Callenberg, Johann Heinrich

Callenberg, Johann Heinrich, was born January 12, 1694, in Saxe-Gotha. He studied at Halle giving special attention to the Oriental languages, to which he was originally led by becoming a member of the Collegium Orientale Theologicum, which was established at Halle in 1702. He had for special tutor Solomon Negri, a learned Orientalist from Damascusi He was appointed professor (extraord.) of philosophy in 1727, and professor (ordin.) of theology in 1739. He became deeply interested in Protestant missions to the East, especially among the Jews and Mohammedans. In 1728 he organized a school for the education of missionaries; and he afterward established, at his own expense, a printing-office for the publication of works in German, Arabic, and Hebrew for the furtherance of the missionary cause. His students went out over Europe as missionaries to the Jews, and some of them even to Asia and Africa. He printed in Arabic portions of the O.T., the whole of the N.T., Luther's Shorter Catechism, the Imitation of Jesus Christ ,(somewhat curtailed), portions of Grotius on the Truth of the Christian Religion, the Rudiments of the Arabic Language, and other works for the use of missionaries in the East. With a view to the conversion of the Jews, he wrote a Kurze Anleitung zur Jiidisch-Teutschen Sprache (Short Introduction to the Speech of the German Jews, 8vo, 1733), to which he added in 1736 a short dictionary of the corrupt Hebrew spoken among themselves by the Jews of Germany. In 1728-36 he published Berichte von einem Versuch das Jiidische Volk zur Erkeisntniss des Christlichen anzuleiten (3 vols. 8vo); in 1733, De Conversione Muhammedanorum ad Christum expetita tentataque (12mo). He continued writing, translating, and printing a variety of works useful for the missionaries till his death, which occurred at Halle, July 16, 1760. The mere list of his publications would fill a column, but they are not of sufficient scientific value to require enumeration here. But the name of Callenberg deserves always to be cherished in the Christian Church as that of one of the founders of Protestant missions, and of a devoted and self-sacrificing laborer in that cause. Doering, Die Gelehrten Theologen Deutschlands, 1:221 sq.; Hoefer, Nouvelle Biographie Generale, 7:202; Ersch und Gruber, Allgemeine Encyclopddie, s.v.

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