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Caspar René Gregory (November 6, 1846 – April 9, 1917) was an American-born German theologian.

Caspar René Gregory
Caspar René Gregory.jpg
Born(1846-11-06)November 6, 1846
DiedApril 9, 1917(1917-04-09) (aged 70)
Academic background
EducationUniversity of Pennsylvania, Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary, University of Glasgow
ThesisGrégoire the priest and the revolutionist (1876)
Academic work
InstitutionsUniversity of Leipzig
Notable worksTextkritik des neuen Testamentes


Gregory was born in Philadelphia.[1] After completing his bachelor's degree at the University of Pennsylvania in 1864, he studied theology at two Presbyterian seminaries: in 1865–1867 at the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, and in 1867–1873 at the Princeton Theological Seminary.[2] In 1873, he decided to continue his studies at the University of Leipzig under Constantin von Tischendorf, to whose work on textual criticism of the New Testament he had been referred by his teacher Ezra Abbot. He administered the scientific legacy of Tischendorf, who died in 1874, and continued his work.

In 1876, he obtained his PhD. with a dissertation on Grégoire the priest and the revolutionist. The first examiner for it was the historian Georg Voigt.[3]

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.[citation needed] In June 1901, he received an honorary doctorate of Divinity from the University of Glasgow.[4]

On 11 August 1914, Gregory, who had been a citizen of Saxony since 1881, enlisted in the German Army as its oldest wartime volunteer.[5] He became a second lieutenant in November 1916 and fell in 1917 on the western front. He died on April 9, 1917 in a field hospital in Neufchâtel-sur-Aisne, France.[6]

Gregory specialized in New Testament textual criticism. 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.[7] 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.[8] He was also interested in biblical canon.

Relief of Caspar René Gregory in Leipzig on Naunhofer Straße



  • Gregory, Caspar René (1884–94). Prolegomena zu Tischendorfs Novum Testamentum Graece (editio VIII. critica major), 2 Vols.CS1 maint: date format (link)
  • ——— (1900). Textkritik des Neuen Testaments (in German). 1. Leipzig: J.C. Hinrichs’sche Buchhandlung. Retrieved 2010-03-18.
  • ——— (1907). Canon and Text of the New Testament. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. Retrieved 2011-08-03.
  • ——— (1908). Das Freer-Logion. Leipzig: Hinrichs.
  • ——— (1908). Die griechischen Handschriften des Neuen Testaments. Leipzig.
  • ——— (1909). Einleitung in das Neue Testament.
  • ——— (1911). Vorschläge für eine kritische Ausgabe des griechischen Neuen Testaments.
  • ——— (1913). Die Koridethi-Evangelien.
  • ——— (1919). Zu Fuß in Bibellanden. Hermann Guthe.

Journal articlesEdit


  1. ^ Barnikol, Ernst (1966). "Gregory, Caspar René". In: Neue Deutsche Biographie 7 (1966), p. 27-29. Online version.
  2. ^ "Caspar René Gregory" (1911). The Biblical World. Vol. 38, no. 5, p. 350-354; here, p. 351.
  3. ^ Todte, Mario (2004). Georg Voigt (1827-1891). Pionier der historischen Humanismusforschung. Leipzig: Leipziger Universitätsverlag. p. 111. ISBN 3937209220.
  4. ^ "Glasgow University jubilee". The Times (36481). London. 14 June 1901. p. 10.
  5. ^ Friedrich, Karl Josef (1920), Volksfreund Gregory: Amerikaner, Pfadfinder, Urchrist, Deutscher Kämpfer, Gotha: Friedrich Andreas Perthes, p. 86
  6. ^ Friedrich, Karl Josef (1920), Volksfreund Gregory: Amerikaner, Pfadfinder, Urchrist, Deutscher Kämpfer, Gotha: Friedrich Andreas Perthes, pp. 109–110, 113
  7. ^ Aland, Kurt and Barbara (1987), The Text of the New Testament: An Introduction to the Critical Editions and to the Theory and Practice of Modern Textual Criticism, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, pp. 9, 39–40, 73–75
  8. ^ Avrin, Leila (1991). Scribes, Script, and Books: The Book Arts from Antiquity to the Renaissance. Chicago; London: American Library Association; The British Library. p. 213. ISBN 978-0-8389-0522-7.
  9. ^ <The Essay 'Contra Novatianum', JSTOR 3152976


  • Ernst Barnikol (1966), "Gregory, Caspar René", Neue Deutsche Biographie (NDB) (in German), 7, Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 27–29; (full text online).
  • Friedrich Wilhelm Bautz (1990). "Caspar René Gregory". In Bautz, Friedrich Wilhelm (ed.). Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL) (in German). 2. Hamm: Bautz. col. 344. ISBN 3-88309-032-8.
  • Karl Josef Friedrich, Caspar Rene Gregory, in: Sächsische Lebensbilder, Vol. I, Dresden 1930, p. 125-131. (in German)
  • Ernst Jünger, ed. (1928), "Caspar René Gregory", in: Die Unvergessenen. Berlin: Andermann. p. 111 ff. (in German)
  • Bruno Hartung (1929), "Caspar René Gregory", in: Das Jahr des Herrn: Kalender für die evangelischen Gemeinden Leipzigs. 5. Jg., p. 36-38. (in German)

External linksEdit