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Simon, Father [Richard].

THE CRITICAL HISTORY OF THE RELIGIONS AND CUSTOMS OF THE EASTERN NATIONS.

Written in French by the Learned Father Simon. And now done into English, by A. Lovell. London, Printed by J. Heptinstall for Henry Faithorne ... 1685.
1st English Ed. Sm. 8vo. [viii] + 190pp. + [ii] Catalogue of books. Some light browning, two blanks to front torn and lacking, rebound in modern calf, blind ruling to edges of boards and spine, gilt lettered title label and publication date in gilt to spine. Greeks, Ethiopians, Armenians, Maronites, Turks, Jacobites, Nestorians, etc. Leading French biblical scholar who studied with the Oratorians and the Jesuits and at the Sorbonne, specializing in Hebrew and Near Eastern studies. Before being ordained a priest in 1670, he taught philosophy at an Oratorian college. Quickly becoming one of the foremost experts in Hebrew, Judaism, and Eastern Church history. His most important and revolutionary work, ‘Histoire critique du vieux testament’ was printed in 1678, immediately banned by Jacques Bénigne Bossuet causing almost all copies to be destroyed. A few reached England, and the work was published in French with an English translation by Henry Dickinson in 1682. The scandal forced Simon to leave the Oratory and become a simple priest. Free of constraint thereafter, he argued with various Protestant and Catholic thinkers and wrote many works on the history of religion and on the Bible, which culminated in his translation of the New Testament (1702), predictably banned also.
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