Shem-Tob (שֵׁ םטוֹב, i.e. good name), a name common to many Jewish writers, of whom we mention the following:
1. BEN-ABRAHAM IBN-GAON, a famous Cabalist, born 1283, died about 1332, the author of many Cabalistic works.
2. BEN-SHEM-TOB, who died in 1430, is the author of ספר האמונות, or the Book of Faithfulness, in which he attacks the Jewish philosophers Aben-Ezra, Maimonides, Levi bei-Gershon, etc., and denounces the students of philosophy as heretics, maintaining, however, that the salvation of Israel depends upon the Cabala. He also wrote דרשות על התורה, or homilies on the Pentateuch, the feasts and fasts, etc, in which the Cabalistic doctrines are fully propounded.
3. ISAAC SHAPRUT, a native of Tudela he was a celebrated philosopher, physician, and Talmudist, and wrote, under the title of אבןבח, The Touchstone, a polemical work against Christianity, inveighing bitterly against the doctrines of the Trinity, incarnation, transubstantiation, etc. One portion of the book consists of a translation of Matthew's Gospel into Hebrew, said to be so unfairly performed that, among other faults, the names in the genealogy are "grossly misspelled, and are therefore of no avail for comparison with the Old Test. To each chapter are subjoined questions for Christians to answer. An appendix to the work is called "Replies to Alfonso the Apostate." The MS is still in Rome, and dated at Turiasso, Old Castile, 1340. He also wrote Remarks on Aben-Ezra's Commentary on the Law under the title צפנת פענח, and The Garden of Pomegranates; פרדס רמוני explaining the allegories of the Talmud.
See Furst, Bibl. Jud. 3, 259; 265 sq.; De Rossi; Dizionario Storico, p. 289, 301 sq.; id. Bibl. Jud. Antichrist. p. 103 sq.; Ginsburg, The Kabalah, p. 11, 122; Lindo, History of the Jews in Spain, p. 159; Finn, Sephardim, p. 308 sq.; Steinschneider, Jewish Literature, p. 127; Gratz, Gesch. d. Juden, 8, 23 sq.; Cassel, Lehrbuch der jud. Gesch. u. Literatur, p. 283, 257, 302, 304, 316. (B.P.)