DELITZSCH, FRANZ (1813-1890), German Lutheran theologian and orientalist, of Jewish descent, was born at Leipzig on the 23rd of February 1813. He studied theology and oriental languages in the university of his native town, and in 1850 was appointed professor ordinarius of theology at Erlangen, where the school of theologians became almost as famous as that of Tubingen. In 1867 he accepted a call to Leipzig, where he died on the 4th of March 1890. Delitzsch was a strict Lutheran. " By the banner of our Lutheran confession let us stand," he said in 1888; " folding ourselves in it, let us die " (T. K. Cheyne, Founders, p. 160). Greatly interested in the Jews, he longed ardently for their conversion to Christianity; and with a view to this he edited the periodical Saat auf Hqffnung from 1863, revived the " Institutum Judaicum " in 1880, founded a Jewish missionary college for the training of theologians, and translated the New Testament into Hebrew. He acquired such a mastery of post-biblical, rabbinic and talmudic literature that he has been called the " Christian Talmudist." Though never an advanced critic, his article on Daniel in the second edition of Herzog's Realencyklopddie, his New Commentary on Genesis and the fourth edition of his Isaiah show that as years went on his sympathy with higher criticism increased so much so indeed that Prof. Cheyne has included him among its founders.
He wrote a number of very valuable commentaries on Habakkuk (1843), Genesis (1852, 4th ed. 1872), Neuer Kommentar uber die Genesis (1887, Eng. trans. 1888, etc.), Psalms (4th ed. 1883, Eng. trans. 1886, etc.), Job (2nd ed., 1876), Isaiah (4th ed. 1889, Eng. trans. 1890, etc.), Proverbs (1873), Epistle to the Hebrews (1857, Eng. trans. 1865, etc.), Song of Songs and Ecclesiastes (4th ed., 1875). Other works are Geschichte derjiid. Poesie (1836); Jesus und Hillel (1867, 3rd ed. 1879); Handwerkerleben zur Zeit Jesu (1868, 3rd ed. 1878, Eng. trans, in the " Unit Library," 1902); Ein Tag in Kapernaum (1871, 3rd ed. 1886); Poesieen aus vormuhammedanischer Zeit (1874); Iris, Farbenstudien und Blumenstiicke (1888, Eng. trans. 1889); Messianische Weissagungen in geschichtlicher Folge (1890, and ed. 1898). His Hebrew New Testament reached its eleventh edition in 1891, and his popular devotional work Das Sakrament des wahren Leibes und Blutes Jesu Christi its seventh edition in 1886.
His son, FRIEDRICH DELITZSCH (b. 1850), became well known as professor of Assyriology in Berlin, and the author of many books of great research and learning, especially on oriental philology. Among other works of importance he wrote Wo lag das Parodies? (1881), and Babel und Bibel (1902, 1903, Eng. trans. 1903).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)