Rad, Gerhard von°

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RAD, GERHARD VON ° (1901–1971), German Bible scholar. Born in Nuremberg, Von Rad was a disciple of A. Alt. He was professor in Jena (1934), Goettingen (1945), and Heidelberg (from 1949).

His earliest research was concerned with the theological aspects of certain books of the Bible (Das Gottesvolk im Deuteronomium, 1929; Das Geschichtsbild des chronistischen Werkes, 1930; Die Priesterschrift im Hexateuch, 1934). Later he applied the form-critical method to the entire Hexateuch, whose nucleus he saw in confessional summaries of the Exodus and the entrance into Canaan, like Deuteronomy 26:5–9 ("short historical credo"), which had their "Sitz im Leben" in the cult (Das formgeschichtliche Problem des Hexateuchs, 1938). His Theologie des Alten Testaments (2 vols., 1957–60) tries to let the biblical texts speak for themselves ("Nacherzaehlung"), and traces a history of the tradition, in continuity and discontinuity, through to the New Testament. Von Rad was particularly concerned with Wisdom Literature, in which he found a possible relevance to contemporary thought (Weisheit in Israel, 1970).


Probleme biblischer Theologie (1971), jubilee volume in honor of G. Von Rad's 70th birthday.

[Rudolf Smend]