John of Valladolid
John of Valladolid, born 1335. An able speaker and acquainted with rabbinical literature, he persuaded King Henry of Castile that he could convince the Jews of the truth of Christianity if they were obliged to listen to him and to answer his questions. An order was accordingly issued, compelling the Jews to attend John's lectures in their synagogues and to discuss (hem with him. In company with another Jewish convert, John travelled throughout the Castilian provinces, lectured and debated in the synagogues, but with lack of success. At Avilla, he assembled the Jews four times and discussed with them the tenets of Christianity before numerous Christian and Moslem audiences. At Burgos, he summoned Moses ha Cohen, of Tordesillas, to a religious controversy in the presence of Archbishop Gomez, of Toledo, but he made no impression upon his opponent. Just because he was not content in bringing arguments from Scripture to prove Christian doctrines, but in imitation of the rabbinical method, he tried to base a doctrine on the form of a letter. Thus, for instance, he claimed that the final closed "mem" in the word לסרבה (Isa. ix. 6) is an allusion to the immaculate conception.