Who was Alfred Edersheim and why should you read his book “The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah”

Alfred Edersheim wrote his greatest work in 1883. “The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah” is one of the best known and most important works on the life of Christ, and here’s why. We have collected brief information about the book and its author.

The first Jewish Christian to preach in Westminster Abbey

Alfred Edersheim was born on March 7, 1825 in Vienna into a very prosperous and rich family. He moved in the highest Jewish circles in Vienna. He was fluent in Latin, Greek, German, French, Hebrew, Hungarian and Italian.

In 1847, he went to Budapest to study. There he was introduced to several English-speaking Christian leaders, among them the famous Dr. Duncan and his fellow Presbyterians. Duncan was an ardent Christian, respected by the Jews for his knowledge of the Hebrew language. He was such an attractive personality that Edersheim soon became close friends with him.

Edersheim saw the Messiah in the Lord Yeshua. Through the Holy Spirit he received the divinity of Christ. Understanding His sacrifice and being filled with the peace of God, he wanted to serve Him, to please Him in everything, so that Yeshua would lead his way.

His conversion caused great confusion in the Jewish community, but this did not stop him from publicly confessing his love for the Lord. For example, he was willing to teach English on the condition that the only textbook was the Bible!

After his baptism, he went to Edinburgh for theological education. On his return, he served as a clergyman in Scotland and England. His sermons were loved, he was most likely the first Christian Jew to preach in Westminster Abbey. In 1883 he retired and settled in Oxford for literary and scientific activities.

Edersheim has written over twelve major works, numerous periodical articles and commentaries. His works are of exceptional value because they reflect his view of things from the point of view of an educated Jew and Christian. His most famous books are: “The Life and Times of the Messiah Jesus” and “The Temple: Its Ministry and Services As They Were at the Time of Jesus Christ .”

Later he says:

“I can say a lot about the Lord Yeshua Mashiach, about His power, grace and love. The biggest thing for me is that He accepted me. Thus the faith of the lowest sinners has brought much glory to Christ.”

Alfred Edersheim died on March 16, 1889.

5 facts about the book and its author

Alfred Edersheim was one of the first Christian scholars to use the vast material of the Judaic tradition to illuminate the history of the Gospel, especially its religious historical background;

The high priest, theologian and preacher Alexander Men used the work “The Life and Times of the Messiah Jesus” as a guide to the book “Son of Man”;

The book was first published in September 1883. The work was a great success, so that a second edition appeared in March 1886, and then a third;
Edersheim was delighted with how well the book was received, with the exception of “one pain”. Ironically, some readers saw his book as anti-Semitic. Even today there are similar comments because of his descriptions of the Jews and their relationship with Jesus Christ. Edersheim personally denied the accusations: “Any such thought about the Jews and Jesus Christ, who was also a Jew, is terrible, ridiculous and painful”;
In the preface, Edersheim noted: “All my previous work was actually a preparation for this book.”

Alfred Edersheim’s books are available in English here: Alfred Edersheim (Edersheim, Alfred, 1825-1889) | The Online Books Page (upenn.edu)

Source: Кем был Альфред Эдершейм и почему стоит прочитать его книгу «Жизнь и время Иисуса Мессии» | Статьи на inVictory