Friedrich Bleek

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Friedrich Bleek (4 July 1793, in Ahrensbök in Holstein (a village near Lübeck) – 27 February 1859, in Bonn), was a German Biblical scholar. Friedrich Bleek_sentence_0

Life Friedrich Bleek_section_0

At 16 Bleek's father sent him to the gymnasium at Lübeck, where he became so interested in ancient languages that he abandoned his idea of a legal career and resolved to devote himself to the study of theology. Friedrich Bleek_sentence_1

After spending some time at the university of Kiel, he went to Berlin, where, from 1814 to 1817, he studied under De Wette, Neander and Schleiermacher. Friedrich Bleek_sentence_2

So highly were his merits appreciated by his professors — Schleiermacher was accustomed to say that he possessed a special charisma for the science of Introduction — that in 1818 after he had passed the examinations for entering the ministry he was recalled to Berlin as a Repentant or tutorial fellow in theology, a temporary post which the theological faculty had obtained for him. Friedrich Bleek_sentence_3

Besides discharging his duties in the theological seminary, he published two dissertations in Schleiermacher's and GCF Lücke's Journal (1819-1820, 1822), one on the origin and composition of the Sibylline Oracles, Über die Entstehung und Zusammensetzung der Sibyllinischen Orakel, and another on the authorship and design of the Book of Daniel, Über Verfasser und Zweck des Buches Daniel. Friedrich Bleek_sentence_4

These articles attracted much attention, and were distinguished by those qualities of solid learning, thorough investigation and candour of judgment which characterized all his writings. Friedrich Bleek_sentence_5

Bleek's merits as a rising scholar were recognized by the minister of public instruction, who continued his stipend as Repentant for a third year, and promised further advancement in due time. Friedrich Bleek_sentence_6

But the attitude of the political authority underwent a change. Friedrich Bleek_sentence_7

De Wette was dismissed from his professorship in 1819, and Bleek, a favorite pupil, incurred the suspicion of the government as an extreme democrat. Friedrich Bleek_sentence_8

Not only was his stipend as Repentant discontinued, but his nomination to the office of professor extraordinarius, which had already been signed by the minister Karl Altenstein, was withheld. Friedrich Bleek_sentence_9

At length it was found that Bleek had been confounded with a certain Baueleven Blech, and in 1823 he received the appointment. Friedrich Bleek_sentence_10

During the six years that Bleek remained at Berlin, he twice declined a call to the office of professor ordinarius of theology, once to Greifswald and once to Kanigsberg. Friedrich Bleek_sentence_11

In 1829, however, he was induced to accept Lücke's chair in the recently founded University of Bonn, and entered upon his duties there in the summer of the same year. Friedrich Bleek_sentence_12

For thirty years he laboured with ever-increasing success, due not to any attractions of manner or to the enunciation of novel or bizarre opinions, but to the soundness of his investigations, the impartiality of his judgments, and the clearness of his method. Friedrich Bleek_sentence_13

In 1843 he was raised to the office of consistorial councillor, and was selected by the university to hold the office of rector, a distinction which has not since been conferred upon any theologian of the Reformed Church. Friedrich Bleek_sentence_14

He died suddenly of apoplexy on 27 February 1859. Friedrich Bleek_sentence_15

Bleek's works belong entirely to the departments of Biblical criticism and exegesis. Friedrich Bleek_sentence_16

His views on questions of Old Testament criticism were advanced in his own day; for on all the disputed points concerning the unity and authorship of the books of the Old Covenant he was opposed to received opinion. Friedrich Bleek_sentence_17

But with respect to the New Testament his position was conservative. Friedrich Bleek_sentence_18

An opponent of the Tübingen school, his defence of the genuineness and authenticity of the gospel of St John is among the ablest that have been written; and although on some minor points his views did not altogether coincide with, those of the traditional school, his critical labors on the New Testament must nevertheless be regarded as among the most important contributions to the maintenance of orthodox opinions. Friedrich Bleek_sentence_19

His greatest work, his commentary on the epistle to the Hebrews (Brief an die Hebraer erlautert durch Einleilung, Ubersetzung, und fortlaufenden Commentar, in three parts, 1828, 1836 and 1840) won the highest praise from men like De Wette and Fr. Friedrich Bleek_sentence_20 Delitzsch. Friedrich Bleek_sentence_21

This work was abridged by Bleek for his college lectures, and was published in that condensed form in 1868. Friedrich Bleek_sentence_22

In 1846 he published his contributions to the criticism, of the gospels (Beiträge zur Evangelien Kritik, pt. Friedrich Bleek_sentence_23

i. Friedrich Bleek_sentence_24

), which contained his defence of St John's gospel, and arose out of a review of JHA Ebrard's Wissenschaflliche Kritik der Evangelischen Geschichte (1842). Friedrich Bleek_sentence_25

Posthumously-published works Friedrich Bleek_section_1

The following works were published after Bleek's death: Friedrich Bleek_sentence_26

Friedrich Bleek_ordered_list_0

  1. His Introduction to the Old Testament (Einleitung in das Alte Testament), (3rd ed., 1869); En,g. trans. by GH Venables (from 2nd ed., 1869); in 1878 a new edition (the 4th) appeared, under the editorship of Julius Wellhausen, who made extensive alterations and additionsFriedrich Bleek_item_0_0
  2. his Introduction to the New Testament (3rd ed., W Mangold, 1875), Eng. trans. (from 2nd German ed.) by William Urwick (1869, 1870)Friedrich Bleek_item_0_1
  3. his Exposition of the First Three Gospels (Synoptische Erklärung der drei ersten Evangelien), by H Holtzmann (1862)Friedrich Bleek_item_0_2
  4. his Lectures on the Apocalypse (Vorlesungen über die Apokalypse), (Eng. trans. 1875). Besides these there has also appeared a small volume containing Lectures on Colossians, Philemon and Ephesians (Berlin, 1865)Friedrich Bleek_item_0_3

Bleek also contributed many articles to the Studien und Kritiken. Friedrich Bleek_sentence_27

For further information on Bleek's life and writings, see Kamphausen's article in Herzog-Hauck, Realencyklopädie; Frédéric Lichtenberger's Histoire des idées religieuses en Allemagne, vol. Friedrich Bleek_sentence_28

iii. Friedrich Bleek_sentence_29

Diestel's Geschichte des Alten Testamentes (1869); and TK Cheyne's Founders of Old Testament Criticism (1893). Friedrich Bleek_sentence_30

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: Bleek.