Saturday, March 31, 2007



By : Crawford Howell Toy Eduard Neumann

German Christian Hebraist; born at Nuremberg Nov. 26, 1633; died at Altdorf Oct. 9, 1705. In 1667 he was made professor of history at Altdorf, and was professor of Oriental languages at the same university from 1674 to 1697, after which he occupied the chair of ecclesiastical law until his death. For his knowledge of Hebrew he was chiefly indebted to Enoch Levi, who had come from Vienna to Fürth about 1670. Wagenseil devoted his learning to publishing anti-Christian works of Jewish authors, and undertook long journeys to gather his material. The fruit of this work is the collection entitled "Tela Ignea Satanæ, sive Arcani et Horribiles Judæorum Adversus Christum, Deum, et Christianam Religionem Libri" (Altdorf, 1681), which includes the apologetic "Ḥizzuḳ Emunah" of the Karaite Isaac b. Abraham of Troki. Becoming convinced by the "Toledot Yeshu" that the Jews were guilty of blaspheming Jesus, Wagenseil addressed to all high potentates his "Denunciatio Christiana de Blasphemiis Judæorum in Jesum Christum" (Altdorf, 1703), in which he implored them to restrain the Jews from mocking at Jesus, Mary, the cross, the mass, and Christian teachings. Although he would have been pleased to see the Protestant princes show greater zeal in the conversion of the Jews, Wagenseil was opposed to forcible baptism and similar measures, and devoted a special treatise to the refutation of the charge of ritual murder.

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