As in the first three volumes of History of Biblical Interpretation, From the Enlightenment to the Twentieth Century surveys the lives and works of significant theologians and lay people, politicians, and philosophers, in order to portray the characteristic attitudes of the era. It discusses the philosophers and politicians Hobbes, Locke, and Spinoza and the writers Lessing and Herder. Biblical criticism per se begins with the controversy over the original Hebrew text of the Old Testament and extends into Enlightenment ethics, myth, and miracle stories. Early representatives include Richard Simon and Hermann Samuel Reimarus, followed by Johann Salomo Semler, Johann Jakob Griesbach, Johann Gottfried Eichhorn, and Philipp Jacob Spener. Biblical scholars such as Wilhelm Martin Leberecht de Wette, Ferdinand Christian Baur, Heinrich Julius Holtzmann, Julius Wellhausen, Hermann Gunkel, Wilhelm Bousset, Karl Barth, and Rudolf Bultmann round out the volume and bring readers to the twentieth century.
The late Henning Graf Reventlow was Professor Emeritus of Old Testament Exegesis and Theology, Faculty of Protestant Theology, University of the Ruhr, Bochum, Germany. He was the author or editor of numerous volumes, including The Authority of the Bible and the Rise of the Modern World (Fortress); Problems of Old Testament Theology in the Twentieth Century (Fortress); and Creative Biblical Exegesis: Christian and Jewish Hermeneutics through the Centuries (JSOT Press).
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