Johann Leusden

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Johannes Leusden
Excerpt from Leusden's Sefer Tehilim Liber Psalmorum
using God's name Jehovah.

Johannes Leusden (also called Jan (informal), John (English), or Johann (German)) (26 April 1624 – 30 September 1699) was a Dutch Calvinist theologian and orientalist.

Leusden was born in Utrecht. He studied in Utrecht and Amsterdam and became a Professor of Hebrew in Utrecht, where he died, aged 75.

Leusden was one of the most prominent Bible experts of his time, and wrote several works about the Bible and about Hebrew philology (Philologus Hebraeus, 1656; Philologus Hebraeo-Mixtus, 1663; Philologus Hebraeo-Latino-Belgicum, 1668; Philologus Hebraeo-Graecus, 1670; Korte Hebreusche en Chaldeusche taalkonst, 1686). In 1661, together with the Amsterdam book printer Joseph Athias, he published his Biblia Hebraica, the first edition of the Hebrew Bible with numbered verses. The 1667 edition was strongly opposed by the Protestant Samuel Desmarets; Athias answered the charges in a work whose title begins: Caecus de coloribus.[1] Athias’ pamphlet was a full-blown attack on a senior Christian theologian in the United Provinces of the Netherlands. The true author of the pamphlet was not Athias but Johannes Leusden, and that the Utrecht professor had published it in Athias’ name, an assessment that scholars have followed ever since.[2]


  1. ^ Maas 1913.
  2. ^ Like a Blind Man Judging Colors: Joseph Athias and Johannes Leusden Defend their 1667 Hebrew Bible by Theodor Dunkelgrün