Knapp, Georg Christian

Knapp, Georg Christian an eminent German Protestant theologian, was born at Glaucha, near Halle, in 1753. He entered the university of that city in 1770, and afterwards also spent a semester at the University of Gottingen. He began lecturing on philosophy in 1775, was appointed professor extraordinary in 1777, and regular professor in 1782. In 1785 he became director of Franke's celebrated orphan asylum and educational institute, previously presided over by his father, which he managed for forty years in conjunction with Niemeyer. In the division of labor he had charge of the orphan asylum, the Latin school, and the Biblical and missionary departments, which, notwithstanding delicate health, he conducted in a manner that gained him the esteem of all. He died Oct. 14,1825. Naturally inclined to mysticism, which in latter years caused his writings and teaching to assume a supernaturalistic form, he did not succeed, notwithstanding the popularity of his lectures, in forming a school of his own in the midst of the Rationalistic tendencies of his colleagues. Constitutional timidity also impaired much of his influence, as he shrank from all personal arguments either with the students or with the other professors. Dr. F. W. Krummacher has described him as "the last descendant of the old theological school of Halle," and assures us that he " was well able, from intellectual ability and scientific attainment, to have waged a successful war against the then reigning Rationalism, and to have tossed from their airy saddles its champions among his colleagues who were intoxicated with triumph," but that "his excessive gentleness and modesty, bordering even on timidity, led him carefully to avoid everything like direct polemics." (Compare, for a fuller description of his character, etc., F. W. Krummacher's Autobiography, translated by the Rev. M. G. Easton [Edinb. 1869, 8vo], p. 55 sq.). His principal works are, 'Psalm en ubersetzt und mit Anmerkungen (1778; 3d ed. 1789): — a very carefully edited and useful edition of the Greek Testament, Novum Testamentum Greece recognorit atque insiagioris lectionum varietatis et argumentorunm notitiam snubjunxit(Halle, 1797, 4to; the last ed. in 1829, 2 vols. 8vo; also N.Y. 1808):- Scripta varii argumenti maximnum parteam exegetica atque historica (Halle, 1805, 8vo; a second and enlarged edition in 1823, 2 vols. 8vo).-the following dissertations-Ad vaticinium1 Jacobi (1774); De versione Alexandrina in emenndenda lectione exempli Hebraici cauteadibenda (Halle, 1773,1776). After his death K. Thilo published his Vorlesungen uber d. Glaubenslehre (1836, 2 parts, which were translated by Dr. Leonard Woods under the title Lectures on Christian Theology [Andover, 1831-39, 2 vols. 8vo, and often since], and have been extensively used, especially in this country); and Guerike his Bibl. Glaubenslehre z. praktischen Gebrauch (1840). Knapp also wrote Traktat i. d. Frage . Was soll ich thun, dass ich selig werde ? (1806): — Anleitung z. einem gottseligen Leben (1811). Some valuable biographical sketches which he contributed to the paper entitled Franke's Stiftungen, were republished under the title Leben und Karakter einiger gelehrten u.frommen Mudnner d. vorigen JaIhrh. (1829). See Niemeyer, Epicedien zum Andenken auf Knapp (1825); K. Thilo, in the preface to Knapp's Vorlesungen ii. d. Glaubenslehre; Herzog, Real-Encyklop. 7:763; Wetzer und Welte, Kirchen-Lexikon, s.v.; Doring, Gelehrte Theol. Deutschlands, s.v. (J. H. W.)

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