Tischendorf, Konstantin von
TISCHENDORF, KONSTANTIN VON
Lutheran theologian and Biblical textual critic; b. Legenfeld, Saxony, January 18, 1815; d. Leipzig, December 7, 1874. He studied theology at Leipzig (1834–38), where he was especially influenced by J. G.B. Winer in joining a careful study of New Testament philology with a great veneration for the Bible. Though nominally belonging to the theological faculty of Leipzig (associate professor, 1845; professor of theology and Biblical paleography, 1859), he was chiefly concerned after 1837 with textual criticism, and he spent a large part of his life in the libraries of Europe and the Near East in search of unpublished manuscripts. He is famous for his dramatic recovery of the Codex Sinaiticus at the Monastery of St. Catherine at Sinai, which he visited three times between 1841 and 1869. The first folios were published in 1846 as the Codex Frederico-Augustinus. After the discovery in 1859 of almost the complete manuscript, it was published as Bibliorum Codex Sinaiticus Petropolitanus (Leipzig 1862). Other important manuscripts edited by Tischendorf were the Codex Ephraemi rescriptus, which he was the first to decipher (1843–45); the Codex Amiatinus (1850); and the Codex Claromontanus (1852). Between 1841 and 1869 he published eight editions of the Greek New Testament, the last of which still remains a basic standard book of reference for the Greek New Testament.
Bibliography: c. bertheau, s. m. jackson, ed., The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, 13 v. (Grand Rapids, MI) 11:451–453. w. schrage, Die Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart, 7 v. (3rd ed. Tübingen 1957–65) 6:904–905.
[d. w. martin]