Dr. Eduard König On “Genesis” -- By: L. Franklin Gruber
BSac 77:308 (Oct 1920) p. 460
Dr. Eduard König On “Genesis”1
St. Paul, Minnesota
There is probably no literary document that has been the subject of more discussion than the first book of the Old Testament. Nor is interest in the same growing less in this age of unparalleled critical investigation and scientific progress. It is true that much negative criticism has within recent years been directed against it; but this seems only to have afforded new occasions for fresh investigations on the part of constructive scholarship.
Of this unusual interest in Genesis we have a remarkable illustration in the book under consideration. While the united Allies’ guns were blasting their way, through what had previously been considered impregnable fortresses and invincible armies, toward the heart of his country, a lone German scholar, as if apparently unconcerned, was forging a new link in the long chain of evidence for the truth. When one considers how difficult it is to associate truth with besieging guns, he will recognize the apparent incongruity involved in the production of such a work of German scholarship upon the background of the Great War.
For a really great work on Genesis, probably no theologian is better qualified than the eminent Old Testament scholar and recognized authority on Semitic literature, Prof. Dr. Eduard König, of Bonn. His unusual, perhaps unexcelled, qualifications as a Hebrew scholar are attested by such learned works as his “Historisch-kritisches Lehrgebaüde der hebräischen Sprache” (3 vols., 1881–97) and his “Hebräische Grammatik” (Leipzig, 1908). His position as an authority on the religious history of the Israelites, is marked by his great works, entitled “Die Hauptprobleme der altisraelitischen Religionsgeschichte” (1884; Eng. trans, by A. J. Campbell, “The Religious His-
BSac 77:308 (Oct 1920) p. 461
tory of Israel,” Edinburgh, 1885), his “Geschichte des Reiches Gottes bis auf Jesus Christus “(Brunswick, 1908), his “Die Gottesfrage und der Ursprung des Alten Testaments “(1903), and his “Geschichte der Alttestamentlichen Religion “(1915). That he is a master in the field of criticism is shown by works like his “Falsche Extreme in der neuren Kritik des Alten Testaments” (Leipzig, 1895), “Neueste Prinzipien der alttestamentlichen Kritik” (Berlin, 1902), “Bibel und Babel” (1902; Eng. trans, by K. T. Filter, “Bible and Babylon “(Loudon, 1905), “Die Bibel-Babel-Frage und die wissenschaftliche Methode” (1904), and “Die moderne Pentateuchkritik und ihre neueste Bekämpfung “(1914). It may be said that in the two works next to the last he met the eminent Assyriologi...
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