Joseph Henry Thayer
Joseph Henry Thayer was born in 1828 in Boston. He graduated from Harvard in 1850 and from Andover Theological Seminary in 1857. From 1858 to 1864 he served as a pastor—first in Quincy, Massachusetts, then in Salem—and served as a chaplain of the 4oth Massachusetts Volunteers in the American Civil War. After the war, he returned to Massachusetts to become Professor of Sacred Literature at Andover Theological Seminary, where he taught until 1882. In 1884, he began teaching New Testament criticism at Harvard. In 1870, Thayer was a member of the American Bible Revision Committee and recording secretary of the New Testament company (working on the Revised Version). 
Thayer's Greek–English Lexicon of the New Testament is one of the greatest achievements in biblical scholarship at the turn of the twentieth century. As the culmination of nearly three decades of work, more than 5,000 entries, references to grammatical and exegetical works, detailed etymology, and complete summaries of both biblical and extra-biblical word usage. Thayer's Greek–English Lexicon published in 1889 represents a watershed event in nineteenth-century Greek lexicography. 
Thayer's Greek–English Lexicon is a revised and translated edition of C.G. Wilke's Clavis Novi Testamenti - first published in 1841. After numerous revisions by both Wilke and his successor, C.L. Wilibald Grimm, Thayer took over the project. Thayer devoted nearly thirty years to the translation that first appeared in 1885, and updated edition in 1889. 
In February 1891 Thayer published a lecture in which he expressed disagreement with the position of Biblical inerrancy, asserting that his own acceptance of various errors of history and science in the Bible did not materially detract from his belief in the overall soundness of Christianity.
Thayer was president of the Society of Biblical Literature and Exegesis for 1894 and 1895. In his 1895 presidential address, he called for the creation of an "American School for Oriental Study and Research" in Palestine. Over the next five years, the Society was involved in the establishment of the American School of Oriental Research in Jerusalem. A plaque commemorating Thayer's role in its foundation was placed at the American School in 1933.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). . Encyclopædia Britannica. 26 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.