1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Vatke, Johann Karl Wilhelm

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VATKE, JOHANN KARL WILHELM (1806-1882), German Protestant theologian, was born at Behndorf, near Magdeburg, on the 14th of March 1806. After acting as Privatdozent in Berlin, he was appointed in 1837 professor extraordinarius. Vatke was one of the founders of the newer Hexateuch criticism. In the same year in which David Strauss published his Life of Jesus, Vatke issued his book, Die Religion des Alten Testaments nach den kanonischen Büchern entwickelt, which contained the seeds of a revolution in the ideas held about the Old Testament. Since, however, his book was too philosophical to be popular, the author's theories were practically unnoticed for a generation, and the new ideas are now associated especially with the names of A. Kuenen and J. Wellhausen (qq.v.). He died on the 18th of April 1882.

His other works include: Die menschliche Freiheit in ihrem Verhältniss zur Sünde und zur göttlichen Gnade (1841), Historisch-kritische Einleitung in das Alte Testament (1886), and Religionsphilosophie (1888). See O. Pfleiderer, Development of Theology (1890), and T. K. Cheyne, Founders of Old Testament Criticism (1893).