Why did you come to Bennett University


The name Skeireins The title of a fragmentary interpretation of the Gospel of John, which has so far comprised eight pages, was given by the Berlin Germanist Maßmann when he first published it in the middle of the 19th century:
AU: Hans Ferdinand MASSMANN.
TI: Skeireins aiwaggeljons þairh ïohannen,
Interpretation of the Evangelii Johannis in Gothic language.
From Roman and Mayland manuscripts with a Latin translation,
supporting notes, historical investigation,
Gothic-Latin dictionaries and script samples.
        On behalf of His Royal Highness the Crown Prince Maximilian of Bavaria
selected, explained and published for the first time.
PU: Munich: George Jaquet.
PY: 1834.
LA: German.
BG: o299. (the serial number in the Bibliographia Gotica)

The word Skeireins is a feminine noun actionis (documented in 1 Corinthians [12:10]) for the causative verb skeirjan 'to explain'; the adjective of the same tribe skeirs means 'pure', 'louder', 'clear', 'clear' and lives on in German almost, English sheer, Swedish skir, Icelandic skír, Etc.
The Skeireins heklaert, helaeutert or verclearSo t us the Fourth Gospel.

In addition to the Gothic New Testament, the Skeireins is the most extensive work in the Corpus Goticum (about 3%).
In spite of its ecclesiastical character, it is also suitable for linguistic studies because it can be proven that it was not written by Wulfila (vide autem hoc). Since it has not yet been possible to work out the exact authorship, Knut Schäferdiek (1981) was at least able to show that it must be a translation from the Greek: The alleged template consists of exegetical explanations of the Gospel of John by Theodor, the Bishop of Herakleia [ today Marmara-Ereglisi in Thrace] in the fourth century.
TI: The fragments of the 'Skeireins' and the commentary on John by Theodor of Herakleia.
PU: Zcopy for dGerman A.antiquity and German literature 110/3: 175-193. (here187)
PY: 1981. (Reprint 1996 in 'Schwellenzeit', pp. 69-87 [with a survey of errata])
LA: German.
BG: 316.26. (the serial number in the Bibliographia Gotica)
This connection had already been recognized by Maßmann.
The fact that Theodor's commentaries on the Gospels of Theodoret (Historia ecclesiastica II 8) can be referred to as 'herme: neíai'.
Skeireins so translates herme: neía and is therefore a singular.

The most recent edition of the actual text, which is now divided between two Italian libraries, is the following:
AU: Magnús Hreinn SNÆDAL.
TI: A Concordance to Biblical Gothic.
PU: Reykjavík: University of Iceland Press / Háskólaútgáfan.
PY: 1998.
LA: (English).
BG: 1228.13. (the serial number in the Bibliographia Gotica)
The Gothic text corpus is listed in a separate volume.
However, Snædal himself did not autopsy the Skeirein text,
but entered according to Bennett's readings, although he does not allow word separations across the pages.
It In the following, therefore, the line case and the word separation according to Bill Bennett were reconstructed:
AU: William Holmes BENNETT.
TI: The Gothic commentary on the Gospel of John:
skeireins aiwaggeljons þairh iohannen.
A Decipherment, Edition, and Translation.
PU: New York: Modern Language Association.
PY: 1960, 2nd edition 1966 (unaltered)
LA: English.
BG: o307.1. (the serial number in the Bibliographia Gotica)
It took over a decade to work on this critical edition and was recognized by FRIEDRICHSEN (New Testament S.tudies 9 [1963] 179-180).

The History of the Skeireins is not as moved as that of the Codex Argenteus, but here too, occasionally irrelevant considerations determined the fate of the manuscript. It consists of 8 individual sheets (i.e. taken from the original binding) written on both sides (i.e. 16 pages) with 2 columns each (counting) a / b and c / d overwritten) of 25 lines each.
The palimpsest practice common in antiquity later led to the overwriting with Latin texts.
It was the subject matter of these texts relevant to church history that led to a separation of the corpus in the early 17th century: originally collected and stored in the Bobbio Monastery (founded by Columban the Younger around 600) (on the Trébbia in Liguria) today 5 sheets in Milan and 3 in Rome.
200 years after it was archived, Monsignor Angelo Mai, who later became the director of the Milan library, came across the Gothic text and determined the whereabouts of the remaining 3 sheets. Probably in order to make faded things visible again, he coated all 8 leaves with a solution of gall apples (growths on oaks that are caused by a certain wasp species and contain the dye tannin) and thus caused the exact opposite, namely smearing up to Unrecognizable. This circumstance in connection with the personal ambition (not to say: vain delusion) to want to be the first to publish the Gothic texts, led to a bitter dispute, especially with the medievalist Maßmann, who at the behest of the Crown Prince of Bavaria with a delegation to Milan had come to decipher and edit the texts. The exact circumstances that happened to him there, Maßmann has in his above mentioned. Edition so graphically portrayed that this description alone is worth looking at the work (not least because of the hand-made facsimilia).
The order of those pages results from the integrated quotations from the Gospel of John. These quotations thus correspond to the text of the Codex Argenteus. Extrapolated to the entire Fourth Gospel, the total possible length of the commentary is almost 500 pages. However, it is unknown whether the work was ever completed in this sense - as well as whether further pages have survived without perhaps having been recognized as such.

The topic

The III. Chapter of the Gospel of John begins with the dialogue between Jesus and Nicodemus, a member of the Sanhedrin (high council) and therefore an exposed representative of Judaism. He visits Jesus for the first time late in the evening. One explains this on the one hand with the fear of being seen by the Jews (under cover of darkness), on the other hand with the necessary leisure time for a long and serious conversation (Night rest).
The verses listed below are taken from (since no textual criticism should be carried out at this point)
of the revised Luther translation:
1 But there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, one of the leaders of the Jews.
2 He came to Jesus by night and said to him, Master, we know that you are a teacher, come from God;
for no one can do the signs that you do unless God is with him.
3 Jesus answered and said to him, Verily, verily, I say to you:
Unless a person is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
4 Nicodemus said to him: How can a person be born when he is old?
Can he then go back into his mother's womb and be born?
5 Jesus answered: Verily, verily, I say to you:
Unless one is born of the water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
6 What is born of the flesh is flesh; and what is born of the spirit is spirit.
7 Do not be surprised that I told you: you must be born again.
8 The wind blows where it wants, and you can hear its rustling; but you don't know where it's from and where it's going.
So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.
9 Nicodemus answered and said to him, How can this be done?
10 Jesus answered and said to him, Are you the teacher of Israel and do not know this?
11 Verily, verily, I say to you, we speak what we know and bear witness to what we have seen;
but you do not accept our testimony.
12 If you don't believe, when I tell you about earthly things, how will you believe
when I tell you about heavenly things?
13 And no one ascended to heaven except him who came down from heaven, namely the Son of Man.
14 And just as Moses exalted the serpent in the wilderness [see Numbers 21: 8], so must the Son of Man be exalted,
15 so that all who believe in him may have eternal life.
What follows is the heart of the Gospel of John,
it is not clear whether it is Jesus' own words or the explanation by the evangelist:
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,
so that all who believe in him will not be lost, but have eternal life.
17 For God did not send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through him.
18 Whoever believes in him will not be judged; but whoever does not believe has already been judged,
for he does not believe in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19 But this is the judgment that light has come into the world,
and people loved darkness more than light, for their works were evil.
20 He who does evil hates the light and does not come to the light so that his works may not be exposed.
21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that it may be revealed that his works were done in God.
About two and a half years later the fruits of this conversation became apparent: During the Feast of Tabernacles, the Pharisees sent officials to take possession of Jesus. When those returned without him, they spoke well of Jesus, which the colleagues responded with mockery, whereupon Nicodemus stood up for Jesus with reference to the law:
"Does our law allow us to convict someone without our having heard them about the charge?
First of all, it must be found out whether he was guilty of anything! "(7.51 - own translation)
The reaction was inevitable: "Are you from Galilee too?", Which basically means nothing else than:
'Aha - you show your solidarity with him instead of agreeing with our opinion!' (7.52a - own transmission)
After the death of Jesus, Nicodemus confessed himself public to him by contributing to his proper burial (19.39f.). The extra-biblical tradition reports that Nicodemus later became a Christian and was therefore relieved of his office and banished from Jerusalem, and ultimately even suffered martyrdom.

© Christian T. Petersen (appropriated to Werner Winter) back