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No. VIII.-OCTOBER, 1849.
TISCHENDORF'S GREEK TESTAMENT.
By SAMUEL PRIDEAUX TREGelles.
Novum Testamentum Græce. Ad antiquos testes recensuit, apparatum criticum multis modis auctum et correctum apposuit, commentationem isagogicam præmisit CONSTANTINUS TISCHENDORF, Theol. Dr. et Prof. Editio Lipsiensis secunda. Lipsiæ. A. Winter. MDCCCXLIX.
THE name of Dr. Tischendorf has been well and widely known in connection with New Testament criticism ever since the publication of his first edition in 1841. At that time he had the opportunity of using only the critical materials which others had elaborated; he now comes forward as presenting the result of his own labours in this field,-labours which at once place him in the first rank amongst the collators and publishers of Biblical MSS.
In introducing this new edition of Tischendorf's Greek Testament to our readers, we have to speak first of the state of critical opinion relative to the sources from which the text of that book may be the more accurately edited.
From the time when Griesbach, by his endeavours to correct the text of the Greek New Testament, drew a far more general attention to the subject of textual criticism than had previously existed, the minds of scholars were more or less directed either to uphold those documents which in general support the 'Received Text,' or else those which differ widely from it, and from their antiquity possess no small claim to attention.
The New Testament published by Dr. J. M. A. Scholz was the result of the very extensive collations of MSS. carried on for some years by himself. He rested strongly on the large numbers of the MSS. still extant which were written within the limits of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, and which present a very general agreement. Hence in many passages in which Griesbach had followed the more ancient copies, Scholz relied on the number of the more recent, and thus adhered to the received text or to readings which do not differ much from it.
Thus the text of Scholz was highly valued by many who feared innovation: they were willing to believe that a deep truth lay at the basis of his system, and thus they acquiesced in his estimate of authorities. Others, too, who were dissatisfied with Griesbach's system of recensions, were willing to assent to the twofold division of MSS. proposed by Scholz; and this was often the case without an accurate inquiry into and investigation of the correctness of his arrangement of documents and authorities under the respective classes. Scholz's twofold division was supposed by some to be a new discovery of his own; they overlooked Bengel's distribution of documents into families, and the entirely different estimate which he formed of their respective authority.
In this manner the critical principles of Scholz found many advocates in this country: not so much amongst those who had really studied the subject, as amongst the very numerous class who deprecate all application of criticism to the sacred text.
One part of the critical labour of Scholz was of great utility and importance in the course of his Biblico-Critical Travels he examined the Greek MSS. in most libraries: he thus extended widely the knowledge which we possess on the subject; and his collations, though often very partial and hurried, afford at least some indication of the class of text to which the different documents belong.
Just after Scholz's first volume appeared, Lachmann, in his manual edition, took an entirely opposite path of criticism. used as authorities the most ancient MSS. only, and the Latin Vulgate. His text is therefore founded at least on ancient authorities. From the time of Lachmann's edition there has been found in Germany, among many scholars, a great appreciation of the principle of recurring to the more ancient authorities.
Tischendorf, in his first edition in 1841, adopted this principle to a considerable degree. We shall not here discuss the statement which he then gave of the principles on which he formed his text, and of the manner in which he modified his recurrence to the most ancient authorities: we shall have occasion, in reviewing the edition before us, to speak of the critical principles
which he now states, after the lapse of some years devoted to such studies.
The present edition exhibits a recension of the Greek text with a selection of various readings-the result not merely of the labours of previous collators, but especially of those of Tischendorf himself, during the years which have elapsed since his first edition appeared.
Prefixed there are prolegomena in which the following subjects are noticed-Tischendorf's own labours in the collation, &c., of ancient documents; the critical principles on which he has acted in this edition; the dialect of the Greek New Testament; the subject of recensions of the Greek text; the order of the books; forms of proper names, &c. ; editions of the Sacred Text, Elzevir, Griesbach, Scholz, Lachmann, Muralt, Bornemann (Acts of the Apostles), and Tregelles (Apocalypse). Then follows the list of MSS., versions, &c., on which the text is based.
The account of Tischendorf's own labours shows how much Biblical critics are indebted to him. Since the publication of his first edition he has himself copied or collated almost every uncial MS. which is known to exist. The very important Palimpsest MS., the Codex Ephraemi at Paris (C), has been published by Tischendorf; and this has been succeeded by the text of the Codex L of the Gospels, which was accompanied by that of B of the Apocalypse, and several important fragments. He has also published the Latin Codex Palatinus. He has a transcript of the Codex Claromontanus (D of St. Paul's Epistles), which he announces it to be his intention to publish.
He states (p. lvii.) that he has personally examined every known uncial MS. of the New Testament, except H of the Gospels at Hamburgh, V of the Gospels and K of the Epistles at Moscow, the Codex San-Germanensis at St. Petersburgh, and the fragments PQZ and the MS. A which have been published. The travels during which the MSS. were thus examined, occupied Tischendorf from 1840 to 1844, and the results obtained are given in the Wiener Jahrbucher, 1847 (Anziegeblatt).
It is evident that these more extended labours would give the present edition a great superiority over that which Tischendorf first published. Then he only had the collations of others to rely on; now he presents the fruit of his own labours. This gives his work a value to those who differ from his critical principles, as well as to those who agree with them more or less fully.
Tischendorf gives an account of what he has done, since the publication of his first edition, in connection with the ancient versions. Of these he has collated the Codex Amiatinus of the Latin Vulgate, and some other Latin authorities. For the other
versions he has relied, generally speaking, on the best printed editions. Many Fathers, and some editions of the Greek Testament, have been re-examined.
The materials thus collected are obviously incapable of being fully exhibited in a manual edition, such as this is. The principle of selection which Tischendorf has adopted has been to give those which support his text, and also those which he considers to be of sufficient importance to merit notice. The principle on which he has acted in this is briefly explained in a note (p. xi.). We may remark that it requires a very considerable degree of attention for the mind fully and readily to observe what_authorities support and what contradict the readings mentioned. In the Acts, Epistles, and Apocalypse, the readings are given less sparingly than in the Gospels. Many will, we believe, regret that they have not had brought before them the full results of such extended labours. This would no doubt be desirable and important, but in a small and cheap manual edition it is impracticable. We must thank the learned editor for what he has given us.
We have now to speak of one of the most important parts of the subject--the critical principles laid down by the editor. We may illustrate the importance of an editor's principles by a reference to Wetstein's Greek Testament. Wetstein's own labours had been considerable, (though often overstated: the number of MSS. of the Gospels which he himself collated in thirty-five years was about twenty), he had with great industry collected the collations of Mill and others, and he had re-examined many versions and Fathers; and yet his Greek Testament is not one to which reference can be made except as a storehouse of materials. His indications of the readings which he preferred to those of the ' received text' have scarcely any critical weight, from the character of the critical principles which he adopted.
This shows the importance of not only collecting the materials for critical use, but of also applying them on sound principles. The following, then, are the principles which Tischendorf has laid down for the formation of his text.
"The text is only to be sought from ancient evidence, and especially from Greek MSS., but without neglecting the testimonies of versions and Fathers. Thus the whole conformation of the text should proceed from the evidences themselves and not from what is called the received edition.'
This rule we believe to be most sound and important. the inspired authors actually wrote is a matter of testimony; the ancient evidences which have been transmitted to us present us the best accredited grounds on which we can form a judgment. Tischendorf then adds, that where testimonies differ, the most ancient