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There Were Giants in Those Days: Codex Robertsonianus, Part 3

In my previous posts about the correspondence between Adolf Deissmann and A. T. Robertson concerning a Greek Gospels manuscript, I showed the pictures of Deissmann’s first and second letters, along with a transcription of them.

This is the third of four parts of that correspondence. These letters constitute the A. T. Robertson Papers, Box 7, Folder 3, Archives and Special Collections, James P. Boyce Centennial Library, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky. I am grateful to Adam Winters, archivist at SBTS, who provided the photographs. They are used with permission of the SBTS Archives & Special Collections.

 

Deissmann to Robertson_30 May 1927_page 1 of 2

 

Professor Dr. Adolf Deissmann
Berlin-Wilmersdorf, Prinzregentenstrasse 6., May 30th., 1927.

My dear Dr. Robertson:

Some days ago I received your kind letter of May 10, 1927 and the enclosed draft. Best thanks. Imediately [sic] I sent the Codex to your address by one of our best Berlin forwarding offices (Edmund Franzkowiak & Co, Berlin–Wilmersdorf, Uhlandstraße 83/84). According to your request I insured it for full value and took care that they packed the valuable object in a zinc box and in a wooden box. The costs are

             two boxes, charge for postage, expedition           10.05 Marks
insurance 1½% of the value                                   45.—
________
55.05 Marks, that

are about $13.—

I was very much interested, of course, in your communication about Rev. John W. Bowman and I wish to congratulate him that he will find such an object for his Thesis. Please tell him that it was not possible for me to hear from the Levantine dealer further details about the discovery of the MS. These gentlemen are very reserved in such things. The only fact he discovered to me was that the Codex came from the Trapezunt area. This is, in my opinion, credible. The Trapezunt area was inhabited by many Greeks before 1922, and there were some Greek monasteries which possessed Greek manuscripts. I suppose that our Codex was put on the market after that tragic catastrophe of 1922. You know there are other Trapezunt Codices noted by Gregory.

 

Deissmann to Robertson_30 May 1927_page 2

If you give any communication[n]s about the Codex please don’t mention that it came fr[o]m a Turkish dealer. The Turkish authorities would otherw[i]se perhaps take precautions in other cases to make impossible the export. I think such treasures ought to be in Christian libraries, and therefore it is better not to prevent the possibility of getting them. I think the only detail for publicity should be:

“The Library of The Sout[h]ern Baptist Theological Seminary . . . .
has had the opportunity to acquire a Parchment Tetra-Evangelion
coming from the Trapezunt area (Asia Minor).”

The Codex must have, as you suggested, a number. Please write concerning this question, after getting the MS., to

Professor Dr. Ernst von Dobschütz,
Lafontaine = Lh. 2i,    Halle a. Saale, Germany

He is the specialist who undertook the continuation of that system. But concerning the origin of the MS don’t give him other details than the above mentioned lines. Of course you should give him the most important details about the contents, measures etc. of the MS.

Now I hope that the Codex will reach you safely. Please give me a notice immediately.

With kind regards
Cordially yours
Adolf Deissmann

 

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4 comments on “There Were Giants in Those Days: Codex Robertsonianus, Part 3

  1. Dear Dr. Wallace:
    I’m so enjoying this series you are doing. Quick question: why did Robertson have Deissmann pack the codex in a zinc box? I’ve read stuff about the composition of the inks used codices and wondered if that was the reason. Or was this just a common method of transporting valuable artifacts in the 1920’s? Just curious. Thanks and God bless.

    Mahlon Smith

  2. Zinc is used down here in Australia as a weather proofing material on roofs, so its probably for waterproofing. Long Live the Textus Receptus.

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