Edersheim, a scholar and writer on the traditions of the Jewish
faith and Life of Christ, was born March 7, 1825 in the city of
Vienna, Austria. His parents Marcus and Stephanie Beifuss were of
the Jewish faith. In this city he studied in the gymnasium and University
he moved to Pesth, Hungary where he met John Duncan and other Presbyterian
ministers, who were chaplains to Scottish workmen building a bridge
over the Danube River. Under their influence he became a Christian
and came to Scotland with Dr. Duncan. In 1843 he entered New College
until 1844. In 1846 he entered the Presbyterian ministry and thereafter
preached for a year as a missionary to the Jews and Germans at Jassy
in Rumania. He came to Old Aberdeen Church in 1848 and remained
for twelve years. In the twelve years at Aberdeen he translated
several German theological books into English and wrote his History
of the Jewish Nation from the Fall of Jerusalem to the reign of
Constantine the Great.
was the second minister of Free Church known then as Old Machar
Free Church. It was founded in 1843 and the first minister was Dr.
Anderson who eventually resigned as his views on infant baptism
had changed. He went on to found a Baptist Church. Alfred Edersheim
before accepting the ministry of Free Church had been assisting
Robert Forbes at Woodside, Aberdeen and was highly esteemed. He
had accepted the position in 1849. The church was close to the University
of Aberdeen and today it houses the Geography Department.
years at Free Church, Alfred's health started failing, he resigned
and moved to Torquay in the county of Devon, England (a notable
health spa of the period). In 1861, he gathered a congregation and
in 1862 they built St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Torwood Gardens,
Torquay. Because of deteriorating health problems he had to resign
from St. Andrews and moved to Bournemouth, a spa on the south coast.
In 1875 he became
an Episcopalian and was ordained as a deacon and priest in the Church
of England. For a year he was the (unsalaried) curate of the Abbey
Church, Christ Church, Hants, near Bournemouth. In 1876 he became
vicar of Loders, Dorsetshire; resigning in 1883, moving to Oxford.
From 1880 to
1884 he was Warburtonian lecturer at Lincoln's Inn, London. In1881
he was made honorary M.A. of Christ Church, Oxford; in 1883 M.A.
by decree of Convocation of the University of Oxford; and 1884 -
86 was select preacher to the university. He had also lectured in
its "Honours School of Theology," upon prophecy. Because
of his health condition he eventually moved to Menton, France where
he passed away on March 16th, 1889.
— written by Stewart