Edward Robinson - Encyclopedia

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EDWARD ROBINSON (1794-1863), American Biblical scholar, was born in Southington, Connecticut, on the 10th of April 1794, the son of William Robinson (1754-1825), minister of the Congregational Church of Southington. He graduated in 1816 at Hamilton College. In 1821 he came under the influence and teaching of Moses Stuart, the second edition of whose Hebrew Grammar he helped to prepare for the press in 1823, and through whom he was appointed in the same year instructor in Hebrew in Andover Seminary. With Stuart he translated in 1825 the first edition of Winer's Grammar of New Testament Greek; and alone he translated Wahl's Clavis Philologica Novi Testamenti (1825). In 1826-30 he studied in Germany, especially at. Halle, under Gesenius, Tholuck and Rodiger, and at Berlin, under Neander. He was professor (extraordinary) of sacred literature and librarian at Andover in 1830-33, resigning because of dangerous epileptic attacks; and in 1831-35 he edited the Biblical Repository, which he founded and carried on very largely by his own contributions, assisted somewhat by his young German wife, Theresa Albertina Luise (1797-1869), the daughter of Professor Ludwig Heinrich von Jakob of Halle, a linguist of considerable ability, and a writer (in her early years under the pseudonym "Talvi") of essays and stories. In 1837 he accepted the professorship of Biblical literature in Union Theological Seminary, and left America for three years of study in Palestine and Germany, the fruit of which, his Biblical Researches, published in 1841, brought him the gold medal of the Royal Geographical Society in 1842. A second volume of Researches appeared in 1856. His plans to sum up his important topographical studies in a work on Biblical geography were cut short by cataract in 1861 and by his death in New York City on the 27th of January 1863. A great Biblical scholar and exegete, Robinson must be considered the pioneer and father of Biblical geography - his Biblical Researches, supplemented by the Physical Geography of the Holy Land (1865), were based on careful personal exploration and tempered by a thoroughly critical spirit, which was possibly at times too sceptical of local tradition. Of scarcely less value in their day were his Greek Harmony of the Gospels (1845 and often) and his Greek and English Lexicon of the New Testament (1836; revised 1847 and 1850). He established in 1843 and edited for some years the Bibliotheca Sacra (in which the Biblical Repository was merged in 1852), for which he wrote until 1855.

See Henry B. Smith and Roswell D. Hitchcock, The Life, Writings and Character of Edward Robinson (New York, 1863) a biography of Mrs Robinson was published, with a collection of her stories, in Leipzig, in 1874.

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