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Thread: a major caution on the Tischendorf correspondence

  1. Default a major caution on the Tischendorf correspondence

    While the correspondence can be very helpful, there has been a concern that it can be very sanitized.

    On April 16, 1993, the German Biblical scholar Kurt Aland delivered a public lecture to defend Tischendorf's reputation from people like Bentley. In fact, Aland was particularly sensitive to criticisms leveled at Tischendorf by Ihor Sevcenko in his "New Documents on Constantine Tischendorf and the Codex Sinaiticus" (1964). Although he had originally intended to talk about the course of New Testament textual criticism in the 150 years since the appearance of Tischendorf's first edition of the Greek New Testament, he altered his approach after coming across transcriptions of Tischendorf's letters to his wife from the period 1859-1869. In Aland's opinion, these letters prove beyond a doubt that Tischendorf had acted honorably in the Sinaiticus affair. Some critics - among them J.N. Birdsall, J.K. Elliott, F. Neirynck - find Aland's argument on Tischendorf's behalf to be reasonably convincing. In general, however, most have reserved their judgment about Aland's conclusions. Birdsall stated:

    In addition to the other materials, the whole corpus of these recently discovered letters [from Tischendorf to his spouse] will need to be assessed. The lecturer speaks of "coming upon" them (vorfand) in a typewritten copy. Of the Originals and any previous history, such as even the provenance of the modern copy, he says nothing in this lecture.

    The Church and the Library: Studies in Honor of Rev. Dr. George C. Papademetriou (2005)
    Tischendorf and the Codex Sinaiticus: The Saga Continues
    Michael D. Peterson
    http://books.google.com/books?id=DLSMIdACXbUC&pg=PA81
    Note that we do see pictures of some original letters.

    James Neville Birdsall - (1928-2005)
    http://www.reltech.org/TC/v11/Birdsall2006obit.html

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    Alexander Schick book

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