William Alleyn Evanson - translator of Knittel

Steven Avery

William Alleyn Evanson

8. William Alleyn EVANSON, born 1786 in Ireland, education Trinity College, Dublin - BA 1804 - MA 1828, ordination 1832 Vicar of Blewbury (Berks), occupation 1836 Vicar of Lechlade and Inglesham (Wilts), census 1841 at Vicarage House, Inglesham (Wilts), died 2 Mar 1857 at Stanton Rectory - Aged 71. He married Lyndon MacDONNELL.

Evanson, William Alleyn. I., 357. Was this Rev. William Alleyn Evanson, m.a., Lecturer of St. Luke’s, Old-street, London, the translator of “ Knittel’s New Criticisms on 1 John, v. 7.” 8vo. London, 1829 ?
Historical records are spotty beyond this translation -
Translated from the original German, by William Alleyn Evanson, M. A. Lecturer of St. Luke's, Old Street, London
Translator of the excellent writing from Knittel:

Franz Anton Knittel (1721–1792),

and added his own 30 pages Intro, and footnotes.

New criticisms on the celebrated text, 1 John V. 7. "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one." A synodical lecture (1829)
Franz Anton Knittel, translated by William Alleyn Evanson

In the 30-page intro, Evanson piddles around Montifortianus and other Greek ms. issues, including improper conclusions about the Complutensian, and including conjectures about whether the CP scholars saw Vaticanus..

Evanson also gave up the strength of the Vulgate Prologue by calling it ninth century rather than Jerome.

tne assertion (which can never tie disprovea) of the Author of the ‘Prologus in Epistolas Canonicas’ in the 9th century, “that the verse in question existed in the Greek Manuscripts then extant,” and possibly as far back as the 4th century p. xvi

was it not broadly promulgated, so early as the 9th century, that the verse in question had been designedly erased
by the Arians ? p. xxix
Knittel was equivocal in p. 95-97.

Overall, there was a lot of emphasis on the doctrinal stances of Semler and Wetstein, connected to Complutensian conjectures of missing manuscripts. (And theories of Arian erasure, when in fact most of the Greek line dropping was likely in an earlier period.)

Wetstein and Semler are, in fact, the only authorities appealed to by the depreciators of the Complutensian. ... there are probably many thousand Greek Manuscripts of the New Testament in existence, which have never been collated or examined; as the Manuscripts employed by the Complutensian Editors have not yet been discovered ...

And if the test of cui bono be applied, all the presumption is in favour of omission by the Arians, rather than invention by the Orthodox.... p. xxix
Evanson does actually give a solid AV preservational defense on p. XXX and XXXi.

Evanson was reasonable on Tertullian, Cyprian and the Council of Carthage, and some other evidences and argumentation.

the positive, or affirmative unsuspicious testimonies of Tertullian, Cyprian, Origen, the Second Symbolum Antiochenum, Gregory Nazianzen, Phcebadius, Ausonius, and the Latin Vulgate of Jerome, either directly quoting or undeniably alluding to the clause : (p. xxv)

the direct citation of it by the African Fathers at the Council of Carthage in the 5th century p. xvi

(*) The verse, 1 John V. 7, was alleged against the Arians at the Council of Carthage, in the 5th century ; and its authenticity was not disputed by the Arian Bishops then present; nor questioned by any Arian, or other Heretic, from the 5th to the 16th century. p. xxvi footnote
There was counter by Thomas Turton:

Thomas Turton (1780-1864)


Grantley bibliography
‘Clemens Anglicanus’ [Thomas Turton]. Remarks upon Mr. Evanson's preface to his translation of Knittel’s New Criticisms on I John, v. 7. Cambridge: Smith for Deighton, 1829.

This focuses on Montifortianus and similar evidences, there is barely a reference to Cyprian, the Council of Carthage and the areal evidences that had been given some focus.

In a critique of William Alleyn Evanson’s introduction to his translation of Knittel's work on the comma (1827), Thomas Turton remarked that if the comma could not be ‘maintained on the common principles by which other texts are established, that circumstance is of itself a strong indication that the verse is spurious’.11

11 ‘Clemens Anglicanus’ 1829, 5

Biblical Criticism p. 282
Orme waxes poetic about the Turton writing:

The Eclectic Review is likely Orme, some checking could be done comparing the wording.

Eclectic Review p. 167-183 (1830)
review of Thomas Turton critique of Evanson Preface


Steven Avery

Research Note - Orme wrote Quarterly Review 1826 p. 64-104

Grantley related bio, Biblical Criticism, listed as anonymous, now with urls added:

Review of Burgess 1821. The British Review (, and London Critical Journal-RGA) 18 (1821): 219-235.

Review of Burgess 1823. The Quarterly Review 33 (1826): 64-104

Some additional Reviews included, and more may be added.

1826 is confirmed as written by Orme

1821 may be, no confirmation
, his earliest confirmed writing is 1822 (below) and his first bibliography type writing is:
Bibliotheca biblica, a select list of books on sacred literature, with notices, 1824,
which does have a number of interesting heavenly witnesses notes embedded.

Research Note

Orme 1830 on the Quarterly Review refers to "present writer"

About this quote including:

"... the title of Walafrid Strabo to be considered as the author of the Glossa Ordinaria"
Which can be seen in the:

Review of Burgess 1821 - The Quarterly Review 26 (1822)
p. 324-341 - definitely Orme - p. 336 quote matches "present writer"
The Quarterly Review, Volume 33 (1822)
not in Grantley bibliography (there were a large number of Journal articles in those days)


Which also leads to the 40 page article in 1826 as being Orme.

Review of Burgess 1823. The Quarterly Review 33 (1826): 64—104.

Quote on p. 71-72


Steven Avery

additional info on Memoir of the Controversy - Congregational Magazine and Abbot editions


Grantley has Orme from 1830 Memoir and then to Ezra Abbot in the 1860s.

The earlier Congregational Magazine articles of 1829 led to the 1830.

Congregational Magazine (1829)
Criticus - (William Orme)
https://books.google.com/books?id=S_UDAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA9 p. 9-16
https://books.google.com/books?id=S_UDAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA73 p. 73-81
https://books.google.com/books?id=S_UDAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA129 p. 129-137
https://books.google.com/books?id=S_UDAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA242 p. 241-247
https://books.google.com/books?id=S_UDAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA295 p. 295-301
https://books.google.com/books?id=S_UDAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA355 p. 355-364
https://books.google.com/books?id=S_UDAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA414 p. 414-422
https://books.google.com/books?id=S_UDAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA577 p. 577-584
https://books.google.com/books?id=S_UDAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA631 p. 631-643


Abbot as editor of Memoir

"reprinted at New York (1866) and Boston (1867, 1869, 1872, 1875, 1883), edited by the prominent Unitarian biblical scholar Ezra Abbot, who extended.." - Grantley helpful info

Most are online, 1875 and 1883 are Worldcat library easy-available, and there is an indication of "new edition" -- it would be interesting to see if Abbot adds material through the 1881 Revision.