Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V02, Page 907 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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JOHANN CHRISTIAN WILHELM AUGUSTI (1772-1841), German theologian, born at Eschenberga, near Gotha, was of Jewish descent, his grandfather having been a converted rabbi. He was educated at the gymnasium at Gotha and the university of Jena. At Jena he studied oriental languages, of which he became professor there in 18o3. Subsequently he became ordinary professor of theology (1812), and for a time rector, at Breslau. In 1819 he was transferred to the university of Bonn, where he was made professor primarius. In 1828 he was appointed chief member of the consistorial council at Coblenz. Here he was afterwards made director of the consistory. He died at Coblenz in 1841. Augusti had little sympathy with the modern philosophical interpretations of dogma, and although he took up a position of free criticism with regard to the Biblical narratives, he held fast to the traditional faith. His works on theology (Dogmengeschichte, 18os; 4th ed., 1835) are simple statements of fact; they do not attempt a speculative treatment of their subjects. In 1809 he published in conjunction with W. M. L. de Wette a new translation of the Old Testament. Mention should also be made of his Grundriss einer historischkritischen Einleitung ins Alte Testament (1806), his Exegetisches Handbuch des Allen Testaments (1797-1800), and his edition of Die Apokryphen des A. T. (1804). In addition to these, his most important writings are the Denku-iirdigkeiten aus der Christlichen Archaologie, 12 vols. (1817-1831), a partially digested mass of materials, and the Handbuch der Christ. Archaologie, 3 vols. (1836-1837), which gives the substance of the larger work in a more compact and systematic form.

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