The Book of Genesis the Common Version Revised for the American Bible Union with Explanatory Notes, Conant (1868?)

1873 - Bible Primer, To Teach The Millions To Read God's Word. (Anon., ABU, 1873)

(A more complete list of these proto-Revised-Version attempts can be found here:

This earlier more conservative attempt at revision (pre RV 1881) shows more clearly what was originally intended by the Americans, and what sources were used.

Insight into the origin and intent of the American early revisers can be found scattered among the prefaces and introductions to these preliminary publications, as well in the the books independently published by these same authors.

For example, On page v. of the intro for the Gospel of Mark (1858), we get:

Critical Editions of the Greek Testament [consulted]:

1809 - Griesbach
1820 - Knapp
1830 - Fritzche GNT w. Comm.
1839[?] Bloomfield GNT w. Comm. [1839-1847]
1842 - Tittman, ed. Prof. Robinson NY
1846 - Lachmann [2nd critical ed]
1850 - Scholz (Bagster's)
1850 - Tischendorf [3rd ed.?]
1856 - Theile

As well as Five Editions of the TR:

1653 - Erasmus
1624 - Elzevir / 1707 - Mill (Bagster's)
1831 - Leusden (reprinted)
1831 - Prof. Wilson's ed.
???? - emendations from Robinson's Harmony of the Gospels.

IN that same edition, we are given the
General Rules for th Direction of Translators and Revisers employed by the ABU"

" 1. The exact meaning of the inspired text, as that text expressed it to those who understood the original Scriptures at the
time they were first written, must be translated by corresponding words and phrases, so far as they can be found, in the vernacular
tongue of those for whom the version is designed, with the least possible obscurity or indefiniteness.

" 2. Wherever there is a version in common use, it shall be made the basis of revision, and all unnecessary interference with
the established phraseology shall be avoided ; and only such alterations shall be made as the exact meaning of the inspired text
and the existing state of the language may require.

" 3. Translatious or revisions of the New Testament shall be made from the received Greek text, critically edited, with known
errors corrected.


"1. The Common English Version must be the basis of the revision: the Greek Text, Bagster & Sons' octavo edition ['TR' = Scholz]
of 1851.

" 2. Whenever an alteration from that version is made on any authority additional to that of the reviser, such authority must
be cited in the manuscript, either on the same page or in an appendix.

" 3. Every Greek word or phrase, in the translation of which the phraseology of the Common Version is changed, must be
carefully examined in every other place in which it occurs in the New Testament, and the views of the reviser be given as
to its proper translation in each place."


These rules seem to have allowed an unforeseen degree of freedom in regard to the original Greek, an ambiguity which other parts of the rules clearly intended to avoid (the potential for and real abuse of such well-intended rules in regard to the English Revised Version is well-documented).

But in spite of conservative sentiments and attempts to contain revision within reasonable limits, there was an ethos, a rather less precise and dangerously vague attitude among these early revisers, which left them and their work open to tragic errors in their handling of the NT text.

We can find revealing glimpses of some of this attitude in other publications, not directly under control of the ABU.

For instance, Horatio b. Hackett had already published:

1858 - A Commentary on the Original Text of the Acts of the Apostles H.B. Hackett (revised 1858),

On the one hand, Hackett encourages a healthy Protestant historical/critical approach. In regard to Acts, he says,

"No person can be prepared to read the Epistles of the NT with the greatest advantage until he has made himself familiar with the external history of the Apostle Paul, and with his character and spirit, as Luke has portrayed him in his narrative.  Those portions...must be thoroughly mastered before any proper foundation is laid for exegetical study of the Epistles."
Again, Hackett explains,
"It is the object of these notes to assist the reader in the acquisition of this knowledge and discipline; to enable him to form his own independent view of the meaning of the sacred writer..., and at the same time, furnish himself to some extent with those principles and materials of criticism which are common to all parts of the Bible.  ...and to promote a habit of careful study and of self-reliance ...a result beyond any other which the writer has been anxious to accomplish. ...The grammatical references and explanations will enable the student to judge of the consistency of the interpretations given with the laws of Greek language.  The authorities cited will show the state of critical opinion on all passages that are supposed to be uncertain or obscure."
(- H.B. Hackett, Preface to Acts,  Newton Theol. Inst., Oct 31, 1851)

So far, so good.  But now let us turn to another book, perhaps where Hackett has expressed himself in a more unguarded fashion.  In his Notes on the Greek Text of the Epistle of Paul to Philemon, (ABU, 1860), Hackett explains more clearly his idea of Bible translation:
"An exposition of the text, as a mental process at least, on the part of the interpreter (though the results may not be written out), must precede a translation. The Notes, therefore, here laid before the reader, have the same interest and value as a means of understanding the text of the Epistle, as if they were unaccompanied by a revision of the Common English Version.
But the other portion of the work has also its separate claims on the attention of the Biblical student. An addition of this nature has become, within a few years, a common feature in the best exegetical works published in this country, and in
England.  The fact sets forth an important truth. It is felt more and more that critical attempts to explain the meaning of the Scriptures should, as the proper test of their definiteness and precision, terminate in an endeavor to express the sense as nearly as possible in our own language ; and furthermore, that they must assume this form, in order to render such studies available in any great degree to the bulk of English readers.
The topic last suggested here deserves a word further. This matter of the history of the current translation of the Bible, and a comparison of its renderings, with those of the preceding translations,* out of which the Common Version has arisen, are opening to us a range of study, comparatively new and attractive certainly to those who enter upon it. Some of the best scholars of the day are giving their attention to it. The student of English literature will reap profit as well as gratification from it. 
The different epochs of our language are well marked in the style of the different versions. We learn, thence, that the English race, even since the dawn of Protestantism, and during some of the most effective periods of the national development, have not been dependent upon any single translation of the Bible, but have received their knowledge of the gospel through various channels. It is no disservice to be taught that the power of Christianity resides in its doctrines and ideas, and not in any set of words or phrases which it may outgrow with the advance of Biblical science, and the mutations of language, and must then, or should, discard for other forms. It is seen from such recurrence to the past, to be the wisdom of the church, to which have been committed the Oracles of God, to open promptly every source of religious knowledge to the many as well as the few. The names of Wiclif, Tyndale, Frith, Coverdale, are witnesses how slowly this truth has made its way in the world, in regard to the use and treatment of translations of the Sacred word into the vernacular tongue of a people. The history of the English Bible has been, from first to last, a singular history of conflicts between an excessive conservatism on the one hand, and the promptings of a more expansive religious spirit on the other, and a history, at the same time, of victories on the side of truth and progress. It is well that the public mind is turning itself back to inquiries which are so interesting and adapted to reassert and enforce principles of vital importance.  
There is much misapprehension still, I imagine, respecting the precise nature of the enterprise, in the interest of which this volume has been prepared. The object is not to supersede, but revise the current Version of the English Scriptures. A new translation of the original text, and a revision of the translation of that text, are very diflferent things; and yet, different as they are, are confounded by many persons who would not be unfriendly to what is attempted, if they would keep in mind this important distinction. It is not proposed to discard the present Version; to cast away its manifold advantages ; to introduce rash and doubtful innovations ; to substitute a cumbrous Latinized style for the simple, nervous, idiomatic English, which brings the familiar Version so home to the hearts of the people ; but simply to do upon the work of our translators what they did upon that of their predecessors; to survey it afresh in the light of the knowledge which has been gained during the more than two centuries since they passed away ; to make such changes, and such only, as the general verdict of the best scholarship of the age has pronounced to be due to truth and fidelity ; to make these changes in a style of delicate harmony with the present language of the English Bible ; to confirm its accuracy, where it is correct, against false or unsupported interpretations, as well as to amend it where it is confessedly incorrect ; and thus, in a word, carry forward from our position, if we might, the labors of the revisers (for such they were) of James' age, as they carried forward the labors of the generations before them.
On some other occasion I may have an opportunity to speak of the Greek text on which the revision is founded, and some other kindred topics. I have endeavored to unfold the contents of the Epistle with candor and impartiality, and would hope that those who may examitie the work will judge of it in the same spirit. ...
* It can not have escaped notice that the various English readings have began to form an important new material in our works of Biblical criticism. Professor Alexander of the Princeton Theological Seminary, whose recent death is a calamity to the cause of sacred learning, has enriched greatly his New Testament Commentaries by his copious illustrations of this character. "
The important idea here is the concept of  "dynamic" or idiomatic translation, although it is not yet articulated with any sensible scientific restraint.  The view promotes the idea of multiple forms of verbal expression, i.e., with all translations being somehow equal or equally inspired.  

Certainly accuracy and precision in translation indeed requires idiomatic forms, and may also require language updating as language evolves.  But the dangerous effect of free expression, namely corrosion of meaning and the authority of the written, inspired word of God, has simply not yet occurred to American Protestants (c. 1860s). 

The natural evolution of the unrestrained idea, is that if God's word can have many forms, and if some forms seem contradictory, or remove, or add to other forms, these forms can be and must be error-prone, if not error-ridden.  Its a short step from here to assigning an equally low priority and accuracy to ANY form of the word of God,   with the attendant consequences, namely that people will pick and choose what they perceive to be "the word of God", inevitably selecting what is convenient and appealing, while rejecting what is inconvenient or unappealing.   Which is precisely the state of confusion over modern 'versions' that we have now.