He studied at Upsala from 1876 to 1881 and at Stockholm from 1881 to 1884, then returning to Upsala as privat-docent in physical chemistry.
In 1859 he became privat-docent in physics and chemistry at Breslau, where in the preceding year he had graduated as Ph.
Having studied theology at the university of Gottingen under Heinrich Ewald, he established himself there in 1870 as privat-docent for Old Testament history.
After an education at Bonn and Berlin he was for three years a schoolmaster in Dresden, until (in 1845) he returned to Berlin University as privat-docent.
In1804-1806Bretschneider was Privat-docent at the university of Wittenberg, where he lectured on philosophy and theology.