Born: March 7, 1825, Vi­en­na, Aus­tria.

Died: March 16, 1889, Men­ton, France.

Buried: Men­ton, France.



Son of weal­thy Jew­ish par­ents, Ed­ers­heim grew up in a cul­tured home where Eng­lish was spok­en, and he be­came flu­ent at an ear­ly age.

He was edu­cat­ed at a lo­cal Gym­na­si­um, and in the Tal­mud and Tor­ah at a He­brew school. In 1841, he e­ntered the Uni­ver­si­ty of Vi­en­na.

He was the first Jew to take priz­es there, but his fa­ther suf­fered ill­ness and fi­nan­cial re­vers­es be­fore Al­fred could com­plete his edu­ca­tion, and he had to sup­port him­self.

He emi­grat­ed to Hun­ga­ry and be­came a teach­er of lang­uag­es. He con­vert­ed to Chris­ti­a­ni­ty in Pesth (now part of Bu­da­pest) un­der the in­flu­ence of John Dun­can, a Church of Scot­land chap­lain to work­ers build­ing a bridge ov­er the Da­nube.

Edersheim ac­com­pa­nied Dun­can on his re­turn to Scot­land, and stu­died theo­lo­gy at New Col­lege, Ed­in­burgh, and lat­er at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Ber­lin.

On re­turn to Scot­land, Ed­ers­heim preached for a time in Aber­deen, and in 1849 was ap­point­ed to min­is­ter at the Free Church, Old Ab­er­deen

In 1861, health prob­lems forced him to re­sign, and the Church of St. An­drew was built for him at Tor­quay.

In 1872, Ed­ers­heim’s health again obliged him to re­tire, and for four years he lived qui­et­ly at Bourn­emouth.

In 1875 the Bi­shop of Win­ches­ter or­dained him in the Church of Eng­land, and he served as curate of the Ab­bey Church, Christ­church, Hamp­shire, for a year, then as vicar of Lo­ders, Dor­set (1876–82).

He was ap­point­ed War­bur­ton­i­an Lec­tur­er at Lin­coln’s Inn (1880–84). Af­ter re­sign­ing and mov­ing to Ox­ford, he was Se­lect Preach­er to the Uni­ver­si­ty (1884–85) and Grin­field Lec­tur­er on the Sep­tu­a­gint (1886–88 & 1888–89).