Bibliotheca Sacra’s 175th Anniversary -- By: Larry J. Waters
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Bibliotheca Sacra’s 175th Anniversary
Larry J. Waters is Professor of Bible Exposition, Dallas Theological Seminary, and Lead Editor of Bibliotheca Sacra.
The year 2018 marks the 175th anniversary of Bibliotheca Sacra. This quarterly periodical stands as the oldest continuously published theological journal in the Western Hemisphere.1
It is with deep gratitude to God that the Bibliotheca Sacra editorial staff and the administration and faculty of Dallas Theological Seminary acknowledge the Lord’s hand on this publication. From its beginning in 1843 to the present, Bibliotheca Sacra has maintained an uncompromising position as a conservative theological journal and leading voice for evangelical biblical scholarship. What follows briefly surveys the history of our journal.2
In its 175 years only ten editors have directed the journal. Bibliotheca Sacra, Latin for “Sacred Library,” began in 1843 with Edward Robinson, a biblical philologist and topographer of Bible lands at Union Theological Seminary in New York. After three issues, Robinson turned the editorship over to his friend Bela Bates Edwards (1844–1851), who was professor of Hebrew at Andover
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Seminary, Andover, Massachusetts.
Edwards Amasa Park (1852–1883) was the third editor. He was also on the faculty of Andover Seminary. Both Edwards and Park were influenced by “Moses Stewart, who not only contributed regularly but also affected both [men] theologically.”3 Under Park’s editorship three other publications merged with the journal.
Due to liberal factions at Andover Seminary, the journal was moved to Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio. George Frederick Wright, professor of New Testament, became the fourth editor. Wright, was an eminent geologist and Christian apologist and held the post for 38 years. Oberlin College became liberal theologically and was publishing its own journal. Therefore, Bibliotheca Sacra was sold to Xenia Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri, where its president, Melvin Grove Kyle became the journal’s fifth editor. Xenia Seminary closed in 1930 and merged with Pittsburgh Seminary, where Kyle continued as editor of Bibliotheca Sacra until his death in 1933. The journal was then offered for sale.
In 1934 Dallas Theological Seminary (then the Evangelical Theological College) purchased Bibliotheca Sacra. Rollin Thomas Chafer, brot...
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