Cappel (Cappellus), Louis
Cappel (Cappellus), Louis, younger brother of the foregoing, was born near Sedan, October 15, 1585. In 1609 the church in Bordeaux provided funds for him, and he spent four years in travel and study in England, Belgium, and Germany. In 1613 he became professor of Hebrew, and in 1633 (with Amyraldus and Placseus) was professor of divinity at Saumur. He was a pious Christian, a most learned theologian, and a thorough Protestant in a time of great trial. Besides his theological and exegetical writings, he is chiefly memorable for his controversy with Buxtorff concerning the antiquity of the vowel points. His view was published in his Arcanum punctionis revelatum (1623; reprinted in the appendix to his Comnm. et Notae Criticae, Amst. 1689). It was, that these points were invented by the Jews of Tiberias some six hundred years subsequently to the death of Christ; whereas Buxtorff held them to be coeval with the language. The opinion of Cappellus has since been generally received. His greatest work was the Critica Sacra, containing, among many other learned and valuable dissertations, a collection of various readings and errors which had crept into the text of the Bible. He was occupied thirty-six years upon this work, which the Protestants so much disliked that they hindered the impression of it, and it was not given to the public until 1650, when John, his son, who joined the communion of the Church of Rome, obtained leave of the king to print it. Buxtorff (the son) criticized it sharply, and also bitterly attacked Cappellus for his theory of the vowel points in his Tractatus de Punctorum Origine, etc. (Basel, 1648; 3d part 1651, 4to). Cappellus replied in a Justa defensio (printed in later editions of the Critica Sacra). He farther published, on the text of the O.T., Diatriba de veris et Antiquis Ebrceorum literis (Amst. 1645,12mo), in reply to Buxtorff. A new edition of the Crit. Sac. appeared at Halle (1775-86) in 3 vols. 8vo. In 1610 he visited Oxford. He died at Saumur, June 18, 1658. Among his other works are, Historia Apostolica illustrata (Geneva, 1634, 4to; and in the London edition of the Critica Sacra, 1660): — Spicilegium post messem, a collection of criticisms on the New Testament (Geneva, 1632, 4to): — De critica nuper a se edita ad Rev. virum D. Jacob. Usseriun, Armacanum in Hibernia Episcopum,
Epistola Apologet. (Salm. 1651, 4to): — Commentarii et Notoe Criticae in Vet. Test. (Amst..1689, fol.). A full list is given by Haag, La France Protestante, 3:199; in Niceron, vol. 22; and also in the edition, by his son, of his Conment. et Notre Critica in V.T. (Amst. 1689, fol.), which also gives biographical sketches, under the title De Cappellorum Gente, of the distinguished members of the Cappel family. His Correspondence with Usher is given in Parr's Collection of Usher's Letters. He also wrote Chronologia Sacra (1655, 4to), reprinted among the prolegomena of Walton's Polyglot. — Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, 8:615; Herzog, Real- Encyklopädie, 2:566.