Hupfeld, Hermann, Dd

Hupfeld, Hermann, D.D.

a German theologian, and one of the most distinguished Hebraists of Europe, son of the clergyman Bernhard Karl Hupfeld, who died at Spangenburg, Hesse, in 1823, was born March 31, 1796, at Marburg, and educated at the university of his native place, under the especial protection of the great Orientalist Arnoldi (q.v.). After preaching a short time as assistant to the first Reformed preacher of Marburg, he accepted in 1819 the position as third teacher at the gymnasium at Hanau. He resigned in 1822 on account of impaired health, and, after a summer's journey through Switzerland, and the use of mineral waters at the springs of two watering- places in Wurtemberg, he went first to his father's house at Spangsenburg to resume his theological studies and to prepare for the ministry, and later to the University of Halle, where he became acquainted with Gesenius, and was led to a more thorough study of the Scriptures, especially the Old Testament. In 1824 he began to lecture at the university, and prepared an elaborate essay on the Ethiopic language (Exercitationes AEthiopiae, Leipzig, 1825), which was favorably received and commented upon in the Heidelberger Jahrbücher and the Hallische Literatur Zeitung. In 1825 he was appointed extraordinary professor of theology at the University of Marburg, and in 1827, after Hartmann's death, professor ordinairius of the Oriental languages, retaining the chair of theology, which was made a regular professorship in 1830. During the Revolution of 1830 he was on the side of those who favored a reform of the ecclesiastical constitution of Hesse, and strongly opposed the conservative minister Hassenpflug. In 1843 he went to Halle as the successor of Gesenius, by whose influence Hupfeld had received the degree of D.D. in 1834. During the revolution of 1848 he was active in the interests of a popular form of government, and urged the establishment of a German empire on a historical basis. He died April 24,1866. In theology, Hupfeld was called orthodox in Germany, but in America he would be much more likely to have been classed with "Liberals." On inspiration, for instance, he held that only certain portions of the sacred writings are of divine origin, and that the Spirit reveals to all sincere readers the real character of such passages. In criticism, he belonged to the school of his friend De Wette (q.v.). "His researches were extensive, but guarded in their deductions by his caution. In the Elaboration of his works he was extremely fastidious. A connoisseur in work, he could not go on if the machinery were not exact, if one slight element were lacking to harmony and completeness. This sensibility sometimes impeded the activities of a mind whose powers of acquisition and production were immense. In his department he was among the first scholars of his day. Few burial-grounds, indeed, enclose the ashes of two such savans as Hupfeld and his predecessor Gesenius. At the close of his arduous life, when in his seventy-first year, his mental vigor, showed no decline, his diligence no slackening. As a religious man, Hupfeld belonged to the Pietists, who correspond in the religious scale with our strict evangelical Christians. He was a devout man, though not after our stamp of devotion. It is doubtful whether he knew anything by experience of our immediate conversion. Probably he was never in a prayer meeting; and he looked upon revivals as questionable, if not objectionable measures. Of devotional methods and exercises, then, he had limited knowledge; but he believed, nevertheless, 'with the heart unto righteousness.' He lived as all Christians must live, by faith" (N. Y. Methodist, 1866, No. 313). Hupfeld left mere monographs, the results of most careful inquiry on certain points bearing on the subjects to which he devoted his later years, and but few books proper. Thus, in 1841, he commenced a Hebrew grammar, in which he attempted to pursue the same course in the Shemitic as Grimm did in. the Germanic language, viz. the development of the Hebrew genetically by a consideration of its sounds. Only a few sheets of the work were published, under the title Kritisches Lehrb. der hebr. Sprache und Schrift (Cassel, 1841). His most important works are, Ueber d. Begriff u. d. Methode d. bibl. Einleit. (Marb. 1844):De antiquioribus apud Judceos accentunim scriptoribus (Halle, 1846 and 1847, 2 vols.): — De primit. et vera festorum apud Hebreos ratione (1851, 1852, 1858, 1865, 2 vols.): — Quaest. in Jobeidos locos (1853): — Die Quellen d. Genesis (Berl. 1835): — Die Psalmen, übersetzt u. erkldrt (1855-62, 4 vols. 8vo; of a 2nd ed., begun in 1867 by Dr. Edward Riehm, 3 vols. are now [1870] published): — Die heutige theosoph. u. mytholog. Theologie und Schrifterklarung (Berlin, 1861). A biography of Hupfeld was published by Dr. Riehm (Dr. Hermann Hupfeld, Halle, 1867). See Theol. Univ. Lex. 1, 374; Pierer, Universal Lex. 8, 631; Stud. u. Krit. 1868, 1, 184 sq.; Jahrb. deutsch. Theolog. 1868, 4:758 sq.; Bib. Sac. 1866, p. 673 sq. (J.H.W.)

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