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In 1735, Immanuel Frommann, a converted Jew who was working at the Institutum Judaicum in Halle translated the book of Luke and wrote a commentary on the text. This text is probably the first printed Hebrew commentary on the New Testament. In his commentary, Frommann uses a wide range of Hebrew sources. He quotes regularly from the Babylonian and Palestinian Talmud, biblical commentaries, midrashim, legal treatises, philosophical texts and historical works. He also makes use of mystical and kabbalistic works. The commentary has several layers of interpretation: relatively short lexical or grammatical explanations of words or phrases; literary explanations of the text that are meant to make it more comprehensive to the readers; as well as “Christological interpretations”. This text is unique because it was written in Hebrew thus mainly for a Jewish (male) audience and not in Latin or vernacular languages as was the case in earlier compositions that made use of Jewish texts like Johannes Lightfoot, Horae Hebraicae et Talmudicae or to Surenhusius Sefer ha- Mashveh. In many ways, Frommann’s commentary is better described as a Jewish-Christian or perhaps a Christian-Jewish text. Instead of a total rejection of Jewish learning and writing, Frommann’s heavy use of the Jewish tradition in a Christian context is an attempt to reconnect Christianity and Judaism.

The presentation discusses the following text:

1. A Gospel according to Luke the Evangelist that is taken from books known as the New Testament, copied from the Greek, to the holy tongue, and explained with a commentary, Part I, in the year 495 (1735) -- Evangelium Lucae pars prior ab erudito proselyto Henr. Christ. Imman. Frommanno Doct. Med. in linguam ebraeam transferri ac explicari curauit ediditque Io. Henr. Callenberg, Halle, 1735

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26-2-2012 5:45 PM

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Feb 26th, 5:45 PM Feb 26th, 6:45 PM

A Jewish-Christian Commentary on Luke

In 1735, Immanuel Frommann, a converted Jew who was working at the Institutum Judaicum in Halle translated the book of Luke and wrote a commentary on the text. This text is probably the first printed Hebrew commentary on the New Testament. In his commentary, Frommann uses a wide range of Hebrew sources. He quotes regularly from the Babylonian and Palestinian Talmud, biblical commentaries, midrashim, legal treatises, philosophical texts and historical works. He also makes use of mystical and kabbalistic works. The commentary has several layers of interpretation: relatively short lexical or grammatical explanations of words or phrases; literary explanations of the text that are meant to make it more comprehensive to the readers; as well as “Christological interpretations”. This text is unique because it was written in Hebrew thus mainly for a Jewish (male) audience and not in Latin or vernacular languages as was the case in earlier compositions that made use of Jewish texts like Johannes Lightfoot, Horae Hebraicae et Talmudicae or to Surenhusius Sefer ha- Mashveh. In many ways, Frommann’s commentary is better described as a Jewish-Christian or perhaps a Christian-Jewish text. Instead of a total rejection of Jewish learning and writing, Frommann’s heavy use of the Jewish tradition in a Christian context is an attempt to reconnect Christianity and Judaism.

The presentation discusses the following text:

1. A Gospel according to Luke the Evangelist that is taken from books known as the New Testament, copied from the Greek, to the holy tongue, and explained with a commentary, Part I, in the year 495 (1735) -- Evangelium Lucae pars prior ab erudito proselyto Henr. Christ. Imman. Frommanno Doct. Med. in linguam ebraeam transferri ac explicari curauit ediditque Io. Henr. Callenberg, Halle, 1735