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Hug, Johann Leonhard

HUG, JOHANN LEONHARD (1765-1846), German Roman Catholic theologian, was born at Constance on the 1st of June 1765. In 1783 he entered the university of Freiburg, where he became a pupil in the seminary for the training of priests, and soon distinguished himself in classical and Oriental philology as well as in biblical exegesis and criticism. In 1787 he became superintendent of studies in the seminary, and held this appointment until the breaking up of the establishment in 1790. In the following year he was called to the Freiburg chair of Oriental languages and Old Testament exegesis; to the duties of this post were added in 1793 those of the professorship of New Testament exegesis. Declining calls to Breslau, Tubingen, and thrice to Bonn, Hug continued at Freiburg for upwards of thirty years, taking an occasional literary tour to Munich, Paris or Italy. In 1827 he resigned some of his professorial work, but continued in active duty until in the autumn of 1845 he was seized with a painful illness, which proved fatal on the nth of March 1846.

Hug's earliest publication was the first instalment of his Einleitung; in it he argued with much acuteness against J. G. Eichhorn in favour of the " borrowing hypothesis " of the origin of the synoptical gospels, maintaining the priority of Matthew, the present Greek text having been the original. His subsequent works were dissertations on the origin of alphabetical writing (Die Erfindung der Buchstabenschrift, 1801), on the antiquity of the Codex Vaticanus (1810), and on ancient mythology (Ober den Mythos der alien Volker, 1812) ; a new interpretation of the Song of Solomon (Das hohe Lied in einer noch unversuchten Deutung, 1813), to the effect that the lover represents King Hezekiah, while by his beloved is intended the remnant left in Israel after the deportation of the ten tribes; and treatises on the indissoluble character of the matrimonial bond (De conjugii christiani vinculo indissolubili commentatio exegetica, 1816) and on the Alexandrian version of the Pentateuch (1818). His Einleitung in die Schriften des Neuen Testaments, undoubtedly his most important work, was completed in 1808 (fourth German edition, 1847; English translations by D. G. Wait, London, 1827, and by Fosdick, New York, 1836; French partial translation by J. E. Cellerier, Geneva, 1823). It is specially valuable in the portion relating to the history of the text (which up to the middle of the 3rd century he holds to have been current only in a common edition (KOIPI) Moo-is), of which recensions were afterwards made by Hesychius, an Egyptian bishop, by Lucian of Antioch, and by Origen) and in its discussion of the ancient versions. The author's intelligence and acuteness are more completely hampered by doctrinal presuppositions when he comes to treat questions relating to the history of the individual books of the New Testament canon. From 1839 to his death Hug was a regular and important contributor to the Freiburger Zeitschrift fiir kathol. Theologie.

See A. Maier, Gedachtnisrede auf J. L. Hug (1847); K. Werner, Geschichte der kath. Theol. in Deutschland, 527-533 (:866).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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