David Friedrich Strauss (January 27, 1808 – February 8, 1874) was a German theologian and writer.
He scandalized Christian Europe with his portrayal of the “historical Jesus”, whose divine nature he denied. His work was connected to the Tübingen School, which revolutionized study of the New Testament, early Christianity, and ancient religions. Strauss was a pioneer in the historical investigation of Jesus.
Strauss was born and died at Ludwigsburg, near Stuttgart. At twelve he was sent to the evangelical seminary at Blaubeuren, near Ulm, to be prepared for the study of theology. Amongst the principal masters in the school were Professors Friedrich Heinrich Kern (1790–1842) and Ferdinand Christian Baur, who instilled in their pupils a deep appreciation for the ancient classics and the principles of textual criticism, which could be applied to texts in the sacred tradition as well as to classical ones. In 1825 Strauss entered the University of Tübingen. The professors of philosophy there failed to interest him; but the theories of Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling, of Jakob Böhme, and, finally, of Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel successively claimed his allegiance. In 1830 he became an assistant to a country clergyman, and nine months later accepted the post of professor in the Evangelical Seminaries of Maulbronn and Blaubeuren, where he would teach Latin, history and Hebrew.