Edgar J. Goodspeed

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Edgar Johnson Goodspeed (1871–1962) was an American theologian and scholar of Greek and the New Testament. He taught for many years at the University of Chicago, whose collection of New Testament manuscripts he enriched by his searches. The University's collection is now named in his honor.

He is widely remembered for his translations of the Bible: The New Testament: an American Translation (1923), and (with John Merlin Powis Smith) "The Bible, An American Translation" (1935), the "Goodspeed Bible". He is also remembered for his translation of the Apocrypha, and that translation was included in The Complete Bible, An American Translation (1939). Finally, Harper & Brothers issued his widely heralded The Apostolic Fathers: An American Translation (1950).

Edgar J. Goodspeed was born in Quincy, Illinois. He graduated from Denison University in 1890 (where he also received a doctorate in Divinity, 1928) and the University of Chicago (Ph.D. 1898).


Aside from his scholarly work, he wrote many non-dogmatic introductions to biblical literature for the lay reader:

  • The Story of the Bible and
  • The Story of the Apocrypha,
  • The Story of the New Testament, 1916
  • The Making of the English New Testament, 1925
  • The Formation of the New Testament, 1926
  • Strange New Gospels, 1931
  • The Short Bible, Edited by Edgar J. Goodspeed and J.M.Powis Smith, University of Chicago Press, 1933
  • The Story of the Old Testament, 1934
  • The Junior Bible, Edited by Edgar J. Goodspeed (University of Chicago Press) 1936
  • An Introduction to the New Testament, 1937
  • The Twelve, The Story of Christ's Apostles
  • How Came the Bible?, Abingdon–Cokesbury Press, c1940.
  • A History of Early Christian Literature, University of Chicago Press, 1942
  • Problems of New Testament Translation, 1945
  • How to Read the Bible 1946
  • The Life of Jesus for Young People
  • The Apostolic Fathers: An American Translation, Harper & Brothers 1950
  • Modern Apocrypha, The Beacon Press, 1956

Edgar J. Goodspeed died in 1962 and was interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.

External links[edit]

  • Goodspeed, "The translators to the Reader": Goodspeed's thesis on the Preface to the King James Version, 1611
  • Goodspeed and the Goodspeed Collection of Manuscripts at Chicago
  • Wikisource Goodspeed, Edgar Johnson (1922). "Chicago, University of" . Encyclopædia Britannica (12th ed.).
  • Works by Edgar J. Goodspeed at Project Gutenberg
  • Works by or about Edgar J. Goodspeed at Internet Archive