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Thread: Tischendorf's Honorary Degree

  1. Default Tischendorf's Honorary Degree

    Usually this is thought to have been a result of his work on Codex Ephraemi.

    Bill Cooper indicated otherwise, and was contradicted by Kevin McGrane.

    A friend in email writes:

    I am really asking for help regarding the exact date, and why he was awarded an honorary degree in Theology. In "When were our gospels written" by Mr Tischendorf, it seems to suggest Codex Ephraemi was the work in question, regarding the degree. But in "The Life and work of a 19th Centaury Bible Hunter" by Stanley E Porter it says it was for his first edition of his Greek New Testament (p19), and on 6 Jan 1843, but no references. I have tried to find more information on the net, but not been successful. Do you have a reference and quote as to why he was awarded the honour? Was he exaggerating, or even lying?
    Stanley Porter

    On the basis of his first critical edition of the Greek New Testament, Tischendorf was awarded an honorary doctorate in theology by the University of Breslau (now Wroclaw in Poland) on 6 January 1843, the first of many such degrees he would be awarded for his numerous textual accomplishments.This first edition of Tischendorf, though it attempted to reflect the current state of New Testament text-critical scholarship by taking account of previous editions and developments in textual criticism, did not move the field significantly forward— especially compared to his later eighth edition. - p. 19

    For this trip, he was able to secure significant funding from a variety of sources—including the Saxony government and various private sponsors (including Professor David Schulz of Breslau, who had sponsored Tischendorf for his honorary degree). p. 28
    Kevin McGrane

    Anyone having the slightest familiarity with the life of Tischendorf well knows that he established his international fame by deciphering this codex, so we do not doubt that Dr Cooper knows this also. It is covered in any reasonable biography of Tischendorf, for example Volbeding:

    As early as December, 1842, Tischendorf received the first copies of his edition of the Codex Ephraemi in Paris. This work was first and foremost, which aroused the general attention of the learned world, and won the favour of several princely protectors. As he was honoured by the award of tine Northern Star Order with the motto: Nescit occasum, and by other similar honours, so also the theological faculty of Breslau felt prompted by David Schulz to appoint him honoris causa doctor of theology...[T]he Codex Ephraemi was regarded at that time as a document of German perseverance and determined acumen.35

    35J.E. Volbeding, Constantia Tischendorf in seiner fünfundzwanzigjährigen schriftstellerischen Wirksamkeit, (Leipzig, 1862), pp.13-14. 'Bereits im December des Jahres 1842 empfing Tischendorf zu Paris die ersten Exemplare seiner Ausgabe des Codex Ephraemi. Dieses Werk war es zunächst und vorzugsweise, welches die allgemeine Aufmerksamkeit der gelehrten Welt erregte, audi die Gunst mehrerer fürstlicher Protectoren seinem Urheber gewann. Wie er durch die Verleihung des Nordsternordens mit der Devise: Nescit occasum, und durch andere ähnliche Auszeichnungen geehrt wurde, so fühlte sich auch die theologische Facultät zu Breslau auf Anregung von David Schulz veranlasst, ihn honoris causa zum Doctor der Theologie zu ernennen...Wie sehr damals sein Codex Ephraemi als Document deutscher Beharrlichkeit und entschiedenen Scharfsinnes angesehen wurde...'

    35J.E. Volbeding, Constantia Tischendorf in his Twenty-Five Years of Literary Efficacy, (Leipzig, 1862), pp.13-14. As early as December, 1842, Tischendorf received the first copies of his edition of the Codex Ephraemi in Paris. It was this work, first and foremost, which aroused the general attention of the learned world, and won the favor of several princely protectors to its author. As he was honored by the award of the Northern Star Order with the motto: Nescit occasum, and by other similar honors, so the theological faculty of Breslau felt prompted by David Schulz to appoint him honoris causa doctor of theology ... How much then his Codex Ephraemi was regarded as a document of German perseverance and resolute acumen ... '

    Constantia Tischendorf in seiner fünfundzwanzigjährigen schriftstellerischen Wirksamkeit
    https://books.google.com/books?id=WDk6AAAAcAAJ&pg=PA18
    We may check the biography by Christfried Böttrich, which should be arriving here in a week or two from overseas.

    Cooper had written (taken here from McGrane).

    "M. Tischendorf, then 27 years of age, received from a German University the degree of Doctor of Divinity just as a Swiss University was about to confer it. Three foreign governments decorated him. Others sent him gold medals. The Dutch Government caused one to be engraved expressly in recognition of this work."

    - footnote by editors in
    When Were our Gospels Written
    https://books.google.com/books?id=uJ0HAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA29


    The work for which he received such accolades was an edition of a Greek 'New Testament' based, not on any Greek manuscript, but on the Latin Vulgate Bible. It was merely a rendering into Greek of Jerome's erroneous Alexandrian-based Translation', expressly intended to advance the Vatican's cause of overthrowing or replacing the Textus Receptus.

    The issue here though is not why he received accolades, but the specific Honorary Degree.

  2. Default

    Caspar Rene Gregory
    https://books.google.com/books?id=_wCipspSVbgC&pg=PA162

    His visit to Florence, on his Italian journey of 1843, now comes to light in an edition of the Codex Amiatinus, one of the oldest manuscripts of the Vulgate, dating from the close of the first half of the sixth century.1 This he in a wise dedicated to the memory of Pope Gregory XVI., the one who had received him so kindly at Rome. The date of the edition of the Codex Amiatinus is also that of his Ordinary Honorary Professorship, 1850. p. 168

    1843, Doctor of Theology - p. 153

    Easter, 1838, awards him another medal, against seven competitors, on the subject: “Christ the Bread of Life; or, on John vi. 51-59.” At the same time he took his doctor’s degree, the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Arts, which is the necessary precedent to the degree of Licentiate. Closing his work of teaching for Pastor Zehme, near Leipzig, Tischendorf made a short trip through southern Germany, Switzerland, and Strasburg, after which he returned to Leipzig, and began to prepare a critical hand-edition of the Greek New Testament. This was in October, 1839. In 1840, he habilitated as Licentiate and Privat-docent of Theology. We may again observe that, whereas many German privat-docents and professors rise chiefly by change of university, Tischen-dorf never left his Alma Mater, but rose from Privat-doeent to Extraordinary Professor, to Ordinary Honorary Professor, and finally Ordinary Professor, the highest post in a German school. p. 156


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