Lange, Johann Peter, Dd

Lange, Johann Peter, D.D.

one of the most prominent German Protestant theologians of the 19th century, was born in Sournborn, near Elberfeld, of Reformed parents, April 10, 1802. He studied at Bonn, was in 1826 pastor of the Reformed Church at Langenberg, and in 1832 at Duisburg. He first attracted public attention by poems and a brilliant series of articles in Hengstenberg's Evangelical Church Gazette, at that time the leading orthodox journal in Germany. When Strauss published his famous Life of Jesus, Lange wrote in reply an able defense of the historical character of the Gospel-accounts of the infancy of our Savior. Soon afterwards, in 1841, he received a call as professor of theology to the University of Zurich, a position to which Strauss had been called before, but which he was prevented from occupying by a rebellion of the people against their infidel government. It was there that Lange prepared his great work on the Life of Jesus (1844- 47, 3 volumes), which is a positive refutation of the infidel work of Strauss, and one of the most original and ingenious among the many biographies of the Son of Man. It has been made known to the English- reading public by a translation published by Clark, in six volumes. In 1854 Lange was called to Bonn, and died July 8, 1884, on the same day on which professor Dorner (q.v.) died. Lange's works are numerous: Christliche Dogmatik (Heidelberg, 1849-52, 3 volumes): — Das apostolische Zeitalter (1853-54, 2 volumes). But the work by which he is best known and has made himself most useful is his Theological and Homiletical Bible Work (1857-68), well known in this country by the English translation in twenty-four volumes. The success of this voluminous commentary has been marked. Lange conceived the plan, wrote the commentary on Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Matthew, Mark, John, Romans, James, and the Apocalypse. The other books were prepared by a number of German and Dutch divines. Besides the works already mentioned, Lange wrote a number of ascetical and poetical works of high character. He was a poetical theologian, and a theological poet, and though having a theological system of his own, was thoroughly evangelical and in essential harmony with the Reformed type, but adapted to the modern currents of thought. Some of his poems have been translated into English. See Zuchold, Bibl. Theol. 2:764-767; Schaff, Biographical Sketch of Lange, in the introduction to the American edition of the Bible Work; Koch, Gesch. des deutschen Kirchenliedes, 7:361 sq. (B.P.).

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