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Carl Friedrich Keil

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Carl Friedrich Keil
Born(1807-02-26)26 February 1807
Died5 May 1888(1888-05-05) (aged 81)
Rödlitz near Lichtenstein, Kingdom of Saxony
Other namesJohann Friedrich Karl Keil
OccupationLutheran theologian
Known forOld Testament commentary

Johann Friedrich Karl Keil or Carl Friedrich Keil (26 February 1807 – 5 May 1888) was a conservative German Lutheran Old Testament commentator. Keil was appointed to the theological faculty of Dorpat in Estonia where he taught Bible, New Testament exegesis, and Oriental languages. In 1859 he was called to serve the Lutheran church in Leipzig. In 1887 he moved to Rödletz, where he died. Keil was a conservative critic who reacted strongly against the scientific biblical criticism of his day. He strongly supported Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch. He maintained the validity of the historico-critical investigation of the Bible only if it proved the existence of New Testament revelation in the Scriptures. To this aim he edited (with Franz Delitzsch) his principal work, a commentary on the Bible, Biblischer Kommentar über das Alte Testament (5 vols., 1866–82; Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament, 5 vols., 1872–77). The work remains his most enduring contribution to biblical studies. He also published commentaries on Maccabees and New Testament literature.[1]



Keil was born at Lauterbach near Oelsnitz, Kingdom of Saxony, and died at Rätz, Saxony.

He is best known for his contributions to the Keil and Delitzsch commentaries, a ten-volume set written with Franz Delitzsch.[2]

Keil was a student of Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg.


  • Keil, Carl Friedrich (1869). Douglas, George C. M. (ed.). Manual of historico-critical introduction to the canonical scriptures of the Old Testament. Vol. 1 (2 ed.). Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark.
  • Keil, Carl Friedrich (1882). Douglas, George C. M. (ed.). Manual of historico-critical introduction to the canonical scriptures of the Old Testament. Vol. 2 (2 ed.). Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark.
  • Keil, Carl Friedrich (1827–1889). Frederick, Crombie (ed.). Manual of Biblical Archaeology introduction to biblical archaeology. Vol. 2 (2 ed.). Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark.

Old Testament Commentary

Keil–Delitzsch: Commentary on the Old Testament I–X. Grand Rapids 1975.

From the commentary compilations by Keil and Delitzsch:[2]

  • Volume 1: Pentateuch
  • Volume 2: Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 & 2 Samuel
  • Volume 3: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles
  • Volume 4: Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job
  • Volume 5: Psalms
  • Volume 6: Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs
  • Volume 7: Isaiah
  • Volume 8: Jeremiah, Lamentations
  • Volume 9: Ezekiel, Daniel
  • Volume 10: Minor Prophets


  1. ^ Encyclopaedia Judaica.
  2. ^ a b Carl Friedrich Keil; Franz Delitzsch (1975). Commentary on the Old Testament. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans. ISBN 978-0-8028-8035-2. OCLC 2363963.

Further reading

  • Schaller, Manfred, "Topics – theology, philosophy, religion – church history" (German)
  • Schaller, Manfred (11 November 2004). ""Streithengst" für Gottes Wort" ["Armed Stallion" for God's Word]. Factum Magazine. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
  • Keil, Carl Friedrich; Delitzsch, Franz. Commentary on the Old Testament. Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson. ISBN 0-913573-88-4. Also available online at http://biblehub.com/commentaries/kad/.