The Textus Receptus is the text that has been used for 2,000 years by Christians. This is also the text that agrees with more than 95% of the Bible Manuscripts in Koine (common) Greek.  It is known by other names, such as the Traditional Text, Majority Text, Byzantine Text, or Syrian Text.

In his essay Texual Criticism, Dr. Thomas Cassidy writes: "The Traditional text of the New Testament has existed from the time of Christ right down to the present. It has had many different names down through the years, such as Byzantine Text, Eastern Text, Received Text, Textus Receptus, Majority Text, and others. Although no complete Bible manuscripts have survived which would allow us to date the Traditional text to the first century, there is a strong witness to the early existence and use of the Traditional text by the early church in its lectionaries."

A few facts showing the respected historical position of the Textus Receptus are in order. Its prominence and respect did not begin in 1611 with the KJV translators. They merely recognized (as others before them had), that the Textus Receptus was God's preserved word in the original New Testament language.


Consider the following:

  • Prior to the 20th century, all English Bibles since Tyndale's first New Testament (1526) were based on the Textus Receptus. This includes: Miles Coverdale's Bible (1535), Matthew's Bible (1500-1555), The Great Bible (1539), The Geneva Version (1560), The Bishops' Bible (1568), and the King James Version (1611). [STORY OF OUR ENGLISH BIBLE, by W. Scott]

  • Ancient Versions followed the reading of the Textus Receptus. These versions include: The Peshitta Version (AD 150), The Italic Bible (AD 157), The Waldensian (AD 120 & onwards), The Gallic Bible (Southern France) (AD177), The Gothic Bible (AD 330-350), The Old Syriac Bible (AD 400), The Armenian Bible (AD 400 There are 1244 copies of this version still in existence.), The Palestinian Syriac (AD 450), The French Bible of Oliveton (AD 1535), The Czech Bible (AD 1602), The Italian Bible of Diodati (AD 1606), The Greek Orthodox Bible (Used from Apostolic times to the present day by the Greek Orthodox Church). [Bible Versions, D.B. Loughran]

In his excellent book, Truth Triumphant: The Church in the Wilderness, Benjamin Wilkinson writes, "The Protestant denominations are built upon that manuscript of the Greek New Testament sometimes called Textus Receptus, or the Received Text. It is that Greek New Testament from which the writings of the apostles in Greek have been translated into English, German, Dutch and other languages. During the dark ages the Received Text was practically unknown outside the Greek Church. It was restored to Christendom by the labours of that great scholar Erasmus. It is altogether too little known that the real editor of the Received Text was Lucian. None of Lucian's enemies fails to credit him with this work. Neither Lucian nor Erasmus, but rather the apostles, wrote the Greek New Testament. However, Lucian's day was an age of apostasy when a flood of depravations was systematically attempting to devastate both the Bible manuscripts and Bible theology. Origen, of the Alexandrian college, made his editions and commentaries of the Bible a secure retreat for all errors, and deformed them with philosophical speculations introducing casuistry and lying. Lucian's unrivalled success in verifying, safeguarding, and transmitting those divine writings left a heritage for which all generations should be thankful."


Why did the early churches of the 2 nd and 3rd centuries and all the Protestant Reformers of the
15th, 16th and 17th  centuries choose Textus Receptus in preference to the Minority Texts?

The answer is because of the following:

  • Textus Receptus is based on the vast majority (over 95%) of the 5,300+ Greek manuscripts in existence. That is why it is also called the Majority Text.

  • Textus Receptus is not mutilated with deletions, additions and amendments, as is the Minority Text.

  • Textus Receptus agrees with the earliest versions of the Bible: Peshitta (AD150) Old Latin Vulgate (AD157), the Italic Bible (AD157) etc. These Bibles were produced some 200 years before the Minority Texts (like Vatican and Sinai) favored by the Roman Catholic Church.

  • Textus Receptus agrees wih the vast majority of the 86,000+ citations from scripture by the early church fathers.

  • Textus Receptus is untainted with Egyptian philosophy and unbelief.

  • Textus Receptus strongly upholds the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith: the creation account in Genesis, the divinity of Jesus Christ, the virgin birth, the Saviour's miracles, his bodily resurrection, his literal return and the cleansing power of his blood!

  • Textus Receptus was (and still is) the enemy of the Roman Catholic Church. This is an important fact to bear in mind.


Home          Does it Really Matter?          Manuscripts           Codex Sinaiticus          Codex Vaticanus           Textus Receptus            Westcott & Hort
Is Older Better?           Other Translations             Altered Verses           Constantine            Origen            Tischendorf            Catholics & the Jesuits