Reuss, Eduard°

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REUSS, EDUARD ° (1804–1891), Protestant Bible scholar. Reuss was professor in the University of Strasbourg, his native city, from 1834. According to his own account, as early as the summer semester of 1834 Reuss defended in his lectures the thesis that the Books of the Prophets antedate those of the Law, and the Psalms postdate both. In his search for a "…psychologically understandable process of development of the Israelite people…" he used the legal element in the Bible as an "Ariadne's thread," and discovered that the early history of Israel did not presuppose the levitical cult, and that in the case of many psalms there is no question of Davidic or Solomonic authorship. Initially, Reuss did not dare to publish in a systematic form these, at first rather intuitive, ideas, which were similar to those of W.W. de Wette (Beitraege zur Einleitung in das Alte Testament, 1806/07) and W. Vatke (Die biblische Theologie, 1, 1935); rather he hinted at them in various articles that he wrote for lexicons and in book reviews. Only after his disciple and friend K.H. Graf defended them in his Die geschichtlichen Buecher des Alten Testaments (1866) did he himself make them known, first in his large biblical work La Bible, traduction nouvelle avec introductions et commentaires (16 vols., 1874–81), and then in the Geschichte der heiligen Schriften des Alten Testaments (1881, 18902), in which he deals with biblical literature in the framework of the history of ancient Israel. Following F.C. Baur, but at the same time correcting him, Reuss also placed the early Christian sources in their historical context (Die Geschichte der heiligen Schriften des Neuen Testaments, 1842, 18876; Historie de la théologie chrétienne au siècle apostolique, 1852).


E. Kutsch, in: rgg3, 5 (1961), 1076.

[Rudolf Smend]