The Beginnings of Anglo-Jewish Biblical Exegesis and Bible Translation

The last quarter of the eighteenth century saw the beginnings of Anglo-Jewish Biblical exegesis and Bible translation. In 1775 appeared, in English, the first book by an Anglo-Jewish Hebrew scholar which can be regarded as a contribution to Biblical exegesis. The name of that scholar was Raphael Baruh, a member of the Spanish and Portuguese community. In 1773 he published, in elegant Paitanic Hebrew, an Elegy on Haham Isaac Nieto. The Jews had been living openly in England for over one hundred years. They brought their faith and their Torah with them. It did not take long before Hebrew books were printed in England, but it took apparendy over one hundred years before the community produced Hebrew scholars who wrote in English. Raphael Baruh was one of them. He was, it seems, born abroad, as he speaks of himself as “a foreigner.” Baruh’s work was an endeavour to vindicate the

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