1825 - 1889
Born in the early 1800s in Vienna, Austria to Jewish
parents, Edersheim was well educated both in the
secular subjects of the day and in the Talmudic
traditions of his family's faith. As a young man he
converted to Christianity and then went on to study
to become a Presbyterian minister and eventually a
vicar in the Church of England. His unique position
as a scholar trained in both the Jewish and the
Christian traditions including all the Biblical
languages and his extensive knowledge and
understanding of the culture and religious beliefs in
early first century Roman-ruled Judea make him quite
an authority on all things Biblical. He wrote quite a
number of books and contributed to many others as a
translator or an editor. He also contributed entries
to dictionaries and other reference works.
Unfortunately, some of his books are out of print
and very hard to find. But four of his most famous
works are available. I have greatly profited from
reading these books and I'd like to highly recommend
them to you!
If you would like to read a short biography of
Alfred Edersheim - a much better and more detailed
one than I have provided here, please check out this
page written by Stewart Edersheim. A direct
descendant? I don't know...but he's done a lot of
research on the subject! This document is located at
Keys. I'm not real familiar with this site, but
you might want to check it out and see what else
they have to offer.
The Life And Times Of Jesus
This first book of Edersheim's that I would like to
recommend to you is in our permanent collection of
Bible study helps in our bookstore because it is such a great reference for New Testament study. It's
organized with a scripture reference index so one can
easily go to material on specific passages while
studying, but it is also such a wonderful book to
just read straight through. Get a copy or just find
out more about it here. This work is
now online, too and can be read or downloaded by
These next two books are kind of companion volumes.
The Temple: It's Ministry And Services covers the religious and Sketches Of Jewish
Social Life the civil aspects of Jewish life
at the time of Christ.
The Temple: It's Ministry And
Services. Edersheim carries the reader with
him into the Sanctuary to be able to witness it's
priesthood, the worshipers, all it's solemnities and
everything connected with it's institutions.
Read it online
Sketches Of Jewish Social
Life. In this book, Edersheim takes the reader
into ordinary civil society in first century
Palestine. He'll make you mingle with the men and
women of the period, see them in their homes, with
their families, learn their customs and manners, and
get familiar with their ways of thinking.
Read it online
Bible History: Old
Testament. This is Edersheim's book by book,
chapter by chapter exposition of the Old Testament
complete with his answers to the arguments of the
so-called "Higher Critics" of his day. Their same old
low criticisms are still heard today. I say low,
because they exhibit a low view of Scripture.
Edersheim's counter-arguments are still relevant in
our own time. Check it out!
Read it online
All four of the online versions of the books above
are found at the Philologos website.
This site is truly worth a visit because they have
many additional books available to read online from
authors such as E. W. Bullinger, Alexander Hislop,
John Bunyan and others.
Other Available Selections From Edersheim