Judah, Leo

, one of the reformers, son of John Judah, a German priest, was born in 1482, in Alsace. Some authors have reported that he was a converted Jew, but father Simon has proved that he neither was a Jew, nor of Jewish extraction, but the son of the above John Judah, or de Juda, who, according to the custom of those times, kept a concubine, by whom he had this Leo. He was educated at Slestadt, and thence in 1502, was sent to Basil to pursue his academical studies. Here he had for a fellowstudent, the afterwards much celebrated Zuinglius; and from him, who had at a very early age been shocked at the superstitious practices of the church of Rome, he received such impressions, as disposed him to embrace the reformed religion. Having obtained his degree of M. A. in 1512, he was appointed minister of a Swiss church, to the duties of which he applied himself with indefatigable zeal, preaching boldly in defence of the protestant religion. At length he was appointed by the magistrates and ecclesiastical assembly of Zurich, pastor of the church of St. Peter in that city, and became very celebrated as an advocate, as well from the press as the pulpit, of the reformed religion, for about eighteen years. At the desire of his brethren, he undertook a translation, from the Hebrew into Latin, of the whole Old Testament; but the magnitude of the work, and the closeness with which he applied to it, impaired his health; and before he had completed it, he fell a sacrifice to his labours, June 9, 1542, when he was about sixty years of age. The translation was finished by other hands, and was printed at Zurich in 1543, and two years afterwards it was reprinted at Paris by Robert Stephens, accompanying the Vulgate version, in adjoining columns, but without the name of the author of the new version. Judah was likewise the author of “Annotations upon Genesis and Exodus,” in which he was assisted by Xuinglius, and upon the four gospels, and the greater part | of the epistles. He also composed a larger and smaller catechism, and translated some of Zuinglius’s works into Latin. The Spanish divines, notwithstanding the severity of the Inquisition, did not hesitate to reprint the Latin Bible of Leo Judah, with the notes ascribed to Vatabius, though some of them were from the pen of Calvin. Some particulars of Judah and of this translation, not generally known, may be found in a book written by a divine of Zurich, and printed in that city in 1616, entitled “Vindicise pro Bibliorum translatione Tigurina.1


Melehior Adam,- Simon’s Bibl. Critique. —Saxii Onomast,