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Hermann von Soden

Hermann, Freiherr von Soden

Baron Hermann von Soden (16 August 1852-15 January 1914), German biblical scholar, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on August 16, 1852, and was educated at the University of Tübingen. He was minister of Dresden-Striesen in 1881 and in 1887 became minister of the Jerusalem Church in Berlin. In 1889 he became privatdozent in the university of Berlin, and four years later was appointed extraordinary professor of divinity.

His earlier works include Philip per brief (1890); Untersuchungen über neutest. Schriften in the Protest. Jahrb. theolog. Studien und Schriftkommentar (1895-1897); Und was Luth. evangel. Kirche? (3rd. ed. 1890); Reisebriefe aus Palestina (2nd ed, 1901); Palestina und seine Gesch. (2nd ed. 1904); Die wichtigsten Fragen im Leben Jesu (1904); Urchristliche Literaturgesch (1904). His most important book is Die Schriften des neuen Testaments, in ihrer ältesten erreichbaren Textgestalt hergestellt auf Grund ihrer Textgeschichte (Berlin, Bd. I., 1902-1910); certainly the most important work on the text of the New Testament which had been published since Westcott and Hort's New Testament in the original Greek.

Von Soden introduced, besides a new notation of manuscripts, a new theory of textual history. He believed that in the 4th century there were in existence three recensions of the text, which he distinguished as K, H and I.

His descendant Wolfram von Soden was a noted Assyriologist.


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