Ernest DeWitt Burton

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Ernest DeWitt Burton

Ernest DeWitt Burton (February 4, 1856 – May 26, 1925) was an American biblical scholar and president of the University of Chicago.

He was born in Granville, Ohio and graduated from Denison University in 1876. After graduating from Rochester Theological Seminary in 1882, he studied in Germany at Leipzig and Berlin, then taught at seminaries in Rochester and Newton (1882–1892). Burton was then appointed chief of the department of New Testament literature and interpretation at the University of Chicago and in 1897 was named editor of the American Journal of Theology. Burton was president of the Chicago Society of Biblical Research in 1906-1907. He served as the third president of the University of Chicago from 1923 until his death from cancer in 1925.

With Shailer Mathews,[1] Burton wrote Constructive Studies in the Life of Christ (1901) and Principles and Ideals of the Sunday School (1903), and with J. M. P. Smith and G. B. Smith he wrote Biblical Ideas of Atonement (1909). He also published the following texts:

  • Syntax of the Moods and Tenses of the Greek Verb (1889)
  • The Records and Letters of the Apostolic Age (1899)
  • Short Introduction to the Gospels (1904)
  • Studies in Mark (1904)
  • Some Principles of Literary Criticism and their Application to the Synoptic Problem (1904), online version
  • Spirit, Soul, and Flesh (1918)
  • Harmony of the Synoptic Gospels in Greek, with Edgar J. Goodspeed, (1920)
  • Commentary on Paul's Epistle to the Galatians (1920)
  • Jesus of Nazareth, How He Thought, Lived, Worked, and Achieved (1920)
  • Source Book for the Study of the Teaching of Jesus on Its Historical Relationships (1923)


  1. ^ "Dean Shailer Matthews". The Independent. August 31, 1914. Retrieved July 24, 2012. 

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Academic offices
Preceded by
Harry Pratt Judson
President of the University of Chicago
Succeeded by
Max Mason