Happy Birthday Tischendorf

Constantin von Tischendorf, the great textual critic and New Testament scholar turns 200 years old today. Pour a glass of wine and give him a toast (maybe not till this evening). And then maybe spend some time reading his 8th edition, rather than your Nestle/Aland.

Or perhaps pick up Stanley Porter’s new volume about his life and work: Constantine Tischendorf: The Life and Work of a 19th Century Bible Hunter.

While the print edition appears to be being released in February, apparently the Kindle edition has already been available since December. That’s a little odd.

From the publisher:

Constantin von Tischendorf was a pioneer. He existed in an age when biblical studies as we know it was being formed, when the quest for forgotten manuscripts and lost treasures was being undertaken with no less zeal and intrigue than it is today. It was Tischendorf who found, and preserved, the oldest extant version of the complete bible that we know of, the so-called Codex Sinaiticus, which he discovered in poor condition at St Catherine’s Monastery at the foot of Mount Sinai, in 1846.

With the discovery of the Codex Tischendorf, and others, was to take the study of biblical texts further than ever before, through linguistic methods, and attention to the most ancient sources available. In many ways Tischendorf was a father figure of the modern Historical Critical Method.

In this short biography, Stanley E. Porter, himself one of the most respected scholars of the New Testament and Koine Greek currently writing, gives a portrait of Tischendorf’s life and work, together with an annotated republication of Tischendorf’s influential work on the Gospels.

Published to celebrate Tischendorf’s bicentenary, in 2015, this volume will be a must for those seeking to understand how the study of biblical manuscripts began, and to understand the man who discovered the oldest version of the bible as we know it.

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