Lowenthal, Isidor

Lowenthal, Isidor a famous missionary and translator of the Bible, was a native,of Poland, and of Jewish parentage. At the age of twenty he had to flee his country, being suspected by the government of conspiracy. He came to America, and at Princeton, N.J., went about as a pedler, hawking jewelry and stationery. In or near Princeton, living a life of retired though literary habits, was a much-respected clergyman, who had more than one conversation with the eloquent pedler. Perceiving in him talent of no common order, he offered to assist him in the prosecution of his studies. An appeal to some princely merchants of New York speedily procured the funds necessary to send the young man to Princeton College. At this time he was a bigoted Jew, but his course of studies, his intercourse with tutors, brought about his conversion, and he received baptism. Having completed his studies, he offered himself as a missionary to the American Presbyterian Board. To India he directed his steps, and fancying from what he had read that among the Afghans might be found traces of the lost tribes, he proposed that he should be sent to Peshawur, as a missionary to the Afghans. There, in 1856, he commenced his work. With rare ability and perseverance, he had so perfected himself in the difficult language of the Afghans as to prepare a translation of the entire New Test.; and although the execution of the work devolved wholly upon himself, it was marked by close adherence to the original texts, and by an idiomatic power of expression which earned the warmest commendation of the Pushtft linguists who were capable of pronouncing a critical opinion on the result of his labors. The question of translating the Old Test. had been discussed, and as the importance of giving the Afghans a complete Bible was deeply felt, Mr. Lowentbal had expressed his willingness to undertake this great and responsible task. But the Divine Master had otherwise appointed, and before he had fairly entered upon the duty, he was assassinated, April 27, 1864. SEE PUSHTU VERSION. (B.P.)

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