Briggs, Charles Augustus

Briggs, Charles Augustus, 1841–1913, American clergyman, theologian, and educator, b. New York City, studied at the Univ. of Virginia, Union Theological Seminary, and the Univ. of Berlin. From 1875 until his death he was a member of the faculty of Union Theological Seminary, serving as professor of Hebrew and the cognate languages. In 1890 he was appointed to the chair of biblical theology. The address on the authority of Holy Scripture that he gave at that time caused his trial for heresy (1892) before the New York presbytery. Although acquitted, Dr. Briggs was suspended (1893) from the Presbyterian ministry by the General Assembly; thereupon Union Theological Seminary severed its relations with the Assembly. He later (1900) entered the Episcopal ministry. Among his many books are A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Book of Psalms (2 vol., 1906) and Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament (with Francis Brown and S. R. Driver, completed 1906).

See his Inaugural Address and Defense (first printed in 1891 and 1893, repr. 1972); C. E. Hatch, The Charles A. Briggs Heresy Trial (1969).

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