ERBKAM, erb´kâm, WILHELM HEINRICH: Councilor of the consistory and professor of theology at Konigsberg, Prussia; b. at Glogau (35 m. n.n.w. of Liegnitz), Silesia, July 8, 1810; d. at Konigsberg Jan. 9, 1884. He studied at Bonn, where he was chiefly influenced by Nitzsch and Bleek, and at Berlin where he was still more strongly and decisively influenced by Schleiermacher, with whom he was fortunate enough to come into close personal contact. Under Neander's guidance he devoted himself to the study of church history, and Marheineke introduced him to a closer study of systematic theology. In 1834 he went to the theological seminary at Wittenberg, here he made further progress in practical theology under the guidance of Rothe, at that time director of the seminary. Rothe guided his theological activity by directing his attention especially to Protestant mysticism and the sects proceeding from it. In 1838 Erbkam established himself as privat-docent in theology at Berlin, where he finally became professor and remained ten years, lecturing at first chiefly on the history of dogma and later on church history and systematic disciplines. During these years he was active also in the practical life of the Church, especially in preaching. He defended the full and whole truth of the revelation of the Gospel against the rationalistic unbelief and the half-believing theology of the Friends of Light (see FREE CONGREGATIONS IN GERMANY, § 1), who about 1840 protested against faithfuless to the Bible and the confession in the church as orthodox darkness, and attacked especially the Evangelische Kirchenzeitung and its editor, E. W. Hengstenberg. In 1847 Erbkam followed a call to Konigsberg, where he taught church history and history of dogma, and subsequently exegesis, dogmatics, ethics, and symbolics. In 1857 be became councilor of the consistory of Konigsberg and was also chosen representative of the theological faculty at the general synods of 1875 and 1879. His principal work is Die Geschichten der protestantischen Sekten im Zeitalter der Reformation (Hamburg, 1848).