Biblical Criticism - Notable Biblical Scholars

Notable Biblical Scholars

  • William Albright (1891-1971): Professor at Johns Hopkins University and the founding father of American biblical archaeology
  • Albrecht Alt (1883–1956): prominent in early debates about the religion of the biblical patriarchs; he was also an important influence on the generation of mid-20th century German scholars, including Martin Noth and Gerhard von Rad.
  • Jean Astruc (1684-1776): early French biblical critic, who adapted source criticism to the study of Genesis.
  • Margaret Barker (1944-): maintains that the polytheistic practices of the First Jewish Temple survived and influenced gnosticism and early Christianity.
  • Walter Bauer (1877-1960): redefined the parameters of orthodoxy and heresy with his multiregional hypothesis for the origins of Early Christianity.
  • F. C. Baur (1792-1860): explored the secular history of the primitive church.
  • Rudolf Karl Bultmann (1884–1976): a New Testament scholar who defined an almost complete split between history and faith, called demythology.
  • D.A. Carson (1946-): Canadian-born New Testament scholar who is most noted for his work on the Gospel of John.
  • John J. Collins (1946-): Irish scholar of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Second Temple Judaism; he has worked extensively on Jewish messianism and apocalypticism.
  • Frank Moore Cross (1921-): American biblical scholar and Harvard University Professor notable for his interpretations of the Deuteronomistic History, the Pentateuch, and the Dead Sea Scrolls, as well as his work in Northwest Semitic Epigraphy.
  • William G. Dever (1933-): American biblical archaeologist, known for his contributions to the understanding of early Israel.
  • Johann Gottfried Eichhorn (1752–1827): applied source criticism to the entire Bible, decided against Mosaic authorship.
  • Alvar Ellegård (1919-2008): linguist, has reordered the chronology of the texts of The New Testament and is a proponent of the "Jesus Myth Theory".
  • Bart D. Ehrman (1955-): University of North Carolina Professor, who has examined issues of textual corruption and authorship in New Testament and Early Christian texts.
  • Israel Finkelstein (1949-): Israeli archaeologist and Professor at Tel Aviv University, an advocate for re-dating remains previously ascribed to King Solomon to the rule of the Omrides.
  • Johann Jakob Griesbach (1745-1812): pioneered the Griesbach hypothesis, which supports the primacy of the Gospel of Matthew.
  • Hermann Gunkel (1862-1932): the father of form criticism, the study of the oral traditions behind the text of the Pentateuch.
  • Niels Peter Lemche (1945-): biblical scholar at the University of Copenhagen, sometimes associated with biblical minimalism, which has warned against uncritical acceptance of biblical texts as history.
  • Martin Noth (1902-1968): developed tradition history and undertook important work on the origins of the Pentateuch and the Deuteronomistic History.
  • Rolf Rendtorff (1925-): German critic who advanced an influential non-documentary hypothesis for the origins of the Pentateuch.
  • Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768–1834): German theologian and philosopher whose theoretical hermeneutics underlie much of modern biblical exegesis.
  • Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965): German theologian who was a pioneer in the quest for the historical Jesus.
  • John Van Seters (1935-): American Hebrew Bible scholar, who favors a supplementary model for the creation of the Pentateuch.
  • Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677): Dutch philosopher, who collected discrepancies, contradictions, anachronisms etc. from the Torah to show that it could not have been written by Moses.
  • Baron d'Holbach (1723-1789): A leading French/German Encyclopedist, published anonymously in Amsterdam in 1769 "Ecce Homo -The History of Jesus of Nazareth, a Critical Inquiry", the first Life of Jesus describing him as a mere historical man. Translated into English by George Houston and published by him in Edinburgh, 1799, London, 1813, (for which "blasphemy" Houston was condemned to two years in prison), and New York, 1827.
  • David Friedrich Strauss (1808-1874): a German critic who published influential work on the historical origins of Christian beliefs, most notably in his Das Leben Jesu.
  • Thomas L. Thompson (1939-): an outspoken critic of Albright's conclusions about archaeology and the historicity of the Pentateuch.
  • Julius Wellhausen (1844–1918): German biblical critic and popularizer of a four-source documentary hypothesis.
  • Wilhelm Martin Leberecht de Wette (1780–1849): an important early German contributor to higher criticism and the study of Pentateuchal origins.
  • Joseph Wheless (1868-1950): American lawyer who traced origins of the scriptures, examining original Hebrew and Greek meanings, and the translations into Latin and English.
  • R. N. Whybray (1923-1997): critiqued the assumptions of source criticism underlying the documentary hypothesis.

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