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Franz Delitzsch

Franz Delitzsch.

Franz Delitzsch (Leipzig, February 23, 1813 – Leipzig, March 4, 1890) was a German Lutheran theologian and Hebraist. Born in Leipzig, he held the professorship of theology at the University of Rostock from 1846 to 1850, at the University of Erlangen until 1867, and after that at the University of Leipzig until his death. Delitzsch wrote many commentaries on books of the Bible, Jewish antiquities, Biblical psychology, a history of Jewish poetry, and Christian apologetics.

He defended the Jewish community against anti-Judaic attacks and translated the New Testament into Hebrew. In 1880 he established the Institutum Judaicum in Leipzig for the training of missionary workers among Jews.

Today, Delitzsch is best known for his translation of the New Testament into Hebrew (1877). Delitzsch's translation is still considered the standard New Testament edition in Hebrew and in its 10th Edition it was revised by a young Arnold Ehrlich at Delitzsch's insistence. This edition was to be utilized for proselytization among Jews. Later it was revised by Gustaf Dalman. It is remarkable that these editions were composed before the modern revival of the Hebrew language, but the translations still remain fresh and alive for readers today.

John Duncan (a theologian and messianic leader; not Jewish) said that Delitzsch "stood firm in maintenance of the divine authority and inspiration of the whole Old Testament" at a time when many "seemed willing to surrender."[1]

Delitzsch also collaborated with Johann Friedrich Karl Keil on a commentary series which covers the whole of the Old Testament and is still in print, having first appeared in 1861. Delitzsch contributed the commentaries on Book of Job, Psalms, Book of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, and Book of Isaiah. Independent of the commentary series collaboration with Keil, Delitzsch wrote a commentary on the book of Genesis originally published by T & T Clark in 1888. Klock and Klock published a 1978 reprint of the English translation by Sophia Taylor.

His son, Friedrich Delitzsch (1850–1922), was an influential Assyriologist and author of works on Assyrian language, literature, and history.


  • "After God had so bountifully offered proof of His goodness, our first parents behaved as though the Devil intended only good and God intended only ill." (regarding the fall of man)


  • Handschriftliche Funde: Die Erasmischen Entstellungen des Textes der Apokalypse (Leipzig 1861)
  • ברית חדשה (Berit Khadasha), Hebrew New Testament, Leipzig 1877
  • Rohling's Talmudjude beleuchtet, Leipzig 1881 (Delitzsch's arguments on the misrepresentation of the Talmud by August Rohling)
  • Neuer Kommentar über die Genesis, mit einem Geleitwort von Prof.Dr. Siegfried Wagner, Gießen/Basel (Brunnen), 1999 (Nachdruck der Ausgabe Leipzig [Dörffling und Franke] 1887).
  • Messianische Weissagungen in geschichtlicher Folge, mit einem Geleitwort von Dr. Gerhard Maier, Gießen/Basel (Brunnen), 1992. (Nachdruck der ersten Auflage Leipzig [Faber] 1890).
  • Die Psalmen, Gießen/Basel (Brunnen), 2005 (Nachdruck der fünften, bearbeiteten Auflage Leipzig Dörffling und Franke 1894)
  • System der biblischen Psychologie, (Leipzig: Dorffling & Franke, 1861); English Translation: A System of Biblical Psychology, (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1869); 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1966).


  1. ^ Rich Gleanings from Rabbi Duncan. Free Presbyterian Publications. 1984. p. 387. 

External links

This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainWood, James, ed. (1907). "article name needed". The Nuttall Encyclopædia. London and New York: Frederick Warne. 

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