Biographies of Textual Critics

Note: This section includes biographies only of critics who worked after the invention of printing. Editors such as Alcuin who worked during the manuscript era will be covered in the appropriate place in the history of their editions.

Contents: Kurt Aland * Johann Albrecht Bengel * Richard Bentley * John W. Burgon * A. C. Clark * Desiderius Erasmus * Robert Estienne (Stephanus) * Arthur L. Farstad * John Fell * Margaret Dunlop Gibson: see under Agnes Smith Lewis * Caspar René Gregory * Bernard Pyne Grenfell * Johann Jakob Griesbach * J. Rendel Harris * Fenton John Anthony Hort * A. E. Housman * Arthur Surridge Hunt: see under Bernard Pyne Grenfell * Karl Lachmann * Agnes Smith Lewis * Eberhard Nestle * Erwin Nestle * F. H. A. Scrivener * Johann Salomo Semler * Stephanus: see Robert Estienne * Constantine von Tischendorf * Samuel Prideaux Tregelles * Hermann Freiherr von Soden * Brooke Foss Westcott * Johann Jakob Wettstein * Francisco Ximénes de Cisneros *

Kurt Aland

1915-1994. Born in Berlin, and died in Münster/Westphalia. Perhaps the preeminent critic of the Twentieth Century; certainly one would be hard-pressed to name a critic with a greater list of achievements. It is harder to see whether Aland actually affected the practice of textual criticism.

Aland's publications are too numerous to list; we can only mention the works most accessible to students. Aland managed the apparatus of the Nestle-Aland editions starting with the twenty-first edition, and created the new and much more comprehensive format used for the twenty-sixth edition. He also produced the Synopsis Quattuor Evangeliorum, which is now the most comprehensive Gospel synopsis in existence. He maintained the list of manuscripts after the death of Von Dobschütz and Eltester, and eventually released the Kurzgefasste Liste der Griechischen Handschriften des Neuen Testaments. With his second wife Barbara, he wrote one of the standard introductions to New Testament textual criticism. He established the "Thousand Readings in a Thousand Minuscules" project which eventually resulted in the volumes of Text und Textwert der griechischen Handschriften des Neuen Testaments.

Perhaps even more notable, Aland founded the Institute for New Testament Textual Research in Münster. This is the only college in the world devoted solely to NT textual studies. (Though one might wish it cast a slightly wider net, examining other textual traditions as well.)

Finally, Aland was one of the five editors responsible for the United Bible Societies text, the most widely-used New Testament text of the present period.

For all this, it is surprising to note how little influence Aland had on textual theory. Eldon Epp wrote two articles on "the Twentieth Century Interlude in Textual Criticism," and while Aland answered by pointing out a great deal of activity, very much of it work he himself had inspired or guided, he was unable to answer Epp's point that there had been no real methodological progress. Despite Aland, our textual theory is remains a matter of groping -- of "Reasoned Eclecticism" (in which every textual critic does what is right in his own eyes) and arguments about the "Cæsareasn" text and in which everyone uses the UBS text though no one entirely accepts it.

Aland described his own theory as the "local-genealogical method." As described, this would seem to be an application of the rule "that reading is best which best explains the others": Aland creates a stemma of the readings in a particular variant, trying to determine which one is the source of all the others. In practice, however, Aland clearly preferred a strongly Alexandrian text. This means that his description must be modified: He constructed a genealogy under the influence of the knowledge of text-types and the history of the text. Now this, in theory, is probably the most correct method possible. But it only works if the history of the text is accurately known. Aland did not study this matter in any detail -- he acknowledged only the Alexandrian and Byzantine texts, and had a Hort-like dislike of the Byzantine text. With these restrictions on his method, it's hardly surprising that few textual critics have adopted it.

Johann Albrecht Bengel

1687-1752. Born in Winnenden, Württemberg, Germany, and later Abbot of Alpirsach in that principality. His 1734 edition has been called the first Protestant attempt "to treat the exegesis of the New Testament critically" -- a reference primarily to his Gnomon (1742), but also to his New Testament. What the latter actually was was a minimally revised edition of the Textus Receptus which had critically chosen readings in the margin. In practice, therefore, Bengel's importance rests not on his text, nor on his collations, which Scrivener notes are rather poor, but on the introduction to his text, his marginalia, and the articles which explained them. Beginning in 1725, Bengel discussed textual families (distinguishing the Asiatic text, which is our Byzantine text, and the African text, which is everything else). He also outlined critical principles, including the highly significant "prefer the harder reading." These modern principles caused Bengel to propose more changes to the Textus Receptus than any other edition before Lachmann's. (Bengel was the first to note how probable variants were, ranging from a for a certain reading on down to e.) This, unfortunately, led to charges the the editor was perverting the scriptures (not for the last time!).

Richard Bentley

1662-1742. Classical and New Testament critic, and a master of many fields (portions of his correspondence with Sir Isaac Newton are preserved). Appointed Master of Trinity College (Cambridge) in 1699/1700 (and previously keeper of the Royal Libraries), he had already been interested in textual criticism (both sacred and secular) for some years. In the secular field, he edited Horace and Terence, discovered that Homer had used the digamma, exposed the Epistles of Phaleris as forgeries, and generally improved the tools available to practitioners in the field. In 1720 he published a prospectus for a New Testament edition, including the final chapter of the Apocalypse as a sample, which included an outline of critical principles. In this he argued that a text based on early manuscripts would differ from the Textus Receptus in two thousand instances, and similarly from the Clementine Vulgate in two thousand instances. In fact Bentley did little with the manuscripts available to him; his critical apparatus was disorganized and the notes and collations he left are no better. (His personal life was much the same; he was constantly involved in scholarly and personal controversies; he was an intriguer and seemingly misappropriated university funds. He also was lampooned in Pope's Dunciad, -- happily for Bentley, in book IV, which was not published until after Bentley's death.) Still, he recognized that the Textus Receptus would need significant alteration to agree with the best manuscripts; he is thus a forerunner of Lachmann. Bentley's critical rules, too, were radical; some still have significance today. Sadly, Bentley never completed his edition; he involved himself in many projects, and perhaps did not originally realize the amount of work needed to prepare an edition; in any case, his New Testament finally languished, and the money raised to pay for it had to be returned to the subscribers after his death.

John William Burgon

1813-1888. British conservative critic and Dean of Chichester. An intemperate defender of the Byzantine text and the Textus Receptus, remembered primarily for such polemic works as The Revision Revised and The Last Twelve Verses of Mark. Although most of the manuals speak only of the the uncompromising tone and reactionary zeal of his writings, Burgon was in fact an enterprising and careful student of manuscripts; his work in this area deserves to be remembered.

A(lbert) C. Clark

Classical and New Testament scholar. LIke many textual "freethinkers," Clark came to NT criticism from work on classical texts -- in this case, the orations of Cicero, on which he became the world's greatest authority. When he turned to the New Testament, he turned to the text of Acts, and tried diligently to stand criticism on his head. He noted, correctly, individual manuscripts tend to lose rather than gain text. He generalized this to mean that the canons of criticism lectio brevior praeferenda is false. This position is defensible, and to some extent the answers to Clark talked past his points. But when Clark attempted to reconstruct the text of Acts based on these principles, he perhaps went too far, developing a general preference for the "Western" text regardless of other criteria. Few of Clark's results have been accepted, even though there are probably useful cautions in his writings.

Desiderius Erasmus

1469?-1536. Humanist; editor of the first published Greek New Testament. The son of a priest, Erasmus had a clerical education and became a monk, but later was granted a release from his vows. Very much a humourist, works such as In Praise of Folly poked fun at the problems in the church. Thus Erasmus was not a Protestant, and did not rebel against the Catholic Church as Luther did.

Erasmus is, of course, the editor of the Textus Receptus, as well as the author of assorted religious and secular writings. His critical skills are often held in contempt -- and it is certainly true that the Textus Receptus is a poor monument indeed, with a text mostly Byzantine but with enough peculiar readings to make it a bad representative of the type. The early editions also contained a number of typographical errors that was simply astonishing. Still, Erasmus did about as well as could have been expected in his time; all the materials known to him (except the Vulgate and 1eap) were Byzantine. Erasmus did exercise a certain amount of critical judgement, and -- odd as it sounds -- where he departs from the Byzantine text, it is more often than not in the direction of the early manuscripts.

Robert Estienne (Stephanus)

1503-1559. French (later Genevan) publisher. Stephanus was not a textual critic as such, but his several editions of the Greek New Testament offered noteworthy innovations. His most important work was his third edition (1550). Textually it is just another Textus Receptus, but in the margin it includes the readings of over a dozen manuscripts plus the Complutensian Polyglot (symbolized by Greek numbers; the manuscripts are believed to have included the uncials Dea, Le and the minuscules 4e, 5, 6, 7e, 8 (probably), 9 (possibly), 38 (possibly), 82, 120, 398, 2298; also certain seemingly lost manuscripts, e.g. Tischendorf's 8a/10p, 3r. The citations were neither complete nor particularly accurate, but they were at least specific; the manuscripts are cited individually). His fourth edition of 1551, published after he went to Geneva and became a Protestant, is also noteworthy, as it pioneered our modern system of verses.

Stephanus's importance was not confined to publishing a Greek Bible. He published many scholarly works, including a Vulgate edition and multiple editions of the Hebrew Bible. He also produced the noteworthy Thesaurus linhuae latinae (dirst of several editions in 1531), plus Latin/French dictionaries.

For much of his life, Stephanus had the patronage of François I of France; his migration to Geneva (1550) was a side effect of that monarch's death in 1547. François I, incidentally, collected all of Stephanus's Greek works; from this would eventually grow the first copyright library.

Printing and scholarship ran in Stephanus family; Robert's brother Charles (1504-1564) produced an edition of Cicero in 1555, and Robert's business (separate from Charles's) was continued by the former's sons Henri (1528-1598) and François (1537-1582), though the sons' productions were not as noteworthy as the father's. Still, Henri produced an important Greek dictionary and various works of classical authors. A second Robert, who remained Catholic, continued Charles's firm, though that company was nearly bankrupt by then.

Arthur L. Farstad

1935-1998. American conservative critic and Majority Text advocate. Editor, with Zane C. Hodges, of The Greek New Testament According to the Majority Text. One-time president of the Majority Text Society. Active in the translation of the New King James Version.

John Fell

1625-1686. Classical and New Testament critic. Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, Bishop of Oxford, and one of the most important figures in the history of the Oxford University Press. Fell acquired better type and equipment for the press, internalized the financing (bearing some of the responsibility himself), and set up a regular schedule for the publication of classical authors. Fell's contributions to New Testament criticism are not as great, but still notable; he edited an edition of Cyprian, and also published a New Testament in 1675. This volume did not have a noteworthy text (differing only very slightly from the Elzevir 1633 edition of the Textus Receptus), but it has, for the time, an unusually full apparatus (though most of the materials cited were available elsewhere). It also had an introduction discussing the practice of textual criticism.

Somewhat later, Fell encouraged the work of John Mill, though Fell's death meant that Mill had to find other support for the publication of his work. Thus it is truly sad that Fell should be best remembered for Thomas Browne's doggerel adaption of Martial which begins "I do not love you, Doctor Fell."

Caspar René Gregory

1846-1915. American/German student of manuscripts. His first great accomplishment was his preparation of the prolegomena to Tischendorf's eighth edition (1884-1894). In 1908 he published his great catalog of manuscripts, Die griechischen Handschriften des Neuen Testaments, providing for the first time a comprehensive and (usually) orderly arrangement of the materials known to critics. Like his predecessor Tischendorf, Gregory sought out and made available large numbers of manuscripts, though he did not edit an edition. As a critic Gregory was not particularly original; he generally accepted the theories of Westcott and Hort. Although of American ancestry, he adopted Germany as his homeland, and volunteered on the German side in World War I. He was accepted despite his age, and killed in battle in 1915.

Bernard Pyne Grenfell

1870-1926. As an Oxford student, he had been planning to study economics when the publication of the newly-found copy of Aristotle's Constitution of Athens turned him to papyriology. He was chosen in 1895 to work with David George Hogarth on an exploration of the Fayum. Hogarth soon left to pursue excavations in Mesopotamia instead, and Grenfell was joined by a young friend, Arthur Surridge Hunt (died 1934). The two worked together for most of the next thirty years, with most of the interruptions being forced (e.g. Hunt served in the First World War, and Grenfell was often ill in his later years). They were not really Bible scholars, being interested in everything they turned up, but their many discoveries, including the famous Oxyrhynchus Papyri, had a great deal of effect on Biblical criticism.

Johann Jakob Griesbach

1745-1812. German critic, who exercised great influence in many Biblical disciplines. He studied at Tübingen, Halle (where he studied under J. Semler), and Leipzig, becoming a professor at Jena in 1775. He is considered responsible for synoptic studies, first using the term "synoptic" in his Commentarius Criticus in 1811.

But if Griesbach's influence on synoptic studies was great, his influence on textual criticism is perhaps even more fundamental. Although it was Semler who introduced Griesbach to the theory of text-types, Griesbach is largely responsible for the modern view of types. It was Griesbach who popularized the names Alexandrian, Byzantine, and Western. He also paid particular attention to matters not previously studied in depth -- e.g. patristic quotations and the Armenian version.

Griesbach published a list of fifteen critical canons, which he exercised with much greater skill than most of those who followed him (e.g. while he accepted the rule that we should prefer the shorter reading, he hedged it around with many useful warnings -- not just those about scribal errors, author's style, and nonsense readings, but also warning of the dangers of omission of non-essential words such as prepositions). It is probably fair to say that while most modern critics accept most of Griesbach's rules, they do not apply them with nearly as much skill. (The standard example of Griesbach's skill is that he deduced the Vaticanus text of the Lord's Prayer in Luke 11:2-4 working only from the handful of minuscules and uncials known to him.)

Griesbach published several editions of the New Testament text (1775-1777, 1796-1806, 1803-1807). Textually, these did not differ greatly from the Textus Receptus, because Griesbach made it a policy only to print readings already printed by some other editor -- but his extensive margin noted many other good readings, and (more to the point) he used a system to note where these readings were as good as or better than those in the text. This was a fundamental forerunner of the {A}, {B}, {C}, {D} notations found in the United Bible Societies Editions. It is safe to say that all more recent critical editions have been influenced by the work of Griesbach.

J(ames) Rendel Harris

1852-1941. British critic and paleographer. Born in Plymouth, England, he was a life-long Quaker. A graduate of Cambridge, he taught at several universities before becoming curator of manuscripts at the John Rylands library (1918-1925). He never produced an edition, but authored some useful general works (e.g. New Testament Autographs, 1882) and many journal articles; he also collated such important manuscripts as 892.

Fenton John Anthony Hort

1828-1892. British critic and professor at Cambridge. Arguably the greatest textual critic of his age. Best known for the New Testament edition which he edited with Brooke Foss Westcott. What made this edition so important, however, was not its text (though it has been the model for all editions since) but its Introduction [and] Appendix, which was entirely the work of Hort. In it, Hort outlined his theory of text-types (which was adapted from Griesbach and his predecessors). In the process, Hort is considered to have destroyed all claims that the Byzantine Majority text is early. This is perhaps the most important effect of Hort's work; nearly every Greek text edited since his time has been "Hortian." (For discussion of his arguments, see the article on the Byzantine Priority position.)

Hort was also a member of the committee which prepared the English Revised Version, and most of that edition's departures from the Byzantine Text were made on the advice of Hort. (The committee's policy was reportedly to hear the arguments of Hort and Scrivener and then vote on which reading to adopt.)

A(lfred) E(dward) Housman

1859-1936. British poet and critic, best known to the public for his poetry. (Only two books of his poetry -- A Shropshire Lad, 1896, and Last Poems, 1922 -- appeared in his lifetime, but among recent poets they are second only to Kipling in their folk/popular sense and second to none in their straightforward lyricism; this is probably the source of his popularity.) Housman was, however, a textual critic of note, publishing an edition of Marcus Manilius (1903-1930) and various essays which are at once highly influential and, for the most part, readable. It is perhaps characteristic of Housman (believed by many to have been a repressed homosexual and certainly a recluse) that he chose to work on Manilius, an obscure author (of a five-volume poetic work, "Astronomica") whose works held little personal appeal to him.

Housman never engaged in New Testament criticism; his beliefs would probably have caused him to avoid it even had he been invited to do so. His essays on criticism are, however, widely quoted, both for their common sense and their (sometimes sarcastic) cleverness. Despite his brilliance, one must resist the temptation to hold him in too high an esteem; his warnings against over-reliance on particular critical principles are valid, but his warnings, e.g., against the cult of the "best manuscript" should not cause us to esteem all manuscripts equally. In addition, he was perfectly willing to resort to personal insult in scholarly argument (e.g. he wrote of Elias Stroeber, who published an edition of Manilius, that "[his] mind, though that is no name to call it by, was one which turned as unswervingly to the false... as the needle to the pole," and wrote of his edition that it "saw the light in... Strasbourg, a city still famous for its geese.") It is also worth remembering that Housman's work on Manilius involved a degree of conjectural emendation which most New Testament critics would consider unacceptable.

Karl Lachmann

1793-1851. German philologist and critic. Trained in classical studies, Lachmann enunciated the principle that agreement in error implies identity of origin. Lachmann used this principle to create a stemma for the manuscripts of Lucretius; his resulting edition is considered a landmark of classical textual criticism.

From Lucretius, Lachmann turned his attention to the New Testament, publishing the first edition of the NT to be completely free of the influence of the Textus Receptus (1831; second edition 1842-1850). This was, obviously, a great milestone in the history of the New Testament text, and arguably the most important single event in New Testament textual criticism. It should be noted, however, that Lachmann's edition was far from perfect. He undertook to publish "the" text of the fourth century -- an entity which demonstrably never existed, and in any case it is not the original text. Nor did Lachmann use his critical methods on the New Testament manuscripts; he simply took a handful of early witnesses and adopted the reading of the majority. The resultant text was certainly better than the Textus Receptus, but it was neither consistent nor particularly close to modern editions.

The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible sums up Lachmann's six textual criteria as follows:

It will be observed that these are canons of external evidence, to a large extent anticipating Streeter's theory of local texts. They go far to explain the peculiarities of Lachmann's edition.

In addition to his works on classical and biblical texts, Lachmann did a great deal of work on early German writings. In some instances, his edition remains the standard critical text. (This fact seems not to get much attention in the annals of textual criticism.)

Agnes Smith Lewis (and Margaret Dunlop Gibson)

fl. 1900. Scottish twin sisters who lost their mother before they were a year old, both women were widowed soon after marriage, and spent the rest of their lives hunting manuscripts and other scholarly prizes. Their most important find was surely the Sinai Old Syriac palimpsest, which they discovered in 1892. But they also brought back to England a number of Hebrew documents from the Cairo Geniza -- among them the first fragment of the Hebrew version of Ben Sirach, which was identified by Solomon Schechter (later famous for his work on the Damascus Document, which also first surfaces in the Geniza).

Eberhard Nestle

1851-1913. German scholar, father of Erwin Nestle. He published an influential handbook of criticism, as well as a number of scholarly articles. But he is primarily remembered for his edition of the New Testament text -- this despite the fact that he can hardly be said to have "edited" an edition. His work was entirely mechanical (comparing the editions of Westcott and Hort, Tischendorf, and a third, originally that of Weymouth, later that of Weiss); today, it could have been edited by a computer. (For details, see the article on the The Nestle Text.) But this accomplishment, trivial as it seems on its face, was to have important results: As Gregory observed, the British and Foreign Bible Society was somehow convinced to adopt the Nestle text in place of the Textus Receptus. This would have a fundamental effect on translations into many modern languages, and also make make texts based on ancient manuscripts more respectable.

Erwin Nestle

1883-1972. German scholar, son of Eberhard Nestle. Noteworthy primarily for taking and updating his father's "Nestle Edition." Erwin Nestle deserves the credit for supplying the Nestle text with a full critical apparatus (beginning with the thirteenth edition); although the witnesses cited have been increased in the more recent Nestle-Aland editions, the variants noted are still almost without exception those listed by Erwin Nestle.

F(rederick) H(enry) A(mbrose) Scrivener

1813-1891. British writer and manuscript editor. A contemporary of scholars such as Westcott and Hort, Scrivener did not share their views. Usually portrayed as a supported of the Majority Text, Scrivener's opinions (as revealed by his great work A Plain Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament, fourth edition revised by Edward Miller, 1894) are in fact much more nuanced. As opposed to scholars such as Burgon who always preferred the Majority Text, Scrivener revered the older manuscripts and generally would not accept a reading which did not have early support. Still, all things being equal, he preferred the Majority reading. As a member of the committee which prepared the English Revised Version, Scrivener was the chief spokesman for the Byzantine text, and the normal policy was for readings to be decided by the committee after Scrivener and Hort stated the case for each.

Scrivener never compiled a text, but he was, after Tischendorf, perhaps the greatest publisher of manuscripts of any age. Since Tischendorf did not see fit to update Scholz's manuscript catalog, Scrivener numbered new manuscripts as he became aware of them. This system conflicted with the "old Gregory" numbering, and has been abandoned since the publication of the "new Gregory" system -- but is still occasionally met with in publication such as Hoskier's collation of 700 (Scrivener's 604) and the same author's apparatus of the Apocalypse.

Johann Salomo Semler

1725-1791. German critic and rationalist. Semler did not publish an edition (though he produced an edition of Wettstein's Prolegomena, with some additional material, in 1764), and he did not set forth new principles. His work was more theoretical, as he was a student of text-types. Starting with the "African" and "Asian" groups of Bengel, Semler offered three text-types, "Eastern" (the Byzantine text, which he associated -- as have many since -- with Lucian), "Western" (as found primarily in the Latin versions), and "Alexandrian" (as found in Origen and the Coptic and Ethiopic versions). Thus Semler is the original source of the Griesbach/Hort theory of "Western," "Alexandrian," and "Byzantine" types. It was Semler who brought the word "recensions" into the context of New Testament criticism (unfortunately bringing a new, non-classical meaning to the word; in classical criticism, a recension is the result of deliberate critical work).

Constantine von Tischendorf

1815-1874. In full, Lobegott Friedrich Constantin von Tischendorf. A full biography is simply impossible in the space I'm willing to grant (and I don't have the materials anyway). Although called a German, nearly all his active work was done before Germany was united; he spent his entire career at the University of Leipzig, though of course he spent much of his professional life travelling to places such as Mount Sinai. He was born in the town of Lengenfeld in what was then Saxony, the son of a physician. A top-ranked student at the Plauten Gymnasium, he was early exposed to Greek and Latin (though the way they taught it caused Tishchendorf to pronounce Greek with a sort of Hochdeutsch accent which lated caused him some trouble with Easterners whose pronunciation differed significantly). His fascination -- inspired by an article by Lachmann, though the two had very bad relations once Tischendorf stared publishing -- was with manuscripts; they were the reason for his globetrotting expeditions, and most of his time at home was devoted to publishing his finds. Immediately upon graduating from Leipzig University, while teaching at a Leipzig scholl under the direction of his future father-in-law, he started work on his first New Testament edition His work was successful enough to earn him an appointment at Leipzig University. He also became engaged at this time -- but that didn't stop him from making his first major expedition; in 1840, he set out for Paris. This first expedition lasted five years, and had as its chief result his edition of Codex Ephraemi -- his first great achievement. It was some three years later that he set out for the east, eventually visiting many monasteries in Egypt. Near the end of the trip, he ended up at Mount Sinai, where he made his most famous discovery, the Codex Sinaiticus. We shold not forget, though, that he found dozens of other manuscripts, publishing most of the uncials. He also provided the best information on Codex Vaticanus available to that time. (It should be noted that his relations with the Papacy were fine; Pope Gregory XVI even made him a knight of the order of the North Star. He was denied access only to B, and that seems to have been entirely the fault of Cardinal Mai.)
Tischendorf published editions of many different ancient works, such at the LXX (four editions, 1850-1869) and the Vulgate, but these frankly were of little interest. (One, indeed, was adjusted to the Vulgate; even Gregory, who admired Tischendorf and continued his work, though Tischendorf should not have put his name on it.) His major work consisted of his eight editions of the New Testament (the first published in 1840) -- though in fact the first seven of these were not really critical editions, any more than were his LXX and vulgate texts; rather, they were collections of manuscript data. And Gregory describes the fourth as the first with a significant apparatus and text. The seventh (1859) had a worse text though a fuller apparatus. Thus it was not until his eighth edition (1865-1872) that he finally put his lifetime of experience to work. It is sad to note that it was not really a particularly insightful edition, being based on no theory of the text and with biases toward certain manuscripts. (For details, see the relevant entry in the article on Critical Editions.) By the time it was completed (or, rather, completed except for the prologue, which was vitally necessary and which he did not manage to produce), Tischendorf was rather a sick man; he suffered a stroke in 1873 and died at the end of 1874, leaving almost no useful papers behind, leaving it to Gregory to create one as best he could.

Samuel Prideaux Tregelles

1813-1875. British scholar and editor. Almost entirely self-taught, Tregelles was the British Tischendorf. He did not discover as many manuscripts, and he published only one edition, but he too spent much of his life gathering data; he and Tischendorf not infrequently compared collations. At the end of his life, Tregelles prepared his single edition of the text, based exclusively on the oldest manuscripts. The resultant text is generally similar to Tischendorf's, but -- due to its more limited critical apparatus -- does not receive much attention today. This is rather unfortunate; having worked over his text to some extent, I would have to say that he was a most sensitive and intelligent critic; one wishes he could have worked with all the matericals now known. But he had no real access to Vaticanus, and Sinaiticus was Tischendorf's find, and manuscripts such as 1739 and the Koridethi Codex and the papyri were still unknown; Tregelles had few materials at his disposal. In this sense it might honestly be said that Tregelles's greatest contribution lay in encouraging the work of Westcott and Hort.

Hermann Freiherr von Soden


Brooke Foss Westcott

1825-1901. One of the great scholars of nineteenth century England. He studied both mathematics and classics at Trinity College, Cambridge (though, curiously, his mathematical training does not seem to have influenced his textual studies at all, or at least he did not manage to convey them to his colleague Fenton John Anthony Hort, who uses statistics very poorly in his introduction to the Westcott and Hort edition). Wstcott became a fellow of Trinity in 1849, was ordained in 1851, and became an assistant master at Harrow in 1852. He reportedly was not a good classroom teacher (and this is reflected to some extent in his voluminous writings, which -- though intelligent and insightful -- are not particularly enjoyable reading). In 1870 he became Regius Professor of Divinity at Cambridge, and set out to reform the teaching methods and qualifications for a theology degree. Canon of Westminster from 1883, he became Bishop of Durham in 1890, and in that role was instrumental in dealing with the labour problems of the Durham coal miners.

Despite his extraordinary accomplishments, however, Westcott is remembered in textual circles for at most two things: his part in the preparation of the English Revised Version, and (first and foremost) his collaboration with Hort to produce their New Testament. The theory behind this edition, it is generally agreed, was Hort's, and it was Hort who explained it in the Introduction, but Westcott was not a passive collaborator, as is shown by the various readings where the two scholars disagreed. What Westcott might have accomplished as a textual scholar without his multi-decade collaboration with Hort can hardly be determined at this time.

Johann Jakob Wettstein


Francisco Ximénes de Cisneros

1437-1517. Spanish Cardinal and Archbishop of Toledo. The driving force behind the Complutensian Polyglot, though he was not directly involved in editing the work and did not live to see it published (the work was complete at the time of his death, but Papal authorization was not forthcoming for another three years). He was a great patron of learning (he founded the university of Alcala), and was confessor to Queen Isabella and advisor to King Ferdinand; he was briefly regent after the latter's death. But he also persecuted heretics, and his determination and that of the Inquisition effectively snuffed out the revival of learning he has encouraged. He also caused ruined the settlement between the Christians and Moors of conquered Granada. The phrase "wise fool" might have been invented for him.