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John Spencer

1630-1693. Hebraist. Born in Kent, he was educated at King's School, Canterbury, then entered Corpus Christi College, Cambridge (1645), where he remained for the rest of his life. He was master of the college from 1667 until his death. In his De Legibus Hebraeorum (1685) he compared the laws and rites of the Jews with those of other Semitic nations, thus laying the foundations of comparative religion. His work was little heeded in his day, but was continued by Wellhausen and others of the Tübingen School* two centuries later.