OSIANDER, ANDREAS° (1498?–1552), German theologian, religious reformer, and *Hebraist. Born in Gunzenhausen (Franconia), Osiander was ordained a priest in 1520, but shortly thereafter converted to Protestantism, becoming one of the most influential reformers of the time. He was a Hebrew tutor at Nuremberg and continued his studies with a Jew, Woelfflein of Schnaittach, who was given the extraordinary privilege of visiting Nuremberg for that purpose. In the wake of the *Pezinok blood libel of 1529, Osiander published an anonymous refutation of the ritual murder charge, which led to a literary dispute with Johannes Eck. Although Osiander was himself a Lutheran theologian, in a private letter to Elijah *Levita he vehemently denounced Martin *Luther's anti-Jewish Vom Schem Hamphoras (1544). In 1548 Osiander left Nuremberg and was made professor of Hebrew at the then newly founded University of Koenigsberg, where he died a few years later.
M. Stern, Andreas Osianders Schrift ueber die Blutbeschuldigung (1893); Baron, Social2, 13 (1969), 228, 232f., 431f. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: A. Osiander d.Ä., Gesamtausgabe, 10 vols. (1975–1995); G. Seebaß, Das reformatorische Werk des Andreas Osiander (1967); M. Stupperich, Osiander in Preußen, 1549–1552 (1973); G. Ph. Wolf, in: Zeitschrift fuer Bayerische Kirchengeschichte, 53 (1984), 49–77; B. Haegler, Die Christen und die "Judenfrage" am Beispiel der Schriften Osianders… (1992); H. Schreckenberg, Die christlichen Ad-versus-Judaeos-Texte … (1994), 612–5 (with bibliography).
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.