BAUMGARTNER, WALTER° (1887–1970), Swiss Bible scholar and Orientalist. Baumgartner studied classical and Oriental philology and theology, and taught at the University of Marburg from 1916 (professor, 1928). From 1947, he was professor of Semitic languages at Basle. Baumgartner's position among biblical scholars and Orientalists is assured by the results of his work in the field of Bible and Semitic philology. His important studies on the Aramaic sections of the Bible include Das Buch Daniel (1926) and the Aramaic sections of L. Koehler and W. Baumgartner's Lexicon in Veteris Testamenti Libros (1953, 1958, 1967 ff.). In his doctoral dissertation, Die Klagegedichte des Jeremia… (1916), he employed critical methodology to prove that the monologues of Jeremiah were not later additions but may be attributed to the prophet himself. In his monographs Alttestamentliche Religion (1928) and Israelitische und altorientalische Weisheit (1933) he helped pioneer the study of ancient Near Eastern religion and wisdom literature. His book Zum Alten Testament und seiner Umwelt, a collection of previously published essays on the Bible and Oriental studies, was published in 1959 in honor of Baumgartner's 70th birthday (includes complete bibliography, pp. 1–26) and the jubilee volume Hebraeische Wortforschung was presented to him on his 80th birthday.
Y. Kutscher, in: Haaretz (March 13, 1970).