Pellicanus, Konrad (Kürschner)
PELLICANUS, KONRAD (KÜRSCHNER)
Pioneer Christian Hebraist; b. Ruffach, Alsace, January 1478; d. Zurich, April 6, 1556. He entered the Franciscan monastery in Ruffach (1493) and was later transferred to their monastery in Tübingen for his theological studies (1496). After his ordination (1501) he taught Scripture in the Franciscan monasteries of Basel (1502–07) and Ruffach (1508–11) and was then made local superior in Pforzheim, Ruffach, and Basel. While in Basel (1519–26), he became acquainted with the writings of M. luther. When he was deposed from his office as superior because of his Protestant tendencies, he accepted the professorship of Scripture at the University of Basel (1523). In February 1526, when he accepted U. zwingli's invitation to teach Scripture in Zurich, he definitively left the Catholic Church in favor of the Reformation.
Having taken a special interest, even as a seminarian, in the study of Hebrew, Pellicanus was the first Christian to publish a Hebrew grammar [De modo legendi et intelligendi Hebraeum (Strassburg 1504)]. He was highly regarded as the outstanding Hebraist of his day; thus he had a great influence on contemporary Scripture scholars and was an important collaborator on the German translations of the Bible made at Zurich. Besides other works, he wrote also the Commentaria Bibliorum (7 v. Zurich 1532–37) and in 1544 an autobiography [Chronicon, ed. B. Riggenbach (Basel 1877)] that is important for the study of the history of the Reformation.
Bibliography: o. vasella, Lexicon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner (Freiburg 1957–65) 8:254–255. h. r. guggisberg, Die Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart (Tübingen 1957–65) 5:208.
[l. f. hartman]