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Frederick Cornwallis Conybeare

Frederick Cornwallis Conybeare, FBA (14 September 1856 – 9 January 1924) was a British orientalist, Fellow of University College, Oxford, and Professor of Theology at the University of Oxford.



Conybeare was born in Coulsdon, Surrey, the third son of a barrister, John Charles Conybeare, and grandson of the geologist William Daniel Conybeare.[1] He took an interest in the Order of Corporate Reunion, an Old Catholic organisation, becoming a Bishop in it in 1894. Also in the 1890s he wrote a book on the Dreyfus case, as a Dreyfusard, and translated the Testament of Solomon and other early Christian texts. As well, he did influential work on Barlaam and Josaphat. He was an authority on the Armenian Church.

He from 1904 to 1915 was a member of the Rationalist Press Association, founded in 1899.

One of his best-known works is Myth, Magic, and Morals from 1909, later reissued under the title The Origins of Christianity. This has been read both as strong criticism of the Jesus myth theory, making Conybeare a supporter of the historical Jesus; but also as an attack on aspects of orthodox Christianity itself. He returned later in 1914 to make a direct assault on leading proponents of the time of the Jesus-myth theory.

He died in 1924 aged 68 and is buried in Brompton Cemetery, London.[2]

His wife Mary Emily was a translator of Wilhelm Scherer.

See alsoEdit



  • Outlines of a Philosophy of Religion by Hermann Lotze (1892) translator
  • The Armenian Apology and Acts of Apollonius, and Other Monuments of Early Christianity (1894)
  • The Demonology of the New Testament. I (1896)
  • About the Contemplative Life; or the Fourth Book of the Treatise Concerning Virtues, by Philo Judaeus (1895) editor
  • The Dreyfus Case (1898)
  • The Key of Truth, a Manual of the Paulician Church of Armenia (1898)
  • The Story of Ahikar from the Syriac, Arabic, Armenian, Ethiopic, Greek and Slavonic Versions (1898) with J. Rendel Harris and Agnes Smith Lewis
  • Rituale Armenorum Being the Administration of the Sacraments & the Breviary Rites of the Armenian Church Together with the Greek Rites of Baptism & Epiphany edited from the oldest manuscripts (1905) with Arthur John Maclean
  • Selections from the Septuagint According to the Text of Swete (1905) with St. George Stock, later as A Grammar of Septuagint Greek online
  • The Armenian version of Revelation, Apocalypse of John the Divine (1907) editor
  • Myth, Magic, and Morals: A Study of Christian Origins (1909)
  • History of New Testament Criticism (1910)
  • The Ring of Pope Xystus, Together with the Prologue of Rufinus (1910)
  • The Life of Apollonius of Tyana: The Epistles of Apollonius and the Treatise of Eusebius. Philostratus (1912) translator, Loeb Classical Library, two volumes
  • A Catalogue of the Armenian Manuscripts in the British Museum (1913)
  • The Historical Christ; or, An investigation of the views of Mr. J. M. Robertson, Dr. A. Drews, and Prof. W. B. Smith (1914)
  • Russian Dissenters (1921)
  • The Armenian Church: Heritage and Identity. (St. Vartan Press: New York, 2001) edited by the Rev. Nerses Vrej Nersessian
  • The Eusebian Form of the Text of Matthew 28:19



  1. ^ "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Online article". Retrieved 2013-01-31. 
  2. ^ "Residents of Brompton Cemetery". Brompton Cemetery. Archived from the original on 2007-07-14. Retrieved 2008-07-19. 

External linksEdit