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Johann Tobias Beck

1804-1878. German theologian. Ordained in 1827, he taught systematic theology at Basle (1836- 43), then in Tübingen where he gradually won considerable influence in an alien Hegelian atmosphere. He was a great Christian personality, developing the biblicism of J.A. Bengel.* Free from a mechanical view of biblical inspiration, he saw the Bible as the history of the work of the Spirit progressing toward the salvation of man, and the revelation of the kingdom of God as a supernatural reality in history, shared wherever men gave themselves to practical discipleship. He incurred the hostility of confessional Lutherans for his view that in justification man was made as well as reckoned righteous. In many ways he stood in the Pietist tradition, though freely critical of some of its organizations.