Alfred Rahlfs

Alfred Rahlfs (29 May 1865 - 8 April 1935) was born in Linden, Hannover, Germany. He studied Protestant Theology, Philosophy, and Oriental Languages in Halle and Göttingen, from where he received a Dr. phil. in 1881. His professional career developed in Göttingen, where he was Stiftsinspektor (from 1888), Privatdozent (from 1891), Extraordinarius (from 1914), and Professor for Old Testament (from 1919). He retired in 1933 and died in Göttingen.

Influenced by his teacher Paul de Lagarde, Rahlfs's academic interest focused on the so-called Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible. Together with Rudolf Smend and others, Rahlfs was responsible for the creation of the Septuaginta-Unternehmen of the Göttinger und Berliner Akademien der Wissenschaften in 1907, which he directed from 1908 until 1933. It was Rahlfs's personal goal, as well as that of the Unternehmen, to reconstruct the original wording of the Septuagint. The difficult economic situation during the years of high inflation in Germany were no doubt partially responsible that Rahlfs only edited - apart from his preliminary hand edition of the Septuagint, which appeared in the year he died - one critical volume (Psalmi cum Odis) and two slim volumes on the Book of Ruth and Genesis.

Select bibliography

  • Alfred Rahlfs, Septuaginta-Studien, 3 vols., Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1904-11.
  • Alfred Rahlfs (ed.), Das Buch Rut griechisch als Probe einer kritischen Handausgabe der LXX, Stuttgart: Privileg. Württ. Bibelanstalt, 1922.
  • Alfred Rahlfs (ed.), Genesis, Septuaginta: Vetus Testamentum graecum I, Stuttgart: Privilegierte Württembergische Bibelanstalt, 1926.
  • Alfred Rahlfs (ed.), Psalmi cum Odis, Septuaginta: Vetus Testamentum graecum X.1, Göttingen : Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1931.
  • Alfred Rahlfs (ed.), Septuaginta: id est Vetus Testamentum graece iuxta LXX interpretes, 2 vols., Stuttgart: Privileg. Württenbergische Bibelanstalt, 1935.

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