Frederick Cornwallis Conybeare
Frederick Cornwallis Conybeare (14 September 1856 – 9 January 1924) was a British orientalist, Fellow of University College, Oxford
University College, Oxford
.University College , is a constituent college of the University of Oxford in England. As of 2009 the college had an estimated financial endowment of £110m...

, and Professor of Theology at the University of Oxford
University of Oxford
The University of Oxford is a university located in Oxford, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest surviving university in the world and the oldest in the English-speaking world. Although its exact date of foundation is unclear, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096...



Conybeare was born in Coulsdon
Coulsdon is a town on the southernmost boundary of the London Borough of Croydon. It is surrounded by the Metropolitan Green Belt of the Farthing Down, Coulsdon Common and Kenley Common...

, Surrey, the third son of a barrister, John Charles Conybeare, and grandson of the geologist
A geologist is a scientist who studies the solid and liquid matter that constitutes the Earth as well as the processes and history that has shaped it. Geologists usually engage in studying geology. Geologists, studying more of an applied science than a theoretical one, must approach Geology using...

 William Daniel Conybeare
William Daniel Conybeare
William Daniel Conybeare FRS , dean of Llandaff, was an English geologist, palaeontologist and clergyman. He is probably best known for his ground-breaking work on marine reptile fossils in the 1820s, including important papers for the Geological Society of London on ichthyosaur anatomy and the...

. He took an interest in the Order of Corporate Reunion
Order of Corporate Reunion
The Order of Corporate Reunion is an ecumenical and interdenominational association of clergy and laity of Anglican origin, founded by Frederick George Lee, Thomas Mossman and Joseph Seccombe in London in 1874....

, an Old Catholic organisation, becoming a Bishop in it in 1894. Also in the 1890s he wrote a book on the Dreyfus case, as a Dreyfusard, and translated the Testament of Solomon
Testament of Solomon
The Testament of Solomon is an Old Testament pseudepigraphical work, the authorship of which is ascribed to King Solomon. It describes how Solomon was enabled to build the Temple by commanding demons by means of a magical ring entrusted to him by the Archangel Michael.- History :Despite the text's...

and other early Christian texts. As well, he did influential work on Barlaam and Josaphat. He was an authority on the Armenian Church
Armenian Apostolic Church
The Armenian Apostolic Church is the world's oldest National Church, is part of Oriental Orthodoxy, and is one of the most ancient Christian communities. Armenia was the first country to adopt Christianity as its official religion in 301 AD, in establishing this church...


He from 1904 to 1915 was a member of the Rationalist Press Association, founded in 1899.

One of his best-known works is Myth, Magic, and Morals from 1909, later reissued under the title The Origins of Christianity. This has been read both as strong criticism of the Jesus myth theory, making Conybeare a supporter of the historical Jesus
Historical Jesus
The term historical Jesus refers to scholarly reconstructions of the 1st-century figure Jesus of Nazareth. These reconstructions are based upon historical methods including critical analysis of gospel texts as the primary source for his biography, along with consideration of the historical and...

; but also as an attack on aspects of orthodox Christianity itself. He returned later in 1914 to make a direct assault on leading proponents of the time of the Jesus-myth theory.

He died in 1924 aged 68 and is buried in Brompton Cemetery
Brompton Cemetery
Brompton Cemetery is located near Earl's Court in South West London, England . It is managed by The Royal Parks and is one of the Magnificent Seven...

, London.

His wife Mary Emily was a translator of Wilhelm Scherer
Wilhelm Scherer
Wilhelm Scherer , German philologist and historian of literature.-Life:...



  • Outlines of a Philosophy of Religion by Hermann Lotze (1892) translator
  • The Armenian Apology and Acts of Apollonius, and Other Monuments of Early Christianity (1894)
  • About the Contemplative Life; or the Fourth Book of the Treatise Concerning Virtues, by Philo Judaeus (1895) editor
  • The Dreyfus Case (1898)
  • The Key of Truth, a Manual of the Paulician Church of Armenia (1898)
  • The Story of Ahikar from the Syriac, Arabic, Armenian, Ethiopic, Greek and Slavonic Versions (1898) with J. Rendel Harris and Agnes Smith Lewis
  • Rituale Armenorum Being the Administration of the Sacraments & the Breviary Rites of the Armenian Church Together with the Greek Rites of Baptism & Epiphany edited from the oldest manuscripts (1905) with Arthur John Maclean
  • Selections from the Septuagint According to the Text of Swete
    Henry Barclay Swete
    Henry Barclay Swete was an English Biblical scholar. He became Regius Professor of Divinity at Cambridge in 1890. He is known for his 1906 commentary on the Book of Revelation, and other works of exegesis....

    (1905) with St. George Stock, later as A Grammar of Septuagint Greek online
  • The Armenian version of Revelation, Apocalypse of John the Divine (1907) editor
  • Myth, Magic, and Morals: A Study of Christian Origins (1909)
  • History of New Testament Criticism (1910)
  • The Ring of Pope Xystus, Together with the Prologue of Rufinus (1910)
  • The Life of Apollonius of Tyana: The Epistles of Apollonius and the Treatise of Eusebius. Philostratus
    Philostratus or Lucius Flavius Philostratus , , called "the Athenian", was a Greek sophist of the Roman imperial period. His father was a minor sophist of the same name. He was born probably around 172, and is said by the Suda to have been living in the reign of emperor Philip the Arab . His death...

    (1912) translator, Loeb Classical Library, two volumes
  • A Catalogue of the Armenian Manuscripts in the British Museum (1913)
  • The Historical Christ; or, An investigation of the views of Mr. J. M. Robertson, Dr. A. Drews
    Arthur Drews
    Christian Heinrich Arthur Drews [pronounced "drefs"] was a German philosopher, writer, and important representative of German Monist thought. He was born in Uetersen, Holstein, present day Germany....

    , and Prof. W. B. Smith
    William Benjamin Smith
    William Benjamin Smith was a professor of mathematics at Tulane University. In a series of books, beginning with Ecce Deus: The Pre-Christian Jesus, published in 1894, and ending with The Birth of the Gospel, published posthumously in 1954, Smith argued that the earliest Christian sources,...

  • Russian Dissenters (1921)
  • The Armenian Church: Heritage and Identity. (St. Vartan Press: New York, 2001) edited by the Rev. Nerses Vrej Nersessian
  • The Eusebian Form of the Text of Matthew 28:19


External links

  • Works by F. C. Conybeare at the Internet Archive
    Internet Archive
    The Internet Archive is a non-profit digital library with the stated mission of "universal access to all knowledge". It offers permanent storage and access to collections of digitized materials, including websites, music, moving images, and nearly 3 million public domain books. The Internet Archive...

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