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Julius Wellhausen (17 May 1844 – 7 January 1918) was a German biblical scholar and orientalist. In the course of his career, he moved from Old Testament research through Islamic studies to New Testament scholarship. Wellhausen contributed to the composition history of the Pentateuch/Torah and studied the formative period of Islam. For the former, he is credited as one of the originators of the documentary hypothesis.
Quotes about Wellhausen
- Julius Wellhausen (1844-1918) abandoned his professorship in Theology when he realized that his uncompromisingly secularist reading of the Bible was incompatible with the job of preparing students for a career as Christian ministers. He shifted to Oriental Philology in order to have the freedom to go where his scholarly insights into scripture took him. His great legacy is a candid demythologizing approach to the Bible as a piece of human literature rather than the Word of God. Among other things, his contribution was decisive in establishing the distinction between four editorial traditions that together constitute the Biblical text.
- Though he was opposed mostly by traditional Christians, later detractors have tried to overrule the German professor's findings with the imputation of anti-Jewish motives. I have not seen any evidence for that all too predictable allegation. It would in any case make no difference: the truth of a scholarly hypothesis is not dependent on the motives of its proponents. Sometimes people say the truth for the wrong reasons, just as untruths are sometimes believed and propagated by people with the nicest of motives. So, I salute Wellhausen as a pioneering Orientalist, an explorer and map-maker of religion as a human construct rather than a divine revelation.
-  The meaning of "Yahweh" 2010