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Oesterley, William Oscar Emil°

OESTERLEY, WILLIAM OSCAR EMIL° (1866–1950), English Semitics scholar. Oesterley, who was born in Calcutta, was ordained a clergyman and taught Hebrew and Old Testament exegesis at King's College, London, from 1926. In his work he endeavored to demonstrate talmudic influence on New Testament form and content.

Among his published writings are: The Jewish Background of Christian Liturgy (1925); (with T.H. Robinson) A History of Israel (vol. 2; From 586 B.C.E. to A.D. 135; 1932 and many reprints); Introduction to the Books of the Old Testament (with T.H. Robinson, 1934) and An Introduction to the Books of the Apocrypha (1935); The Jews and Judaism During the Greek Period (1941). Oesterley also wrote commentaries to Psalms (1939; repr. 1962) and Proverbs (1929), A Fresh Approach to the Psalms (1937) and a metric translation of the Song of Songs, Ancient Hebrew Poems (1938). Together with G.H. Box he wrote an outline of Jewish literature, A Short Survey of the Literature of Rabbinical and Mediaeval Judaism, 1920.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.