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Mowinckel, Sigmund Olaf Plytt°


MOWINCKEL, SIGMUND OLAF PLYTT ° (1884–1965), Norwegian biblical scholar. Mowinckel was educated at the University of Oslo (then Kristiania) and taught there from 1917 until his retirement in 1954. He also studied Assyriology in Germany. His doctoral thesis (1916) was a study of the Book of Nehemiah, and one of his last books was also devoted to Nehemiah (Studien zu dem Buche Ezra-Nehemia, 3 vols., 1964–65). Mowinckel was very much influenced by the form-critical and tradition–history approach of Hermann *Gunkel and Hugo Gressmann. His first book on the Psalms, The Royal Psalms in the Bible, was also issued in 1916, and his chief work, Psalmenstudien (vols. 1–6) was published between 1921 and 1924. In this work, he placed the psalms in their cultic context and interpreted them in the light of this background. These Psalmenstudien were republished in 1961, and in 1963 an English translation of his last work on the Psalms was issued (The Psalms in Israel's Worship, 2 vols, 1962; Norwegian version, Offersang og Sangoffer, 1951). In 1964 two works on the Pentateuch were published, Erwägungen zur Pentateuch-quellenfrage ("Considerations of the Question of the Sources of the Pentateuch") and Tetrateuch, Pentateuch, Hexateuch; Palestina for Israel ("Palestine before Israel," 1965) and Israelsopphvog eldste historie ("Israel's Origin and Oldest History," 1967) were published posthumously. Mowinckel's main ideas have been widely accepted by biblical scholars, and his influence in Europe, especially Scandinavia, has been considerable. H.L. *Ginsberg taught himself Norwegian so that he could speak it to Mowinckel.

add. bibliography:

D. Rian, in: dbi, 2:166–68.

[Arvid S. Kapelrud /

S. David Sperling (2nd ed.)]

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