Bengel's work on the New Testament is a valuable resource for modern students of the Scriptures. In 1734, he published a carefully prepared Greek text of the New Testament with an 'Apparatus criticus', which formed the point of departure for modern New Testament textual criticism. His famous canon was: "The more difficult reading is to be preferred." This critical work was followed by an exegetical one, 'Gnomon Novi Testamenti' (Tubingen, 1742). As a brief and suggestive commentary on the New Testament, the 'Gnomon' is still of considerable use today. Bengel's chief principle of interpretation, briefly stated, is to read nothing into the Scriptures, but to draw everything from them, and suffer nothing to remain hidden that is really in them. His 'Gnomon' exerted considerable influence on exegesis in Germany, and John Wesley translated most of its notes and incorporated them into his 'Annotatory Notes upon the New Testament' (London, 1755).
A. Hauck, Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge
John A. Bengel
Johann Albrecht Bengel (1687-1752), German Lutheran theologian and biblical scholar, began his studies at Tubingen. He was appointed professor in charge of a theological training school at Denkendorf in 1713 and remained there for 28 years. During this time he produced his most important works - a Greek text of the New Testament with an 'Apparatus criticus' (1734) and his 'Gnomon Novi Testamenti' (1742). Other works by Bengel include 'Erkrte Offenbarung Johannis' (1740; Eng. transl. by John Robertson, London, 1757), 'Ordo temporum' (1741), and 'Cyclus sive de anno magno consideratio' (1745).