BAUER, GEORGE LORENZ:
Christian author of a theology of the Old Testament; born at Hippolstein, Bavaria, Aug. 14, 1755; died Jan. 13, 1806. In 1789 he was appointed professor of philosophy and Oriental languages at the University of Altdorf, and in 1805 professor at the University of Heidelberg, where he died. He was one of the most scholarly and active advocates of the rationalism of the "Period of Enlightenment." He published twenty-three volumes on Old Testament subjects alone. These, though meritorious for their time, were essentially compilatory and lacking in original ideas, and consequently did not exert a lasting influence.
Bauer's name deserves to be rescued from oblivion because he was the first scholar to produce a theology of the Old Testament. His work, "Theologie des Alten Testaments," appeared anonymously in 1796, and was based on the program of his Altdorf colleague, Johann Philipp Gabler, "De Justo Discrimine Theologiæ Biblicæ et Dogmaticæ Regundisque Recte Utriusque Finibus" (1787). It was followed by "Beilagen zur Theologie des Alten Testaments (1801); "Hebräische Mythologie" (1802); "Biblische Moral des Alten Testaments"; and "Breviarium Theologiæ Biblices," the last-named work being a summary of the conclusions contained in his other works.
- Herzog-Hauck, Real-Encyklopädie;
- Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie, ii. 143-145.