Walter Hilbrands - Featured Author - EJT

May 03, 2020 author profile of Dr. Walter Hilbrands journal share this article:

Dr Walter Hilbrands was born in the area of East Frisia, Germany, in 1965. He grew up in a reformed church and studied theology in Krelingen (Germany), at the Freie Theologische Hochschule Giessen and at the Protestant Theological University (Oudestraat) in Kampen, Netherlands. After three years of teaching at the Bible School in Kirchberg/Jagst he became a lecturer for Hebrew and Old Testament in Gießen in 1998. In 2007 he became dean of studies and in 2016 Academic Dean at the FTH.


In 2005 he obtained his Ph.D. from the Kampen University for his thesis on the history of the Jewish and Christian interpretation of Genesis 38, the story of Judah and Tamar, from Antiquity to the time of the Reformation. In this study he asked questions such as: Is Tamar a saint or a whore? What is the ethical message of this chapter? How does this strange story fit into the Joseph story literarily and chronologically?

Many of his articles focus on the Primeval history and on the Wisdom literature. Walter is currently doing postdoctoral research on Ecclesiastes, his favourite book of the Bible. He is convinced that biblical exegesis is crucial for every theological discipline, for the churches and for all Christians.


For 30 years Hilbrands has been a member of the FAGAT, the Old Testament group within the AfeT, the German Arbeitkreis für evangelicale Theologie. And for many years he has been responsible for the book reviews in the Jahrbuch für Evangelikale Theologie.

Next to theology, playing church organs is one of his hobbies. In 2014 he was awarded third place in the Laubach organ contest. Hilbrands also is interested in the history of organ building, in the architecture of ancient churches and in the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. In these subject areas he wrote hundreds of articles in the German Wikipedia. He recently discovered the work of the nearly unknown Hessian church painter Daniel Hisgen.

All these things have a stimulating effect on his job as Dean and lecturer, and it opens many doors to the Protestant churches in the surroundings of Gießen.

Dr. Walter Hilbrands