FRITZSCHE, KARL FRIEDRICH AUGUST : German exegete, son of Christian Friedrich Fritzsche (q.v.); b. at Steinbach, near Borna (15 m. s.s.e. of Leipsic), Dec. 16, 1801; d. at Giessen Dec. 6, 1846. He was educated from 1814 to 1820 at the Thomas-school in Leipsic and then studied theology at the same place. In 1825 he became professor on the philosophical faculty. In 1826 he went as professor of theology to Rostock, and in 1841 to Giessen. His theological views were rationalistic, and he concentrated his efforts chiefly upon the exegesis of the Bible, especially of the New Testament. Biblical exegesis in the second decade of the nineteenth century was at a low ebb. The prevailing conception of language was purely empirical; general laws were deduced from superficial investigations, and by confounding the meaning and sense of words the most different and contradictory interpretations were often justified; there was no trace of a penetration into the fundamental spirit of language. Exegesis had become the vehicle of dogmatics, and everything displeasing was simply explained away from the Bible. The reform of these conditions in the sphere of philology was started by Rostock philologist Gottfried Hermann, and it transferred to Biblical literature by Winer and Fritzsche. The strictly grammatical method Bible study was first introduced by Winer in his Grammatik des neutestamentlichen Sprachidioms (Leipsic, 1822), and Fritzsche was one of the industrious contributors to the later emendations and editions of this work. He paid special attention to the linguistic element in exegesis; textual criticism was one of his favorite occupations. His most important works are: De nonnullis posterioris Pauli ad Corinthios epistolœ locis dissertationes duœ (1823-24) and his commentaries on Matthew (1826), Mark (1830), and the Epistle to the Romans (3 parts, Halle, 1836-43). Some of his miscellaneous writings have been collected in Fritzschiorum opuscula academica (Leipsic, 1838). Against the purely diplomatic method which Lachmann applied to the New Testament he wrote De conformatione Novi Testamenti critica, quam C. Lachmannus edidit, commentatio I (Giessen, 1841).
(O. F. FRITZSCHE†.)