In 1825, with the aid of the Prussian government, he visited the libraries of England and Holland, and on his return was appointed (in 1826) professor ordinarius of theology at Halle, the centre of German rationalism, where he afterwards became preacher and member of the supreme consistorial council.
In the German universities the Professor ordinarius is the occupant of one of the regular and permanent chairs in any faculty.
In the civil law the judex ordinarius is a judge who has regular jurisdiction as of course and of common right as opposed to persons extraordinarily appointed.
He studied theology and oriental languages in the university of his native town, and in 1850 was appointed professor ordinarius of theology at Erlangen, where the school of theologians became almost as famous as that of Tubingen.
He studied at Kiel University (1832), and became professor ordinarius of theology at Rostock (1850).
He was afterwards appointed professor ordinarius of philosophy at Kiel (1873), and in 1878 he was elected to the philosophical chair at Tubingen.
In 1870 he became chief pastor and superintendent at Jena and soon afterwards professor ordinarius of theology, but in 1875 he was called to the chair of systematic theology at Berlin, having made his name by a series of articles on New Testament criticism and Johannine, and Pauline theology, which appeared in Adolf Hilgenfeld's Zeitschrift fiir wissenschaftliche Theologie, and by his Der Paulinismus, published in 1873 (2nd ed., 1890; Eng.
In 1842 he became professor ordinarius at Rostock, but in 1845 returned once more to Erlangen as the successor of Gottlieb Christoph Adolf von Harless (1806-1879), founder of the Zeitschrift fur Protestantismus and Kirche, of which Hofmann became one of the editors in 1846, J.
His eldest SOH, Heinrich August Hahn (1821-1861), after studying theology at Breslau and Berlin, became successively Privatdozent at Breslau (1845), professor ad interim (1846) at Konigsberg on the death of Heinrich Havernick, professor extraordinarius (1851) and professor ordinarius (1860) at Greif swald.
Resigning in 1882 owing to conscientious scruples, he became professor extraordinarius of oriental languages in the faculty of philology at Halle, was elected professor ordinarius at Marburg in 1885, and was transferred to Gottingen in 1892.