Jean Astruc

On this date in 1684, Jean Astruc was born in France, the son of a Protestant minister who converted to Catholicism. Astruc, who became a physician, was one of the early founders of bible criticism. He served as professor of anatomy at Toulouse, then Montpellier, and later as professor of medicine at Paris. In 1753 he published his Conjectures.

Astruc was among the first to try to show that the Book of Genesis was based on several sources or manuscript traditions, an approach now called the documentary hypothesis. According to historian J.M. Robertson, he died without the sacraments. D. 1766.

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