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Hermann Olshausen

Hermann Olshausen

German theologian
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro German theologian
A.K.A. Ольсхаузен, Герман
Countries Germany
Occupations Theologian University teacher
Gender male
Birth 21 August 1796 (Bad Oldesloe)
Death 4 September 1839 (Erlangen)
Star sign Leo
Father: Detlev Johann Wilhelm Olshausen
Siblings: Wilhelm OlshausenTheodor OlshausenJustus Olshausen
Education University of Kiel, University of Berlin
The details

Hermann Olshausen (21 August 1796 – 4 September 1839) was a German theologian.


Olshausen was born at Oldeslohe in Holstein. He was educated at the universities of Kiel (1814) and Berlin (1816), where he was influenced by Schleiermacher and Neander. In 1817 he was awarded the prize at the Festival of the Reformation for an essay, Melanchthons Charakteristik aus seinen Briefen dargestellt (1818). This essay brought him to the notice of the Prussian Minister of Public Worship, and in 1820 he became Privatdozent at Berlin. In 1821, he became professor extraordinarius at the University of Königsberg, and in 1827 professor. In 1834, he became professor at the University of Erlangen.

Olshausen's expertise lay in New Testament exegesis; his Kommentar über sämmtliche Schriften des Neuen Testaments (Commentary on the complete text of the New Testament; completed and revised by Ebrard and Wiesinger) began to appear at Königsberg in 1830, and was translated into English in 4 volumes (Edinburgh, 1847–1849). He had prepared for it by his other works, Die Echtheit der vier kanonischen Evangelien, aus der Geschichte der zwei ersten Jahrhunderte erwiesen (The veracity of the four canonical Gospels demonstrated from the history of the first two centuries, 1823), Ein Wort über tieferen Schriftsinn (1824) and Die biblische Schriftauslegung (1825). In the latter two works, he presents his method of exegesis, and rejects the doctrine of verbal inspiration.


He was a brother of politician Theodor Olshausen and orientalist Justus Olshausen.

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