CHRISTIAN  DAVID  GINSBURG

Encyclopaedic References:

GINSBURG, CHRISTIAN DAVID (1831 ), Hebrew scholar, was born at Warsaw on the 25th of December 1831. Coming to England shortly after the completion of his education in the Rabbinic College at Warsaw, Dr Ginsburg continued his study of the Hebrew Scriptures, with special attention to the Megilloth. The first result of these studies was a translation of the Song of Songs, with a commentary historical and critical, published in 1857. A similar translation of Ecclesiastes, followed by treatises on the Karaites, on the Essenes and on the Kabbala, kept the author prominently before biblical students while he was preparing the first sections of his magnum opus, the critical study of the Massorah. Beginning in 1867 with the publication of Jacob ben Chajims Introduction to the Rabbinic Bible, Hebrew and English, with notices, and the Massoreth HaMassoreth of Elias Levita, in Hebrew, with translation and commentary, Dr Ginsburg took rank as an eminent Hebrew scholar. In 1870 he was appointed one of the first members of the committee for the revision of the English version of the Old Testament. His life-work culminated in the publication of the Massorah, in three volumes folio (1880-1886), followed by the Masoretico-critical edition of the Hebrew Bible (1894), and the elaborate introduction to it (1897). Dr Ginsburg had one predecessor in the field, the learned Jacob ben Chajim, who in 1524-1525 published the second Rabbinic Bible, containing what has ever since been known as the Massorah; but neither were the materials available nor was criticism sufficiently advanced for a complete edition. Dr Ginsburg took up the subject almost where it was left by those early pioneers, and collected portions of the Massorah from the countless MSS. scattered throughout Europe and the East. More recently Dr Ginsburg has published Facsimiles of Manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible (1897 and 1898), and The Text of the Hebrew Bible in Abbreviations (1903), in addition to a critical treatise on the relationship of the so-called Codex Babylonicus of A.D. 916 to the Eastern Recension of the Hebrew Text (1899, for private circulation). In the last-mentioned work he seeks to prove that the St Petersburg Codex, for so many years accepted as the genuine text of the Babylonian school, is in reality a Palestinian text carefully altered so as to render it conformable to the Babylonian recension. He subsequently undertook the preparation of a new edition of the Hebrew Bible for the British and Foreign Bible Society. He also contributed many articles to J. Kittos Encyclopaedia, W. Smiths Dictionary of Christian Biography and the Encyclopaedia .

Scriptural Source controversies.

The many controversies re. the origins of the Christian Old Testament (OT), the Septuagint, and the Essenes were dealt with by the scholarship of Dr. David Ginsburg. His international recognition as a Hebrew Scholar, and particularly his famous work on the Massorah, together with his joint efforts with Dr. E. W. Bullinger in the editing of the Companion Bible, have produced one of the finest critical works of the KJV available.

The ongoing controversy between the Orthodox (Pharisaic) Jews, and Christians, as to the authentic OT, is cleared by Dr Ginsburg's detailed knowledge and work on the OT Manuscripts, which, as he became a Christian, are not accepted by Pharisaic Jewry, as the Christology of the OT is confirmed by him!

Dr. Ginsburg's conversion to Christ, as he came from a devout background of Orthodoxy, has resulted in his negation by Orthodox Jewry, as he is regarded an "heretic". His detractors state that he became a Christian at age 15, and could not have known what he was doing! However; in the book "The Appointed Time", by Rick L. Wills, on page 3 he states that David Ginsburg converted to Christ at age 25, which makes more sense, as he would have been unlikely to have attended Rabbinical College in Warsaw as a Christian! Also, his rabbinical studies would have prepared him for the momentous works he was to accomplish in his lifetime, particularly on Massorah! The Jewish resistance to his brilliance is understandable, as they lost a great mind to the truth of Christ Jesus Messiah!

During his life in England, he worked for The British Museum, and The British Library, such was his acknowledged expertise in the Hebrew language, and much of his work involved examination of archaeological discovery, for the purpose of authentication; especially those of Middle East origin.

As an accomplished scholar in the Hebrew Scriptures, and also in the practices of Orthodoxy, his work is invaluable to the Christian, both for study, and for correct knowledge, with so many Translations now biased towards erroneous teachings.

In his conversion to Christ, in the full knowledge of the consequences for his life, he joined a long list of learned and eminent Jewish men, who, upon discovering the Truth of Christ in the Jewish OT, were not able to ignore what they had been shown!

The following are some of those men: Jewish Believers;

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