James Bannerman (theologian)

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James Bannerman
Sketch of James Bannerman c.1850, Scottish National Portrait Gallery.jpg
Sketch from the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, c. 1850
Born (1807-04-09)April 9, 1807
Cargill, Perthshire
Died March 27, 1868(1868-03-27) (aged 60)
Grange Cemetery, Edinburgh
Nationality Scottish
Education University of Edinburgh, Princeton University
Occupation Pastor, Theologian
Years active mid 19th-century
Notable work The Church of Christ, Inspiration
Spouse(s) David Anne Douglas
Children Rev Dr David Douglas Bannerman, James Patrick Bannerman
Theological work
Tradition or movement Free Church of Scotland (1843–1900)
Main interests Ecclesiology, Biblical inspiration

Rev Prof James Bannerman, D.D. (9 April 1807– 27 March 1868), was a Scottish theologian. He is best known for his classic work on Presbyterian ecclesiology, The Church of Christ, which continues to be widely read.

Life[edit]

New College, Edinburgh, where Bannerman served as a professor

Bannerman was the son of Reverend James Patrick Bannerman, minister of Cargill, Perthshire. He was born at the manse of Cargill on 9 April 1807, and after a distinguished career at the University of Edinburgh, especially in the classes of Sir John Leslie and Professor Wilson, became minister of Ormiston, in Midlothian, in 1833, left the Established Church for the Free Church in 1843, and in 1849 was appointed professor of apologetics and pastoral theology in the New College, Edinburgh, which office he held till his death, 27 March 1868.

In 1850 he received the degree of D.D. from Princeton College, New Jersey. He took a leading part in various public movements, especially in that which led in 1843 to the separation of the free church from the state, and subsequently in the negotiations for union between the nonconformist presbyterian churches of England and Scotland. His chief publications were:

  • 1. Letter to the Marquis of Tweeddale on the Church Question, 1840
  • 2. The Prevalent Forms of Unbelief, 1849
  • 3. Apologetical Theology, 1851
  • 4. Inspiration: the Infallible Truth and Divine Authority of the Holy Scriptures, 1865
  • 5. The Church of Christ, also known as The Church: a Treatise on the Nature, Powers, Ordinances, Discipline, and Government of the Christian Church, 2 vols. 8vo; published after his death in 1868, and edited by his son[1]
  • 6. A volume of sermons (also posthumous) published in 1869

Family[edit]

Prof James Bannerman's grave, Grange Cemetery, Edinburgh

In 1839 he married David Anne Douglas (1821–1879), a daughter of the David Douglas, Lord Reston, one of the senators of the College of Justice. They had three sons and six daughters, including Rev Dr David Douglas Bannerman and James Patrick Bannerman.[2] A third son, William Burney Bannerman FRSE (1858–1924), married Helen Brodie Cowan Watson, daughter of Robert Boog Watson,[3] and he and his wife are buried with the parents in the north-west section of the Grange Cemetery in Edinburgh.

References[edit]

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain"Bannerman, James". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.