Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Remarkable Conversion of a Jew at Leipsic

The Remarkable Conversion of a Jew at Leipsic was first published in the Christian Guardian in 1811. It's a brief story (later published in tract format in 7 pages) about a Jewish pawnbroker who starts to read a New Testment pawned by a divinity student at the University of Leipsic. After reading it three times (for the purpose of gaining better arguments against Christians) the pawnbroker himself becomes a Christian, for he can find no fault in Jesus and decides to embrace him as his Savior.

Joseph Blau and Salo Baron, editors of The Jews of the United States, 1790-1840: A Documentary History, write that "Wherever and whenever the story of the converted Jew was first told, by the 1820s, it had become a standard item in the repertoire of missionary activity. It had become a piece of folklore, and was reprinted many times, each time with a statement that seemed to guarantee its actuality" (vol. 3, p. 711). Blau and Baron reprint one of these tales, entitled "The Converted Jew, an Affecting Tale, 1821" which was first published in The Methodist Review and later republished elsewhere.

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