Bretschneiider, Karl Gottlieb
Bretschneiider, Karl Gottlieb, a German rationalistic divine, was born in Gersdorf, Feb. 11, 1776, and educated at Chemnitz and the University of Leipzig. He was designed -for the Church at an early age, but he inclined more to belles-lettres, and showed a strong sceptical turn at the university. In 1807 he became pastor at Schneeberg, in 1808 superintendent in Annaberg. In 1812 he disputed on Capita theologie Judcorum dogmaticae, and from this time devoted himself more completely to theology. In 1816 he was made general superintendent at Gotha, which office he held till his death, Jan. 22, 1848. His activity as a writer was very great, and covered the fields of exegesis, text of Scripture, dogmatics, and history. From 1824 he shared in the editorship of the Theol. Literaturblatt (Darmstadt), and contributed largely to other periodicals. His most important publications are the Corpus Reformatorum, a collection of the writings of the German Reformers, continued after his death by Bindseil (the first 28 vols., Halle, 1834-1860, comprise the works of Melancthon) :-Lexici in V. T., max. apocryp. spicilegium (Leips. 1805, 8vo) :-De Evang. et Epist. Johann. origine et indole (Leips. 1820, 8vo):-Hist.-Dogm. Auslegung des N.T., etc. (Leips. 1806, 8vo):-Lexicon Manuale Gr. Lat. in N.T. (1824, 8vo; best ed. Leips. 1841, 8vo):-Systemat. Entwickelung aller i. d. Dogm. vorkommenden
Begriffe u. d. Symb. Buiher d. Luihe-. Kirche (Leips. 1805, 1819, 1825, 1841, 8vo):-Dogm. u. Moral d. apocryph. Schrsft. d. A. T. (Leips. 1805, 8vo):-Dogmatik d. Evang.-Luth. Kirche (Leips. 4th ed. 2 vols. 8vo, 1838):-Grundlage d. Evang. Pietismus (Leips. 1833, 8vo):-St. Simonismus (Leips. 1832, 8vo). In all the theological controversies of his stormy age he took large part. His position in theology is that of rational supernaturalism, admitting revelation, yet subjecting it to the supremacy of reason. His writings, though generally evincing candor, industry, and great acuteness, are devoid of religious life. His autobiography, published by his son Horst (Gotha, 1851, 8vo), is translated, in part, in the Bibliotheca, Sacra, vols. 9, 10. A transl. of his Views of Schleiermacher's Theology (Bibl. Sacra, July, 1853) gives a good specimen of his critical talent.