the received text


It was interesting to discover “that the Textus Receptus (the Received Text upon which the KJV is based) was the Bible in use in the Greek Empire, in the countries of Syrian Christianity, in northern Italy, in southern France, and in the British Isles in the second century A.D. This was a full century and more before the Vaticanus and Sinaiticus saw the light of day.”8 The title “Textus Receptus” (Received Text) was first given by Elzevir in 1633 and refers to the body of documents which preserve substantially the same kind of text” 9

Scripture tells us that it was at Antioch in Syria that believers were first called Christians (Acts 11:26), and in about 150 AD, the Syrian speaking Christians had their own version of the Bible known as the Peshitto (the correct or simple). This Bible follows the Textus Receptus or “Received Text.” , The use of the Peshitto version also extended to the Maronites living in the mountain terraces of Lebanon.

Also, early Latin translations of the Bible (the Old Latin) were well established before 250 AD when Rome began to send missionaries to the West. Since Italy, France and Britain were once provinces of the Roman Empire, the first translations of the Bible found in these countries were in Latin. Christians in the West refused to allow their old Latin Bibles to be supplanted by Jerome’s later Latin Version, which was commissioned by the Papacy towards the end of the fourth century and became known as the Latin Vulgate (meaning, commonly used or current) Bible, of the Roman Church.

The Old Latin Bible (also known as the Italic) was translated from Greek by about 157 AD and represents the Received Text. This was the basis for the Bible used by the Waldenses and their forebears in northern Italy who withstood the cruel persecutions of papal Rome.

In summary, these early Latin Bibles in Italy, France and Britain did not meet with Papal approval. They were based upon what became known later as the Received Text predating the Catholic Latin Vulgate Version by about 200 years. Britain does not therefore appear to have been reliant on Rome for God’s Word reaching its shores. For further reading of the history of the controversy over versions between Protestants and Papists the reader is directed to the footnote.l0 The objectives of Rome remain unchanged today. Let us not be deceived, what Rome was unable to achieve by force in the past is being gained through the subtlety of ecumenism today.