Wolf, Johann Chrisoph

Wolf, Johann Chrisoph well known by his works in the field of Jewish literature, was born at Wernigerode, Germany, Feb. 21,1683. At the gymnasium of his native place he received a solid classical education. In 1695 he went to Hamburg with his father, and here he prosecuted his preparatory studies under Anckelmann, Edzard, and Fabricius. In 1703 we find Wolf at Wittenberg; in 1704 he was made a doctor, and in 1706 he was received into the academic senate; in 1707 he returned to Hamburg, and was appointed co- rector at Fleinsburg; in 1708 he went to Holland and England, and was thus brought in contact with the learned men of his age, as Vitringa, Hemsterhuvs, Clericus, Surenhusius, Reland, Perizonius, Basnage, Bentley, Barnes, Cave, and others. At Oxford he staved about six months, and spent most of his time in the Bodleian Library. In 1709 he returned to Flensburg, where he received a call to Wittenberg as professor of philosophy; in 1712 he was appointed professor of Oriental languages at the Hamburg Gymnasium, and in 1716 he became pastor of St. Catharine's. He died July 25, 1739. His main work is his Bibliotheca Hebraea (Hamburg, 1715-33,4 vols.); the first vol. contains a list of Jewish authors; the second treats of the Old Test., its MSS., editions, etc.; the third and fourth are supplements to the first two. This Bibliotheca is still, the great storehouse of information on Jewish literature; and although Jewish writers of our day speak of its deficiencies and shortcomings (but how could it be otherwise?), yet these fault-finders, while abusing the author, copy his work. Those, however, who have labored in the same department will always speak with great admiration of Wolf's Bibliotheca. Steinschneider says of our author "dass Wolf an Fleiss, Ehrlichkeit, Besonnenheit, und Unbefangenheit zugleich noch von keinem christlichen und von sehr wenigen jüdischen Autoren auf diesem Gebiete iibertroffen worden." (Bibliog. Handbuch, p. 18). Besides his great work, he wrote, דעת ספרי שרשים, Historia Lexicorum Hebraicorum (Wittenberg, 1705): — De Usu Talmudicae Rabbinicaeque Lectionis Elenchtico (ibid. 1706): — Notitia Karaeorum (Hamburg, 1721). See Seelen, De Vita, Scriptis, et Meritis J. C. WolJfi (Stade, 1717); Petersen, Gesch. der Hamburger Stadtbibliothek (Hamburg, 1838)'; Fürst, Bibl. Jud. 3, 529; Winer, Handbuch der theol. Lit. 1, 69 120,137,140, 189, 235, 416, 642, 648, 826, 899-901; Steinschneider, Bibliog. Handbuch, p. 18 sq., 150; id. Catalogus Libr. Hebr. in Bibl. Bodl. p. 2730; De' Rossi, Dizionario Storico (Germ. transl.), p. 14 sq. (B. P.)

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