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BROUGHTON, HUGH:

English Christian divine and rabbinical scholar; born 1549 at Oldbury, Shropshire; died at Tottenham, near London, Aug. 4, 1612. Broughton was entered at Magdalene College, Cambridge, where he began his Hebrew studies under the French scholar Chevalier. He graduated as B. A. in 1570, and subsequently went to London, where he distinguished himself in the pulpit as a rep-representative of Puritan sentiment. In his first work, "A Concent of Scripture," which appeared in 1588, he made an effort to determine the Biblicalchronology, as well as to correct the profane writers by it.

Broughton seems to have been anxious to convert the Jews to Christianity. In the course of his travels in Germany (he probably started at the end of 1589 or at the beginning of 1590) he engaged in religious discussions with several Jews. In Frankfort, early in 1590, he disputed in the synagogue with "Rabbi Elias." This dispute resulted in a letter from a certain Rabbi Abraham Reuben, written in 1596 at Constantinople and transmitted to Broughton in Germany by his (Broughton's) disciple "Top." Broughton anticipated good results from his discussions with Jews; and often referred to his disputations with Rabbi David Farrar. He was desirous of translating the New Testament into Hebrew; but, receiving no encouragement, he translated the Revelation only.

Broughton was one of the chief instruments in bringing about the Authorized Version of King James; but, keenly disappointed at being overlooked by the king when the latter appointed the fifty-four learned men to undertake the revision (July 22, 1604), Broughton attacked vigorously the new translation. His own versions of the Prophets, while marked by all his peculiarities, have a majesty of expression which entitles them to be better known.

Bibliography:
  • Diet. National Biography;
  • General Biographic Dict. vii.;
  • McClintock and Strong, Cyc.;
  • Encyc. Brit.;
  • P. Larousse, Dict. Universel.
T. A. R.
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