Joseph Addison Alexander

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Joseph Addison Alexander (24 April 1809 – 28 January 1860) was an American biblical scholar.

Early life[edit]

He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the third son of Archibald Alexander and brother to James Waddel Alexander and William Cowper Alexander.

He graduated at the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) in 1826,[1] having devoted himself especially to the study of Hebrew and other languages.[2]


From 1830 to 1833, he was adjunct professor of ancient languages and literature at Princeton. In 1834, he became an assistant to Dr. Charles Hodge, professor of oriental and biblical literature in the Princeton Theological Seminary, and in 1838, he became associate professor of oriental and biblical literature there, succeeding Dr. Hodge in that chair in 1840 and being transferred in 1851 to the chair of biblical and ecclesiastical history, and in 1859 to that of Hellenistic and New Testament literature, which he occupied until his death at Princeton in 1860.[3]

Alexander was a remarkable linguist and exegete. He had been ordained as a Presbyterian minister in 1839, and was well known for his pulpit eloquence. He was the author of The Earlier Prophecies of Isaiah (1846), The Later Prophecies of Isaiah (1847), and an abbreviation of these two volumes, Isaiah Illustrated and Explained (2 vols., 1851), The Psalms Translated and Explained (3 vols., 1850), commentaries on Acts (2 vols., 1857), Mark (1858) and Matthew (1860), and two volumes of Sermons (1860).[4]


  1. ^ McKim, Donald K. (2007). "Alexander, J(oseph) A(ddison)". Dictionary of major biblical interpreters (2nd ed.). Downers Grove, Ill.: IVP Academic. p. 107. ISBN 978-0-8308-2927-9.
  2. ^ Alexander, Henry Carrington. "The life of Joseph Addison Alexander". Making of America. Archived from the original on 2006-08-25. Retrieved 2007-01-29.
  3. ^  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Alexander, Joseph Addison" . Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  4. ^ Julian, John (June 1907). A Dictionary of Hymnology. London: John Murray. p. 39.

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