Franz Anton Knittel

Franz Anton Knittel (April 3, 1721 – December 10, 1792), was a German, Lutheran orthodox theologian, priest, and palaeographer. He examined palimpsests' text of the Codex Guelferbytanus 64 Weissenburgensis and deciphered text of Codex Carolinus. He was the author of many works.


In 1751 he became a priest, in 1753 Archdeacon of the main church in Wolfenbüttel.[1] In 1766 he became general superintendent and the first preacher in Wolfenbüttel and in 1776 general superintendent in Braunschweig.[2] After receiving work in the main church of Wolfenbüttel Knittel started to examine manuscripts housed in the Ducal Library of Wolfenbüttel. In 1756 he examined Codex Guelferbytanus 64 Weissenburgensis. The manuscript and its palimpsest text was earlier examined by Heusinger, who described it in 1752,[3] but Knittel was the first who recognized that the palimpsest Greek text belonged to two different manuscript of the New Testament. Knittel designated these two texts by sigla A and B. He recognized also lists of the κεφαλαια (chapters) as another, the third Greek manuscript. Knittel also deciphered and reconstructed the Gothic-Latin text of the palimpsest and published it in 1762 at Brunswick.[4] It is known as Codex Carolinus. The upper text of palimpsest contains text of Isidore of Seville's Origines and his six letters. Knittel designated it by siglum E and dated to the 11th century.

Knittel made many errors in deciphering palimpsest's text, especially in Latin text of Codex Carolinus (e.g. enarrabilia for scrutabilia). Tischendorf made a new and more accurate collation for the Latin text (edited in 1855).[5] The new collation of the Gothic text gave Carla Falluomini in 1999.[6] Knittel examined also other manuscripts (e.g. Minuscule 126, 429).

Knittel defended tradition point of view in theology and was against the modern textual criticism. He defended an authenticity of the Pericopa Adulterae (John 7:53-8:11), Comma Johanneum (1 John 5:7), and Testimonium Flavianum. According to him Erasmus in his Novum Instrumentum omne did not incorporate the Comma from Codex Montfortianus, because of grammar differences, but used Complutensian Polyglotta. According to him the Comma was known for Tertullian.[7]


  • Gedanken von einem Lehrgebaude einer gemessenen Geistlerlehre und ihrem Bussen in der Gottesgelahrtheit 1746
  • Epistola, in qua de eo, quod in Georgicis Hesiodes, quae εργα και ημεραι inscribuntur, supposititium est, disseruit de salis vallibus et a viro celebrrimo in arte critica M. horum, quae accusantus, vindice atquae assertore, dissentit, Brunsvick 1754
  • Neue Gedanken von den allgemeinen Christsehlern in den Handschriften des Neuen Testamtns u. s. w., mebst einem Versuche einer hermeneutischen Muthmassunge - Sitten - Lehre der ersten Kirche, Braunschweig 1755
  • Praecopium Ulphilanum primum, Brunovici 1758; alterum 1760
  • Ulphilae versionem Gothicam nonnullorum capitum epistolae Pauli ad Romanos e litura MS. rescript Bibliothecae Guelferbytanae, cum variis monumentis ineditis eruit, commentatus est, detitque foras, Brunovici 1762
  • Friedenspredigt, Braunschweig 1763
  • Prisca ruris ecclesia, Brunovici 1767
  • , Schröder, Braunschweig und Hildensheim 1773.
  • Neue Kritiken über das weltberühmte Zeugnis dea alten Juden Flav. Josephus von Jesu Christo Braunschweig 1779
  • Neue Kritiken über den berühmten Sprych: Drey sind, die da zeugen im Himmel, der Vater, das Wort, und der heilige Geist, und diese drei sind eins Braunschweig 1785
  • Ueber die Aufklärung des Lachmannes, Frankfurt und Leipzig 1787


Further reading

  • Johann Georg Neusel, Lexicon der vom Jahr 1750 bis 1800 verstorberen Teuschen Schriftsteller (Leipzig 1898), pp. 133–135.
  • Heinrich Döring, Franz Anton Knittel, Die deutschen Kanzelredner des achtzehnten und neunzehnten Jahrhunderts, pp. 171–175.

External links

  • Fragmenta versionis Ulphilanae: continentia particulas aliquot epistolae Pauli ad Romanos (Upsaliae 1763)
  • Franz Anton Knittel & William Alleyn Evanson, New criticisms on the celebrated text: 1 John V. 7. "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one." A synodical lecture, 1829. (English)

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.