Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

Born at Rottweil, in Würtemberg, 13 January, 1787; died 31 July, 1836. His college course, begun in the gymnasium of his native city, was pursued in the Benedictine monastery of St. Peter in the Black Forest and in 1806 Herbst registered at the University of Freiburg. After some time spent in completing his mathematical and philosophical studies, he devoted his talents to mastering Oriental languages and Biblical science under the tutorship of Johann Leonard Hug. From the university Herbst went, in 1811, to the seminary of Meersburg, to prepare himself for Holy orders, and was ordained to the priesthood in March, 1812. Called at once to the seminary of Ellwangen to discharge the office of repetent, he at the same time accepted the chair of Hebrew and Arabic at the newly-erected University of Ellwangen, and, two years later, was promoted to the professorship of Oriental languages and Old Testament exegesis. In 1817 the theological faculty of Ellwangen was transferred to Tübingen, and there, in addition to the courses already entrusted to him, Herbst taught introduction to the Holy Scripture and Biblical archæology; he also occasionally was prevailed upon to lecture on New-Testament exegesis, church history, and pastoral theology. Those were heroic times for the young faculty of theology, which, with such men as Sebastian Drey, J. B. Hirscher, and Möhler on its staff, and pupils of the stamp of J. C. Hefele, was rapidly winning a conspicuous place in the realm of scholarship.

What the intellectual activity of Herbst was amidst his manifold occupations as a professor, may be gathered from his works. His first publication was a volume entitled: "Observationes quædam de Pentateuchi quatuor librorum posteriorum auctore et editore" (Gmünd, 1817). From the foundation, in 1819, of the Tübingen "Theol. Quartalschrift", he was a steady contributor thereto; but his principal work, left unfinished, and perhaps slightly tainted by the then prevalent tendencies to rationalism, is an introduction to the Old Testament, which was completed and edited by his pupil Welte (1841-44). In 1832 Herbst was appointed head librarian of the Royal University; but through overwork his health soon failed, and he died after a short sickness borne with admirable resignation. A remarkable linguist, thoroughly conversant with the vast literature of his favourite studies, endowed with true critical acumen, Herbst possessed, moreover, in a high degree, the gift of imparting his knowledge in a most clear, attractive, and appealing manner.

More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Sirach 35:12-14, 16-18
12 for the Lord is a judge who is utterly impartial.13 He ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 34:2-3, 17-18, 19, 23
2 I will praise Yahweh from my heart; let the humble hear and ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 18:9-14
9 He spoke the following parable to some people who prided themselves on ... Read More

Reading 2, Second Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18
6 As for me, my life is already being poured away as a libation, and the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 23rd, 2016 Image

St. John of Capistrano
October 23: St. John was born at Capistrano, Italy in 1385, ... Read More