1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Lange, Johann Peter

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LANGE, JOHANN PETER (1802-1884), German Protestant theologian, was of peasant origin and was born at Sonneborn near Elberfeld on the 10th of April 1802. He studied theology at Bonn (from 1822) under K. I. Nitzsch and G. C. F. Lücke, held several pastorates, and eventually (1854) settled at Bonn as professor of theology in succession to Isaac A. Dorner, becoming also in 1860 counsellor to the consistory. He died on the 9th of July 1884. Lange has been called the poetical theologian par excellence: “It has been said of him that his thoughts succeed each other in such rapid and agitated waves that all calm reflection and all rational distinction become, in a manner, drowned” (F. Lichtenberger). As a dogmatic writer he belonged to the school of Schleiermacher. His Christliche Dogmatik (3 vols., 1849-1852, new edition, 1870) “contains many fruitful and suggestive thoughts, which, however, are hidden under such a mass of bold figures and strange fancies, and suffer so much from want of clearness of presentation, that they did not produce any lasting effect” (Otto Pfleiderer).

His other works include Das Leben Jesu (3 vols., 1844-1847), Das apostolische Zeitalter (2 vols., 1853-1854), Grundriss der theologischen Enzyklopädie (1877), Grundriss der christlichen Ethik (1878), and Grundriss der Bibelkunde (1881). In 1857 he undertook with other scholars a Theologisch-homiletisches Bibelwerk, to which he contributed commentaries on the first four books of the Pentateuch, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi, Matthew, Mark, Revelation. The Bibelwerk has been translated, enlarged and revised under the general editorship of Dr Philip Schaff.