||This edition of the Psalms, which carefully adheres to the Masoretic text, was prepared by Seligman Isaac Baer, with a Latin introduction by Franz Delitzsch.
Seligman Isaac Baer (1825–1897), Hebrew grammarian, masorah scholar, and liturgist. Born at Mosbach, Baer was a pupil of Wolf Heidenheim, who left him many of his manuscripts. At the age of 19 he turned to masoretic studies. Franz Delitzsch was impressed by Baer's scholarly approach and together they published the Psalms with masorah (1860) followed by most of the other books of the Bible with masorah texts. Delitzsch prefaced each book with a Latin introduction (except the last two which appeared after his death, i.e., Jeremiah in 1890 and Kings in 1895). These masoretic editions were compiled by Baer from manuscripts representing the variants of the masorah of Ben Asher, Ben Naphtali, and other masorah texts.
All his life, Baer remained in the humble position of a teacher in the Jewish community school at Biebrich (Rhineland), but on the initiative of Delitzsch he was awarded an honorary Ph.D. by the University of Leipzig (1876). Baer's masoretic Bible edition was generally regarded as a genuine rendition of the traditional masorah text although it also evoked some criticism, notably by C. D. Ginsburg and E. Kautzsch. Baer's masorah text was printed in the widely accepted Vilna edition of the rabbinic Bible (Mikra'ot Gedolot). He also wrote a book on the cantillation in the poetical books of the Bible (Torat Emet, 1852) and on the secondary accent, the meteg (Die Methegsetzung, 1867); and published Ben Asher's Dikdukei Te'amim (together with H.L. Strack, 1879) and Zwei alte Thorarollen aus Arabien (1870).
Franz Delitzsch (Julius; 1813–1890), German Protestant theologian, Bible and Judaica scholar. Inspired by Julius Fuerst to devote himself to the study of Judaism, he was professor of theology at the university of his native Leipzig in 1844. Later he taught at Rostock (1846), Erlangen (1850), and again in Leipzig (1867). Though Delitzsch was a devoted Protestant, believing in the supremacy of the New Testament over the Old, he maintained a genuine understanding of, and affection for, Judaism. Well versed in Hebrew and in Semitic languages, as well as in the Talmud and in medieval Jewish literature, Delitzsch was in close touch with the leading Jewish scholars of his time. As a devout Christian, he proselytized among the Jews, wrote several pamphlets for that purpose, and made a new translation of the New Testament into Hebrew . In 1863 he founded the missionary magazine, Saat und Hoffnung ("Seed and Hope"), which appeared regularly until 1935. In 1880 he established in Leipzig the Institutum Judaicum (renamed the "Delitzschianum" after his death), for the training of missionary workers among Jews, an institute which was still in existence in Muenster (Germany) in the 1970s. Nevertheless, Delitzsch fought vehemently against defamations of the Talmud by anti-Semitic writers, especially against Rohling's libelous pamphlet Der Talmudjude (1871). Delitzsch's first book, Zur Geschichte der juedischen Poesie vom Abschluss der Heiligen Schriften des Alten Bundes bis auf die neueste Zeit (1836), was the first comprehensive study of the history of Hebrew poetry and a serious attempt to deal with this subject with the accepted tools of literary criticism.
In his Bible commentaries, the most important of which are those on Psalms (1859, 1894), on Isaiah (1866–1889), and on Ecclesiastes (1875), his approach was based upon philological analysis. He meticulously adhered to the masoretic text, and, on principle, avoided critical emendations. He mitigated his traditional attitude only in his later writings, in which he accepted some of the tenets of the "source theory" of modern Bible criticism. To this subject he devoted his Complutensische Varianten zum alttestamentischen Texte (1878). Delitzsch assisted Seligmann Baer in his edition of the Hebrew Bible, based upon the masoretic text.