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For most of the nineteenth century, German Jewish scholarship ceded the critical study of the Hebrew Bible to Protestant scholars at German universities. Sporadic efforts by the likes of Krochmal, Luzzatto, Geiger, and Zunz failed to overcome the ideological constraints that impeded the mounting of a Jewish response. To fill that void with a Jewish voice, Heinrich Graetz devoted the last twenty years of his life to a sustained critical study of the history and literature of biblical Israel. Given the dominance of Wellhausen's scholarship at the time, scholars have paid scant attention to the legacy of Graetz's prodigious output. The purpose of this essay is to assess his achievement and its shortcomings. In the end, Graetz legitimated the application of critical scholarship to the Hebrew Bible.