Caspar René Gregory
was a American-born German theologian theologian.
Gregory was born in Philadelphia. He studied theology at two Presbyterian seminaries: in 1865-67 at the University of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania is a private, Ivy League university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. Penn is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States,Penn is the fourth-oldest using the founding dates claimed by each institution...
and at Princeton Theological Seminary
Princeton Theological Seminary is a theological seminary of the Presbyterian Church located in the Borough of Princeton, New Jersey in the United States...
(1867-73). In 1873, he decided to continue his studies at the University of Leipzig
The University of Leipzig , located in Leipzig in the Free State of Saxony, Germany, is one of the oldest universities in the world and the second-oldest university in Germany...
under Constantin von Tischendorf
Lobegott Friedrich Constantin Tischendorf was a noted German Biblical scholar. He deciphered the Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus, a 5th century Greek manuscript of the New Testament, in the 1840s, and rediscovered the Codex Sinaiticus, a 4th century New Testament manuscript, in 1859.Tischendorf...
, to whose work on textual criticism of the New Testament he had been referred by his teacher, Ezra Abbot
Ezra Abbot was an American biblical scholar.-Life and writings:...
. He administered the scientific legacy of Tischendorf, who died in 1874, and continued his work.
In 1876, he obtained his PhD
PHD may refer to:*Ph.D., a doctorate of philosophy*Ph.D. , a 1980s British group*PHD finger, a protein sequence*PHD Mountain Software, an outdoor clothing and equipment company*PhD Docbook renderer, an XML renderer...
. with a dissertation on Gregorè the priest and the revolutionist
. The first examiner for it was the historian, Georg Voigt.
He completed his post-doctoral work in Leipzig in 1884, and became an associate professor in 1889 and a full honorary professor in 1891. He apparently had several doctorates: Karl Josef Friedrich (p. 130) even mentions five doctorates in his biography of Gregory. At least one doctorate in theology obtained in Leipzig in 1889 is attested.
In August 1914, Gregory, who had been a citizen of Saxony
The Free State of Saxony is a landlocked state of Germany, contingent with Brandenburg, Saxony Anhalt, Thuringia, Bavaria, the Czech Republic and Poland. It is the tenth-largest German state in area, with of Germany's sixteen states....
since 1881, enlisted in the German Army
The German Army was the name given the combined land forces of the German Empire, also known as the National Army , Imperial Army or Imperial German Army. The term "Deutsches Heer" is also used for the modern German Army, the land component of the German Bundeswehr...
as its the oldest wartime volunteer. He became a second lieutenant in 1916 and fell in 1917 on the western front
Following the outbreak of World War I in 1914, the German Army opened the Western Front by first invading Luxembourg and Belgium, then gaining military control of important industrial regions in France. The tide of the advance was dramatically turned with the Battle of the Marne...
. He died on April 9, 1917 in a field hospital
A field hospital is a large mobile medical unit that temporarily takes care of casualties on-site before they can be safely transported to more permanent hospital facilities...
Neufchâtel-sur-Aisne is a commune in the Aisne department in Picardy in northern France.-References:*...
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...
Gregory specialized in New Testament textual criticism
Textual criticism is a branch of literary criticism that is concerned with the identification and removal of transcription errors in the texts of manuscripts...
. He organized biblical manuscripts into a classification system (Die griechischen Handschriften des Neuen Testaments
, 1908) which is the system in use throughout the scholarly world today. He is also credited with being the first to notice the consistent medieval practice (called Gregory's Law or Gregory's Rule) of collating parchment leaves so that grain side faced grain side and flesh side flesh side. He was also interested in biblical canon
A biblical canon, or canon of scripture, is a list of books considered to be authoritative as scripture by a particular religious community. The term itself was first coined by Christians, but the idea is found in Jewish sources. The internal wording of the text can also be specified, for example...
Gregory performed important service in the research of New Testament manuscripts and in textual criticism of the New Testament. It can even be said that the study of New Testament manuscripts was co-founded by Tischendorf and Gregory.
Besides his work, he is remembered by a memorial stone with a portrait in relief in Leipzig on Naunhofer Straße in front of the new Nickolai School in the Stötteritz part of the city, as well as a small square nearby.
- Prolegomena zu Tischendorfs Novum Testamentum Graece (editio VIII. critica major), 2 Vols., 1884-94 (German revised edition: text criticism of the NT, 3 Vols., 1900-09).
- Das Freer-Logion (Hinrichs: Leipzig 1908)
- Die griechischen Handschriften des Neuen Testaments, Leipzig 1908.
- Einleitung in das Neue Testament, 1909
- Vorschläge für eine kritische Ausgabe des griechischen Neuen Testaments, 1911.
- Die Koridethi-Evangelien, 1913.
- Zu Fuß in Bibellanden, publ. by Hermann Guthe, 1919.
- Karl Josef Friedrich: Caspar Rene Gregory, in: Sächsische Lebensbilder, Vol. I, Dresden 1930, p. 125-131.
- Ernst Jünger (Publ.): Caspar René Gregory, in: Die Unvergessenen. München 1928, p. 111ff.
- Bruno Hartung: Caspar René Gregory, in: Das Jahr des Herrn: Kalender für die evangelischen Gemeinden Leipzigs 5. Jg. (1929), S. 36-38.