George Adam Smith

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For other people named George Smith, see George Smith (disambiguation).
Note in particular that this George Smith is to be distinguished from George Smith (assyriologist) (1840–1876) who researched in some overlapping areas.

Sir George Adam Smith FBA (19 October 1856 - 3 March 1942), Scottish theologian, was born in Calcutta, where his father, George Smith, C.I.E., was then Principal of the Doveton College, a boys' school.

He was educated at Edinburgh in the Royal High School, the University of Edinburgh and the New College. After studying for summer semesters at the University of Tübingen (1876) and the University of Leipzig (1878) and travelling in Egypt and Syria, he entered the ministry of the Free Church of Scotland and was appointed professor of Old Testament subjects in the Free Church College at Glasgow in 1892. In 1909 he was appointed principal of the University of Aberdeen, a post he held until his retirement in 1935. He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1916, and was knighted in the same year. He served as Moderator of the General Assembly of the United Free Church of Scotland in 1916-17.[1] Most of his papers are held in the National Library of Scotland, in Edinburgh.[2]


  • The Book of Isaiah (The Expositor’s Bible) (2 vols., 1888, 1890)
  • The Preaching of the Old Testament to the Age (1893)
  • Four Psalms: XXIII, XXXVI, LII, CXXI, Interpreted for Practical Use (1896)
  • The Book of the Twelve Prophets (The Expositor’s Bible) (2 vols., 1896, 1898)
  • The Life of Henry Drummond (1899).
  • Modern Criticism and Preaching of the Old Testament (1901)
  • Encyclopaedia Biblica (contributor) (1903)
  • The Forgiveness of Sins, and other Sermons (1905)
  • Jerusalem: The Topography, Economics and History from the Earliest Times to A.D. 70 (2 vols., 1907, 1908)
  • The Early Poetry of Israel in its Physical and Social Origins (the Schweich Lectures for 1910)
  • War and peace: Two Sermons in King’s College Chapel, University of Aberdeen (1915)
  • The Historical Geography of the Holy Land (1894)
  • The Book of Deuteronomy, in the Revised Version, with Introduction and Notes (1918)
  • Our Common Conscience: Addresses delivered in America during the Great War (1919)
  • Jeremiah (the Baird Lecture for 1922)
  • The Kirk in Scotland 1560 – 1929 (with John Buchan) (1930)
  • The Legacy of Israel (with others) (1944)

External links[edit]


  1. ^ These facts of his life are largely drawn from S.A. Cook,'George Adam Smith 1856-1942', Proceedings of the British Academy, vol.xxviii (London: Oxford University Press).
  2. ^ For the inventory of George Adam Smith's papers, see


  • Iain D. Campbell, Fixing the Indemnity: The Life and Work of Sir George Adam Smith (1856-1942) (Carlyle, Paternoster Press, 2004) (Paternoster Theological Monographs - PTM).