Johann Gottfried Eichhorn
Succeeded Michaelis (Johann David) as Professor at Göttingen in 1788 / Referred to as an Idealist by Reuss
Free Online Books: Introduction to the Old Testament – A Fragment of Eichorn’s Einleitung in das Alte Testament (Leipzig, 1780–1783 PDF) / Johann Gottfried Eichhorn (German Student of J.D. Michaelis) An Account of the Life and Writings of John David Michaelis (1835 PDF)
Die hebräischen Propheten | Allgemeine Geschichte der Cultur und Litteratur des neueren Europa | Geschichte der Drey letzten Jahrhunderte | Google Books | History of New Testament Research: Michaelis / Grotius / Lightfoot / Whitby / Locke / Eichhorn
Dividing Line Between Destruction of Jerusalem and General Judgment – Matthew 25:14
WHAT OTHERS HAVE SAID
Johann Peter Lange
“VII. Historico-Critical and Rationalistic Period. Fundamental Tone or Key-note: Predominant Volatilizing of Apocalyptic Eschatology ; especially the Prophecy of the Millennial Kingdom ; amid a constantly gaining confounding of such Prophecy with Chiliasm.
The motive or inciting cause of the period which we are at present examining—a motive whose sketching by Lucke is not distinguished for clearness—was, negatively, that system of criticism which maintained that the Apocalypse consisted of purely supernatural predictions of Church History and church-historical numbers ; and which applied such exegesis to the support of chiliastic extravagances. Positively, it was the felt need of a firm historical and psychological basis for the prophetic glimpses of futurity. The errors of this new critical bent were the issue, in part, of the delight which was occasioned by the novel historical stand-point— historical, it was believed, for the first time in a true sense. For the rest, these errors proceeded from doubt as to the Spirit of Prophecy, as to the authenticity of the Apocalypse, as to the demonic forms of the kingdom of darkness, and as to the reality of Biblical Eschatology.
According to Lucke, Abauzit of Geneva inaugurated this tendency in his Essai sur l’ Apocalypse. “The Revelation, written probably under Nero, is nothing—according to its own profession—but une extension de la prophetic du Sauveur sur la ruine de l’ Etat Judaique.” The German Wetstein was guilty of a curtailing and stinting of the Apocalypse, similar to that attempted by the French Swiss. According to Wetstein, Gog and Magog made their appearance in the rebellion instigated by Barcochba. Harenberg took sides with Abauzit, submitting, however, that the last four chapters of the Apocalypse are eschatological. He believed the Book to have been originally written in Hebrew. Semler thought that the true original spirit of the Apocalypse was Jewish chiliastic fanaticism.
On the common basis of a one-sided criticism, Herder formed an antithesis to Semler in this question as in other and more general respects. The contrast is exhibited in his work entitled: Maran-atha, das buch von der Zukunft des Herrn, des Neuen Testaments Siegel. [Maran-atha; the Book of the Coming of the Lord: the Seal of the New Testament.] The historical perspective of this book is, like that of Abauzit, barren and contracted in the extreme: it consists of Jerusalem and the Jewish war. The formal treatment of the Apocalyptic theme, on the contrary, is enthusiastic, full of idealization, and appreciation of the figurative language of the Orient (see Lucke’s commendation). Herder called the Apocalypse : “A picture-book, setting forth the rise, the visible existence, and the future of Christ’s Kingdom in figures and similitudes of His first Coming, to terrify and to console.” Hartwig, though the disciple of Herder, abandoned the Oriental view for the Greek, holding, with Paraeus, that the Apocalypse was a drama. This dramatical view was subsequently fully carried out by Eichhorn. Others, taking a more general, poetical view of the Apocalypse, made metrical versions of it; of these the chief were those of Schreiber and Munter, and one by a follower of Bengel, Ludwig von Pfeil.
The interpretation already advanced by many, according to which the Apocalypse depicted the downfall of Judaism and heathenism, and the tranquility and glory of the Kingdom of Christ, re-appeared in the writings of Herrenschneider (Tentamen Apocalypseos). Johannsen, in his Offenbarung Johannes, set forth a similar view. Thoroughly novel and original, at variance both with the ancient Church-historical and the modern synchrono-historical view, is the book which appeared under the title of Briefe uber die Offenbarung Johannis. Ein Buch fur die Starken, die schwach heissen, Leipzig, 1784. [Letters on the Revelation of John. A Book for the Strong, who are called Weak]. “The [anonymous] author interprets all specials as generals, relative to the laws, arrangements and developments of nature and of the human life in general; amid, and according to, which laws, arrangements, and developments, God’s Kingdom on earth shall one day be perfected.” Kleuker maintained once more the eschatological signification of the Revelation (Ueber Ursprung und Zweck, etc. [On the Origin and Design, etc.]). On the other hand, Lucke mentions as followers of the bent of Herder and Eichhorn, Lange, Von Hagen, Lindemann Matthai, Von Heinrichs (p. 1055).” (A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures pp. 68-69)
J. Murray (1863)
“Alcasar, a Spanish Jesuit, taking a hint from Victorinus, seems to have been the first (AD 1614) to have suggested that the Apocalyptic prophecies did not extend further than to the overthrow of Paganism by Constantine. This view, with variations by Grotius, is taken up and expounded by Bossuet, Calmet, De Sacy, Eichhorn, Hug, Herder, Ewald, Moses Stuart, Davidson. The general view of the school is that the Apocalypse described the triumph of Christianity over Judaism in the first, and over Heathenism in the third century.” (A Dictionary of the Bible)
“My Father acquired a knowledge of the German language during his travels in the country in 1815-16. He translated some of the minor poems of Schiller in 1823. Later, his attention was directed to German Theology, and finding there was no English version of Eichorn’s6 Introduction to the Study of the Old Testament,’ he set to work to make one. For this purpose he studied Hebrew and Arabic; with Greek he was well acquainted.
But he gave up the task when he had translated a portion of the work, and he took no steps for printing even this. Now, in his ninety-eighth year, he has asked me to have the fragment printed. The translation was made from an early edition of Eichorn’s works.
From my ignorance of the languages of antiquity, it is not within my competence to do more than to correct the proofs of the translation. I regret that circumstances ^ prevent my calling in further help than has been kindly afforded by the printer.
The progress of Biblical criticism in the last hundred years is so great that Eichorn’s 4 Introduction to the Study of the Old Testament’ may be of inferior interest to the works of later writers, but Eichorn was a pioneer in the field of Biblical Criticism. His writings are distinguished by moderation, ingenuity, sound learning, and common sense. They may therefore still be read with interest and advantage, and their value is not altogether lost, in spite of the long period of time which has elapsed since they were first published. CHRISTINE G. J. REEVE. 62 Rutland Gate: December 1888. (Introduction to Tilly’s Eichorn)
(1) The Preterist, which holds that all, or nearly all, the prophecies of the book were fulfilled in the early Christian ages, either in the history of the Jewish race up to A.D. 70, or in that of Pagan Rome up to the fourth or fifth century. With Hentensius and Salmeron as forerunners, the Jesuit Alcasar (1614) was the father of this school. To it belong Grotius, Bossuet, Hammond, LeClerc, Wetstein, Eichhorn, Herder, Hartwig, Koppe, Hug, Heinrichs, Ewald, De Wette, Bleek, Reuss, Reville, Renan, Desprez, S. Davidson, Stuart, Lucke, Dusterdieck, Maurice, Farrar, etc. ” (Revelation)
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