Thursday, December 13, 2012

Friedrich Delitzsch, 1850-1922

"Delitzsch was facing real problems. . . . But the controversial stand he took was rooted more in modern ideological conflicts than in a dispassionate study of the ancient religions. His use of ancient evidence was often exaggerated and distorted. . . . As history of religion, his assessment of the data was intemperate, and his outbursts had the effect of retarding rather than advancing the cool assessment of the problems that Assyriological discovery had created for the relationship between Bible and religion."

     Encyclopedia of religion, 2nd ed., ed. Lindsay Jones (Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2005), s.v. "Delitzsch, Friedrich" (1987), by James Barr.  Cf. also the much shorter entry in the rev. 3rd (2005) edition of the Oxford dictionary of the Christian church.  When the entry in The new Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of religious knowledge was written, Delitzsch was still alive.