Tregelles unpublished letters - 1976 paper by Timothy C. F. Stunt - and the 2020 book

Steven Avery

Administrator
Some unpublished letters of S. P. Tregelles Relating to the Codex Sinaiticus (1976)
Timothy C. F. Stunt
Evangelical Quarterly
https://books.google.com/books?id=0rQWAAAAMAAJ


Note that this article also refers to correspondence that we do not have available, like that of Major MacDonald to Tregelles.


the German scholar tended to regard the Codex, for practical purposes, as his own private property p. 17 ... "Tischendorf is a strange person to deal with. p. 22"
Leipsic
June 20th /62
...Codex Sinaiticus. The value of the MS is quite as great as I had supposed, more than would be judged from the specimens given to the public by Tischendorf. There can be no reasonable doubt that this is the same MS that Major Macdonald 12 saw but of the nonexistence of which Tischendorf assured me in the strongest manner both in writing and when I was here in 1850....

Many readings which I had adopted on the authority of the Vatican MS almost alone are found in this. Nothing can be more absurd than the notion that this MS is a modern forgery: I believe I know something of Greek MSS and I am positively convinced that this is a MS of the fourth century: the text seems to have been written mechanically by a very ignorant person: the first corrector did much to put the text to rights, and others have revized it since: all these hands are definitely to be traced. The text taken as a whole may be described as in a far rougher condition than the Codex Vaticanus, tho' still this has often better readings. The Epistles are far less corrected and revized than the Gospels: in fact they needed it much less I believe. p. 19


12 Major Macdonald of the East India Company had told Newton of MSS that he had seen in the Sinai Convent while surveying for his Company, and Newton had encouraged Tregelles to look into the matter. The latter had not taken it seriously (see Large Fry MS Book). Tregelles implies a certain dishonesty on the part of Tischendorf that he kept quiet about the MS. Defending the German scholar, C. R. Gregory asked: "Et quis codicem repperisset, si Tischendorfius locum publici iuris fecisset? Porphyrius, vir doctissimus sed rei paleographicae non peritus? V. cl. Macdonald, miles? An viator aliquis?" (Prolegomena [vol. iii] to Tischendorf's Novum Testamentum Graece [8th edition, Leipzig, 1884], p. 5). He did not consider the other possibility that "some traveller" might have been a learned English textual scholar!
Tischendorf was clearly being deceptive. He was insisting about the non-existence of the manuscript in 1850. Then why did he go back in 1853 and 1859 looking for what did not exist. Ok, let's just say he lied to Tregelles. Clearly, he knew there was a special manuscript back in 1850. The story line of 1859 was a fabrication.

July 3, 1862
Here and there a later hand has written Arabic notes in the margin, and these Tischendorf imagines are from the same hand that has made some corrections (apparently) in the eighth century: if so this would be an uncommonly ancient piece of Arabic writing: I showed the lithographed facsimile of the page to Dr. Goesche of the Royal Library, Berlin; and he tells me, (what I strongly suspected before) that the Arabic is very recent, also that it is by the hand of some Syrian, being (as I before knew) a liturgical note. p. 20
Facebook - Sinaiticus - Arabic writing
https://www.facebook.com/groups/sinaiticus/permalink/344363599073785/

Richard Gosche (1824-1889)
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Gosche


The Arabic writing has never been given a careful analysis, and wildly different ideas are offered. Here Richard Gosche (1824-1889) says that the Arabic is "very recent".

Not just recent .. but "very recent". "Very recent" sounds like the 15+ year period of tampering, 1844-1959.

For former discussions on the Arabic, we have to pull from other threads here and the earlier discussions on Facebook forums, not yet brought over to this specialized Sinaiticus forum. ( Carm material is gone.)


==============================

Pure Bible Forum
the Arabic Notes
https://purebibleforum.com/index.php?threads/the-arabic-notes.208/


Tregelles unpublished letters - 1976 paper by Timothy C. F. Stunt - and the 2020 book
https://www.purebibleforum.com/inde...-letters-1976-paper-by-timothy-c-f-stunt.122/

"The oldest Bible in the world is kept in Leipzig like a treasure. It is so valuable that nobody can see the parchment"
https://www.purebibleforum.com/inde...luable-that-nobody-can-see-the-parchment.726/

==============================


Facebook
Dionysius, Hilarion, Theophylact - Arabic
https://www.facebook.com/groups/pur...id=573075796117647&offset=0&total_comments=49

Facebook
James Snapp
King James Bible Debate
https://www.facebook.com/groups/212...152056510031693&offset=100&total_comments=135

==============================

 
Last edited:

Steven Avery

Administrator
15 If Tregelles found Tischendorf a strange person, that was a mild judgement compared with what he thought of Constantine Simonides who had recently become involved in the story of the Codex Sinaiticus' discovery. Simonides had some years earlier persuaded two German Professors that he had discovered a palimpsest MS of The History of the Kings of Egypt from the remotest ages to the reign of Ptolemy Lagus, written by Uranius of Alexandria, son of Anaximenes. Microscopic examination proved that the work was a forgery. This however had not deterred the Greek forger from “discovering” a papyrus in Liverpool which he claimed was the original copy of St. Matthew’s Gospel dictated by the Apostle to the Deacon Nicholas, fifteen years after the ascension of Christ. At the time Tregelles was fairly indignant and wrote to Newton (5 May 1860):

..... Don’t be surprized if you hear of a discovery of Greek MSS of the N. Test, in Mayer’s Museum at Liverpool (this is really I believe the shop of a Jew Broker); there is a flaming paragraph in the newspapers about it which someone has sent me from Liverpool. It is an affair connected with the Greekling Simonides whose character was shewn in his trial for fraud in forging Greek Palimpsest MSS. The letter from Liverpool tells me that Mayer or Simonides or both expect to find more New Testament documents in their collection: a very natural expectation, for if Simonides has writing materials he can produce ancient MSS such as would deceive many. They pretend that they now have fragments of St Matthew of the first century. How is such fraud to be exposed?
Ironically it was this man of dubious reputation who wrote to The Guardian (3 September 1862) to claim that he had written the Sinai Codex as a boy of eighteen in a Mediterranean monastery. Having described how he had done this he concluded: “You must permit me to express my sincere regret that whilst the many valuable remains of antiquity in my possession are frequently attributed to my own hands, the one poor work of my youth is set down by a man who enjoys a reputation for learning, as the earliest copy of the Sacred Scriptures.” Tischendorf was furious and was convinced that Simonides was making this claim simply to get revenge on himself as it had been the German critic who had exposed his earlier impostures. Tregelles was horrified at the whole business and went to a great deal of trouble to discredit Simonides as the following three letters reveal. Throughout, one cannot fail to detect Tregelles’ precise concern over detail and his life-long dedication to the cause of textual accuracy deriving from his deep reverence for the Scriptures.

Plymouth
Jan 15.1863

I am surprized that Dr. Cureton should be inclined to credit the statement of Simonides on what I consider to be very insufficient grounds.

I heard a good while ago from Mr. John Newton of Liverpool that Simonides had boasted that he had written the Cod. Sinait. Now as I had in 1850 examined closely and carefully the portion of the O. Test. which Tischendorf had obtained in 1844 I felt that the claim was utterly foolish. In that part I found readings which are found in Eusebius and not in any other known MS: so that the writer whoever he was must in some strange manner have got hold of ancient readings: strange I say, that is if it were not a genuine ancient document.

I examined א this year at Leipsic with a full knowledge of what Simonides says, and with the endeavour to find any trace of modem deception: but I could not see any any [sic] reason for regarding the MS as other than one of extreme antiquity. The kind of vellum, the condition of the vellum; the ink faded in so many parts and often peeling off; the corrections in various hands, and of various ages, all agree in contradicting the notion of recent writing. In the book which Simonides published he gives professed facsimiles of MSS; but in all of them there is one character; they all have traces of his hand. Mr. Newton of Liverpool lent me this book and I examined it well before going to Leipsic; I had the writing of Simonides in my mind; and I am sure that he hardly could have written such a document; traces of his own hand would have come out here and there. In 1846, you will remember that the portion of the Old Test. of א brought to Leipsic two years before was published in a lithographed facsimile; and I quite believe that in some of the forgeries of Simonides, he tried to imitate the writing thus engraved: but it was like his imitation of Mr. Babington's editions of the Papyri of Hyperides clumsily managed: it was a continued attempt to disguise his own fine strokes.

I expect that you never saw the letter which Simonides wrote giving the particulars of his claim: I enclose with this his letter which I must ask you to return to me; it has been lent to me by Dr. Scott, Master of Balliol.16

In this Simonides gives an account of the time when he wrote, (as he says) the MS: but in his printed life circulated by himself he mentions how he was occupied at that very time so as to exclude the possibility of his having done it then. No Moscow edition could furnish the text of either the NT or of the portion of the OT. The readings were of such a character as could only have been obtained from ancient documents. The corrections are made in various hands, in Ink of varied colours and they are such as would internally belong to varied ages. I think that the Vatican or Alexandrian MSS are not more evidently ancient than this.

Perhaps you may like to let Dr. Cureton see this.

I remain
yours most truly
S. P. Tregelles.

16 For Tregelles’ contacts with Scott of Balliol and others at Oxford, see E. Hilgert, “Two Unpublished Letters regarding Tregelles’ Canon Muratorianus”, Andrews University Seminary Studies v. 2 (1967), 130.

=====================================

Plymouth
Feb. 2.1863

I find that much discussion is going on about the assertions of Simonides. Mr. W. S. Wright of Trin. Coll. Cambridge, has taken the matter up, and he has kindly sent me some extracts from the “Guardian” in which statements on both sides appear. The matter is a serious one; for it is not, Is a particular MS ancient? but Have we any knowledge respecting the transmission of Holy Scripture? It is strange that the wholesale lies poured out by Simonides do not open the eyes of his admirers. Some of these, however, seem to be his coadjutors in fraud. I have sent Mr. Wright what I could that bears on the subject: it has necessarily occupied a good deal of my thoughts. There will be I find some part of next week a meeting in London to go into the matter fully: it is hoped that Simonides himself will be present when his assertions about this MS will be sifted. Mr. Bradshaw the Librarian at Cambridge who has seen the MS will, I believe, be there: but probably no one else who has thus inspected: but his evidence ought to go very far.
It was at this stage that Tregelles was able to produce a crucial piece of evidence which according to Newton’s later recollections
was produced at the meeting of scholars in London.

Plymouth
Feb. 4 1863
I have been able to lay my hand on the two letters which you wrote me in 1849 relative to Major Macdonald at Mount Sinai. (I showed them to
Tischendorf in 1850)
: I have lent them to Mr. Wright of Cambridge who has earnestly taken up this subject: on one most important point they are clear, that is that the monks destroyed MSS by fire: this has been designated as one of Tischendorf’s wildest asserions.

Simonides sticks at nothing in the way of false assertions; he contradicts himself over and over again; and then he throws the blame on his translators: I have asked that he state in Greek what he wants to be believed, so that he cannot shift off the blame on his assistants. He distributed his life by Charles Stewart, and he sent it himself to me to convince me of my calumnies; but now he turns round, and says that it is all incorrect; this Charles Stewart seems to be Scarlatos Stourtzas, some Graecized Slavonian. In that life however Simonides speaks of the MS then recently found by Tischendorf as genuine and of extreme antiquity: he there says of the second century; tho’ now he says that the monk Callinicus had already told him it was the copy which he had written and which Tischendorf had stolen from Mount Sinai. One of the stories he tells must be false ...
A week or so later Tregelles wrote a fairly long letter to The Guardian demolishing Simonides’ case still further and on 11th February he informed his cousin—one imagines, with a sigh of relief—that “Dr. Cureton writes me that he is now convinced that Simonides could not have written the MS.” Perhaps the value of Tregelles’ work was thus brought home to Cureton because it was he who according to Newton asked what Tregelles’ income was and “on hearing it was only £200... he was indignant and got up a memorial to Lord Palmerston.” In May 1863 a few months after the exposure of Simonides’ claims, Cureton received a letter to say that “Dr. Tregelles has been placed upon the pension list for £100 a year for the remainder of his life.”17

A copy in Tregelles’ hand was sent to Newton and is in the Fry Collection. Tregelles was given a further £100 p.a. by Mr. Gladstone from the Civil List
in 1870.

=======================

The last page is interesting, it is on the soul-destroying textual criticism, humanitarian sentiments from Tregelles, and more.
 
Last edited:

Steven Avery

Administrator
From the new 2020 book by Timothy C. F. Stunt

10.7 Earth-Shaking News from Sinai

Tischendorf always had an eye for an influential sponsor, and when he set out for the third time to visit the Convent of St Catherine at the beginning
of 1859, he was travelling under the patronage of Tsar Alexander II of Russia who was also the Patron and Protector of the Orthodox churches and therefore of the monastery on Mount Sinai. For the sequence of events that led to his discovery of the rest of the fourth-century MS (parts of which
he had brought to Leipzig fifteen years earlier), we are largely dependent on Tischendorf`s account of how in late January, the monastic steward had
shown him the Sinaitic Codex (no longer in a rubbish basket!) and how he then persuaded the monks to let it be taken to Cairo for him to copy it.

He broke the news of his sensational find in a letter (dated 15 March 1859 from Cairo) addressed to the Saxon Minister von Falkenstein and published in the Leipziger Zeitung on 17 April. From this, one of the editors of the Journal of Sacred Literature was able to provide the readers of the July issue of the magazine with an English translation of the substance of Tischcndorf's letter.33 In the circles of biblical scholarship, the excitement was immense, as Tischendorf was writing about an almost complete Greek MS of the entire Bible, in age and scope comparable to the Vatican and Alexandrinian codices—a discovery that would add a completely new dimension to the evidence requiring the attention of biblical textual critics.

On a less exalted level, the find may also have helped to transform the personal dynamics that we have been considering between Tischendorf and
Tregelles. A momentous development of this sort could provide Tischendorf with the distinction and recognition that he craved and perhaps in the
blaze of the accompanying renown he would be able to let go some of his resentment arising from complaints about the inaccuracies in his work and with it some of the unfair accusations with which he had charged his rival. Clearly, the German scholar now had a totally new focus for his work.


Without going into the intricate negotiations (some of the details of
which are still in dispute a century and a half later'4), we know that Tis-
chendorf persuaded the monks on Mount Sinai to let him take their Codex
to St Petersburg in September, for its accurate publication in facsimile. As
the Codex was only on loan from the monks and was not TischcndorPs
property, in all probability he was abusing the trust of the monks when
in November he presented the Codex to the Tsar. However, the emperor
agreed to pay for its publication and stipulated that this should be in 1862
to coincide with the Russian celebration of the thousand-year anniversary
of the accession of Rurik, the first prince of Novgorod. This was a demand-
ing schedule, and Tischendorf threw himself into the project with all his
characteristic energy. His family had connections with the paper industry,
and therefore, he insisted on the four-volume royal jubilee edition being
printed at Leipzig where he could control the facsimile fonts and the qual-
ity of the paper, though its publication was in St Petersburg, as the title
Codex Sinaiticus Pctropolitanus, made clear.

10.8 Tregelles and Sinaiticusss
 
Last edited:

Steven Avery

Administrator
p. 155-157
10.7

Earth-Shaking News from Sinai

Tischendorf always had an eye for an influential sponsor, and when he set out for the third time to visit the Convent of St Catherine at the beginning of 1859, he was travelling under the patronage of Tsar Alexander II of Russia who was also the Patron and Protector of the Orthodox churches and therefore of the monastery on Mount Sinai. For the sequence of events that led to his discovery of the rest of the fourth-century MS (parts of which he had brought to Leipzig fifteen years earlier), we are largely dependent on Tischendorf’s account of how in late January, the monastic steward had shown him the Sinaitic Codex (no longer in a rubbish basket!) and how he then persuaded the monks to let it be taken to Cairo for him to copy it. He broke the news of his sensational find in a letter (dated 15 March 1859 from Cairo) addressed to the Saxon Minister von Falkenstein and published in the Leipziger Zeitung on 17 April. From this, one of the editors of the Journal of Sacred Literature was able to provide the readers of the July issue of the magazine with an English translation of the substance

32 Tregelles, Codex Zacynthius , xix; xxvi.

156

T. C. F. STUNT

of Tischendorf’s letter.33 In the circles of biblical scholarship, the excitement was immense, as Tischendorf was writing about an almost complete Greek MS of the entire Bible, in age and scope comparable to the Vatican and Alexandrinian codices—a discovery that would add a completely new dimension to the evidence requiring the attention of biblical textual critics. On a less exalted level, the find may also have helped to transform the personal dynamics that we have been considering between Tischendorf and Tregelles. A momentous development of this sort could provide Tischendorf with the distinction and recognition that he craved and perhaps in the blaze of the accompanying renown he would be able to let go some of his resentment arising from complaints about the inaccuracies in his work and with it some of the unfair accusations with which he had charged his rival. Clearly, the German scholar now had a totally new focus for his work. Without going into the intricate negotiations (some of the details of which are still in dispute a century and a half later34 ), we know that Tischendorf persuaded the monks on Mount Sinai to let him take their Codex to St Petersburg in September, for its accurate publication in facsimile. As the Codex was only on loan from the monks and was not Tischendorf’s property, in all probability he was abusing the trust of the monks when in November he presented the Codex to the Tsar. However, the emperor agreed to pay for its publication and stipulated that this should be in 1862 to coincide with the Russian celebration of the thousand-year anniversary of the accession of Rurik, the first prince of Novgorod. This was a demanding schedule, and Tischendorf threw himself into the project with all his characteristic energy. His family had connections with the paper industry, 33 B.H. Cowper, ‘Extraordinary Discovery of a Biblical MS by Dr Tischendorf,’ JSL 9 (July 1859): 392–94. 34 This is not the place to delve into the dispute as to whether Tischendorf acted honourably in the acquisition of Codex Sinaiticus or to what the monks of St Catherine actually agreed. The case in favour of Tischendorf was strongly argued by Erhard Lauch, ‘Nichts gegen Tischendorf’ in E.H. Amberg, U. Kühn [eds.], Bekenntnis zur Kirche: Festgabe für Ernst Sommerlath zum 70. Geburtstag (Berlin, 1960), 15–24. Subsequently, the late Harvard Professor, Ihor Ševˇcenko, cast serious doubts on Tischendorf’s claims in ‘New Documents on Constantine Tischendorf and the Codex Sinaiticus,’ Scriptorium 18 (1964): 55–80. The subject has recently been revisited by C. Böttrich’s ‘Constantin von Tischendorf und der Transfer des Codex Sinaiticus nach St Petersburg’ in A. Gössner [ed.], Die Theologische Fakultät der Universität Leipzig (Leipzig, 2005), 253–75 and in a cautious restatement of the question by M.D. Peterson, ‘Tischendorf and the Codex Sinaiticus: The Saga Continues,’ Greek Orthodox Theological Review 53:1–4 (2008): 125–39. See most recently D.C. Parker, Codex Sinaiticus: The Story of the World’s Oldest Bible (London: British Library, 2010).

10

TREGELLES AND TISCHENDORF

157

and therefore, he insisted on the four-volume royal jubilee edition being printed at Leipzig where he could control the facsimile fonts and the quality of the paper, though its publication was in St Petersburg, as the title Codex Sinaiticus Petropolitanus , made clear.

10.8

Tregelles and Sinaiticus35

Needless to say, Tregelles was anxious to see the newly discovered Codex and began making plans in early 1860 to travel to Russia to collate the MS, but understandably he was apprehensive of possible opposition from Tischendorf who had recently criticized him so fiercely in print. We don’t know how he approached his sponsors, but in March 1860 more than twenty-five distinguished biblical scholars36 rallied round and wrote testimonials in support of SPT’s plan giving assurances that his collation of the newly discovered text would in no way compete with Tischendorf’s proposed printed edition. The plan was that Tregelles would apply through Lord Shaftesbury, as an intermediary for the government’s support in the person of the British minister plenipotentiary at the Imperial Court in St Petersburg, Sir John Crampton37 to whom the several scholars addressed their commendations. Newton’s recollection of the episode, many years after the event, is somewhat confused but it seems that Lord Shaftesbury let matters slip and the project never materialized.38

35 Much of the material in this section is covered in fuller detail in Stunt, ‘Some Unpublished Letters’. When that was written the letters were in private hands, but now most of them are in the CBA in Manchester. 36 The list included such leading biblical and textual scholars as Henry Alford, William Cureton, Fenton J.A. Hort, J.B. Lightfoot, James Henthorn Todd, B.F. Westcott and Christopher Wordsworth. The high regard in which SPT was held at Trinity College Cambridge is reflected in the significant number of sponsors who were fellows of that college. 37 Sir John Fiennes Twisleton Crampton [1805–1886]. 38 Presumably, some months later, when nothing had been done, all the papers were returned by Shaftesbury’s secretary to Newton which explains why SPT’s letter to Shaftesbury, dated 3 March 1860, was among Newton’s papers which are now in the Christian Brethren Archive (Manchester/JRUL/CBA 7181 [19]). Some fifty years ago, all the commendatory letters were also in the Fry Collection and I was able to make Xerox copies of them, but since 1982 they appear to have been in the British Library (Add. MS. 61835); see R.A.H. Smith, ‘Department of Manuscripts: Acquisitions January-December 1980,’ British Library Journal (1982): 222.

158

T. C. F. STUNT

It was a great disappointment but SPT treated it as something to be received ‘as coming to me in the Providence of God’. Looking at it positively, he hoped that he could revive the project in the following year when ‘I trust that I shall be in a fitter state for collating such a document for my eyes more need rest than work of a minute kind, my left eye especially is now very dim and confused’.39 In fact, as we observed in a previous chapter, SPT and his wife travelled south-west to Spain that summer rather than north-east to Russia, after which, as we also noted above, he had to cope with a further setback in the first part of 1861 when he was severely challenged by a condition of paralysis which left him effectively incapable of textual work, for some months. In consequence, it was only in 1862, by which time Tischendorf had persuaded the imperial authorities to let him take the Codex to Leipzig for the facsimile printing process, that Tregelles was able to travel to Germany to examine the MS. He had corresponded with Tischendorf and seems to have satisfied the German scholar as to his honourable conduct in connection with both his intentions regarding the Nitrian Syriac palimpsest and in the editing of the Codex Claromontanus. At this stage, he seems to have been unaware that an anonymous contributor had translated and published at length in the Journal of Sacred Literature for July 1862, Tischendorf’s criticisms as made three years earlier in 1859. Writing after the event, Tregelles expressed his surprise ‘to see charges reproduced against me which Tischendorf would not now make; and that not in the obscurity of a learned language, but translated into English’. At the same time, he could state publicly: It has been at his [Tischendorf’s] desire that I have been examining the Codex Sinaiticus; of which he gave me the free use prior to its publication; and of which I availed myself for several days at Leipsic.40

But from his private correspondence it is clear that the two men were temperamentally ill-suited to work together. Knowing that there would 39 SPT (Plymouth, May 5 1860) to B.W. Newton (Manchester/JRUL/CBA 7181 [20]). 40 The translated passages, from Tischendorf’s 7th edition of his Greek NT (1859),

appeared as ‘New Testament Critics: Tischendorf versus Tregelles,’ JSL (July 1862): 369–76. For SPT’s reply, see his letter to the editor, JSL (October 1862): 178–79. It is apparent from Tischendorf’s letter (Leipzig, 2 April 1861) to Samuel Davidson (Glasgow/UGL, GB 247 MS Gen 527/1) that the anonymous translator was Davidson himself, SPT’s old antagonist. Tischendorf refers to Tregelles as ‘unseren gemeinsamen Gegner’ [‘our common enemy’].

10

TREGELLES AND TISCHENDORF

159

soon be a printed edition, Tregelles didn’t attempt the mammoth task of a complete collation, which would have been impossible in the space of only a few days. Instead, he paid attention to the characteristics of the MS and how Tischendorf was going to render, in his printed edition, such things as the MS’s later corrections. As he still had reservations about the precision of Tischendorf’s work, ‘I examined many things, so as to test his accuracy in copying and printing’. In a revealing passage, we begin to appreciate the challenges faced by this quiet, systematic worker: In order to judge the MS more closely I have begun a collation of the Catholic Epistles. Tischendorf gave me leave to do this and I hope that he will be gracious enough to allow me to finish it … Tischendorf’s arrogant behaviour to me has been most strange; I should not have borne it, were it not for the importance of doing something in connection with the MS. Today I am letting my head and eyes rest (which is quite needful) & tomorrow I hope to continue my collation. I go again one of the early days of next week and this I suppose will be all Tischendorf will allow me to do. Indeed even in this, he interrupts me constantly, so that it is difficult for me to do carefully what I want. I found it an indescribable relief to get from Tischendorf to Wilhelm Dindorf who is at least both a gentleman & a scholar and who behaves as a person ought to do.41

Not all the irritation, however, was on one side. Tischendorf’s estimate of SPT was probably not helped by his own friendship with Samuel Davidson whose controversy with SPT we considered in an earlier chapter. In his correspondence with Davidson, Tischendorf sometimes writes as if the Codex Sinaiticus were his own private possession and expresses his indignation at Tregelles having dared to disagree with him on such questions as whether the last verse of John’s Gospel had been part of the original 41 The full text of this copy of SPT’s letter (Leipzig, June 20, 1862) is in Stunt, ‘Some Unpublished Letters’ 19. It is also now accessible at https://www.brethrenarchive.org/ manuscripts/letters-of-sp-tregelles/extract-of-letter-from-dr-tregelles. He wrote a similar but more restrained letter to the Cambridge scholar F.J.A. Hort which was published in The Guardian (13 August 1862) and is reproduced in J.K. Elliott, Codex Sinaiticus and the Simonides Affair (Thessaloniki, 1982), 23–24. In fairness to both parties, we should note that in a more guarded letter to B.F. Westcott, SPT observed: ‘I ought to say that in parting, Tischendorf was as amiable as possible’ (SPT, Leipzig 25 June 1862 to B.F. Westcott, Cambridge/CUL, Westcott Papers, Add.8317/1/215).

160

T. C. F. STUNT

Sinaitic text. In the German scholar’s opinion, as he expressed it to Davidson, SPT’s questioning of Tischendorf’s opinion in the matter was not just ‘naïve and malicious’ but so ‘laughable’ that ‘it will come down about his head, as he deserves’.42 He went on to complain that Tregelles had only spent ‘four or five days in my house’ and ‘every single correction [made to Tischendorf’s text] is nothing more than a sin of haste on his part’. For anyone familiar with the devout sincerity that characterized SPT’s careful approach, there is something not a little incongruous in Tischendorf’s self-satisfied declaration: What cut off in the strongest way my Plymouth rival’s justification for competing with me are the extraordinary enrichments of textual knowledge, which the Lord imparted to Christian scholarship through me.

There is no record of Davidson’s side of the correspondence but knowing his similar hostility to Tregelles we may well conclude that it further enflamed the antipathy displayed by Tischendorf in whose opinion Tregelles was a humbug, ‘always acting so piously, always bandying talk of “God” and “God’s word” around, without scorning to use the most spiteful weapons of this world’.43 There is a delicious irony in the fact that although Tischendorf regretted having allowed Tregelles to see the Sinaitic Codex in Leipzig in 1862, his having done so enabled the English scholar to give his wholehearted support to Tischendorf in his controversy with the mischievous but gifted calligrapher Constantine Simonides who claimed that as a young man in a monastery on Mount Athos, it had been he who had written the Codex Sinaiticus.44 There was a potentially comic element in this part of the story,

42 Tischendorf’s reading of the MS on this point was only partially vindicated seventy years later, when examination under ultraviolet light confirmed that the text had originally stopped at verse 24. It also established that it was the original scribe (and not as Tischendorf claimed, a later corrector,) who added verse 25; H.J.M. Milne, T.C. Skeat, Scribes and Correctors of the Codex Sinaiticus (London, 1938), 12f. This finding and the agreement of several other scholars with Tregelles, at the time, suggest that his differing opinion was not entirely unreasonable. 43 C. Tischendorf (Paris, 1 December 1864) to S. Davidson (Glasgow/UGL, GB247 MS Gen 527/7). The quoted extracts are from the translation by Dr James Bentley in his Secrets of Mount Sinai: The Story of the Codex Sinaiticus (London: Orbis, 1985), 124–25, 88. 44 The raw materials for an account of the extraordinary career of Simonides may be found in J.K. Elliott’s analysis in Codex Sinaiticus and the Simonides Affair (Thessaloniki: Patriarchal

10

TREGELLES AND TISCHENDORF

161

as Tischendorf had earlier played an important part in exposing Simonides as a very skilful forger of ancient documents, and the German scholar’s indignation was now aggravated by his belief that a desire for revenge was Simonides’s deliberate motive for casting doubt on Tischendorf’s credentials. For Tregelles, it was a sacred duty to testify to the authenticity of the Sinai Codex against the spurious claims of Simonides. On the other hand, it was a bit galling for Tischendorf to welcome SPT’s support for the cause of truth.45 As one might expect from his previous financial dealings, when it came to the publication of the Codex, Tischendorf secured for himself a number of copies, which he hoped to sell for £37.10. 0. Tregelles, who had already ordered his copy, at the advertised market price, was somewhat taken aback to find Tischendorf offering him a copy, ‘as a personal favour if I will pay him £25.0.0. … I am to consider it, I believe, as a present, from the Emperor’. SPT chose to wait for the copy he had ordered from Williams and Norgate,46 ‘so that when they get copies, I shall have one from them at £25.0.0’, adding a final and typically wry comment: ‘I understand what buying things means: but I do not like to purchase presents ’.47 It is unlikely that Tregelles ever thought of himself as a public figure and his only real ambition was probably his desire to complete his edition of the Greek New Testament—a project that would never be particularly

Institute for Patristic Studies, 1982), passim. For a more chronological account, see ‘Greek Forgery: Constantine Simonides’ in J.A. Farrer, Literary Forgeries (London: Longman, Green and Co, 1907), 39–66. See also, most recently P.M Pinto, ‘Simonides in England: A Forger’s Progress’, in A.E. Müller, L. Diamantopoulou, et al. [eds.], Die getäuschte Wissenschaft: Ein Genie betrügt Europa – Konstantinos Simonides (Vienna, UP, 2017), 109–126. 45 For most of SPT’s letters on the Simonides affair, see Stunt, ‘Some unpublished letters’ 23–25. SPT’s profound disapproval of Simonides’ behaviour was still apparent in an indignant letter that he wrote some years later, ‘Codex Mayerianus and Simonides’, Notes and Queries 4th series 3 [24 April 1869] 369. Having examined the original codex when visiting Tischendorf in Leipzig, Tregelles was able to confirm ‘as an eyewitness’ certain statements about the codex made by another scholar, F.H.A. Scrivener in a lecture given in Plymouth in October 1863. SPT disagreed with Scrivener on many matters but probably attended the lecture to give his support in person to Scrivener’s rejection of the claims of Simonides. F.H. Scrivener, A Full Collation of the Codex Sinaiticus, with the Received Text of the New Testament, to Which is Prefixed a Critical Introduction (Cambridge: Deighton, Bell and Co, 1864), xxxi, n.6. 46 Williams and Norgate were publishers and book importers with offices in London and Edinburgh. 47 SPT (Plymouth, 29 December 1862) to B.W. Newton (Manchester/JRUL/CBA 7181 [36]).

162

T. C. F. STUNT

spectacular. The goal for which he strove was demanding, and any appreciation of his work was confined to a very limited number of spectators. Particularly ironic was the fact that many, who shared something of his devout piety and his faith in the plenary inspiration of scripture, had little time for textual criticism—an activity, which they were inclined to dismiss as unspiritual and intellectual. To have incurred the enmity of a scholar, who lived for the applause of approval, made the predicament of a modest and retiring scholar all the more undeserved. Dr. James Bentley whose account of the finding of the Codex Sinaiticus gives full recognition to the remarkable achievement and scholarship of Tischendorf, nevertheless observes that ‘even at the height of his fame, [Tischendorf] displayed a quite extraordinary viciousness towards any scholar whose reputation might diminish his own standing in the eyes of the world … anyone who studied in Tischendorf’s field was liable to come under the German’s lash’. It was Tregelles’s misfortune to find himself working in that particular field and ‘Tischendorf responded to his views on the Codex Sinaiticus with an astonishing viciousness’.48 In contrast, we may conclude this chapter with Tregelles published eirenicon when, in 1861, he reckoned that he had reassured Tischendorf of his honourable intentions: All may make mistakes; but such mistakes need not be supposed to spring from any wrong motives: those who charge others may perhaps be themselves in the wrong; but let us always be ready to receive candid explanations so as if possible to remove causes of dissension, and maintain that Christian spirit which should be connected with Christian studies.49

48 Bentley, Secrets, 88, 125, 123. 49 Tregelles, Codex Zacynthius, xxvi.

====================

p. 235-236

APPENDIX OF UNPUBLISHED LETTERS

235

LETTER 6 Lost MS Letter from SPT to B.W. Newton70 July 17 1862, Vienna Formerly in the Fry Collection, present location unknown. Now only surviving in transcription made by T.C.F. Stunt in 1962 Vienna July 17 1862 My dear Cousin The best way of getting from Prague to Nuremberg and Erlangen seemed to be to get to this place by rail and then by steam up the Danube: this therefore is what we have partly accomplished.71 I have been glad to see the ancient and very valuable Greek MSS in the imperial library here. Some of these I have often wished to see but it has always been out of my way to get here.72 We had a beautiful journey thro’ Bohemia and Moravia. The night before last we slept at Brünn,73 the capital of the latter country: both it and Prague seem to be very Popish places: I was glad to hear a really good sermon however in the Protestant church in the former place Prague: but I suppose that the Protestants there are simply German residents; for I do not think there is any Protestant service in Bohemian at Prague.74

70 This letter was written in the summer of 1862. It was preceded by at least two other letters (not reproduced here) concerning the Codex Sinaiticus which SPT examined in the home of Constantin Tischendorf—one from Leipzig (June 20) and another from Berlin (July 3). They were probably addressed to B.W. Newton and extracts from them (copied in two unknown hands) were in the Fry Collection in 1962. These were published in full (from my transcripts) in my ‘Some Unpublished Letters of S.P. Tregelles Relating to the Codex Sinaiticus’, in the Evangelical Quarterly 48 (January 1976): 19–20. Recently acquired by Mr. Tom Chantry, the original copies can be accessed on line at https://www.brethrenarchive. org/manuscripts/letters-of-sp-tregelles/. Letter 6 of this appendix was written two weeks later from Vienna. 71 To go from Prague to Nuremburg via Vienna was a huge detour, but in 1862 there was no direct link by rail across the border between the Habsburg Empire and Bavaria. 72 SPT’s use of the phrase ‘ancient and very valuable Greek MSS’ is somewhat exaggerated here as there were few MSS in the Imperial library which qualified for such a description in SPT’s customary use of those adjectives. He was probably thinking of the Fragmenta Vindobonensa which, with the Fragmenta Cottoniana in the British Museum were later identified as part of the seventh century Codex Petropolitanus Purpureus. The other important MSS preserved in Vienna were later minuscules. 73 Known today, in the Czech Republic as Brno. 74 Although Joseph II’s Toleranzedikt (1782) had allowed Protestants to meet unobtru-

sively in the Habsburg Empire, it was only in 1861, the year before SPT’s visit, that Franz Joseph’s Protestantenpatent gave them a legally recognized identity.

236

APPENDIX OF UNPUBLISHED LETTERS

We find occasional use for some of your tracts, so that we are truly thankful to have them with us.75 In the railway carriage yesterday there was a poor convalescent lad going back from the hospital to his Mother: Sarah Anna and my sister were able to shew him some kindnesses and I asked him to accept a tract (Justification) as a remembrance of his English fellow travelers: the poor lad kissed our hands in token of thankfulness & he seemed to value the kindness shewn him: we found afterwards that the poor lad is a Jew: I trust that the tract may shew him that there are those who bear the name of Christians who are not idolaters like the mass whom he must be accustomed to see and to hear of. This led to a gentleman who was in the carriage reading your “Blood that saveth” thro’ and putting it with his pocket book. We have met with some Spaniards who have gladly recd. what Sarah Anna could give them in their own language. I shall be glad to know if you are likely to be in London in the middle of August when we hope to be again in England: for if you are we should be most glad to stay a few days: for it often seems as if there are many things in which I could like to converse with you, as to my own arrangements and other matters. My sister76 (whom we have found a most efficient travelling companion) will separate from us when we reach England: for she will go to various friends of hers in and near London77 before she returns to Devonshire. I do not wish to lay on you any burden of writing: but if you could just inform me of this, it would be a means of making my plans more definite. If you are at home we should be glad to accept the kind invitation which you sent us some time ago. If you write before Friday, July 25, will you address Poste Restante, Nuremberg, Bavaria: if a few days after at Erlangen, Bavaria. I quite hope that by God’s blessing I shall return fit for work, at last by taking things easy

75 In a subsequent letter SPT explained that he had met Mr. Harry, ‘the Independent Minister of Bournemouth’ who had introduced him to Theodor Ritz, ‘a good man in a suburb of Vienna’ who had a considerable stock of tracts including Newton’s The blood that saveth and Acceptance with God. (SPT, Nuremberg, 28 July 1862, to B.W. Newton, Manchester/JRUL/CBA 7181 [24]). 76 Anna Rebecca Tregelles [1811–1885] see above Chapter 12, Footnotes 51–52. 77 These included SPT’s (and her) uncle Nathanael Tregelles [1803-87] in Tottenham; see

SPT (Trèves, 11 August 1862) to B.W. Newton (Manchester/JRUL/CBA7181 [26]).
 
Top