William Henry Green - Encyclopedia

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WILLIAM HENRY GREEN (1825-1900), American Hebrew scholar, was born in Groveville, near Bordentown, New Jersey, on the 27th of January 1825. He was descended in the sixth generation from Jonathan Dickinson, first president of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University), and his ancestors had been closely connected with the Presbyterian church. He graduated in 1840 from Lafayette College, where he was tutor in mathematics (1840-1842) and adjunct professor (1843-1844). In 1846 he graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary, and was instructor in Hebrew there in 1846-1849. He was ordained in 1848 and was pastor of the Central Presbyterian church of Philadelphia in 1849-1851. From August 1851 until his death, in Princeton, New Jersey, on the 10th of February 1900, he was professor of Biblical and Oriental Literature in Princeton Theological Seminary. From 1859 the title of his chair was Oriental and Old Testament Literature. In 1868 he refused the presidency of Princeton College; as senior professor he was long acting head of the Theological Seminary. He was a great Hebrew teacher: his Grammar of the Hebrew Language (1861, revised 1888) was a distinct improvement in method on Gesenius, Roediger, Ewald and Nordheimer. All his knowledge of Semitic languages he used in a "conservative Higher Criticism," which is maintained in the following works: The Pentateuch Vindicated from the Aspersions of Bishop Colenso (1863), Moses and the Prophets (1883), The Hebrew Feasts in their Relation to Recent Critical Hypotheses Concerning the Pentateuch (1885), The Unity of the Book of Genesis (1895), The Higher Criticism of the Pentateuch (1895), and A General Introduction to the Old Testament, vol. i. Canon (1898), vol. ii. Text (1899). He was the scholarly leader of the orthodox wing of the Presbyterian church in America, and was moderator of the General Assembly of 1891. Green was chairman of the Old Testament committee of the Anglo-American Bible revision committee.

See the articles by John D. Davis in The Biblical World, new series, vol. xv., pp. 406-413 (Chicago, 1900), and The Presbyterian and Reformed Review, vol. xi. pp. 377-396 (Philadelphia, 1900).

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