Rhenferd, James

, a celebrated oriental scholar, was born at Mulheim, in Westphalia, Aug. 15, 1654. After studying at the college of Meurs, a city in the duchy of Cleves, and travelling for some time, he accepted an invitation to become rector of the Latin college in the city of Franeker; but resigned it in 1680, and removed to Amsterdam, where he was employed in the capacity of tutor, and enjoyed, at the same time, a favourable opportunity for conversing with learned rabbis, and improving his knowledge of rabbinical learning. In 1683 he was appointed professor of the oriental languages and philosophy at the university of Franeker; and remained in this office nearly thirty years, during which he was thrice chosen rector of the university. He died Nov. 7, 1712, in the 59th year of his age. His learning was extensive; but most profound in the Hebrew, including the Rabbinical, the Chaldee, and Syriac languages. Among his works may be mentioned, 1. “De Antiquitate Characters hodierni Judaici,1696, 4to, in which he endeavoured to establish the claim of the present Hebrew characters to the highest antiquity, and to prove that the Samaritan characters were borrowed from the Hebrews;“2.” Comparatio | Expiationis anniversariae Pontificis maximi in Vet. Test, cum unica atque aeterna Expiationis Christi Domini,“1696. 3.” Investigatio Prsefectorum et Ministrorum Synagogae,“1700, 4to. 4.” Dissertationum Theologico-philologicarum de Stylo Novi Testament! Syntagma, quo continentur Olearii, Cocceii, &c. de hoc genere Libelli,“&c. 1701, 4to. 5.” Arabarcha, seu, Ethnarcha Judaeorum,“1702, 4to. 6.” De Statuis et Aris, f’alsis verisque DeietHominum Internunciis,“in illustration of Exod. xx. 23, 24, 1705, 4to. 7.” Observationum selectarum ad Loca Hebraea Nov. Test, partes sive Disput. Tres,“1705, 4to, &c. He also left unfinished, but partly printed, a work, entitled” Rudimenta Grammatical Harmonicas Linguarum Orientalium, Hebrceae, Chaldaicae, Syriaca3, et Arabicse." 1

1 Niceron, vols. I. and X. —Moreri.