Re: Off-topic: Tischendorf apparat

Date: Thu Jan 06 2000 - 13:11:21 EST

Dear Clay, and Colleagues:

Clay Bartholomew has suggested that I "could settle this question if [I
were] listening in. "Settle" is maybe more than I can manage, but I can
report briefly.

Within six feet of where I am typing this message are several volumes of
Tischendorf's editions. All told, I possess editions 4, 5, 7, and 8.
But of 8 I am missing one volume of the four.
                                        I have the Editio VIII Minor
(1877), binding in poor shape, but pages in great condition, though
yellowing a bit (after 123 years). Type is small, both text and apparatus,
but eminently readable. Original owner made little penciled notes on
flyleaves in Latin!
        I have Volumes I and III of the Editio Octava Critica Maior.
Volume I is missing the title-page, alas!; but it was the copy owned by
the great Kirsopp Lake, while he was a student at Lincoln College, Oxford,
with some of his tiny marginal annotations (in Greek, no less). This
volume contains the four Gospels. Beautifully readable.
        Volume III (Prolegomena by Gregory) is best-preserved. It is the
1894 printing, combining the 1884 Pars Prior and the 1890 Pars Altera
(whose title pages are in the back), and includes additions and corrections
for both of the earlier printings. It is completely unmarked, and I have
no idea who originally purchased it; but it is also extremely readable
(except that the text is in Latin, the international scholarly language of
the time, which might deter some). Someone had cut out an article from
from _The Literary Digest_ of just 66 years ago today, the Feast of the
Epiphany, titled "The Greatest Book Purcxhase on Record", concerning the
sale of Sinaiticus to the British Museum by the Soviet Government, for
100,000 pounds, then $510,000.

Clay wrote:

"How difficult have you found the apparatus to use? Looked a little
cryptic to me. Makes NA27 seem user friendly by comparison. I suspect
that someone would need to learn nearly the entire Latin technical
vocabulary for NT textural criticism before they could make much use of

In fact, to make full use of Tischendorf VIII, one needs to be able to READ
Latin--otherwise Gregory's enormous contribution is concealed from one.
In my days in Berkeley, we required every Bible candidate for the Ph.D. to
know sufficient Latin to use the critical apparatus, including Gregory's
work. Solution: Study Latin with Carl Conrad! (Oops--he's retiring
before too much longer.)

        Clay again:
"I also wonder if Ruben Swanson's Gospels and Acts have made Tischendorf
kind of a dinosaur of sorts for the first half of the NT. Perhaps not.
Edward Hobbs could settle this question if he is listening in."

Swanson is certainly a great deal easier to use than Tischendorf. The Greek
type is about the same size, incidentally. Also, of course, Swanson is
making use of papyri not known to Tischendorf, better editions of some MSS.
etc. But in a crunch, I still check Tischendorf.

But of course, Swanson is truly affordable, and on good paper which is
still white and still flexible! Certainly anyone wanting to do NT textual
critical study today should own Swanson (and beware of Comfort!).

And yes, Nestle-Aland IS user-friendly!

Edward Hobbs

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