Dr. Adolf Althausen

Originally published in Zions Freund in September 1936.

Adolf AlthausenDr. Althausen was born into a family of pious Jews in Russia. Because his father was a Rabbi, Adolf was educated for the same career. At the age of 18 years, he was already a teacher of the Talmud. Ten years later, he had to give up that career because he did not earn enough to support his wife and children. So he brought his family to his parental home and left for Lemberg to study medicine. There he became acquainted with the Reverend Edward, an educated, spiritual man. Althausen went to hear him preach, and they often had talks and once discussed Isaiah 53. At that time, he had no intention of accepting the Christian faith.

After Dr. Althausen qualified, he was appointed military doctor in Kharkov. There he was once again deeply impressed by the sincere piety of a man of God, the Reverend Landesen. His association with this friend, together with what he had learned from Reverend Edward, made him earnestly study the Bible – with the result that he accepted the Lord Jesus as his Messiah.

By that time, he was able to reunite his family with him at Kharkov. His aged father, the Rabbi, came also, and well with the intention of dissuading his son from having himself baptized and his children baptised. As a result of their talks, the father also came to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus, and then also wished to be baptized. However, the Rabbis of the neighbourhood succeeded in preventing the old man from taking that step, and took him, without his son’s knowledge, to Jerusalem where he lived another ten years, always being guarded from baptism. Dr. Althausen himself, however, as well as his wife who meanwhile also had accepted Messiah Jesus, did confess Him in baptism.

The military afterwards transferred Dr. Althausen to the Caucasus in Russia where there were no Jewish people but only nominal Christians and Mohammedans to whom he earnestly preached the Gospel of the Lord Jesus.

After 25 years’ service in the army, Dr. Althausen was pensioned. From then on, he spent all his time in the task nearest to his heart – bringing the Gospel to his Jewish people in Russia. He did this for 16 years together with his son-in-law, the Reverend Meyerson. He travelled much, he preached, distributed Bibles and New Testaments, and established Bible Depots. His work was richly blessed. In one year alone, he baptised 50 Jews into the faith of Messiah.

At the time of Dr. Althausen’s death, two of his six sons were Ministers of the Gospel, and two of his four daughters were married to Ministers. None of his numerous relatives and friends grudged him his rest. His memory remains a blessing.

Other sources: Dr Althausen is mentioned in Aaron Bernstein’s book, ‘Some Jewish witnesses for Christ’and also in De le Roi’s ‘Die evangelisehe Christenheit und die Juden’ (Berlin, 1892).

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