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Inhaltsangabe: Dean Burgon demonstrates that the methodology of modern textual criticism fails to hold up when examined against the last twelve verses of Mark. The entire system of textual critics must be rejected. He shows that Bishop B. F. Westcott and Professor F. J. A. Hort and their followers are categorically wrong in their approach to the text of the New Testament. Dean Burgon's book is a fatal blow to the manuscripts "B" and "Aleph," which are the favorite manuscripts of the modern textual critics.
Über den Autor: from Who Was Dean John William Burgon? (A pamphlet compiled by Dr. and Mrs. D. A. Waite and based on the 2-volume biography by Edward Goulburn)] Birth And Early Education. John William Burgon, the Dean of Chichester, was born on August 21, 1813, in Smyrna, a province of Greece. He has been called "the champion of the impossible." His mother, Catherine Marguerite de Cramer, of French descent, was the daughter of an Austrian consul. Thomas Burgon, his British-born father, was a successful London merchant connected with the commerce of the city of London, a collector and connoisseur of ancient art. John, one of six children, was a product of the "home school." For the first eleven years of his life, his mother was his teacher John had always wanted to be educated and to be a minister, but he had to remain with his father in the family business. When that business failed, John was free to follow his desire to study at Oxford University. Latin And Greek Studies. While many of his contemporaries had finished their formal education, thirty-year-old Burgon was just beginning his university studies. Besides memorizing Latin, Burgon did exercises in Latin and Greek history daily. He was a master of classical Greek, studying Thucydides, Aeschylus, and the Agamemnon. He also grappled with such classical Greek writers as Aristotle, Aeschylus, and Herodotus. He has been quoted as saying, "Old Aristotle I like better as I understand him more." Needless to say, John William Burgon was a well-trained man! Besides all this advanced philosophical study, Dean Burgon read two chapters of the Old Testament daily, and often said, "I cannot feel satisfied." Concern For Students. When Burgon was a pastor, he not only preached two or three times on Sunday, but also had Bib1e Study at seven o'clock in the early morning with the Oxford students. They came in the evening to study also. Eight times in a term, Pastor Burgon met with young men. For four years he taught them the book of Genesis without completing the book during that time. Ninety-six nights of teaching! Not a word, a sentence, or a chapter was skipped. His plan was to make the Bible its own commentary. He was a teacher of minute details. The result was that his students came to know other books of the Bible at the same time. Watchdog's Bark. On all the great theological and textual questions that arose, Burgon's trumpet gave no uncertain sound. On every question--and there were many--he delivered himself with courage as one who was convinced himself, and sought to convince others also. Someone remarked: "What a splendid watchdog he is. How loud and furiously he barks when the smallest danger threatens the church or the Faith which is entrusted to the church's keeping. It is the business of a watchdog to bark furiously and to even flay at the throat of thieves." Without a doubt, Burgon, was not only a student of the Scriptures, but also a defender of the Scriptures. Quotations Of The Church Fathers. As a result of his research, Burgon compiled an index of sixteen folio volumes of more than 86,000 quotations of or allusions to Scripture which were used by the Church Fathers. These indexes were about 12" by 18" by 3" in size. They are presently in London's British Museum. Dean Burgon and his associates have catalogued them. Each quotation or allusion is color-coded to show the exact page and version of the Church Fathers from which they were derived. These are very valuable indexes, but as yet are unpublished. Who were some of the Church Fathers? This is another name for the leaders of the early church, whether pro-Textus Receptus or not. They were men such as Origen, Jerome, Athanasius, Cyprian, Clement of Alexander, Augustine, Tertullian, and Eusebius. In the writings of the Church Fathers whom Burgon researched, he found that these early leaders quoted from various Greek and Latin texts of Scripture. Remember that the purpose of researching the Church Fathers was not necessarily to give word for word quotations of the Bible. It was to show that a writer, in referring to the Bible in a personal letter or document, had used a certain verse, a series of verses, or even one word or two that he found in his copy of Scripture. In many instances, this exact quotation or allusion showed whether the writer had before him the Textus Receptus-type of text or a Westcott and Hort-type of text. So, we may conclude that these early Fathers, regardless of their individual faith or convictions, had specific New Testament texts in their hands. This helps us immeasurably. Systematic Treatise. At the age of seventy-three, two years before his death, Dean Burgon began writing his systematic defense of the Traditional Text of Scripture. It was to be a thorough-going treatise on Biblical Textual Criticism in two volumes. He argued with himself before beginning:
"It will take a long time.
I know it.
The rest of your life.
I know it.
It will cost a great deal of money.
I know it
And you will never finish it.
I know it.
No one will ever appreciate it.
I know it.
I WILL DO IT!" He was right. Few did appreciate it. But Dean Burgon was a determined man. He thought to himself, "Why don't I do for the whole New Testament what I have done for the Gospel of Mark?" [Referring to his book, Last Twelve Verses of Mark] Cause Of Death. The doctor said the cause of Burgon's death [in 1888] was nervous fatigue resulting in prolonged mental work produced by strain to the nervous system. Though his labor was great, and though his days had been shortened because of such labor, John William Burgon had great fondness for his writings. He pondered over them from daybreak until night. He taught what he believed and he believed what he taught.
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