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Frederick Augustus Klein
1827 to 1903
Church Missionary Society (CMS)
Egypt

Frederick Augustus Klein was a Church Missionary Society (CMS) missionary in the Middle East. Born in Strasbourg, France, Klein studied at the Basel Mission Institute before going to the Church Missionary College, Islington (London), and receiving Anglican ordination. In 1851 he left for Palestine under the CMS. He worked in Nazareth until 1855 and then in Jerusalem for 22 years. In 1877 he went to Germany and devoted himself to Arabic translation. From 1882 to 1893 he worked in Cairo, where the CMS had reopened work, wishing to evangelize among Muslims. He established public worship in Arabic. On his final return to Europe, he continued his translation work, revising the Arabic version of the Book of Common Prayer, and translating Ryle's commentary on Luke.

Klein will be ever remembered for his discovery, in 1868, at Diban, east of the Dead Sea, of the Moabite Stone, dating from about 840 B.C.; it gives independent confirmation of events mentioned in the Book of Kings. But he ought to be remembered also as one of a number of long-lived German missionaries who acquired great fluency in Arabic and gave their lives in quiet proclamation of Christ among Muslims.

Jocelyn Murray


Bibliography:

Jocelyn Murray, Proclaim the Good News: A Short History of the Church Missionary Society (1985); Eugene Stock, History of the Church Missionary Society (1899).


This article is reproduced, with permission, from Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, copyright © 1998, by Gerald H. Anderson, W. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan. All rights reserved.