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German Research Foundation (DFG) Project: Austrian Translator of the Bible


At the beginning of the 14th century a layman in today’s Austria placed large parts of the Bible to which he had added his comments and ironic remarks in the people’s language into the hands of other laymen. In his own apologetic writings (essential introduction to his Old Testament work) he vehemently defended this act against attacks from orthodox opponents. In his extensive tracts he went against heretics and superstition, but also against the Jews. The work of this anonymous Austrian represents a stage, if not the central stage, of the German Bible before Luther.

The editorial conjecture and commenting of the writings of this anonymous writer represents a research desideratum which has long been demanded by Germanistic researchers; for this reason, the Augsburg DFG-project aims to close this research gap. It centres on a commented edition of the writings of the Austrian translator of the Bible. This is a step-by-step process. The first step is a critical edition of the Old Testament part and the anti-heretic and chiliastic tracts closely linked therewith. For this partial project the DFG has granted extensive funds to be used for library research, films on old handwritings, etc as well as for a scientific and a student assistant.

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