Gousset, Jacques

Gousset, Jacques (Lat. Gussetius), a French Protestant theologian, and distinguished Hebrew scholar, was born at Blois October 7, 1635. He studied theology at Saumur, and acquired Greek under Lefbvre, and Hebrew under Louis Cappel. Having become pastor of the church at Poitiers in 1662, he remained in that office until the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, refusing on three several occasions the professorship of theology at Saumur. In 1685 he went to England, and soon after to Holland, where he became pastor of the Walloon church of Dort in 1687. In 1692 he went to the University of Groningen as professor of Greek and of theology, and remained there until his death, November 4, 1704. Gousset advocated avery different system of Hebrew grammar from the one generally followed in Holland. While the Dutch scholars considered, like Erpenius, a knowledge of Arab and Syriac as of the utmost importance for the correct understanding of Hebrew, Gousset held that error must inevitably result from attempts to find out the meaning of words and the grammatical construction of sentences in Hebrew by comparing it with the other Shemitic dialects which are but derivatives from it, and have often undergone changes to which the original language remains a stranger. He considered the old versions and the writings of the Rabbins as of little use in the interpretation of the O.T. Schultens, who, at the age of eighteen, had a public discussion with Gousset on that subject, refutes his views in his Origines Hebrae and Vetus et regia via hebraizandi. Gousset wrote largely. We name, out of his numerous works, the following: Examen des endroits de l'accomplissement des propheties de M. Jurieu qui concernent le supputation des temps (Anon. 1687, 12mo): — Jesu Christ Evangeliique Veritas salutifera demonstrata in confutatione libri Chizzuk Emonna (Amst. 1712, 4to): — Considerations theologiques et critiques sur le projet d'une noun velle version francaise de la Bible, public l'an 1696, sous le nom de M. Ch. Lecene, etc. (Amst. 1698, 12mo), a violent Calvinistic attack, accusing Lecene's translation of favoring Arminianism at the expense of correctness: — Commentarii Linguae Ebraicae, etc. (Amst. 1702, fol.; Lpz. 1743 4to): — Disputationes in Epistolam Pauli ad Hebraeos et. ad Leviticum 18:4 (Amst. 1712, fol.): Vesperae Groningant, sive amica de rebus sacris colloquia, ubi varia sacrae Scripturae loca selecta explicantur (Amst. 1698, 8vo; 2d edit. 1711, 8vo): — De viva deque mortua Fide, doctrina Jacobi apostoli evoluta (Amit. 1696, 8vo): — Theses theologicae de typorum interpretis dorum methodo apostolica (at the end of the Schediasma Theologiae practicae of Herm. Witsius, Groning. 1729, 8vo). See Bayle, OEuvres diverses, 3:629; 4:766, 773, and 837; Niceron, Memoires, volumes 2 and 10; Journal des Savants, 1702, No. 40; Meyer, Gesch. d. Schrifterklarung, volume 4; Haag, La France Protestante; Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, 21:465 sq.

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