Buxtorf, Johannes (II)°

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BUXTORF, JOHANNES (II) ° (1599–1664), Hebraist, the son of Johannes Buxtorf i, succeeded his father in the chair of Bible and Hebrew studies at the University of Basle and edited some of his unpublished works. In common with his father, he held the view that the Masoretic Text is the genuine version of the Bible (De Literarum Hebraicarum Genuina antiquitate, 1643) and that the Hebrew square script preceded the Samaritan. The vocalization of Hebrew, he maintained, originated at least as early as the time of Ezra. These issues were the subject of his fierce controversies with another Hebraist, Ludovicus Capelus, with each defending his viewpoint in a series of scholarly studies. Buxtorf 's view was formally adopted by the Swiss Church in 1675. Buxtorf translated *Maimonides' Guide of the Perplexed (1629), *Judah Halevi's Kuzari (1666), and part of Isaac *Abrabanel's commentaries to the Bible into Latin. The numerous Jewish scholars in many lands with whom he was in contact included *Manasseh Ben Israel. His collection of letters is preserved at the university libraries of Basle and Zurich.


Kayserling, in: rej, 8 (1884), 74–95; 13 (1886), 260–76; Steinschneider, in: zhb, 2 (1897), 94.

[Chaim M. Rabin]