Samuel Prideaux Tregelles
Samuel Prideaux Tregelles (30 January 1813 – 24 April 1875) was an English biblical scholar, textual critic, and theologian.
Tregelles was born at Wodehouse Place, Falmouth, of Quaker parents, but he himself for many years was in communion with the Plymouth Brethren and then later in life became a Presbyterian (or perhaps an Anglican). He was the son of Samuel Tregelles (1789–1828) and Dorothy (1790–1873), his wife. He was the nephew of Edwin Octavius Tregelles. He was educated at Falmouth classical school from 1825 to 1828.
For a time Tregelles worked at the ironworks, Neath Abbey, Glamorgan, where he devoted his spare time to learning Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, and Welsh. His interest in Welsh developed from a desire to spread the Christian gospel and especially to combat the influence of atheism, Roman Catholicism, and Mormonism in Wales. Tregelles became a private tutor in Falmouth, and finally devoted himself to scholarship until incapacitated by paralysis in 1870.
In April 1839 Tregelles married Sarah Anna Prideaux (born 22 September 1807). They had no children. Tregelles received an LL.D. degree from St Andrews in 1850 and a pension of £200 from the civil list in 1862. He died at Plymouth.
Discovering that the textus receptus did not rest on ancient authority, Tregelles decided to publish a new version of the Greek text of the New Testament based on ancient manuscripts and the citations of the early church fathers, unaware for many years that his work was paralleling that of German philologist and textual critic, Karl Lachmann. Tregelles first became generally known through his Book of Revelation in Greek Edited from Ancient Authorities (1844), which contained the announcement of his intention to prepare the new Greek New Testament. In 1845 he went to Rome intending to collate the codex belonging to the Vatican. Although he was not allowed to copy the manuscript, he did note important readings. From Rome he went to Florence, Modena, Venice, Munich, and Basel, reading and collating manuscripts. He returned to England in November 1846, continuing to collate manuscripts in the British Museum. Tregelles also visited Paris, Hamburg, Berlin (where he met Lachmann), and Leipzig (where he collaborated with Constantin von Tischendorf), Dresden, Wolfenbüttel, and Utrecht.
Most of his numerous publications had reference to his great critical edition of the New Testament (1857-1872). They include an Account of the Printed Text of the Greek New Testament (1854), a new edition of T. H. Horne's Introduction (1860), and Canon Muratorianus: Earliest Catalogue of Books of the New Testament (1868). Tregelles was a member of the English revision committee overseeing the preparation of the Bible translation known as the Revised Version (or English Revised Version) of which the New Testament was published in 1881, six years after his death.
Tregelles also wrote Heads of Hebrew Grammar (1852), translated Gesenius's Hebrew Lexicon (1846, 1857) from Latin, and was the author of a little work on the Jansenists (1851) and of various works in exposition of his special eschatological views including Remarks on the Prophetic Visions of Daniel (1852, new ed., 1864) and The Hope of Christ's Second Coming (1864). Like his cousin by marriage, Benjamin Wills Newton, who was instrumental in Tregelles's conversion and who helped finance publication of his books, Tregelles was a post tribulationist.
An acquaintance said of Tregelles that he was "able to shed a light upon any topic that might be introduced," but that to ask him a question was dangerous because "doing so was like reaching to take a book and having the whole shelf-full precipitated upon your head." Despite his erudition, Tregelles was also a warm-hearted evangelical who wrote many hymns, now largely forgotten, the earliest of which were published in the Plymouth Brethren's Hymns for the Poor of the Flock (1838).
- See Fromow, 28. F. F. Bruce said that the "conflict of evidence suggests that Mr. Fromow is fairly near the mark in using the epithet 'unattached.'"
- Tregelles was especially distressed at the spread of Mormonism and in 1854 wrote to his evangelical friend Eben Fardd, "while Mormonism and other things are spreading themselves in Wales, it is well for some effort to be made to uphold the simple historical authority of the Scriptures which God has been pleased to give us as the sure record of His holy will." Quoted in Fromow, 33.
- S. P. Tregelles, A Lecture on the Historic Evidence of the Authorship and Transmission of the Books of the New Testament, London 1852, pp. 83-85
- Excerpt from The Hope of Christ's Second Coming by Samuel Prideaux Tregelles
- Victorian Web. Tregelles later supported Newton in his conflict with John Nelson Darby and the Exclusive Brethren.
- J. Brooking Rowe, quoted in Fromow, 31.
- Twelve examples of Tregelles's hymns may be found in Fromow, 84-90.
- Newton, Benjamin Wills (1881). Remarks on the Revised English Version of the Greek New Testament. pp. iv+355.
- H3: The Fry collection: papers relating to B. W. Newton, S. P. Tregelles, F. W. Wyatt, A. C. Fry, and others, at the Christian Brethren Archive of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester.
- George H. Fromow (ed.), B. W. Newton and Dr. S. P. Tregelles: Teachers of the faith and the future, 2nd ed., (London: Sovereign Grace Advent Testimony, 1969).
- E. C. Marchant, "Tregelles, Samuel Prideaux (1813–1875)," rev. J. K. Elliott, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, (Oxford University Press, 2004).
- Biography of Samuel Prideaux Tregelles; includes a list of his hymns.
- The Hope of Christ's Second Coming : How is it taught in scripture? And Why by S.P. Tregelles, LL.D
- A lecture on the historic evidence: of the authorship and transmission of the books of the New Testament, delivered before the Plymouth Young Men's Christian Association (1851).
- Samuel Prideaux Tregelles, An account of the printed text of the Greek New Testament : with remarks on its revision upon critical principles : together with a collation of the critical texts of Griesbach, Scholz, Lachmann, and Tischendorf, with that in common use. (1854).
- Text and Images of the critical Greek New Testament by Samuel Prideaux Tregelles; includes a modern introduction to the edition.