« Canonization Canstein, Karl Hildebrand, Baron von Cantata »

Canstein, Karl Hildebrand, Baron von

CANSTEIN, cɑ̄n´stɑin, KARL HILDEBRAND, BARON VON: Founder of the Canstein Bible Institute at Halle; b. at Lindenberg (a village near fürstenwalde, 21 m. w. of Frankfort) Aug. 4, 1667; d, at Berlin Aug. 19, 1719. After completing his legal studies at the University of Frankfort-on-the-Oder, in 1686 he traveled through Holland, England, France, Italy, and southern Germany, but was called to Berlin by the death of the Elector in 1688. In the following year he was appointed gentleman of the bed-chamber, but resigned after a few years, and enlisted as a volunteer with the Brandenburg troops sent to Flanders. There he 401fell seriously ill, was converted, and after recovering his health, returned to Berlin, where he lived in retirement, devoting himself to philanthropy. In 1691 he became acquainted with Spener, and thus formed a lifelong friendship with August Hermann Francke, whom he aided in all his enterprises.

A literary result of Canstein's unceasing study of the Bible was his Harmonic und Auslegung der heiligen vier Evangelisten (Halle, 1718), but his crowning life-work was his establishment of the Canstein Bible Institute. Seeking to make the Scriptures known in the widest circles, he expounded his views in a small pamphlet entitled Ohnmassgebender Vorschlag, wie Gotteswort den Armen zur Erbauung um einen geringen Preis in die Hände zu bringen sei (Berlin, 1710), in which he expressed his conviction that the use of stereotype plates would render it possible to sell copies of the New Testament for two groschen, and of the entire Bible for six. His first edition of the New Testament appeared at Halle in 1712, and was followed by the entire Bible in the next year. Before Canstein's death the New Testament had appeared in twenty-eight editions, and the Bible in eight octavo and eight duodecimo editions, making a total of about 100,000 New Testaments and 40,000 Bibles. When the founder died, Francke took charge of the Institute. In 1727 the buildings were enlarged, and in 1734–35 the Cansteinische Buckdruckerei was established. The Bible was printed in Bohemian and Polish in 1722, and in 1868–69 versions in Wendish and Lithuanian appeared. The revised text of Luther's version was also first printed by this Institute (Halle, 1892). See Bible Societies, II., 1.

« Canonization Canstein, Karl Hildebrand, Baron von Cantata »
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