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Isaac B Abraham Troki

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TROKI, ISAAC B. ABRAHAM, who derived his name from his native-place Troki, a town of Russia-Poland, near Wilna, was born in 1533. Being Karaite Jews [SADDucEEs] his parents placed him under the tuition of R. Zephaniah b. Mordecai, a distinguished Karaite writer at Troki. Under the guidance of this scholarly and liberal-minded teacher, Troki not only became a most accom plished Hebrew scholar, but acquired a thorough knowledge of Latin and Polish, in order to be en abled to study the controversies which were then vehemently raging in Poland between the Roman Catholics and the newly-risen Protestants, as well as between the different sects to which the Refor mation gave rise, especially the Lutherans, the Cal vinists, and the Unitarians—the latter, as is well known, having founded at that time an asylum in Poland. He carefully studied the Catholic Polish version of the Bible made by Leonard from the Vulgate, which appeared in Cracow 1561, and again in 1575 and in 1577 ; the Calvinistic Polish version called the Radzivil Bible, made by an anonymous translator from the original texts at the expense of Prince Radzivil, which appeared at Brzesc in 1563 ; and the Socinian version, made also from the original texts by the celebrated Simon Budny, which was published at Nieswiez in Lithu ania 1570 ; as well as the writings of Nicholas Paruta, Martin Czechowiz, and Simon Budny, the heads of Unitarianism in Poland. As all these sects, who differed from each other on almost every other point, agreed in their attack upon the Jews and their faith, the learned Troki determined to publish a defence of his ancestral religion. To this end he put together in 1593, when sixty years of age, the various conversations which he had with his Chris tian friends of the different denominations, about the questions at issue between Judaism and Chris tianity, and thus arose the celebrated polemical work entitled Faith Strengthened (rinnti prn). This work of world-wide celebrity is divided into two parts. The first part, which is devoted to an examination of the objections raised by Christians against Judaism, and which is subdivided into fifty chapters, discusses very minutely the interpreta tion of the Messianic passages of the O. T., and their application to Christ as the predicted Messiah ; whilst the second part is taken up with a critical examination of the statements made in the sundry books of the N. T. Troki died in 1594, just when he had completed the general introduction and the table of contents to the first part. Joseph b.

Mordecai Malinowski, his pupil and townsman, completed the table of contents to the second part, wrote a preface to it, and had it circulated in NIS. among the Jews. The Chizuk Emulza.--- Faith Strengthened, though not printed, was greatly multi plied in copies, and was rapidly circulated among the Jews of almost every country on earth. As it3 author was a Karaite Jew, a Rabbi of the Rab binic Jews who copied the Chizuk Enzuna in 1615 thought it his duty to introduce into it arbitrary and ignorant alterations, as well as to conceal its real author, his native place, his date, religious and philosophical views. It is a copy of this vitiated text which the celebrated Wagenseil obtained from a Jew in Africa, and which was published for the first time with other Jewish texts of a similar im port, and with a Latin translation in his collection entitled The Fiery Darts of Satan,' Tela Ignea Satana, Altorf 1681. A reprint of this vitiated text without the Latin translation appeared in Amsterdam 1717, and in Jerusalem 1845. But though Chiistian Gottlieb Unger made a most thorough collation of tbe vitiated printed text with a correct MS. in his possession which was published by Wolf (Bibliotheca Hebraa, iv. 648), and though Geiger has shown most conclusively the very cor rupt state of the printed text, yet the new edition of the Chizule E1112ina, edited by J. Fisch], Leip zig 1857, is simply a reprint of this corrupted text. From this corrupted text was made the English translation by Moses Mocatta, which was printed but not published' 1851. Elaborate refutations of this work have been written by J. Muller, Confutatio Chissuk Emuna, comprised in his Yudaismus ex Rabbinorum scriptis detectus, etc. etc., refutatus, Hamburg 1644 ; j. Gousset, Ternia controverss. adversus yudaws, appositzts R. Isaacs' ChisSlik E71221 na, Dordracht i688 ; B. H. Gebhard, Centum laca N. T. vindicata adversus Chissuk E»111,2a, Greifswalde 1699 ; J. P. Storr, Evangelische Glatt benskraft. Gegen (las Werk Chissuk Emuna, Tu bingen 7o3 ; and by our own learned Bishop Kidder in bis Demonstration of the Messiah, 2d ed. London 1726. Comp. Wolf, Biblththeca Hebram, iv. 639, etc. ; Geiger, Isaac Trak", Breslau 1853 ; Fiirst, Bibliatheca yudaica, ii. 138, etc. ; 448 ; Steinschneider, Catalagus Libr. Hebr. Bibliotheca Bodlefana, col. io74, etc.—C. D. G.