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AUGUSTI, JOHANN CHRISTIAN WILHELM (1772-1841),
German theologian, born at Eschenberga, near Gotha, was of
Jewish descent, his grandfather having been a converted rabbi.
He was educated at the gymnasium at Gotha and the university
of Jena. At Jena he studied oriental languages, of which he
became professor there in 1803. Subsequently he became
ordinary professor of theology (1812), and for a time rector, at
Breslau. In 1819 he was transferred to the university of Bonn,
where he was made professor primarius. In 1828 he was appointed
chief member of the consistorial council at Coblenz.
Here he was afterwards made director of the consistory. He
died at Coblenz in 1841. Augusti had little sympathy with the
modern philosophical interpretations of dogma, and although
he took up a position of free criticism with regard to the Biblical
narratives, he held fast to the traditional faith. His works on
theology (Dogmengeschichte, 1805; 4th ed., 1835) are simple
statements of fact; they do not attempt a speculative treatment
of their subjects. In 1809 he published in conjunction with
W.M.L. de Wette a new translation of the Old Testament. Mention
should also be made of his Grundriss einer historischkritischen
Einleitung ins Alte Testament (1806), his Exegetisches
Handbuch des Alten Testaments (1797-1800), and his edition of
Die Apokryphen des A. T. (1804). In addition to these, his
most important writings are the Denkwürdigkeiten aus der
Christlichen Archäologie, 12 vols. (1817-1831), a partially digested
mass of materials, and the Handbuch der Christ. Archäologie,
3 vols. (1836-1837), which gives the substance of the larger
work in a more compact and systematic form.
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