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New Testament

(190 words)

Author(s): Aland, Barbara
[German Version] The New Testament is a canonical collection of writings produced by primitive Christianity (Bible: III). As a fixed title, the phrase first appears in this sense around the turn of the 2nd/3rd century (Clement of Alexandria, Stromata IV 130.4; V 85.1; VII 107.5; Or. Princ. IV 1.1), although the NT itself uses it in the sense of “new covenant” (1 Cor 11:25; 2 Cor 3:6; Gal 4:14; Rom 11:27; Luke 22:20). There it looks back from a christological perspective on the Old Testament hope for a renewed covenant (Jer 31:31–24). In 2 C…

Tischendorf, Konstantin von

(275 words)

Author(s): Aland, Barbara
[German Version] ( Jan 18, 1815, Lengenfeld – Dec 7, 1874, Leipzig), one of the most important 19th-century New Testament text critics (Text criticism of the Bible: II); professorship at Leipzig from 1859. For his critical edition of the NT, Tischendorf traveled to identify and examine manuscripts; he edited and deciphered several uncials and palimpsests, especially Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus (C 04; Biblical manuscripts). In the monastery of St. Catherine in the Sinai, he discovered 43 leaves of Co…

Lucian of Antioch (Saint)

(318 words)

Author(s): Aland, Barbara
[German Version] Lucian of Antioch (Saint), an Antiochene presbyter and a controversial figure in church history research. The only reliable data concerning his life are that he suffered martyrdom on Jan 7(?), 312 in Nicomedia and authored a number of Libelli de fide and letters. Considering this paucity of information, it seems quite remarkable that history has linked Lucian to very different theological movements and trends. He is thus regarded, for instance, – via Paul of Samosata – as the father of Arianism (Arius/Arianism; A. v. Har-¶ nack), as the founder of the Antiochene s…


(184 words)

Author(s): Aland, Barbara
[German Version] Heracleon, Gnostic theologian from the second half of the 2nd century in Rome, a disciple of Valentinus. He was the first Christian theologian to write a (possibly) incomplete commentary on the Gospel of John (50 fragments quoted by Origen and Clement of Alexandria). Heracleon did not create a myth but a Gnosticizing doctrine of God and of classes of people, in which a distinction is drawn between pneumatici and psychici. The problem for Heracleon research is the question of the modalities and causes of the transition from Valentinus to his discipl…


(508 words)

Author(s): Aland, Barbara
[German Version] 1. Eberhard (May 1, 1851, Stuttgart – Mar 9, 1913, Stuttgart). From 1890 to 1893, Nestle was a teacher at a Gymnasium in Ulm and deputy professor of Semitics in Tübingen. A hoped-for appointment to a chair of oriental studies did not materialize. In 1898 he became professor, and in 1912 Ephorus at the Theological Seminary in Blaubeuren. For about 25 years Nestle’s work was concerned with the Old Testament, especially to the text of the Septuagint. In 1897 he turned to the text of the New Testament. He wrote an introduction to the Greek NT ( Einführung in das griechische Neue …

Canonical Lists

(349 words)

Author(s): Aland, Barbara
[German Version] are lists of the biblical books of the Old Testament and New Testament (cf. Bible II, 2; III, 2) compiled in the Early Church either by individuals or by synods. They possessed authoritative character, though in practice this was not always evident. The earliest canonical indices are the Muratorian Fragment (see also Canon) from Rome (c. 200) and the index of the Codex Claromontanus (3rd cent.). 1 and 2 Thessalonians along with Philemon are inadvertently omitted here, as is Hebrews, while Barnabas, the Shepherd of Hermas, the Acts of Paul, and the Apocalypse of Peter are i…

Griesbach, Johann Jakob

(153 words)

Author(s): Aland, Barbara
[German Version] (Jan 4, 1745, Butzbach – Mar 24, 1812, Jena), a NT scholar, from 1771 in Halle and 1775 in Jena. Griesbach introduced a new epoch of NT text criticism by categorizing the source material (following J.S. Semler and J.A. Bengel) in three so-called recensions, the Alexandrian (traced back to Origen1), the Western and the later Constantinopolitan. His 15 rules for text critical decisions are still foundational in principle ( J. Griesbach, ed., Novum Testamentum Graece, 31827, 58–77). In his editions of the Greek NT (1774/77, 21796–1806, 31827), he departed, at first ca…

Text Criticism of the Bible

(3,783 words)

Author(s): Schenker, Adrian | Aland, Barbara
[German Version] I. Old Testament The aim of text criticism in general is to determine the original wording of a text that no longer survives in its original author copy but only in various late scribal copies. Text criticism compares the copies (called witnesses) to distinguish inaccurately copied passages (called readings) from accurately copied passages. What makes the Old Testament a special case is that most of its writings never had an original; they were never completed and published by a sing…

Bible Versions

(5,184 words)

Author(s): Aland, Barbara | Rhodes, Erroll F.
1. General Bible versions are subject to the same rules of translation as other texts, but with some qualification because of their special character. For the modern translator, it must first be determined which form of the text should serve as the basis for translation: the earliest attested form, or the form established by Masoretic scholars in the 9th/10th century for the Hebrew Bible and the standard text of 16th-century Renaissance scholarship for the Greek NT. Then it must be decided whether…


(1,230 words)

Author(s): Aland, Barbara | Baldovin, John F.
[German Version] I. Bible – II. Liturgy I. Bible A lectionary is a book containing biblical readings or lections for the services of the church year. The lectionaries of the Greek church are the Synaxarion , with readings for all the moveable feasts, starting with Easter Sunday, and the Menologion (Menologies) for the fixed saints' days of the secular calendar, starting with Sep 1. For the period from Easter to Pentecost, the Synaxarion provides daily readings from Acts and John. After Pentecost readings are provided only for Saturday and Sunday: to the Feast of t…