Edward F. Hills

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Edward F. Hills
Edward F. Hills

Edward Freer Hills (19121981) was an American Presbyterian scholar, perhaps the greatest 20th Century Traditional (“Byzantine”) Text, and Received Text defender.[1][2] Dr. Hills integrates his theological perspective alongside New Testament criticism.

Reading Dean John William Burgon inspired Dr. Hills to approach textual criticism from a “logic of faith” (1952 is the year that Dr. Hills made a definite commitment to this view).[3] As to the relationship of the King James Bible to the Received Text, Hills wrote "the King James Version ought to be regarded not merely as a translation of the Textus Receptus but also as an independent variety of the Textus Receptus."[4]

Hills specifically focused on the KJV as an independent edition of the Received Text, without the overbearing focus on Greek manuscripts that has become part of "Traditional Text" doctrine. He was very clear that preservation involved the Latin lines as well as the Greek. His view was that the Received Text is actually a restorational text, working with various solid inputs, including the Greek mss, the Latin mss, the ECW and faith-consistent textual principles. It is the Traditional Text as the Reformation experts were providentially enabled to harmonize the fullness of Tradition.

Hills studied with Cornelis van Til at Westminster, who was a Nestle-Aland text supporter. But when he began to apply the necessary implications that follow from a presuppositional view of the Bible, he realized the only tenable consistently Biblical position is that of the Traditional Text. It was then that he began to read Dean Burgon and other material supportive of the Textus Receptus.



  • Graduated summa cum laude at Yale University (1930–1933)[5][6]
  • Th.D. from Westminster Theological Seminary (ca. 1935)
  • Th.M. from Columbia Theological Seminary
  • Th.D. in New Testament textual criticism from Harvard under the supervision of Henry J. Cadbury, Kirsopp Lake as one of the readers[7]

Books by Dr. Hills

See Also

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