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Campegius Vitringa

1659-1722. Protestant Orientalist and biblical exegete. Born at Leeuwarden, son of the recorder of the supreme council of Friesland, he learned Greek and Hebrew early, and studied philosophy and theology at Franeker and Leyden universities. From 1860 he taught at Franeker, refusing to leave for more prominent positions at Utrecht and Leyden, holding the chairs of oriental languages and of theology (1682) and becoming professor of sacred history (1693). His biblical exegesis from the orthodox Calvinist standpoint was marked by freshness and penetration. His chief work was a commentary on Isaiah (1714-20). Other writings include De Synagoga Veteri (1696; ET The Synagogue and the Church, 1842) and Anakrisis Apocalypseos Ioannis Apostoli (1705), a commentary on Revelation combining the Recapitulation and Chiliastic interpretations. This last was widely influential, and made Chiliasm popular among German Pietistic circles, despite the Augsburg and Helvetic confessions, which branded Millenarianism as a Judaistic heresy.