1692 · Tubingen / Leipzig
I. De arcano Kethib et Keri "On the Mystery of the 'Ketiv' and 'Kere'" (Tübingen, 1692). Octavo: [rev. parens]8 (-[rev. parens]8), A-Ii8 (= 263 leaves; 2C4 signed 2C7). , 440, pp. Biblical quotations in Hebrew throughout. First edition of this detailed treatment of the ancient Jewish textual tradition which indicates that certain biblical Hebrew words are to be read differently than they are written. The Lutheran theologian and philologist Matthaeus Hiller (1646-1725) was professor of logic, metaphysics, and Oriental languages at the University of Tübingen. "He acquired great reputation by his works on philology and hermeneutics" according to McClintock & Strong. Hoefer (NBG 24, 689) seconds that assessment: "Ses travaux sur la philologie et l'herméneutique sacrée le firent connaitre aussi bien à l'étranger que dans sa patrie." Walch (4:271 - de scriptis theol. exeg.) makes the pithy observation that many have praised the work, but fewer have penetrated its depths. Among Hiller's other contributions to biblical scholarship is the Hierophyticon, a commentary on passages in the Scriptures in which flora are mentioned, published at Utrecht in 1725. Steinschneider, Bibl. HB, 888. VD17 12:127460G.
Walch 4:271 (De scriptis theol. exeg.) Ad illas explanandas [de keri et ketibh; siue diuersis lectionibus, quarum alia in textu; alia in margine habetur] singularem industriam adhibuit Matthaeus Hillerus atque edidet: arcanum kethib et keri, Tubingae MDCXCII. 8. librum, qui ab aliis multum laudatus est; aliis autem minus se probauit. Quum enim statuit, varietatem illam lectionum ex duobus; vel pluribus exemplis codicis, ipsius Esdrae, viri instinctu adflatuque diuino instructi, manu descriptis, natam esse, sententiam hanc non tam iudicium; quam ingenium monstratre, non pauci existimarunt. Praeter Sixtini Amana commentartionem de keri et chetib...
II. Critica Sacra (Leipzig, 1688). Two parts, octavo: [pi]1 [rev. parens]7, A-2C8, 2D7, a-c8 (= 247 leaves; 2D2-7 signed 2E2-7). , 416, [13 index], [1 blank]; -47, [1, blank]pp. Engraved frontispiece; title in red and black. Woodcut lettrines and ornaments. Some Hebrew and Greek passages. Manuductio ad accentionem V.T. with separate half-title. N.B.: This copy lacks the copperplate illustrations; it is an uncommon edition located by VD17 only in the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, München.
The celebrated philologist and biblical scholar August Pfeiffer (1640-1698) was professor of divinity in the University of Leipzig, and afterwards Superintendent of Lubeck. Pfeiffer's staggerinly comprehensive primer, the Critica sacra, is a notable early version of undergraduate introductions to the history, context, and textual criticism of the Old Testament (in the interest of sound exegesis, of course) exemplified in our day by such works as Eissfeldt's The Old Testament. "The philological Works of Professor Pfeiffer contain four hundred remarks on difficult passages, or what he calls Dubia vexata Scripturae... There are ten larger dissertations on difficult subjects; a treatise on hermeneutics, and one on sacred criticism, both of which are useful; a treatise on Hebrew accentuation, and one on Jewish and Mohammedan theology, and another of select Hebrew antiquities..." (Orme). Four tracts (digressio) are distributed throughout the main text: beginning on p.139 "De ritibus et moribus vet. ebraeorum" includes a long bibliographical compendium "ΣΚΙΑΓΡΑΦΙΑ Systematis Antiquitatum Ebraicarum" (pp.141-165), divided into 8 sections (liber); the "Manuductio ad accentuationem V.T. prosaicam et metricam" contains a 2-page bibliography of works treating the biblical Hebrew accentuation system.
Orme, Bibl. Biblica, 348. Steinschneider, Bibl. HB, 1550 Manuductio nova et facil. ad accentuationem V.T. pros. et metr. - 1st. Wittemberg, 1666 in 4to.; and 1551 Diss. philol. de Masora - 1st. Wittenmber, 1670. Both are noted as reprints in the Critica sacra. VD17 12:121393T
Provenance: "Jacobi Zelleri Phil: Stu[d?]" entered in manuscript at the front endleaf; library plate of Berkeley Divinity School at the front paste-down. (Inventory #: 49235)