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   Home      Some of the People in Church History

Some of the People in Church History- 1


The people we are highlighting here on the two pages of Church History are taken from Quickverse 2010, their who’s who in Church History section. This is not a complete list nor are the people on it placed in any particular order. We are striving to bring to people’s attention a lot of the members of the church’s past those who did not receive a lot of ‘press’ but acted, we hope, for God; although heretics are part of church history as well and our readers should be aware of their presence and what they believed and taught.

We cannot assume that all people acting in the name of God, Jesus and the church are 100% true believers and their words can be listened to without any problem. We have to acknowledge their work and deal with the problems they caused while teaching what they said was wrong and why it is wrong.

We place their biographies here to give you an idea of who they were but do not necessarily agree with their spiritual status. In other words, we are not confirming that some of these people were actually true Christians or not. If you want to make that determination then we suggest you do a fuller study on their lives and beliefs.

If you want a complete list then we encourage you to buy the Quickverse software.

ZWEMER, SAMUEL MARINUS (1867–1952) Apostle to Islam Born in Vriesland, Michigan, Zwemer was educated at Hope College, Michigan (A.B., 1887), and New Brunswick Seminary (B.D., 1890). Ordained as a missionary by the Classis of Iowa of the Reformed Church in America, in 1890, along with James Cantine, he founded the Arabian Mission, making his headquarters first in Basra and then on the island of Bahrein. In 1894 this mission was taken over by the Mission Board of the Reformed Church in America. In 1913, at the request of the United Presbyterian Mission in Egypt, Zwemer accepted a call to move to Cairo (Egypt) and became an itinerant missionary to Muslims, not on a local but on a world scale. Between then and 1929 he visited many Christian missions across the Muslim world, making valuable contributions in South Africa and the Netherlands East Indies (now Indonesia). In 1929 he became professor of missions and the history of religion at Princeton Theological Seminary, retiring in 1936. Zwemer founded the quarterly Moslem World in 1911 and edited it until 1947. He was the author of fifty books, dealing with various aspects of Christian truth and with Christian-Muslim relations. Zwemer was a most unusual person. He had the mind of a scholar and the heart of an evangelist, and to the end he maintained a perfect balance of the two. He was without doubt the greatest missionary statesman to the Muslim world during his sixty-year ministry.

ZIEGENBALG, BARTHOLOMEUS (1682–1719) Missionary to India Ziegenbalg of Pulsnitz, Saxony, was the founder of the Danish-Halle Mission at Tranquebar, India, in 1706. Trained at Halle by August Hermann Francke, he was sent by King Frederick IV to the Danish colony. Opposed by the commandant, he was even imprisoned for four months. Ziegenbalg gained mastery of Tamil in eight months. He translated Luther’s Small Catechism, the New Testament (1715), the Old Testament through Ruth, and other literature into Tamil. He also established a Tamil press. He set hymns to Tamil lyrics and German chorales, and he introduced the singing of Psalms. He began Portuguese, Danish, and Tamil day schools, a girls’ school, and a Tamil “free charity” boarding school (1715). A seminary for catechists was also opened in 1716. As new personnel arrived the mission expanded, and the king appointed Ziegenbalg provost. Most unusual at that time of intense European narrowness, he came to a deep appreciation of Tamil culture. He did research into Tamil philosophy and religion and wrote a number of books of high quality. Support came from the British Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge, the king, and the German pietists.

ZAHN, THEODOR (1838–1933) New Testament and patristic scholar Born at Mors, near Essen, and educated at Erlangen, Basle, and Berlin (1854–1858), Zahn began his teaching career in 1868 as privatdozent at Göttingen, where he was promoted to an associate professorship in 1871. In 1877 he accepted a chair at Kiel, but a year later he transferred to Erlangen. In 1888 he went to Leipzig, but he returned in 1892 as professor of pedagogics and New Testament exegesis at Erlangen, where he remained until his retirement in 1909. Zahn contributed to almost every aspect of New Testament scholarship. He edited a New Testament commentary for which he wrote on seven books (Matthew, 1909; Luke, 1913; John, 1908; Acts, two volumes, 1919–1921; Romans, 1910; Galatians, 1905; and Revelation, two volumes, 1924–1926). He published twelve volumes embodying his studies on the New Testament canon: History of the New Testament Canon (two volumes, 1888–1892) and monographs in the series Investigations into the History of the New Testament Canon (ten volumes, 1881–1920), which contained much original work. In the patristic field he authored Marcellus von Ancyra (1867) and Ignatius von Antiochen (1873); and along with Adolf Harnack and Otto von Gebhardt he edited the works of the apostolic fathers (Major, 1875–1878, and Minor, 1877). Very learned and thorough in scholarship, Zahn was conservative in his critical viewpoint; for example, he maintained that the fourth Gospel was the work of the beloved disciple, and he contended for the Pauline authorship of such disputed epistles as 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus. Zahn authored a two-volume Introduction to the New Testament (1897–1899; English translation, three volumes, 1909).

ZEISBERGER, DAVID (1721–1808) Moravian missionary to American Indians Born at Zauchental in Moravia and reared at Herrnhut, Zeisberger went to Georgia in 1738 and then on to the new Moravian base in Pennsylvania. While studying the Iroquoian languages with the Onondagas, he was imprisoned by the New York officials. He spent more than ten years with the Iroquois between 1746 and 1763, but his principal ministry was to the Delawares. Zeisberger was one of the most prolific authors and translators of Christian literature for the Indians, producing numerous works in the Iroquoian dialects and Delaware. He led the Christian Delawares and Mohegan refugees in the building of Friedenhutten on the Wyalusing in 1763, and then as white-settler aggression grew intense he led them by stages across Pennsylvania and finally in 1772 into the Muskingum country of Ohio, then thought to be far beyond white contact. Half a dozen Christian villages prospered, but the British troops took the missionaries captive to Detroit, and during their absence American militia slaughtered all the Christians they could round up. Zeisberger shepherded the remaining Christians at various locations in northern Ohio and Ontario. After the Revolution the Moravian authorities sent him back to eastern Ohio to reestablish a town, but it was far too late.

YUN, BARON TCHI-HO (1865–1945) Korean nobleman; “father of the Southern Methodist mission in Korea” As son of Korea’s War Minister, Yun was born to power, but political upheaval forced his father into exile, and in 1885 Yun escaped to Shanghai, China. He entered the Anglo-Chinese College, where he became a Christian in 1887. From 1888 to 1893 he studied in America at Emory and Vanderbilt. Before returning to China he gave $250 to rouse Southern Methodists to start a mission to Korea. He became vice-minister of education, provincial governor, and briefly editor of the reform-minded newspaper the Independent. When Japan invaded Korea in 1905 he left politics to found the Anglo-Korean School (1906) and join the Southern Methodist mission. He was imprisoned by the Japanese (1912–1915) on trumped-up charges. He then served as General-Secretary of the Korean YMCA (1915–1920). In 1930 he helped to unite the Northern and Southern Methodist missions and found the independent Korean Methodist Church. He died not long after he had been called from retirement to be the first Korean president (1941–1944) of Chosen Christian College (now Yonsei University).

YOUNG, ROBERT (1822–1888) Scottish biblical scholar; orientalist Born in Edinburgh, Young found his early prospects dimmed by the loss of his father. As a Free Church of Scotland member, Young was actively associated with Thomas Chalmers’s outreach to the working classes of Edinburgh. He was apprenticed to a printer and showed such diligence that by 1847 he had his own printing and bookselling business. He took naturally to oriental languages and published study aids to the Old Testament. For five years from 1856 he was in India as superintendent of the mission press at Surat. He also visited the United States, but most of his life was spent in the Scottish capital. His linguistic erudition was immense (he even spoke Finnish), and the precision of his mind is reflected in his monumental work, Analytical Concordance to the Holy Bible (1879). Generations of Bible students have benefited immeasurably from this work, which was many years in preparation. Its aim, in Young’s words: that “readers . . . may give themselves more to the study of the original Scriptures, which have ‘God for their Author, Truth without mixture of Error for their Matter, and Salvation for their End.’”

WINKWORTH, CATHERINE (1819–1878) Hymn translator; educationist It is one of the ironies of church history that Calvin’s rejection of “hymns of human composure” denied to English-speaking Christians the riches of New Testament–based congregational song for two hundred years. It was not until the nineteenth century that the riches of Lutheran hymnody began to become known in England. Catherine Winkworth was not the first English translator of German hymns, but she was the most voluminous and the best. She had published two collections: Lyra Germanica I and II (in 1835 and 1858). These volumes contained no music, however. In 1863, she published A Chorale Book for England, which presented a collection of her translations together with their proper tunes in four-part harmony. Then in 1869 there followed her illuminating volume The Christian Singers of Germany, which contained a readable account of the lives and work of many of the greatest German hymn writers, with examples of their poems in her apt English paraphrases. No one else did more to arouse interest in the “hymns from the land of Luther.” Probably her best-known translations appear in the hymn “Now Thank We All Our God,” from the German of Martin Rinckart (1586-1649).

WILLIAMS, CHARLES WALTER STANSBY (1886–1945) English writer Charles Williams is, among other things, a splendid example of what one can accomplish in his spare time, for, though he was fully employed by the Oxford University Press, he managed to produce over thirty-five books, including poems, novels, dramas, literary criticism, biographies, Christian apologetics, and in addition countless essays, lectures, and book reviews. Among his directly Christian works are The Descent of the Dove (1939) and The Forgiveness of Sins (1942), the former being, as its subtitle indicates, “A short history of the Holy Spirit in the Church.” His novels are the most popular of his works and they also are Christian in import. They do not lend themselves to quick reading but pay excellent dividends to anyone who spends time with them. His novel Descent into Hell, for instance, tells of a woman on her way to becoming a Christian and of a prominent military historian who chooses hell and goes there. Charles Williams is well known for certain doctrines peculiar to his works. Of greatest significance are those of coinherence and substitution. Coinherence is simply the conception that men have their humanity in common, a “union of existences” that obtains from one generation to another. As John Donne said, “Every man’s death diminishes me.” Because we are thus dependent upon one another there is the need for exchange. Even nature possesses coinherence. A tree requires rain and rain requires the sun to return it to the skies. All life is interlocked and interdependent. Each person has a circle of friends with whom joys and sorrows are shared. Such coinherence naturally leads to exchange and the doctrine of substitution. Love, said Williams, is not simply beautiful—it is useful. The Scriptural teachings to bear one another’s burdens is not just a pious maxim but a practical and necessary way of conduct. We are quite literally to substitute for one another, bearing the other’s burden and, just as important, allowing the other to bear our burden.

WALDO, PETER (c. 1150–1218) Mendicant preacher; founder of the Waldenses His early life obscure, Peter Waldo (or Valdes) dispersed his wealth and began a mendicant life about 1173. He was soon a prominent itinerant preacher in Lyons and elsewhere in France. Amid a simple gospel presentation, Waldo’s message strongly criticized prevailing Church abuses. This focused on the regular clergy’s worldliness and heresies of the Cathar sect. Until his death, Waldo’s ministry attracted ever-increasing numbers. Such adherents, often called the Poor Men of Lyons, or the Poor of Spirit, became a loosely identifiable Christian body. As the movement spread in the 1200s and 1300s, it was known as the Waldenses. Quite uniquely, Waldo preached from a vernacular French translation of the Scriptures. This eschewal of the authorized Latin Bible distinguished the Waldenses, especially compared to Francis of Assisi’s similar movement. Waldo and his followers sought legitimization at Lateran Council III (eleventh general council) in 1179. In a respectful response, Alexander III approved the Waldenses’ poverty vows but prohibited any preaching except by clerical invitation. Waldo and other Waldenses, however, felt compelled to continue public proclamation of their views. Thus shortly after Alexander’s statement, Bellesmains, archbishop of Lyons, condemned the movement. Waldo made a fully orthodox declaration of faith to Cardinal Henry Albano in 1180. But at the Council of Verona (1184) Lucius III excommunicated the Waldenses as a group, banding them with Cathars and other heretics. From this point, the Church and the Waldenses became radically separated, and the movement joined with other Nonconformist groups and doctrines in many places. Frequently Waldensian teachings approximated later Protestant ideas: rejection of purgatory and some sacraments, refusal to venerate saints or pray for the dead. Waldenses also were usually Donatist separatists, opponents of any recognition of unworthy priests. Some Waldenses joined with the extremist Humiliati and Arnoldists of Italy. Except for separatist concepts, most, however, seem to have remained generally orthodox. Despite their doctrinal orthodoxy, Waldo and his adherents were persecuted heavily after Lucius’s condemnation. In some places, this included not only excommunication but imprisonment and capital punishment. Such measures forced many Waldenses to conform to the Church. A few retained poverty vows in their renewed Church obedience. In the later 1200s and 1300s, therefore, explicit Waldensianism flourished primarily in France’s and Italy’s remote mountain areas. The name Waldenses became synonymous with heretic, but some adherents escaped persecution and kept their identity into the 1400s. Many at that time united with Hussites and other pre-Reformation groups. Clearly, the Waldenses were important forerunners of the Protestant Reformation. A few distinct Waldenses continued into the Reformation era, and these organized a formal church in France and Italy. This small group has remained intact until now. One may find original materials on Waldo and his movement in the Archivum Fratrum Praedicatorum. Other sources are printed in the Enchiridion Fontium Valdensium.

VITUS (DIED 303) One of fourteen auxiliary saints or Holy Helpers venerated in the Roman Catholic Church for their prayers on behalf of human need Vitus is invoked against sudden death, hydrophobia, and convulsions known as St. Vitus’ Dance. The saint is represented as immersed in a burning cauldron, a graphic symbol of his martyrdom under Diocletian. He was born to pagan parents in southern Italy and raised by a Christian nurse, Crescentia, and her husband, Modestus, who were also martyred. His cult spread among Germans and Slavs in the Middle Ages, when relics of the saint were moved from Saint Denis in Paris to Saxony and to Prague.

VANDERKEMP, JOHANNES THEODORUS (1747–1811) Pioneer Dutch medical missionary to South Africa Born in Rotterdam, Vanderkemp was the son of a Lutheran professor of theology. After serving fifteen years in the army, Vanderkemp completed his medical studies at Edinburgh University, graduating in 1782. He practiced medicine in Middleburg (1782–1791) and at Dordrecht (1791–1793) and served as a Dutch Army doctor from 1793 to 1795. In 1791 he was converted from Deism to a vital Christian faith; and in 1796 he was accepted for foreign service by the recently founded London Missionary Society, receiving ordination in London in 1797 as a minister of the Church of Scotland. Appointed to lead a mission to South Africa, along with three companions, he arrived in Cape Town in 1799. There were two major African peoples with whom Vanderkemp had to deal—the “Kaffirs” (Xhosa) and the Hottentots. Though he was deeply interested in the Kaffirs and carried out a sixteen-month mission among them between 1799 and 1801, his main efforts were directed to the Hottentots. He labored among them first in the Graaff-Reinet area, then at Bota’s Place, near Algoa Bay, and finally in 1803 settled at Bethelsdorp, about four hundred miles east of Cape Town, where he set up an industrial missionary center. He soon found himself in trouble with the governmental authorities—Dutch and British—partly because he identified so closely with the natives as to marry an African wife, but mainly because he defended the rights of the Kaffirs and Hottentots against the injustice and oppression by the white colonists. Among his publications was a catechism entitled The Principles of the Word of God for the Hottentot Mission, published in 1804.

VENN, HENRY (1796–1873) British missionary leader Henry Venn was the grandson of Henry Venn (1724–1797) and son of John Venn, who was rector of Clapham, and a well-known Anglican evangelical. Henry studied at Queens’ College, Cambridge, where he became a fellow in 1819. After ordination he became curate of a church in London for four years. Then, after a short time in Cambridge, he went to Drypool, Hull, where his friend William Wilberforce lived. He remained in this parish until 1834 and then returned to London to work in St. John’s, Holloway. After twelve years he became the secretary of the Church Missionary Society, an evangelical Anglican society his father had helped to found. He held this post for thirty-two years. He is remembered as a missionary strategist; he had the vision of the creation of indigenous churches that were self-supporting, self-governing, and self-extending. Some missionaries did not like his advanced views, and they proved to be difficult to implement in Victorian times. However, when he became secretary, the society had 107 European and 9 native clergy; when he retired it had 230 and 148 respectively. As a leader of the evangelicals in the Church of England he was placed on two royal commissions of enquiry: clerical subscription and ritualism. He was known as a man of broad sympathies and distinct evangelical principles. He wrote a life of his grandfather entitled The Life and Letters of Henry Venn (1834).

ULFILAS (c. 311–383) Bible translator and missionary bishop to the Goths Born in Cappadocia (east Asia Minor), Ulfilas may have been captured by Gothic raiders as a youth. Yet his residence by early adulthood was Constantinople, the Roman Empire’s eastern capital. Here undoubtedly he received his education and began his life of service to the church. In 341 Eusebius of Nicomedia, bishop of Constantinople, consecrated Ulfilas as bishop. Soon afterward the young bishop proceeded to Dacia (north of the Danube River), and for his remaining years he served as the church’s principal missionary to the western Goths in this region. The many converts indicate that Ulfilas’s efforts to spread the gospel had extensive results. After several years, persecution forced Ulfilas out of Dacia, and his work thereafter originated from a residence in Moesia (south of the Danube), an area within the empire’s borders. Ulfilas’s removal to Moesia also saw the beginnings of the project for which he is best remembered. This was his translation of the Old and New Testaments into the Goths’ vernacular language. Toward this end, Ulfilas first had to reduce Gothic speech to writing, a task involving the invention of an alphabet based on Greek. Surviving remnants of this translation, as copied in the early Middle Ages, represent the earliest extant examples of Gothic literature. Ulfilas appears to have translated the whole New Testament and also the Old Testament except for the Books of Kings (1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings). It is supposed that the missing Old Testament sections were omitted purposely because of Ulfilas’s fear that they would only encourage the aggressive Goths. In his education and early experience, Ulfilas probably was orthodox in his doctrinal views. Nevertheless, he was already a firm Arian at his consecration, and he retained at least some of this heterodoxy until his death. In this regard Ulfilas was a product of Constantinople, a stronghold of the Arian beliefs that dominated much of the empire in the fourth century. Ulfilas was present at a synod held in Constantinople in 360, and he seems to have assumed a mild form of Arianism that emerged at this point. Yet even under pressure from Theodosius, the staunchly orthodox emperor, and official consultations in 379, Ulfilas remained Arian to the end. He occupied a central position in the initial evangelization of the Goths and related peoples. In this role he deserves an honored place among the great missionaries of Christian history. Yet simultaneously Ulfilas’s heterodoxy had far-reaching consequences, not only for Christian missionary effort, but also for general early Germanic and western European history. The Arianism Ulfilas established with the Goths’ conversion remained integral to western Gothic Christianity for centuries. And as a critical, fixed element in the western Goths’ national life, Arianism spread and took hold among some eastern Goths and other Germanic groups. The larger significance here appears in the fact that Arian beliefs became one of the main sources of division between Goths and the Roman Empire. Arian Goths also had many disruptive conflicts with other western European peoples prior to the triumph of orthodox doctrine in the early Middle Ages. Among Ulfilas’s known writings, the only modern survivals are the Bible translation and possibly a creedal statement. The sermons and interpretive writings are no longer extant. Portions of a beautiful copy of the Gothic Bible have been preserved at the University of Uppsala, Sweden. Early sources of information about Ulfilas exist mainly in works by fifth-century church historians, primarily Philostorgius, Socrates, and Sozomen.

UEMURA, MASAHISA (1858–1925) Prominent Japanese church leader; foremost representative of evangelical Christianity in the 1890s and early 1900s Born into a Samurai family during a period of declining Samurai influence, Uemura attended schools conducted by J. Ballagh and S. Brown, members of the first generation of American Protestant missionaries. Their influence opened a new world to him, liberating him from the bondage of feudalism. Baptized in 1873 at the age of sixteen, he was led immediately to dedicate his life to the gospel of Christ. He entered Tokyo United Seminary in 1877 and began a preaching mission that became the first instance of Protestant evangelism conducted under Japanese leadership. Later he became the pastor of Fujimicho Church in Tokyo, the historic center of the Presbyterian-Reformed tradition in Japan for many years. Concerned with the independence of the Japanese churches, he played an important role in the formation of Nihon Kirisuto Kyokai (The Church of Christ in Japan) in 1891, using the Apostles’ Creed as a doctrinal basis, a Presbyterian form of government, and the principle of indigeneity. He also helped found Tokyo Shingakusha (Tokyo Seminary) in 1904, the first seminary independently administered and financed by Japanese churches. Though widely known for his vigorous defense of classical orthodoxy, Uemura virtually denied the doctrines of substitutionary atonement and verbal inspiration of the Bible. As a gifted writer and publisher, he translated hymns, helped with Bible translation, wrote the first systematic theology in 1884, and published two periodicals in 1890: Fukuin Shinpo (The Gospel Weekly) for Christian people and Japan Review, considered one of the most influential journals of its time because it introduced Christian concepts to the educated public. He helped to elevate the status of women, becoming the first minister to support the ordination of women elders. His seven-volume collected works continue to exercise a significant influence on the contemporary Japanese clergy.

UNDERWOOD, HORACE GRANT (1859–1916) Missionary to Korea; sometimes called “the father of Korean Presbyterianism” Born in London, England, Underwood was educated at New York University (A.B., 1881) and New Brunswick Seminary (B.D., 1884). Ordained to the ministry by the Reformed Church in America in 1884, he served its Pompton, New Jersey, church before going out in 1885 under the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions as its first ordained missionary to Korea. He founded the first Presbyterian church in Korea, of which he became the pastor. In 1891 he persuaded the Presbyterian church to adopt the Nevius plan for church growth: self-support, self-government, and self-propagation. From 1887 to 1889 Underwood taught chemistry and physics at Royal Korea Medical College. He was chairman of the Board of Bible Translators (1887–1911). He became treasurer of the Korean Presbyterian Mission (1885–1889) and chairman of the same organization (1889–1890). He was first chairman of the General Council of Evangelical Missions in Korea in 1905, and first moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Korea in 1912. From 1907 he served as professor of theology at the Presbyterian Theological Seminary of Korea in Pyong-Yang. Between 1901 and 1905 he helped to form Union Medical College, which, with Severance Hospital Nurses Training School, was later merged with Chosen Christian University—now known as Yonsei University in Seoul. Besides compiling a Korean grammar and dictionary, Underwood wrote The Call to Korea (1908) and Religions of Eastern Asia (1910).

UDALL, JOHN (c. 1560–1592) Elizabethan Puritan Educated at Christ’s and Trinity Colleges, Cambridge, Udall graduated in 1581. In this period he adopted Puritan views and was friendly with John Perry, the Puritan extremist. After ordination he put his new ideas into practice in the parish of Kingston-on-Thames beginning in 1583. Here he preached to large audiences and published some of his sermons. He publicly criticized the organization of the church and the behavior of bishops. Such views were not favored by Queen Elizabeth or her advisers, so Udall was severely reprimanded. In cooperation with a Puritan printer, Robert Waldegrave (who moved into Udall’s parish), Udall wrote and published several anonymous tracts against the church’s organization and discipline, such as The State of the Church and A Demonstration of the truth of that Discipline which Christ hath prescribed. In 1588 he was removed from his parish for his critical views and moved to Newcastle-on-Tyne, where he preached for a year. Then he was summoned to London to answer charges. He was actually condemned to death for his sedition, but the sentence was never carried out. After a period in prison his influential friends gained his release, but it was too late—for shortly thereafter, being weakened by his ordeal, he died. After his death two of his works were published: his Hebrew grammar, A Key of the Holy Tongue (1593), and his Commentary on Jeremiah (1595).

TACITUS, CORNELIUS (c. 55–120) Roman historian Little is known of Tacitus personally, but his surviving writings present an invaluable picture of Roman life during the first century a.d. These works are Dialogus de Oratoribus (c. 77); The Life of Agricola, his father-in-law (c. 98); Germania (c. 98); Histories (c. 116); Annals (c. 116). In this last-named work, Tacitus referred to the persecution of the Christians in Rome in a.d. 64, when the emperor Nero made them the scapegoats for the fire that he had ordered set. Though Tacitus believed the Christians to be innocent of the arson of which they were accused, he referred to their faith as “a detestable superstition,” named Christ as the founder of this sect, and stated that he was crucified “in the reign of Emperor Tiberius by the Procurator Pontius Pilate.” He further said that Nero accused the Roman Christians not only of arson but of “hatred of the human race,” and that Nero had some of them thrown to dogs, others crucified, still others burned in the imperial garden. Thus Tacitus provides independent secular confirmation for some basic events recorded in the New Testament, including Jesus’ crucifixion.

THOBURN, JAMES MILLS (1836–1922) Methodist missionary bishop Born at St. Clairsville, Ohio, Thoburn was educated at Allegheny College, Pennsylvania, where he graduated in 1857. After preaching in several churches in Ohio from 1857 to 1859 and being ordained to the Methodist ministry in 1858, Thoburn went out to India as a missionary in 1859. There he served in various stations, and in 1888 was appointed Bishop of India and Malaysia—the first resident Methodist bishop in Asia. He founded Methodism in Burma in 1879, in Malaysia in 1885, and in the Philippines in 1899. His missionary program embraced wide-ranging medical and social work, and education for both girls and boys; and under his leadership an organizational structure was developed for Methodism in India, which in principle covered the whole country. He authored various books, including the autobiographical volume My Missionary Apprenticeship (1886); The Life of Isabella Thoburn—his sister and fellow missionary to India (1903); and The Christian Conquest of India (1906). John R. Mott called him “possibly the greatest ecclesiastic of the nineteenth century.”

TETZEL, JOHANN (c. 1465–1519) Dominican prior who was criticized by Luther for selling indulgences Johann Tetzel is chiefly famous for his selling of indulgences, which provoked Martin Luther to write his ninety-five theses, which marked the beginning of the Reformation. Born in Leipzig, he graduated from the university in 1487 and two years later entered the Dominican convent, of which he later became prior. He early made a name for himself as a preacher of indulgences, his first major work of this type being the selling of indulgences for Cardinal-legate Raymond Peraud. In 1517 Pope Leo X made him inquisitor and commissioner of indulgences for all Germany. The same year he began preaching the indulgence to obtain funds for Albrecht of Hohenzollern, who had borrowed money from the Augsburg bankers, the Fuggers, to pay his firstfruits for his provision to the Archbishopric of Mainz, and for the financing of Leo X’s extension of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. His shameless commercialization of the indulgence provoked Luther’s attack, to which Tetzel replied with 106 theses. The papal legate, von Miltitz, rebuked him for avarice, dishonesty, and sexual immorality. He was so unpopular as a result of the reform movement that he found it necessary to hide in the Dominican convent at Leipzig for fear of popular violence. It was in this convent, during Luther’s debate in the city with Johann Eck on the subject of indulgences, that he died.

STOTT, JOHN ROBERT WALMSLEY (BORN 1921) English preacher and scholar Born in London, Stott had a brilliant career at Cambridge, was ordained in the Church of England, and was curate (1945–1950) and rector (1950–1975) of All Souls’ Church, Langham Place, in London’s West End district. In addition to a busy and influential ministry, he became a leader in the movement to restore evangelical Christianity and expository preaching to the mainstream of the church’s life and thinking. He also had a wide appeal, at home and abroad, in conducting university missions; and he supported the work of bodies such as the Scripture Union and the Evangelical Alliance. His deepening social concern was reflected in the Lausanne Covenant (1974), in which he was the prime mover. Even after his 1975 resignation as rector, he kept his ties with All Souls’ Church and made it his base when he founded the Institute for Contemporary Christianity, of which he was director (1982–1986) and then president. His sermons and lectures are models of precision and lucidity. He has been actively involved in sending Christian literature to Third World churches, and he has been a royal chaplain since 1959. His numerous publications include Basic Christianity (1958), Fundamentalism and Evangelism (1959), The Epistles of John (1964), Our Guilty Silence (1967), Christ the Controversialist (1970), God’s New Society (1979), I Believe in Preaching (1982), Issues Facing Christians Today (1984), and The Cross of Christ (1986).

STUDD, CHARLES THOMAS (1862–1931) English missionary to China, India, and Africa Son of a wealthy plantation owner who had been converted under D. L. Moody, Studd was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he won fame as an all-England cricketer. Influenced by his father, he volunteered for missionary service; and as one of the “Cambridge Seven,” he helped to lay the foundation of the Student Volunteer Movement, with its special interest in recruiting college students as foreign missionaries. In 1885 Studd sailed for China under the auspices of the China Inland Mission. Giving away the fortune he had inherited, he sought to live in native Chinese fashion. In 1900 he went to India, where he served as minister of the Union Church of Ootacamund in southern India. Ill health compelled him to give up this work in 1906; but in 1910, contrary to medical advice, he sailed for central Africa, where he labored until his death. In 1912 he founded the Heart of Africa Mission, which later became the Worldwide Evangelization Crusade, taking as its watchword “the evangelization of every part of the unevangelized world in the shortest possible time.”

SUNG, JOHN (1901–1944) Chinese evangelist Sung was born in the village of Hong Chek in the Fukien province of southeast China, the sixth of ten children of a Methodist minister. In 1907 the family moved to the city of Hinghwa where John’s father was appointed the assistant principal of the Methodist Bible School. A great evangelical revival occurred in Hinghwa, and among those touched by it was nine-year old John Sung. Following this, Sung’s life became characterized by love for the Bible, prayer, and preaching. By the age of thirteen he traveled the circuit covered by local preachers and often helped his father who was now the senior city pastor. Sung applied himself to his studies and finished high school at the top of his class. He became the chief editor of Revival, his father’s magazine, and carried out evangelical work among children. In 1919 China was embroiled in political tumult.

Sung felt that he could not study well in such an atmosphere and decided to go to America. His father was indignant since the family was not well-to-do. John prayed and subsequently received a letter from an American missionary in Peking who offered free tuition, room, and board at Ohio Wesleyan University. During this period he had a dream that found him rescuing people out of a stream onto a platform shaped like a cross and then rejoicing with a joyful throng in the heavens. He interpreted this as the story of his life—and, indeed, he would become a great evangelist. He graduated in 1923 cum laude, was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and received the gold medal and a cash prize for physics and chemistry. Being the first Chinese to achieve such scholastic heights, news of him spread across the country and abroad.

Sung was now offered positions and scholarships from various institutions, Harvard among them. He accepted a scholarship for an M.S. degree at Ohio State University. He finished his degree in nine months, then went on to obtain a Ph.D. in chemistry in just twenty-one months. Following this, Sung went to Union Theological Seminary in New York City, where he planned to finish three years of study in one year. With his usual intensity he pursued his studies but found that his faith in Christ was declining as rationalism, Buddhism, and Taoism took its place. By his own account his heart was filled with great unhappiness.

A turn of events began when he attended an evangelistic campaign at a Baptist church and listened to a fifteen-year old girl read the Scriptures and preach on the cross of Christ. Sung’s heart was moved, and he felt God’s presence. This drove him to read Christian biographies and attend meetings to discover the power he had seen in that young girl. One night the struggles in his heart reached a pinnacle as he read Luke 23 and realized his sins were forgiven. Such a peace filled his heart that he couldn’t contain it; he began to shout for joy, running through the dormitory.

This began a new life for the enthusiastic Sung, who spoke to all about his experience. The president of the seminary thought that he had lost his mind due to his extreme scholastic efforts and had him committed to a psychopathic ward. Sung spent six months in the hospital and utilized his time to rest and study the Bible. He was finally released due to intervention by the Chinese consul and Dr. Rollin Walker, a professor of Bible at Ohio Wesleyan, who was Sung’s friend. He was released on the terms that he should return to China. Upon returning to China in the fall of 1927, Sung, to the initial disappointment of his parents, forsook careers in academia and industry to become a gospel preacher. He took a part-time position at a Methodist Christian high school teaching chemistry and the Bible but was mainly occupied with preaching. Sung viewed bowing to Sun Yat-Sen’s portrait as idolatry and soon fell into disrepute with the Nationalist party. This turn of events led to the resignation of his teaching position.

Despite a growing anti-Christian mood in the country, Sung and those working with him effected great revival among rural Christians and churches. The grounding of new Christians in the Bible was a major concern for Sung. He held Bible trainings and then sent the trainees out to share what they had learned in numerous village churches. Eventually Sung’s preaching began to turn from Bible exposition to the conviction of sin and the remedy of the cross. At this point he began to experience heart trouble, but he carried on with the same fervor. He joined up with the Bethel bands on their tours, who brought revival in numerous places. After three years with the Bethel band, Sung became an independent evangelist. His reputation was growing, and invitations to preach poured in from many regions. His unconventional preaching methods and scathing reproaches of lukewarm leaders had a great effect wherever he went. Christians in Tientsin had invited him there, but no church would let him use their buildings.

A new meeting hall was built after eight thousand dollars were donated by Christians who felt the need for a place where the gospel could be preached freely. In and around Amoy (Xiamen) great revival occurred, resulting in the formation of numerous preaching bands that Sung sent out. In 1935 he got a united invitation from three denominations in the Philippines. Overflow crowds packed in to see the dramatic, illustrative, and piercing preaching of Sung. His preaching would usually last over two hours, punctuated by singing and always denouncing sin. In the following years, Sung preached in Malaysia, northern Sumatra, Taiwan, Canton, Hong Kong, Kowloon, Singapore, and Sibu. Many of those who heard Sung’s preaching were truly changed; their new birth empowered them to leave sinful habits behind, reconcile with family members, and spread the gospel to others. Sung had neglected his health for years, and by 1940 his pain was so intense that he was forced to receive medical attention.

He was found to have both cancer and tuberculosis. He underwent three operations over the span of about two and a half years. As his health returned he met with Christian leaders to help them to continue the work of the Lord, always stressing prayer as the first mode of action along with grounding in the Scripture. He wrote a book entitled Allegories, in which he taught the main thoughts from the books of the Bible. The main emphasis of the book was to illustrate the proper Christian worker and how to build the church. John Sung was an unconventional and extremely powerful preacher of the gospel, bringing Christians and non-Christians alike to repentance.

He, like Watchman Nee, a contemporary of his, felt that many of the foreign missions were ineffectual. Sung was extremely outspoken and public about this, as well as about the political situation; therefore, he was a highly controversial figure. Christians today in China and Taiwan owe much to Sung’s ministry; he was one of God’s greatest gifts to the Far East in the twentieth century

RAWLINSON, ALFRED EDWARD JOHN (1884–1960) Anglican bishop; New Testament theologian Born at Newton le Willows, Lancashire, England, Rawlinson was educated at Corpus Christi College, Oxford University, graduating in 1907 with high honors. Ordained in the Church of England as deacon in 1909 and priest in 1910, he was a tutor at Keble College (1909–1913) and student and tutor at Christ Church College (1914–1929). In the latter year he was made canon residentiary of Durham and archdeacon of Auckland; and in 1936 he was appointed bishop of Derby, where he remained until his retirement in 1959. Between 1930 and 1936 he was chaplain to the king. Rawlinson published a commentary on Mark’s Gospel in the Westminster Commentaries series. He delivered Bampton Lectures in 1926 on the subject “The New Testament Doctrine of the Christ.” He authored books on theology such as Dogma, Fact, and Experience (1915) and Authority and Freedom (1924). He also contributed to publication of several theological symposia—for example, Foundations (1912), Essays Catholic and Critical (1926), and Essays on the Trinity and Incarnation (1928).

RHENIUS, KARL (1790–1838) German missionary to India Rhenius was one of the first German missionaries to India under the Church Missionary Society of London, which at the time could not recruit enough Anglican priests. Sent to Palamcottah, he built on the work done by the chaplain of the British East India Company, James Hough, from 1816 to 1820 and the earlier pioneering of the famous Danish-Halle missionary, C. F. Schwartz. Rhenius led a mass movement of the Shanan caste, and by 1835 there were 11,186 members in 261 villages. His method was based on the village school, of which the teacher was also the local catechist. Rhenius produced a Tamil grammar and revised the Bible. He established a seminary for catechists, out of which high schools and training colleges eventually developed. He came into conflict with the Church Missionary Society over the ordination powers of bishops, withdrew from the Society, but remained at Palamcottah.

RICHARD, TIMOTHY (1845–1919) Missionary to China Richard, a Welshman under the Baptist Missionary Society of London (BMS), is generally regarded as one of the greatest missionaries ever sent to China. After his arrival in 1870, he ranged widely over the country and then in 1877 was drawn to Shansi province by the great famine. He remained there eight years, hoping to induce the officials and intellectuals to eliminate famines through using Western science. Richard was a great sinologist and highly appreciative of Chinese culture. He hoped to reach the literati, intellectuals, and officials by presenting the gospel and Christian faith through terms, concepts, and methods that would appeal to them. However, he believed that the country needed both the gospel and Western learning to solve its problems; so he called the missions to contribute to the reconstruction of China. Richard proposed to establish Christian colleges in the capital of each province, but failed to get the BMS to found such a college in either Shansi or Shantung. Leaving the BMS, he joined the Society for the Diffusion of Christian and General Knowledge, founded in 1887 (called the Christian Literature Society after 1906). He became general secretary in 1891. The Society was very influential with the reformers, and even the young emperor read its literature. Richard was successful in having a large part of the Boxer Indemnity Fund in Shansi applied to the founding of a state university where Western learning would be taught, and he was given complete control of it for ten years.

QUARRIER, WILLIAM (1829–1903) Founder of the Orphan Homes of Scotland Born in the Clydeside Valley of Scotland, Quarrier lost his father three years later, went to work at the age of six, knew grinding poverty in the Glasgow slums, and became a shoemaker. He was converted at seventeen, excelled and prospered in his trade, won others to Christ (including his own mother), and in 1864 began work for destitute and orphan children in Glasgow. Having taken as his motto Have Faith in God, he testified to God’s faithfulness near the end of his life in saying, “He gave me the utmost of my asking, and I felt that I would need to give Him the utmost of the power I pledged.” Quarrier, who became one of the first multiple storeowners in Glasgow, opened his Orphan Homes of Scotland at Bridge of Weir in 1878. Thousands of children were trained in its church and school. A prevalent scourge was countered by the addition of Scotland’s first tuberculosis sanatorium; later it became a colony for epileptics. In Glasgow a huge night shelter and evangelistic center was built. Quarrier established a base also in Canada, and many Scottish orphans were happily settled in families there. The homes have never appealed for money. The work was the Lord’s—Quarrier regarded himself only as the agent. The work still continues as an enterprise of faith.

QUESNEL, PASQUIER (1634–1719) French Roman Catholic Jansenist theologian After studying at the University of the Sorbonne, Paris, Quesnel joined the Oratory in 1657. He showed gifts as a spiritual director and was placed in charge of the moral and spiritual development of young men. His teaching to them, based on close study of the Bible, is found in his well-known work The New Testament in French, with Moral Comments on Each Verse (1672). By 1675 he had adopted Jansenist views, believing that people become Christians through the irresistible grace of God and must live lives of strict moral discipline. In his edition of the Works of St. Leo, these views appeared in the notes. Jansensim was not acceptable to the papacy. So in 1681 he had to leave Paris for Orleans, and three years later he moved to Brussels, living with Antoine Arnauld, another distinguished Jansenist. During 1703 through 1704, he spent time in prison but escaped to Holland. He bravely defended his views but was further condemned by the pope in 1708 and then again in the papal bull Unigenitus (1713), which condemned 101 of his statements taken from his book of the New Testament. He held to his beliefs, however, and died in Amsterdam in 1719.

QUIMBY, PHINEAS PARKHURST (1802–1866) Leader of the mental healing movement in America; spiritual father of several mentalist cults Quimby founded no organization, but the disciples who adopted his teachings (most notably, Mary Baker Eddy) organized several: Divine Science, Unity, Practical Christianity, Livable Christianity, Home of Truth, and Christian Science. Quimby was born in Lebanon, New Hampshire. He gave up clock making to become a mesmerist in 1838, after hearing Charles Poyen, who practiced mental healing in Portland, Maine. Disease was mental, taught Quimby; God, or Wisdom, was everything real (as opposed to illusory matter). The term New Thought was used by the 1890s to describe Quimby’s teaching and the diverse groups it produced. The movement became formalized when the International New Thought Alliance was organized in 1914.

PAPIAS (60–130) Early church leader of Hierapolis; chronicler of early Christianity The information we have about Papias and his work was given by Eusebius of Caesarea and Irenaeus of Lyons. Irenaeus stated that Papias had heard the apostle John preach and also knew Polycarp. Eusebius mentioned his Explanation of the Sayings of the Lord. In the preface to this work Papias maintains that his primary purpose is to bring forth a truthful record of a collection of the words and deeds of the Apostles that were told to him by a presbyter. Irenaeus understood him to be alluding to the apostle John, but Eusebius contended that he referred to two Johns, one who was the apostle and the other who was the companion of Aristion. Papias claimed that Mark, the Evangelist, who had never heard Christ, was the interpreter of Peter, and that he carefully gave an account of everything he remembered from the preaching of Peter. The statement that Matthew wrote down sayings of Jesus in Hebrew was affirmed by Papias. Irenaeus understood this as a reference to Hebraisms in Matthew’s Gospel, whereas Origen took this to mean that Matthew originally wrote his Gospel in Hebrew. The statements of Papias have raised many questions on the formation of the Gospels, a possible Aramaic version of Matthew, the possibility and identity of two Johns, and other problems in the history of the early church. According to tradition, Papias died a martyr.

PATTESON, JOHN COLERIDGE (1827–1871) First bishop of Melanesia Born in London, educated at Oxford, Patteson joined Selwyn in the New Zealand mission in 1853. In 1861 Selwyn consecrated him the first bishop of Melanesia—an ideal choice because Patteson had a tremendous gift for languages and navigational skill. Patteson founded a training institution at Norfolk Island, where he transported island youths for education in the Christian way of life. Many returned to their homes to become evangelists. They used Mota, not English, as the “lingua franca.” Patteson’s linguistic skill is still manifest in the indigenous liturgy and catechism, for which he sought patiently the best Melanesian terms. His missionary policy, spoken of as the “Melanesian ethos,” preserved many cultural features, like art forms and skills; required a large team of catechists; demanded linguistic proficiency from the missionaries; and produced some good missionary anthropologists, like Codrington and Fox. The bishop’s tragic death resulted directly from the notorious labor trade. It was a retaliatory murder against white traders who took natives to labor in Australia. The symbols of that event have been woven into the ecclesiastical art of the island church. In Sydney, Patteson’s eulogy was delivered by Lorimer Fison (who, more than anyone, fought the labor trade) and was published in the Sydney Morning Herald.

PAULA (347–404) Founder of nunneries Born in Rome of a noble Roman family that had long been Christian, Paula was married in 362 to Toxotius. She bore him four daughters and one son. But upon Toxotius’s death (378), she turned her residence into a center of celibate asceticism for Roman women, unmarried and widowed. Jerome became their spiritual director. In 385 Paula and her daughter Eustochium withdrew to Palestine. In Bethlehem she subsidized construction of a monastery, a nunnery, and a hospice for pilgrims. Jerome, who wrote her eulogy, said that she knew the Scripture by memory.

OWEN, JAMES (1654–1706) Influential Nonconformist minister James, the second son of John Owen, received his early education under a Quaker, James Picton, at Carmarthen and later studied philosophy at Brynllywarch. He was converted at age thirteen after listening to a Nonconformist minister preach on Malachi 4:1. Owen lived in a time of religious turmoil caused by conflict between the established Church of England and Nonconformists (or dissenters), who objected to official teachings and practices. He became convinced of the truth of the Nonconformist position at an early age. His first years of preaching, as an assistant to Stephen Hughes at Swansea, brought him into frequent conflict with the ecclesiastical courts, and he was forced to move for safety’s sake to North Wales. In 1676 he was given charge of a small dissenting congregation at Oswestry and also became a personal chaplain to Mrs. Baker in the nearby town of Swiney. Thirteen years later he started a dissenting academy in Oswestry for the purpose of training students from the ministry. In 1700 he moved to Shrewsbury, where he continued the work of the academy and served as a cominister, with Francis Tallents, of the High Street Chapel. Owen was widely respected as a church leader, scholar, and tutor. He debated with William Lloyd (1681) on ordination and published a work, A Plea for Scripture Ordination (1694), arguing for the right to ordain presbyters without diocesan bishops. He published other works in English and Welsh. The best known are Moderation, a Virtue (1703) and Moderation, Still a Virtue (1704).

ORR, JAMES (1844–1913) Scottish theologian Born in Glasgow and educated at the university there, Orr went on to the United Presbyterian Church’s college in Edinburgh. After ordination he ministered in the Scottish border town of Hawick (1874–1891). He was then appointed professor of church history in his old college, transferring in 1900 to the Glasgow college. There he taught apologetics and systematic theology—with classes augmented by the union between his church and the Free Church (a development in which he played a prominent part). Orr was critical of established religion. “A State Church,” he declared, “speaks in bonds; its guns are spiked.” Yet, he himself came under fire from conservatives in the continuing Free Church for teaching a modified Calvinism and for holding a defective doctrine of the inspiration of Scripture. The allegations were open to question; from another Presbyterian church came a different assessment. “Some make Christianity a doubtful thing,” said the Original Secession Church magazine. “Dr. Orr made it to many a stable, imperishable, reliable thing.” Orr became one of the best-known theologians in the English-speaking world. He had four lecture tours in North America. One of his books, The Virgin Birth of Christ (1907), came out of lectures given in New York to the Bible Teachers’ Training School. His many publications include The Christian View of God and the World (1893), The Progress of Dogma (1901), The Resurrection of Jesus (1908), and The Faith of a Modern Christian (1910). To many scholars he is known as the general editor of The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, a comprehensive and conservative work durable enough to have undergone a complete revision nearly seventy years after Orr’s death.

OLIVÉTAN, PIERRE ROBERT (c. 1506–c. 1540) French Protestant reformer and Bible translator His name “Olivétan” was given to him because as a student he burned the midnight (olive) oil. Born in Noyon, France, he was a cousin of John Calvin. He studied law at Paris and at Orleans, in the latter place being won over to Protestantism, to which also he is said to have brought Calvin. In 1528 he found it wise to retire to Strassburg, where Bucer and Capito persuaded him to work on the Greek and Hebrew Scriptures, with a view to making a translation into French. In 1531 he was in Geneva and for a short time taught school in Neuchatel. The following year at the Synod of Chamforans, he made contact with the Waldenses, who asked him to translate the Bible into French. He did, having his cousin, John Calvin, write the preface. (This was Calvin’s first acknowledgment that he had become a Protestant.) In 1536 or 1537 he taught for a time in Geneva at the new gymnasium, but sometime after 1538 he left to visit Renée, duchess of Ferrara, who was giving protection to Protestant refugees. He then traveled for a time in Italy, but no more is heard of him after that. Some believe that he died in Ferrara, but there does not seem to be any certain information as to what happened to him. His most important contribution to the Reformation was his translation of the Bible into French, for it became the text employed by the French reformers in their preaching and teaching. The translation was published in Neuchatel in 1535. He also translated the Psalms into French (published in 1537) and the same year also brought out Instruction des Enfants. Although not in the front rank of Reformers, his contribution was of great importance.

NICHOLSON, WILLIAM PATTESON (1876–1959) Northern Ireland evangelist After a dramatic conversion to Christ in 1898 while living as a rough seaman, Nicholson studied at the Bible Training Institute in Glasgow in order to become a preacher. Before going to the United States he worked as an evangelist with the Lanarkshire Christian Union in Scotland. In the United States he was an official evangelist of the Presbyterian Church of the U.S.A. and a teacher at Moody Bible Institute (a sister institution to that in Glasgow). Soon he returned to Ulster, where his evangelistic missions attracted great crowds in the 1920s. His greatest success was in the dockland area of Belfast, where many professed conversion. There was also an improvement in the morality of those living in the area. Because of this his name is legendary among Northern Irish Protestants; he is especially known as the preacher who drove people into the kingdom of God by preaching about hellfire. He also preached in South Africa and Australia.

NOYES, JOHN HUMPHREY (1811–1886) The best known Christian communitarian in nineteenth-century America A graduate of Dartmouth, Noyes was converted during a revival in 1831. He then attended Andover Theological Seminary and Yale Divinity School, where his opinions brought him into disfavor. He advocated sinless perfection through union with Christ and in 1839 proclaimed that Jesus had returned to earth in a.d. 70. He also thought that socialism was the means for perfected Christians to bring the kingdom of heaven to earth. With these views he organized a group of “Bible Communists” who in 1840 settled near Putney, Vermont. In 1846 Noyes’s communalism advanced a step when he declared that holding all things in common should extend to wives. This view of “complex marriage” caused a sensation and led to legal charges. In 1848 Noyes led his group to Oneida in western New York state where the community was reestablished. Here they prospered, having over two hundred residents by 1851 and being successful in farming and in light industry. The community expressed Noyes’s belief in evangelical perfectionism, Christian communalism, and rational American efficiency. These principles also shaped Noyes’s History of American Socialism (1870). The group’s “free love” was carefully, even eugenically, controlled. Gradually, however, secularization invaded the community; less and less concern came to be paid to sinless perfection and evangelical zeal. And the scandal of Oneida’s marriage customs kept pressure on from the outside. Noyes finally fled to Canada to escape lawsuits and warrants in 1879.

NIDA, EUGENE ALBERT (BORN 1914) American linguist and Bible translator Born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Nida studied at the University of Southern California at Los Angeles (M.A., 1939) and the University of Michigan (Ph.D., 1943). Thereafter he received D.D. degrees from Eastern Baptist Seminary (1956) and California Baptist Seminary (1959), as well as a Th.D. from the University of Münster (1967). He was ordained to the ministry in the American Baptist Church in 1943. Nida’s lifelong ministry has been his involvement with Bible translation work all around the world. He served as a field investigator for the Wycliffe Bible Translators from 1936 to 1937 and continued to teach translators until 1952. He served as secretary for translations in the American Bible Society from 1943 to 1984, and as translations research coordinator for the United Bible Societies from 1972 to 1984. At present he is a consultant for the American Bible Society and the United Bible Societies. He and his wife Althea, have traveled to over eighty countries and worked with Bible translators in over two hundred languages. Nida is best known for developing theories and methodologies for linguistics and Bible translation. These are clearly expressed in his books Toward a Science of Translating (1964), Theory and Practice of Translation (1969), and From One Language to Another (1986, with Jan de Waard). Nida purports a translation theory known as dynamic equivalence (later named as functional equivalence). According to Nida, dynamic equivalence is “the reproduction in a receptor language [for example, English] of the closest natural equivalent of the source language [Hebrew or Greek] message, first in terms of meaning, and second in terms of style.” Nida thinks the receptors should be able to understand and appreciate the message in essentially the same way as the original receptors understood and appreciated the original message. Of course, this response can never be identical, for the cultural and historical settings are too different, but there should be a high degree of equivalence of response. Nida’s theory of dynamic equivalence has been extensively used in the making of many modern, idiomatic translations of the Bible all around the world and has been even more widely accepted in the secular world. The Contemporary English Version (1991), prepared by a team of translators under the direction of Barclay Newman and in cooperation with Eugene Nida, is a good example of this kind of translation in English. Among Nida’s many other accomplishments, he was responsible for bringing together the international committee that produced the United Bible Societies’ third edition of the Greek New Testament (1975), followed by the Nestle-Aland 26th edition of Novum Testamentum Graece (1979). Nida was also responsible for setting up and guiding the work of the Hebrew Old Testament project, which is concerned with five thousand textual problems in the Old Testament. In collaboration with Newman and others, Nida has produced a series of helpful handbooks for Bible translators. And, finally, he has written several books dealing with missions; among these are Customs and Cultures (1954), Message and Missions (1960), and Religion Across Cultures (1968).