Wilhelm Martin Leberecht de Wette (1780-1849; Swiss)
· One of the founders of modern biblical criticism.
· Research on the Pentateuch important
o Divided it into the Tetrateuch and Deuteronomy.
o Genesis-Numbers should be understood as a collection of various fragments without any authentic historical material.
o He saw Deuteronomy as the most recent book of the Pentateuch and as closely linked to Joshua.
· Along with Vater, the first to use the term “Deuteronomic” to characterize the redactional texts of the historical books.
o Argued that the law book mentioned in 2 Kgs 22-23 was Deuteronomy, or at least an early form of Deuteronomy (1805).
o This idea wasn’t new, but what was new was his argument that Deuteronomy was composed put in the Temple as a propaganda document supporting the Josianic reform.
o Therefore, Deuteronomy can’t be dated before Josiah (640-609 BCE).
· To better understand the history of Israel, he compared Chronicles, which he dated c. 330 BCE, to Samuel-Kings, which he dated to c. 550 BCE.
o He accounted the differences to ideology differences on the part of the Chroniclers.
· For de Wette, Joshua was a late book, but permeated with Deuteronomic style and theology.
o He was the first to find this Deuteronomic style and theology in the other historical books.
His most important of his works are (not all pertain to HB):
· Beiträge zur Einleitung in das Alte Testament (2 vols, 1806–1807)
· Kommentar über die Psalmen (1811), which has passed through several editions
· Lehrbuch der hebräisch-jüdischen Archäologie (1814)
· Über Religion und Theologie (1815); a work of great importance as showing its author's general theological position
· Lehrbuch der christlichen Dogmatik (1813-1816)
· Lehrbuch der historisch-kritischen Einleitung in die Bibel (1817)
· Christliche Sittenlehre (1819–1821)
· Einleitung in das Neue Testament (1826)
· Religion, ihr Wesen, ihre Erscheinungsform, und ihr Einfluss auf das Leben (1827)
· Das Wesen des christlichen Glaubens (1846)
· Kurzgefasstes exegetisches Handbuch zum Neuen Testament (1836–1848).
· De Wette also edited Luther's works (5 vols., 1825–1828)