German NT scholar born in Hanover, professor at Breslau. His book on the Messianic Secret in the Gospels (1901) suggested that Jesus' instructions to keep quiet about his work (e.g. Mark 1: 44) were not spoken by him but were later apologetic devices of the Church to account for the failure of Jesus' contemporaries to acclaim him as Messiah. Wrede's theory was accepted in the next generation by the Form Critics, as a presupposition of their discipline, and also foreshadowed Redaction Criticism.