Claus Westermann

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Claus Westermann
Born(1909-10-07)October 7, 1909
DiedJune 11, 2000(2000-06-11) (aged 90)
EducationUniversity of Tübingen
University of Marburg
University of Berlin
University of Zurich, Zurich
Parent(s)Mother: Katharina
Father: Diedrich Westermann
WritingsSee section on Writings of Westermann
Congregations served
Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, Berlin
Offices held
Professor Emeritus of Old Testament, University of Heidelberg
TitleReverend Doctor

Claus Westermann (7 October 1909 – 11 June 2000) was a German Protestant Old Testament scholar.[1] He taught at the University of Heidelberg from 1958 to 1978.[1]

Born to African missionaries, he finished his studies in 1933 he became a pastor. During his theological studies he started studying the Old Testament, and became particularly interested in the content of the Psalms. During the Nazi regime he served in the German army for five years where he was a translator on the Russian front. After the war Westermann started preaching again and also went to teach Old Testament at Heidelberg, where he would continue to teach for twenty years with colleagues such as Gerhard von Rad, Hans Walter Wolff, and Rolf Rendtorff.[2]

Westermann is considered one of the premier Old Testament scholars of the twentieth century. Particularly notable among his scholarship is his lengthy and comprehensive commentary on the Book of Genesis, especially the volume covering Genesis 1-11.

Select Publications of Westermann[edit]

Some works that have been translated into English
  • Basic Forms of Prophetic Speech (English translation 1967)
  • "Also Thousand Years and a Day-Our Time in the Old Testament" 1957, (English translation 1962)
  • The Psalms: Structure, Content and Message (English translation 1980)
  • Elements of Old Testament Theology (English translation 1982)
  • Genesis 1 - 11
  • Genesis 12 - 36
  • Genesis 37 - 50


  1. ^ a b Luther Seminary [1] Word & World (1/2) 1981
  2. ^ Brueggemann, Walter (1999). "Westermann, Claus". In John H. Hayes. Dictionary of Biblical Interpretation, v. 2. Nashville, Tenn.: Abingdon Press. pp. 633–634. ISBN 9780687055319.
Further reading