Michael Alexander (bishop)

Michael Alexander (bishop)
Michael Solomon Alexander
Bishop of Jerusalem
Diocese Jerusalem
Enthroned 1842
Reign ended 23 November 1845
Predecessor none
Successor Samuel Gobat
Ordination 1 November 1932
Consecration 7 December 1841
Personal details
Born 1 May 1799
Died 23 November 1845
Bilbeis, Egypt
Buried Jerusalem
Nationality British
Denomination Anglican

Michael Solomon Alexander (1 May 1799, Schönlanke, (Provinz Posen), Prussia, today Trzcianka, Poland – 23 November 1845, Bilbeis, Ottoman Empire) was the first Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem.



He was born into an English Jewish family living in Germany; his father was a rabbi. He emigrated to England in about 1820, and became a private tutor for a Jewish family in Colchester. Then he became rabbi at Norwich. Here he came into contact with William Marsh, a stalwart of the London Society for Promoting Christianity Amongst the Jews (now known as the Church's Ministry Among Jewish People or CMJ).

Attempting to flee Christian influences, he accepted the post of teacher and shochet at Plymouth. He taught Hebrew to the Rev. Benjamin Golding of Stonehouse church. In 1825, he converted to Christianity.

Soon afterwards, he and his wife, Deborah, went to live in Dublin, where he taught Hebrew and was ordained a priest in the Anglican Church in 1827. This was followed by working with CMJ, firstly in Danzig between 1827 and 1830, and then in London between 1831 and 1841.

He was professor of Hebrew at King's College London from 1832 until 1841 and helped Dr. Alexander McCaul of the CMJ to revise the Mission's translation of the New Testament into Hebrew in 1835 and to translate the Book of Common Prayer into Hebrew.

Diocese of Jerusalem

In 1841 the British and Prussian Governments as well as the Church of England and the Evangelical Church in Prussia entered into a unique agreement - the establishment of a Protestant Bishopric in Jerusalem. Alexander was proposed as the first Protestant bishop. He was appointed bishop of the United Church of England and Ireland in Jerusalem, and was ordained a bishop on 7 December 1841 at Lambeth Palace. He arrived in Jerusalem in January 1842.

Alexander's position was always a controversial one. He worked alongside the CMJ pioneer, John Nicolayson, in consolidating the Protestant presence in Jerusalem. Various institutions were set up under his leadership, including a School of Industry for training Jewish believers in basic trades, an Enquirers House, a Hebrew College, and a modern hospital for Jewish people.[citation needed] His presence greatly antagonised the Jewish leadership, who considered him an apostate,[1] as well as provoking the other major churches to consolidate their presence in Jerusalem. Both the Roman Catholic church and Greek Orthodox church subsequently sent Patriarchs to Jerusalem to counteract Alexander's influence.

He died in Bilbeis, Egypt while returning to England. He was buried in Mount Zion Cemetery, Jerusalem. He was succeeded by Bishop Samuel Gobat.


  1. ^ Blumberg, Arnold (1985). Zion Before Zionism: 1838-1880. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press. p. 43. ISBN 0815623364. 

External links

Anglican Communion titles
New see Bishop of Jerusalem
Succeeded by
Samuel Gobat

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Michael Ball (bishop) — For other people named Michael Ball, see Michael Ball (disambiguation). Michael Thomas Ball (born 14 February 1932) is an Anglican bishop and the co founder of the Community of the Glorious Ascension. He was the Bishop of Truro[1] from 1990 to… …   Wikipedia

  • Michael Alexander — may refer to: Michael Alexander (academic) (born 1970), American scholar of Jewish History Michael Alexander (bishop) (1799–1845), first Anglican bishop of the Diocese of Jerusalem Michael Alexander (British Army officer) (1920–2004), British… …   Wikipedia

  • Michael Stern (educator) — Michael Stern Born Michael Alexander Stern January 13, 1922(1922 01 13) Egypt Died July 14, 2002(2002 07 14) (aged 80) Hindhead, Surrey, England Cause of death Ro …   Wikipedia

  • Bishop of Meath — Christianity portal The Bishop of Meath is an episcopal title which takes its name after the ancient Kingdom of Meath. In the Roman Catholic Church it remains as a separate title, but in the Church of Ireland it has been united with another… …   Wikipedia

  • Alexander — This article is about the male first name. For other uses, see Alexander (disambiguation). Alexander Paris, depicted in this c. 1636 painting by Peter Paul Rubens making his famous judgment, was given the surname Alexander as a child when he rou …   Wikipedia

  • Michael of Glasgow — is the earliest known bishop of Glasgow of the 12th century. Records of his episcopate do not survive from the records of the Kingdom of Scotland, however a bishop and a bishop with the name Michael is recorded in foreign records. A letter of… …   Wikipedia

  • Michael MacKenlagh — (Scottish Gaelic: Mìcheal MacFhionnlaigh ) was Bishop of Galloway or Whithorn (1355 58). He had previously been Prior of Whithorn, head of the cathedral s monastery and leader of the local religious elite. He was elected to the episcopate… …   Wikipedia

  • ALEXANDER, MICHAEL SOLOMON — (1799–1845), the first Anglican bishop in Jerusalem. After an Orthodox Jewish upbringing, in 1820 Alexander left his native Germany for England, where as Michael Solomon Pollack he served as ḥazzan and shoḥet to the small communities in Norwich… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Michael I Cerularius — Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople See Patriarchate of Constantinople Enthroned …   Wikipedia

  • Michael the Syrian — (died 1199 AD), also known as Michael the Great or Michael Syrus or Michael the Elder, in opposition to his nephew[1], was a patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church from 1166 to 1199. He is best known today as the author of the largest medieval… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”