Joseph Wolff

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Joseph Wolff (1795 - 2 May 1862), Jewish Christian missionary, was born at Weilersbach, near Bamberg, Germany. He travelled widely, and was known as the Eccentric Missionary, according to Fitzroy Maclean's Eastern Approaches. He published several journals of his expeditions, especially Travels and Adventures of Joseph Wolff (2 vols, London, 1860).

Early life

His father became rabbi at Württemberg in 1806, and sent his son to the Protestant lyceum at Stuttgart. He was converted to Christianity through reading the books of Johann Michael von Sailer, bishop of Regensburg, and was baptized in 1812 by the Benedictine abbot of Emaus, near Prague. In his writings the following story is told of his early conviction that Jesus is the Messiah:

<blockquote>When only seven years old, he was boasting to an aged Christian neighbor of the future triumph of Israel at the advent of the Messiah, when the old man said kindly, “Dear boy, I will tell you who the real Messiah was: he was Jesus of Nazareth, whom your ancestors crucified, as they slew the prophets of old. Go home and read the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah, and you will be convinced that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” Conviction at once fastened upon him. He went home and read the scripture, wondering to see how perfectly it had been fulfilled in Jesus of Nazareth. Were the words of the Christian true? The boy asked of his father an explanation of the prophecy, but was met with a silence so stern that he never again...
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