Johann August Ernesti

Johann August Ernesti (August 4, 1707 – September 11, 1781), was a German theologian and philologist.

He was born at Tennstadt in Thuringia, where his father was pastor, besides being superintendent of the electoral dioceses of Thuringia, Salz and Sangerhausen. At the age of sixteen he was sent to the celebrated Saxon cloister school of Pforta ("Schulpforta"). At twenty he entered the University of Wittenberg, and studied afterwards at the University of Leipzig. In 1730 he was made master in the faculty of philosophy. In the following year he accepted the office of conrector in the Thomas school of Leipzig, of which JM Gesner was then rector, an office to which Ernesti succeeded in 1734. He was, in 1742, named professor extraordinarius of ancient literature in the university of Leipzig, and in 1756 professor ordinarius of rhetoric. In the same year he received the degree of doctor of theology, and in 1759 was appointed professor ordinarius in the faculty of theology. Through his learning and his manner of discussion, he co-operated with S. J. Baumgarten of Halle (1706-1757) in disengaging the current dogmatic theology from its many scholastic and mystical excrescences, and thus paved a way for a revolution in theology. He died, after a short illness, in his seventy-sixth year.

Apart from the quality of his own writing, Ernesti is notable for his influence on sacred and profane criticism in Germany. With JS Semler he co-operated in the revolution of Lutheran theology, and in conjunction with Gesner he instituted a new school in ancient literature. He detected grammatical niceties in Latin, in regard to the consecution of tenses which had escaped preceding critics.

As an editor of the Greek classics, Ernesti does not compare with his Dutch contemporaries, Tiberius Hemsterhuis, L. C. Valckenaer, David Ruhnken or his colleague JJ Reiske. The higher criticism was not even attempted by Ernesti. But to him and to Gesner is due the credit of having formed, by discipline and by example, philologists greater than themselves, and of having kindled the national enthusiasm for ancient learning.

It is chiefly in hermeneutics that Ernesti has any claim to eminence as a theologian. But here his merits are distinguished, and, at the period when his "Institutio Interpretis Nove Testamenti" (Principles of New Testament Interpretation) was published (1761), almost peculiar to himself. In it we find the principles of a general interpretation, formed without the assistance of any particular philosophy, but consisting of observations and rules which, though already enunciated, and applied in the criticism of the profane writers, had never rigorously been employed in biblical exegesis. He was, in fact, the founder of the grammatico-historical school. He admits in the sacred writings as in the classics only one acceptation, and that the grammatical, convertible into and the same with the logical and historical. Consequently he censures the opinion of those who in the illustration of the Scriptures refer everything to the illumination of the Holy Spirit, as well as that of others who, disregarding all knowledge of the languages, would explain words by things. The "analogy of faith," as a rule of interpretation, he greatly limits, and teaches that it can never afford of itself the explanation,of words, but only determine the choice among their possible meanings. At the same time he seems unconscious of any inconsistency between the doctrine of the inspiration of the Bible as usually received and his principles of hermeneutics.

Works on classical literature:
*"Initia doctrinae Solidioris" (1736), many subsequent editions
*"Initia rhetorica" (1730)
*editions, mostly annotated, of Xenophon's "Memorabilia" (1737)
*Cicero (1737-1739)
*Suetonius (1748)
*Tacitus (1752)
*the "Clouds" of Aristophanes (1754)
*Homer (1759-1764)
*Callimachus (1761)
*Polybius (1764)
*the "Quaestura" of Corradus
*the Greek lexicon of Benjamin Hedericus
*the "Bibliotheca Latina" of Fabricius (unfinished)
*"Archaeologia lideraria" (1768)
*Horatius "Tursellinus De particulis" (1769)

Works on sacred literature:
*"Antimuratorius sive confutatio disputationis Muratorianae de rebus liturgicis" (1755-1758)
*"Neue theologische Bibliothek", vols. i. to x. (1760-1769)
*"Institutio interpretis Nov. Test." (3rd ed., 1775)
*"Neueste theologische Bibliothek", vols. i. to x. (1771-1775).

Besides these, he published more than a hundred smaller works, many of which have been collected in the three following publications: "Opuscula oratoria" (1762); "Opuscula philologica et critica" (1764); "Opuscula theologica" (1773).

References

*1911


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Johann August Ernesti — (* 4. August 1707 in Tennstedt; † 11. September 1781 in Leipzig) war ein deutscher evangelischer Theologe, Philologe, Pädagoge und Rektor der Thomasschule zu Leipzig …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Johann August Ernesti — Johann August Ernesti. Johann Agosto Ernesti (4 de agosto de 1707 11 de septiembre de 1781), fue un teólogo racionalista y un filólogo clásico alemán. Nació en Bad Tennstedt en Turingia, donde su padre era pastor, además de ser superintendente de …   Wikipedia Español

  • Johann Heinrich Ernesti — (* 12. März 1652 in Königsfeld bei Rochlitz; † 16. Oktober 1729 in Leipzig) war ein sächsischer Philosoph, Theologe, Altphilologe (Latein) und …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Johann Christoph Ernesti — (* 11. Januar 1662 in Keula/Schwarzburg; † 11. August 1722 in Bad Tennstedt) war ein deutscher evangelischer Theologe. Leben Seit dem 11. Januar 1682 studierte Ernesti an der Universität Wittenberg, erlangte 27. April 1686 den akademischen Grad… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Johann Christian Ernesti — (* 13. Februar 1695 in Großbüchter; † 12. Oktober 1769 in Langensalza) war ein deutscher evangelischer Theologe. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Genealogie 3 Werkauswahl …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Johann August Nösselt — (* 2. Mai 1734 in Halle (Saale); † 11. März 1807 ebenda) war ein deutscher evangelischer Theologe. Inhaltsverzeichnis …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Johann August Dathe — (* 4. Juli 1731 in Weißenfels; † 17. März 1791 in Leipzig) war ein deutscher Sprachwissenschaftler. Leben Als Sohn eines Amtmanns und herzoglichen Rats besuchte er das Gymnasium in Naumburg und immatrikulierte sich 1751 an der Universität… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Johann August Landvoigt — (* 10. November 1715 in Leipzig; † 16. Februar 1766 in Marienberg) war ein deutscher Jurist und Librettist. Leben Landvoigt besuchte von 1731 bis 1737 die Thomasschule zu Leipzig. Er schrieb den Text zur Kantate Thomana saß annoch betrübt von… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • ERNESTI, JOHANN AUGUST —    a celebrated German classicist and theologian, called the German Cicero, born at Tennstädt, Thüringia; professor of Philology in Leipzig, and afterwards of Theology; edited various classical works, his edition of Cicero specially noted; was… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Johann Matthias Gesner — Johann Matthias Gesner. Titelkupfer des Novus Linguæ Et Eruditionis Romanae Thesaurus (1747) Johann Matthias Gesner (* 9. April 1691 in Roth an der Rednitz; † 3. August 1761 in Göttingen) war ein Pädagoge, klassischer Philologe und Bibliothekar.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.