Biography of Constantin von Tischendorf

Constantin von Tischendorf (1815-1874) was a world-leading biblical scholar in his time. He is most famous for his discovery of the Codex Sinaiticus.

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1815 – He is born in Lengenfeld, Saxony.

1834 – He begins his scholarly career at the University of Leipzig where he is mainly influenced by JGB Winer, and where he begins to take special interest in New Testament criticism.

1838 – He takes the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, then becomes master at a school near Leipzig.

1840 – He qualifies as university lecturer in theology with a dissertation on the recensions of the New Testament text.

1840-1843 – He is in Paris, busy with the treasures of the Bibliothèque Nationale, eking out his scanty means by making collations for other scholars, and producing for the publisher, Firmin Didot, several editions of the Greek New Testament.

1844 – He travels to Saint Catherine’s Monastery at the foot of Mount Sinai in Egypt. There, he discovers 43 pages of “ancient” biblical text. Some say he was gifted the pages that he took back to Germany, others say he stole them.

1846 – He publishes the fragments.

1853 – He travels to the monastery again but makes no discoveries.

1859 – He travels to the monastery again under the patronage of Tsar Alexander II of Russia with the active aid of the Russian government to find more of the Codex Frederico-Augustanus or similar ancient Biblical texts. This is when he discovers the Codex Sinaiticus on the last day of his trip.

1862 – The Czar publishes the Codex Sinaiticus in four folio volumes.

1865 – He publishes his book Wann Wurden Unsere Evangelen Verfasst. Here he claims the monks were using the pages to light fires. He was horrified and he asked if he could have them, to which he reports them telling him yes.

1874 – He dies.

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References:

[1] – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constantin_von_Tischendorf

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