Letters to A.T. Robertson -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Southern Baptist Journal of Theology
Volume: SBJT 05:3 (Fall 2001)
Article: Letters to A.T. Robertson
Author: Anonymous


Letters to A.T. Robertson

Editor’s note: At this point we depart from our topic of Genesis in order to include the following two pieces of correspondence written to A. T. Robertson. Dr. Robertson taught at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary from 1890 to 1934. His legacy remains to this day in his grammar, The Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research, and in his Word Pictures in the New Testament. We think these letters might be of interest to our readers. One of the letters is from Dr. Bruce Metzger, the renowned NT scholar from Princeton Theological Seminary. Dr. Metzger has written numerous books and articles. Dr. Charles W. Draper, Associate Professor of New Testament at Boyce College, discovered these letters and provides the commentary.

Charles Darwin, Lady Hope, and A. T. Robertson

In 1915 quite a stir was set off when a British woman, one Lady Hope, while at the famous Moody Northfield Conference, told of a visit she made to Charles Darwin, father of evolution, late in his life, during which he recanted much of his scientific work and professed Christian conversion. Lady Hope wrote the story for the Watchman Examiner (New York, August 19, 1915), which also ran other stories on the matter.

All of this is well known. A book, The Darwin Fraud, has been written about the episode. The matter has resurfaced from time to time up until the present, and seems to be a story that will not die. What is not commonly known is how A. T. Robertson figured in the matter.

Robertson repeated the story from the platform at Northfield soon after the original telling and was drawn into the controversy, which soon spread north to Canada and across the Atlantic to Britain. He too was mentioned in the Watchman Examiner. Unfortunately, correspondence from Robertson on the matter is unavailable, but the correspondence he received is preserved in the Robertson archives at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he studied and then taught for forty-six years prior to his death in 1934.

A British acquaintance living in Toronto, Canada, wrote Robertson on Nov 2, 1915, that he had been asked about the Lady Hope story and Robertson’s apparent corroboration of it. This correspondent, whose name is lost (the last page of the letter is missing), wrote that he told inquirers that he doubted the truthfulness of the story, as some known details in the story about Charles Darwin were inaccurate. He further confided to Robertson, however, that he personally knew Lady Hope in London and trusted neither “her judgment or her imagination.” Beyond this, he added, “‘I could a tale unfold,’ if it were necessary.” This letter reveals that it was the writer’s contact with Professor ...

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