Wiener, Harold Marcus

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WIENER, HAROLD MARCUS (1875–1929), English Bible scholar. Wiener was born in London. Although a lawyer by profession, he devoted most of his life to biblical research. He settled in Palestine in 1924, believing that a religious renaissance was imminent. His main objective was to minimize the conflict between the various religions in the land, and he devoted the last five years of his life to a rapprochement between Arabs and Jews. He supported an Arab school and provided funds for scholarships for young Arabs. His house was called the House of Humanity. Despite these activities, Wiener was killed by an Arab gang on Aug. 13, 1929. He said to his attackers, who did not recognize him, ana yahud ("I am a Jew"), and these words sealed his fate.

In his studies Wiener insisted that the Pentateuch was written by Moses, but developed a critical method of biblical interpretation, by which, using the ancient versions, he attempted to establish a correct text. Wiener was prominent among those who opposed the J. *Wellhausen school of Bible research by scholarly methods. Among his major works are Essays in Pentateuchal Criticism (1909); The Origin of the Pentateuch (1910); Prophets of Israel in History and Modern Criticism (1923); Early Hebrew History and Other Studies (1924); and Posthumous Essays (1932). In addition, the following essays were reprinted separately: Notes on Hebrew Religion (1907); The Date of the Exodus (1916); The Religion of Moses (1919); The Main Problem of Deuteronomy (1920); and Altars of the Old Testament (1927).


jl, s.v. (incl. bibl.); Waxman, Literature, 4 (19602), 650–3.

[Yehuda Komlosh]