Ryken, Philip Graham
Hengstenberg was a theological professor in Berlin for 42 years of the last century. Because he was a brilliant scholar who was strictly Biblical, he was much persecuted by his fellows. For that was an age of gross unbelief in Germany. Hengstenberg stood firm against the apostasy of German Lutherans in the past century. His always frail health prevented him from becoming an active pastor. At the age of 25 he became editor of a theological magazine, and he startled the German people by a vigorous condemnation of men who held up the Bible to contempt, Gesenius the Hebrew lexicologist among those he condemned. His biographer wrote of him, ‘No man of our century spoke so strongly, and for so long a series of years, against the abuses of the day, both in high places and in low.’ When the Germans were leading the scholarly world into a morass of error, Hengstenberg stood foursquare against them, and for the integrity and trustworthiness of God’s Word. He authored many Old Testament commentaries, the best of which is on the Psalms. His thinking is definitely original, and his research on all points is exhaustive.