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The Austrian Bible Translator


The Word of God in German

Among the pre-Reformation Bible translations of the 14th century the works of the so-called “Austrian Bible Translator” (Österreichischer Bibelübersetzer) occupies a special position.
With the Old Testament Works (Alttestamentliches Werk, formerly known as Schlierbacher Altes Testament), the Gospel Works (Evangelienwerk, formerly known as Klosterneuburger Evangelienwerk) and the Psalm Commentaries (Psalmenkommentar), the Austrian Bible Translator’s œuvre provides translations and commentaries for a large part of the Bible – 200 years before Luther. There are also a number of additional eschatological and heresiological treatises, that can be attributed to him.

Interacademic Long-Term Project

The interacademic long-term project „Österreichischer Bibelübersetzter – Gottes Wort deutsch” (The Austrian Bible Translator – The Word of God in German) pursues the critical edition and commentary of the Austrian Anonymous’ writings. Responsibility for the research task force under the direction of Prof. Dr. Freimut Löser at Augsburg University (Universität Augsburg), lies with the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities (Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften, BAdW). The Augsburg office cooperates closely with another research group at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften, BBAW) in Berlin, led by Prof. Dr. Jens Haustein, University of Jena (Universität Jena) and Prof. Dr. Martin Schubert, University of Duisburg-Essen (Universität Duisburg-Essen). 

The project duration will be twelve years, divided into four individual phases of three years respectively. It is based on material and procedures developed in earlier BAdW and BBAW projects as well as their predecessors. In order to achieve maximum synergy benefits, the project connects with other Academy projects. It interconnects with libraries in Berlin, Munich and Augsburg, with related projects in academy research as well as with national and international research activities.

The Word of God in German: Printed Edition and Digital Platform

Besides the printed edition of the works there are also plans for a digital version. As a first step, since it was already sponsored by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgesellschaft DFG), the edition of the Austrian Bible Translator’s Old Testament Works will, as it looks like,already be published in 2017. At the same time, the teams in Augsburg and Berlin engage in researching, analysing and interpreting sources and history of the Gospel Works (Klosterneuburger Evangelienwerk), followed by making the Psalm Commentaries accessible as a next step.

The digital edition will comprise the digitised manuscripts and transcripts as well as a comparison of versions and the text of the reference manuscript (Leithandschrift). This way the content will be made available to researchers of other academic disciplines as well as to the interested public.


The project is funded by the Federal Republic of Germany and the Free State of Bavaria as part of the Academies' Programme.