Eerdmans, Bernardus Dirks°

views updated


EERDMANS, BERNARDUS DIRKS ° (1865–1948), Dutch Protestant Bible scholar. He was privatdocent of Semitic languages from 1896 to 1898 and professor of Bible from 1898 in Leiden. His Alttestamentliche Studien (4 vols., 1908–12), a collection of writings on the composition of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, and the early history of Israel, are uniform in their complete rejection of the starting points of modern Pentateuchal criticism. Unlike the advocates of the Documentary Hypothesis, Eerdmans posits a fragmentary-supplementary hypothesis that views j, e, and p as redactors and supplementers, rather than composers. According to Eerdmans, material found particularly in Genesis belongs to various stages of religious development of which the earliest is polytheistic and the latest monotheistic, the earlier material referring to God by the plural form Elohim and the later as Yahweh. He argued for the cultural historicity of the patriarchs and for the advanced state of ritual in the Mosaic period. He maintained that most of the legal codes of Leviticus were Mosaic, thus rejecting the commonly accepted J. *WellhausenK.H. *Graf hypothesis. He was one of the earliest scholars who advanced an Exilic date for sections of the book of Daniel. He wrote Der Ursprung der Ceremonien des Hosein Festes (1894); The Religion of Israel (1947), a new treatment of his earlier De godsdienst van Israeel (2 vols., 1930); The Covenant at Mt. Sinai (1939); Studies in Job (1939); and The Hebrew Book of Psalms (in: Oudtestamentische Studieen, 1947).


H.F. Hahn, The Old Testament in Modern Research (1956), 23–26, 97–98; Eissfeldt, in: zdmg, 85 (1931), 172ff. add. bibliography: S. Devries, in: dbi, 1, 318.

[Zev Garber]