Meyer, Heinrich August Wilhelm

Meyer, Heinrich August Wilhelm a famous German exegete, was born at Gotha, January 10, 1800. He studied at Jena, passed his candidate's examination in 1821, and in 1823 was installed pastor at Osthausen. In 1829 appeared the first part of his work on the New Test., including the Greek text and a German translation. In 1830 followed his Libri Symbolici Ecclesiae Lutheranae. In the same year, having previously obtained citizenship in the kingdom of Hanover, Meyer was appointed pastor at Harste, near Gottingen. In 1832 appeared the second part of his work on the New Test., containing the commentary on the synoptic gospel's. The original design was to embrace the whole commentary in two large volumes, but this he soon found to be impracticable; besides, he discovered that his own strength and time would not be sufficient to complete the work without assistance; accordingly he secured the services of Drs. Lunemann, Huther, and Dusterdieck. In 1837 he was called as superintendent to Hoya, where he remained only four years. In 1841 he was called to Hanover, where he spent the rest of his life as member of consistory, superintendent, and head pastor of St. John's Church. In 1845 Meyer received the degree of doctor of theology from the faculty of the University of Gottingen. In 1848 he gave up his pastorate, retaining only his position in the consistory. In 1861 he was made member of the superior consistory, but in 1865 he retired from public life on a pension, which he received from the government. He died June 21, 1873.

Meyer's reputation beyond Hanover rests upon his commentaries on the New Test., and the excellence of his work was acknowledged not only in his own land, but in England and America, through Clark's translation. Meyer lived to see many editions of his work appear, and continued, down to the time of his death, to work diligently, making improvements. He grew with his work, and in each stage of his growth he expressed himself in his commentaries just as he felt. His study of the New Test. produced in him a more perfect experience of the saving grace and truth of the Gospel. As is the case with most scholars, Meyer became somewhat more dogmatical in his old age. The student who compares the last editions of the commentary with the first will find wide differences. Meyer was constantly correcting himself, and with relentless honesty removing from his work what he had come to regard as defects. Since his death, the continuation. of Meyer's commentary in new editions has been intrusted to Prof. Weiss in Berlin, who has associated himself with such scholars as Wendt, Henrici, Sieffert, and others. See a biographical sketch of Meyer by his son, in the fourth edition of the Commentary on the Philippians; Dusterdieck in Plitt- Herzog, Real-Encyklop. s.v.; Lichtenberger, Encyclop. des Sciences Religieuses, s.v.; Zuchold, Bibl. Theol. 2:879. (B.P.)

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