Frederic G. Kenyon

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Frederic George Kenyon
Born (1863-01-15)15 January 1863
Died 23 August 1952(1952-08-23) (aged 89)
Era Early modern/Modern
Region United Kingdom
Main interests Paleography, Biblical criticism & Classics

Sir Frederic George Kenyon, GBE, KCB, TD, FBA, FSA (15 January 1863 – 23 August 1952) was a British paleographer and biblical and classical scholar. He occupied from 1889 to 1931 a series of posts at the British Museum. He was also the president of the British Academy from 1917 to 1921, and from 1918 to 1952 he was Gentleman Usher of the Purple Rod.

Kenyon was born in London, the son of John Robert Kenyon, the Vinerian Professor of English Law at Oxford. After graduating B.A. from Magdalen College, Oxford, where he was later a fellow, he joined the British Museum in 1889 and rose to be its Director and Principal Librarian by 1909. He was knighted for his services in 1912 and remained at his post until 1931.

In 1891, Kenyon edited the editio princeps of Aristotle's Constitution of Athens. In 1920, he was appointed president of the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem. He spent most of his retirement researching and publishing ancient papyri. He died on 23 August 1952.

Kenyon was a noted scholar of ancient languages, and made a lifelong study of the Bible, especially the New Testament as an historical text. His book Our Bible and the Ancient Manuscripts (1895) shows one way that Egyptian papyri and other evidence from archeology can corroborate the narrative of historical events in the Gospels. He was convinced of the historical reality of the events described in the New Testament: “the last foundation for any doubt that the Scriptures have come down to us substantially as they were written has now been removed.”[1]

Kenyon's eldest daughter was the British archeologist Dame Kathleen Kenyon.


  • 1891: Aristotelous Ἀθηναιων Πολιτεια. Aristotle on the Constitution of Athens; edited by F. G. Kenyon. London: Printed by order of the Trustees of the British Museum
  • 1891: Classical Texts from Papyri in the British Museum: Including the Newly Discovered Poems of Herodas, with Autotype Facsimiles of MSS; edited by F. G. Kenyon. London: British Museum.
  • 1895: Our Bible and the Ancient Manuscripts, Eyre and Spottiswoode, London, 1896
  • 1897: The Letters of Elizabeth Barrett Browning; edited with biographical additions by Frederic G. Kenyon. 2 vol. London: John Murray. Gutenberg fulltext


  1. ^ Kenyon, Frederic (1940) The Bible & Archaeology. New York: Harper & Row

External links[edit]