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Johann Jakob Griesbach

1745-1812. NT scholar. Born at Butzbach, he was educated at Frankfurt-am-Main, Tübingen, Leipzig, and Halle, and became professor at Halle in 1773, and professor of NT at Jena in 1775. He was the first critic to make systematic application of literary analysis to the gospels, maintaining that Mark was the latest synoptic gospel, and basing his work on Matthew and Luke (the “dependence theory”). His major work lay in NT textual criticism. He published a critical edition of the Greek NT based on Elzevir (1774-77). He collated a great number of MSS, and developed Bengel's “family” theory, classifying the authorities into three classes or “families,” Alexandrian, Western, and Byzantine (or Constantinopolitan). Subsequent NT criticism has built on his work.