Beginning in 1867 with the publication of Jacob ben Chajim's Introduction to the Rabbinic Bible, Hebrew and English, with notices, and the Massoreth HaMassoreth of Elias Levita, in Hebrew, with translation and commentary, Dr Ginsburg took rank as an eminent Hebrew scholar.
About 1530), proof-reader to Bomberg, chiefly known for his masoretic work in connexion with the Rabbinic Bible and his introduction to it; Elias Levita, of Venice (d.
These conclusions were hotly contested by Johannes Buxtorf, being in conflict with the views of his father, Johannes Buxtorf senior, notwithstanding the fact that Elias Levita had already disputed the antiquity of the vowel points and that neither Jerome nor the Talmud shows any acquaintance with them.
Evidence of this is given by the canon law forgeries of the 9th century: the capitula of Angelram, the Capitularies of Benedictus Levita (see Capitulary), and the great collection of the Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals.
(2nd ed., p. 269 ff.), the legend - for it is nothing better - grew, until finally, in the hands of Elias Levita (1538), and especially of Johannes Buxtorf (1665), it assumed the form that the " men of the Great Synagogue," - a body the real existence of which is itself very doubtful, but which is affirmed in the Talmud to have " written " (!) the books of Ezekiel, the Minor Prophets, Daniel and Esther - with Ezra as president, first collected the books of the Old Testament into a single volume, restored the text, where necessary, from the best MSS., and divided the collection into three parts, the Law, the Prophets and the " Writings " (the Hagiographa).
The reputation of Elias Levita and Buxtorf led to this view of Ezra's activity being adopted by other scholars, and so it acquired general currency.
His surname Diaconus, or Levita, shows that he took orders as a deacon; and some think he was a monk before the fall of the Lombard kingdom.
1658) followed Levita in maintaining, against Buxtorf, the late introduction of the vowel-points, a controversy in which the authority of the massoretic text was concerned.
Elias Levita wrote Hebrew explanations, and Sebastian Munster translated it into Latin.
This falls into two divisions: the grammar, to which the title of the whole, Miklol, is usually applied (first printed in Constantinople, 1532-1534, then, with the notes of Elias Levita, at Venice, 1545), and the lexicon, Sefer Hashorashim, "Book of Roots," which was first printed in Italy before 1480, then at Naples in 1490, and at Venice in 1546 with the annotations of Elias.
Of the latter he says: "Missa tempore sacrificii est, quando catechumeni foras mittuntur, clamante levita ` si quis catechumenus remansit, exeat foras.'