Classics and Religious Studies


Date of this Version



Basler Zeitschrift für Geschichte und Altertumskunde 89 (1989): 135-144.


Johannes Buxtorf I has frequently been portrayed in the scholarly literature as a vigorous proponent of missions to the Jews and an implacable foe of their religion. The circumcision incident of 1619 casts a slightly different light upon Buxtorf and his relations with the Jews. While Buxtorf made his religious objections to Jewish circumcision clear, his opinion of the event and the city council's reaction to it differed markedly. Differing views of what constituted "appropriate" behavior for Christians toward Jews lie at the heart of this unhappy incident.