Protestant church historian; b. Düsseldorf, March 2, 1875; d. Berlin, June 25, 1942. Lietzmann spent his youth in Wittenberg, studied in Jena, and studied classical philology and theology at Bonn, coming under the influence of the New Testament scholar Eduard Graf and of Herman Usener for his formation in philology and religious science. Upon earning his licentiate in theology with a dissertation on Der Menschensohn in 1896, he taught for a few years. He returned to Bonn in 1900 for specialization in Church history, was called to Jena in 1905, and replaced harnack in Berlin in 1924, taking over the chairmanship of the Church Fathers' Commission in 1930. In 1920 he assumed editorship of the Zeitschrift f. Neutestamentliches Wissenschaft. He described his life's work as the attempt to "combine classical philology and theology in a unity" (Autobiographie 8), which he did by demonstrating an expert competence in Church history, archeology, liturgy, Canon Law, credal study, and papyrology. All these disciplines were employed in his highly influential Petrus und Paulus in Rom (1915; 2d ed. 1927). His ability in dealing with New Testament studies extended to both textual and exegetical fields, and his stylistic excellence was extraordinary as were the courage and depth of his judgments. Frequently in small brochures he opened up new approaches to knowledge, as in his Schallanalyse und Textkritik (1922) and his Study of the Mandaeans (Beitrag zur Mandäerfrage 1930). His four-volume Geschichte der alten Kirche is likewise a monument to his all-embracing competence (see mandaean religion).
Bibliography: h. lietzmann, "Autobiographie," Religion-wissenschaft der Gegenwart in Selbstdarstellangen 2 (1926): 77–117; Mass and Lord's Supper, tr. d. h. g. reeve (Leiden 1953–); Kleine Schriften, in Texte und Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der altchristlichen Literatur 3 (1958–62) 67,68,74, esp. in late antiquity, New Testament, liturgy, and symbol. h. lietzmann et al., eds., Handbuch zum Neuen Testament, 22 v. (Tübingen 1917–31). h. lietzmann and h. w. beyer, Die jüdische Katakombe der Villa Torlonia in Rom (Berlin 1930). h. bornkamm, Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft und die Kunde der älteren Kirche 41 (1942): 1–12. k. aland, "Die Schriften H. Lietzmanns," ibid. 12–33. w. eltester, Die Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart 7 v. (3d ed. Tübingen 1957–65) 4:375–376.