He studied at Berlin, and eventually (1874) was appointed professor ordinarius at Strassburg. A moderately liberal theologian, he became best known as a New Testament critic and exegete, being the author of the Commentary on the Synoptics (1889; 3rd ed., 1901), the Johannine books (1890; 2nd ed., 1893), and the Acts of the Apostles (1901), in the series Handkommentar zum Neuen Testament.
On the question of the relationship of the Synoptic Gospels, Holtzmann in his early work, Die synoptischen Evangelien, ihr Ursprung und geschichtlicher Charakter (1863), presents a view which has been widely accepted, maintaining the priority of Mark, deriving Matthew in its present form from Mark and from Matthew's earlier "collection of Sayings," the Logia of Papias, and Luke from Matthew and Mark in the form in which we have them.
Other noteworthy works are the Lehrbuch der histor.-kritischen Einleitung in das Neue Testament (1885, 3rd ed., 1892), and the Lehrbuch der neutestamentlichen Theologie (2 vols., 1896-1897). He also collaborated with R. Zöpffel in the preparation of a small Lexikon für Theologie und Kirchenwesen (1882; 3rd ed., 2895), and in 1893 became editor of the Theol. Jahresbericht.
This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.