Ainsworth, Henry°

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AINSWORTH, HENRY ° (1569–1622), English Bible scholar. Ainsworth was educated at Cambridge and already knew Hebrew when, as an adherent of the Brownist sect (later called Congregationalists), he went into exile in Amsterdam. He served there as a teacher (1596–1610) in the independent English Church, and subsequently as its minister. Through Jewish contacts in Amsterdam he improved his Hebrew knowledge, the considerable extent of which is reflected in his writings. These include Silk or Wool in the High Priest's Ephod… (London, 1605); an English version, with annotations, of Psalms (Amsterdam, 1612), which was adopted by the Puritans of New England until they produced their own in 1640; and Annotations to the Pentateuch, with Psalms and Song of Songs (1616–27). This work, which includes rabbinic material, was translated into Dutch in 1690 and into German in 1692; Song of Songs in English meter in 1623. Ainsworth's Annotations were used two and a half centuries later by the revisers of the English Bible. He was considered one of the finest English Hebraists of his time.

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[Raphael Loewe]