Monte, Andreas De

Monte, Andreas de (אנדריאס די מונטי), a celebrated Jewish convert to Christianity, so named after he had embraced the new faith (before his conversion he was called R. Joseph Tsarpathi Ha-Alphasi, יוסŠ צרפתי האלפסי), was born in the early part of the 16th century at Fez, in Africa (hence his second surname, האלפסי), of Jewish parents, who were natives of France, which is indicated by his first surname (צרפתי, Gallus). He emigrated to Rome, where, after exercising the office of chief rabbi for many years, and distinguishing himself as an expounder of the Mosaic law, he embraced Christianity about the year 1552, during the pontificate of Julius III. He at once consecrated his vast knowledge of Hebrew and rabbinical literature to the elucidation of the prophecies, with a view to bringing his brethren into the fold of the Romish Church, and wrote —

(1) A voluminous work, entitled מבוכת היהודים, The Perplexity of the Jews, demonstrating both from the Scriptures and the ancient rabbinical writings all the doctrines of the Christian religion. Bartolocci, who found the MS. in loose sheets in the Neophyte College at Rome, carefully collated it and had it bound. He did not know that it ever was printed, but Furst (Bibliothecae Judaica, 3:544, s.v. Zarfati) states that it was published in Rome, 16—, 4to. However, Fabiano Fiocchi, in his work called Dialogo della Fede, has almost entirely transcribed it, so that the Biblical student may derive all the advantages from it for Christological purposes.

(2) An epistle to the various synagogues, written both in Hebrew and Italian, and entitled אגות שלום, Lettera di Pace, dated January 12, 1581. It treats of the coming of the true Messiah, and shows from the prophecies of the O.T., as well as from the works of the ancient rabbins, that he must have come long ago in the person of Jesus Christ (Rome, 16—, 4to). This learned work and the former one are very important contributions to the exposition of the Messianic prophecies, and to the understanding of the ancient Jewish views about the Messiah. Gregory XIII appointed Monte in 1576 preacher to the Hebrews of Rome in the oratory of the Holy Trinity; he was afterwards made Oriental interpreter to the pope, in which capacity he translated several ecclesiastical works from the Syriac and Arabic. He died in the beginning of the 17th century. See Bartolocci, Bibliotheca Magna Rabbinica, 3:848 sq.; Wolf, Bibliotheca Hebrcea i, 556 sq.; Ginsburg, in Kitto, Cyclop. Bibl. Lit. s.v.; Kalkar, Israel u. die Kirche, page 71; Fiirst, Bibl. Jud. 1:45 (s.v. Andreas).

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