Theodosius Harnack

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Theodosius Harnack

Theodosius Harnack (* December 22, 1816 July / January 3,  1817 reg. In Saint Petersburg ; † September 11, July / September 23,  1889 reg. In Dorpat , Estonia , then the Livonia Governorate of the Russian Empire ) was a German- Baltic Evangelical Lutheran theologian .

Theodosius Harnack studied at the University of Dorpat from 1834 to 1837 and, after being a private tutor, continued his studies in Berlin , Bonn and Erlangen from 1840 to 1842 .

In 1843 he became a private lecturer in church history and homiletics in Dorpat and was a university preacher there from 1847. In 1848 he was appointed full professor of practical and later systematic theology . He was a devout Luther researcher and became known for his work on Luther's theology , in which he called for the Lutheran Free Church to be the realization of the Lutheran understanding of the church.

From 1853 he taught in Erlangen . From 1866 to 1875 he was again a professor in Dorpat.

His first wife was Marie Harnack, née Ewers, who died very early (*  May 22, 1828 , †  November 23, 1857 ). He was the father of Anna Harnack (1849–1868), Adolf von Harnack , Axel Harnack , Erich Harnack and Otto Harnack .

On May 17, 1864, he married Helene Baronesse von Maydell (1834–1923), a cousin of his first wife, in Eisenach. This marriage remained childless.


  • The basic creeds of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. 1845.
  • Christian church service in the apostolic and old catholic age. 1854.
  • The original version of M. Luther's Small Catechism has been critically examined and published. 1856.
  • The Lutheran Church of Livonia and the Moravian Brethren. 1860.
  • The church, its office, its regiment. 1862.
  • Luther's theology with special reference to his doctrine of reconciliation and redemption.  I, 1862; II, 1886.
  • The Free Lutheran People's Church. 1870.
  • Liturgical forms to complete and revise the agendas for the Evangelical Church in Russia. 1872-74.
  • Practical theology. Two volumes, 1877/78.
  • Catechetics and Explanation of the Small Catechism of Luther. Two volumes, 1882.
  • About the canon and inspiration. 1885.


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