GRIESBACH, JOHN JAMES, was born at Butzbach in Hesse Darmstadt, on the 4th of January 1745. At an early age he com menced his grammatical studies in the Gymnasium at Frankfurt-on the-Main, where his father performed the duties of a Lutheran minister and consistorial oouncillor. From Frankfurt be went, in 1762, to the University of Tubingen, and afterwards passed two years at the Uni versity of Halle, whence he removed to that of Leipzig. In 1767 he returned to Halle, and took the degree of M.A.; having, throughout • highly distiugniahed collegiate course, attended all the lectures of the most eminent professors, and applied himself with unwearied diligence to the critical study of philology, moral philosophy, and especially to theological, biblical, and ecclesiastical literature, in which he received, as • pupil, the most valuable assistance from Semler and Emeriti. He now determined to devote himself wholly to a critical examination of the doctrines and of the Greek manuscript texts of the New Testament; and as, in his comprehensive plan of preliminary acquirements, it appeared to be a most desirable object to visit foreign countries, in order to acquire personally a knowledge of the dogmas of their religious sects, and to examine the contents of their principal libra ries, he commenced, in 1769, at the age of twenty-four, an extensive literary tour, in which, after Inspecting the treasures of the learued Institutions of Germany and Holland, he visited and made a sojourn of several months in Engiand,malduonsly prosecuting his critical researches in the libraries of the universities, and of the British Museum, chiefly on his favourite subject of the ancient manuscript versions of the New Testament. He next proceeded to visit the libraries of Paris and of other parts of France, where, as ho had done in Germany, Holland, and England, be established an intercourse with many of the most eminent scholars and divines ; and having at length collected a large mass of valuable materials, he returned in 1770 to Frankfurt, for the purpose of arranging them and applying them to his purpose of pro ducing a new emendation of the text of the Christian Scriptures. In the following year be obtained much applause at the University of Hallo in sustaining, as au academical exorcise, a critical dissertation, 'Da Codicibus quatuor Evangeliorum Origenianis,' in consequence of which he became theological lecturer, and in 1773 he was appointed professor extraordinary of theology at this university. The preparation
of his important edition of the New Testament he now prosecuted with great zeal and diligence. Of this valuable work a particular account is given below, with a notice of several of the author's other publications. The reputation he acquired at Halle iu correcting and illustrating the sacred text procured for him one of the divinity professorships at the University of Jena, his acceptance of which he signalised by the production of several learned programmes on subjects hereafter named ; and on taking in 1777 the degree of D.D., he sus tained a critical dissertation entitled ' Cures in historian textile Greei Epistolarum Paulinarurn specimen.' On various other academical occasions he wrote several learned and iutereeting essays on biblical subjects; be also was one of the directors of the Gazette' of Jeua ; contributed numerous articles to learned periodicals; and in 1780 he was elected rector of that university, and inspector of the students from Weimar and Eisenach. In the following year he was appointed ecclesiastical councillor to the Duke of Saxe-Weimar, was chosen prelate and deputy of the district of Jena, and was made a member of the states of Saxe-Weimar. In the performance of his academical duties he was indefatigable, and usually delivered three lectures daily on theological subjects. The task of perfecting his edition of the Now Testament gave him anxious and laborious employment until nearly the time of his death ; and, besides his editorial labours, he was actively engaged in the typographical arrangements for the costly and beautiful Impression of this work, completed in 1807, for which the types were expressly founded by the eminent printer thischen. To this brief biographical sketch of Dr. Griesbach, it may be added that at the age of thirty he married Frederica Juliana, a sister of Professor Schutz. He died on the 24th of March 1812.