EH 48 C 12


Against Christianity

Prevenciones divinas contra la vana idolatria de las gentes.

Polemical treatises by Isaac Orobio de Castro, late 17th century copy.

Prevenciones / divinas / contra la vana / idolatria / de las gentes / por / El Doctor Ishac Orobio de Castro / Cathedratico de metaphisica y medecina en las universidades / de Alcalá y Sevilla, medico de la camara del Duque de Medina Cely / y de la familla de Borgoña del Rey Phelipe quarto, professor, medico / y consejero del rey de francia, en la insigne universidad de Tolosa.


f. [1r]: Title Part I.

f. [1v] 121v, 122v, 510v: blank.

f. [2r-9v]: Prologue.

f. 1r-121r: Text Part I.

f. 122r: Title Part II: Libro segundo / Prevenciones / a ysrael / en los libros Propheticos / Por el mismo Doctor Ishac Orobio de Castro.

f. 123r-340r: Text Part II.

f. 340v-381v: Respuesta aun escrito que presentó un Predicante frances a el Author contra la observancia de la divina ley de Moseh.

f. 382r-503r: Epistola invectiva contra Prado un philosopho medico que dudava o no crehia la verdad de la divina escritura y pretendio enctubrir su malicia con la afecta conficion de Dios y ley de naturaleza.

f. 503v-510r: Table of contents.

According to Yosef Kaplan, Prevenciones divinas is one of the most incisive Orobio’s writings against Christianity. It was written between 1668 and 1675 and circulated widely in manuscript form among Sephardic Jews in Western Europe.

It is divided in two parts. In the first book, Orobio intends to prove that, in the Torah, God already warns the people of Israel on the Christianity and its attacks against the Law of Moses. He also criticises the Christian method of biblical exegesis (especially its attempts to find mystical meanings instead of choosing more obvious significations) and the accuracy of the Gospels as a historic source.

The second book is mostly a refutation against the Christian interpretations on the Old Testament prophecies about the coming of the Messiah, especially on Daniel 9 (20-7) and Isaiah 53.

Baron D’Holbach’s Israel vengé ou Exposition naturelle des Prophéties hébraïques que les Chrétiens appliquent à Jesus, leur prétendu Messie par Isaac Orobio (London, 1770) is the first printed edition of Orobio’s polemical writings, freely translated into French, and including abstracts from the Prevenciones divinas, under the title “Dissertation sur le Messie”.

Other copies of the same work in EH 48 B 6, EH 48 B 13, EH 48 C 1, EH 48 C 2 and EH 48 D 6.

In this copy of the Prevenciones divinas the laudatory poems of Daniel Levi de Barrios are missing.

Respuesta a un escrito was written about 1670 against a French preacher, probably a Huguenot, who had given Orobio a polemical writing against the Jewish adherence to the Law of Moses and the observance of its commandements. The controversy between Orobio and that French preacher has two focuses: the original sin and the differences in functions of the Messiah in Judaism and Christianism.

Epistola invectiva contra Prado… is identical with Epistola Invectiva contra la impiedad, de quien duda la verdad infalible de la Sagrada Escritura…. (see EH 48 B 12), Epistola invectiva contra un Philosopho medico que dudava, o no creia la verdad de la divina escriptura… (see EH 48 A 12) and Respuesta a un Filosofo Hebreo, que pide fundamentos de razon para persuadirse, al credito de el Sacro Texto (see EH 48 C 4). Other copy in EH 48 C 3. This text was partly published by I. S. Revah in Spinoza et le Dr. Juan de Prado, Paris, Mouton, 1959, pp. 86-129.

Epistola Invectiva was originally written in 1663. It is a Orobio’s defence of rabbinic and Talmudic authority and of the validity of the Halakah, also using arguments based on philosophical reason, against Juan de Prado’s writings.

Adam Sutcliffe, Judaism and Enlightenment, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2003; Yosef Kaplan, From Christianity to Judaism: the story of Isaac Orobio de Castro, London, Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2004.

Belonged to the collection of Ets Haim Library at the end of the 19th century.

Spanish / Paper / 22,8 x 17,8 cm. / [9] + 510 ff. (first and last l. blank) / 19-22 lines to a page / Current Iberian writing / First 2 titles partly in printed capital, other titles written on top of the pages / Catchwords at the end of each folium / Contemporary leather binding.

Fuks 194. Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian.