Samuel Davidson

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Samuel Davidson
Samuel Davidson.jpg
carte de visite from the mid-1860s.
Born(1807-09-23)September 23, 1807
DiedApril 1, 1898(1898-04-01) (aged 90)
OccupationBiblical scholar

Samuel Davidson (September 1806 – 1 April 1898) was an Irish biblical scholar.


He was born near Ballymena in Ireland.[1]

He was educated at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution and was appointed the Synod of Ulster's professor of biblical criticism at his own college in 1835. Becoming a Congregationalist, he accepted in 1842 the chair of biblical criticism, literature and oriental languages at the Lancashire Independent College at Manchester; but he was obliged to resign in 1857, clashing with the college authorities over the publication of an introduction to the Old Testament entitled The Text of the Old Testament, and the Interpretation of the Bible, written for a new edition of Homes Introduction to the Sacred Scripture. Its liberal tendencies caused him to be accused of unsound views, and a most exhaustive report prepared by the Lancashire College committee was followed by numerous pamphlets for and against. After his resignation a fund of £3000 was subscribed as a testimonial by his friends.[1]

In 1862 he moved to London to become scripture examiner in the University of London, and he spent the rest of his life in literary work.[1]

Davidson is often mistakenly listed as a member of the Old Testament Revision Committee for the Revised Version of 1881. However, this confusion is due simply to his sharing the same surname as Andrew Bruce Davidson, D. D., Professor of Hebrew, Free Church College, Edinburgh, who was on that committee.[2]


Among his principal works are:

  • Sacred Hermeneutics Developed and Applied (1843), rewritten and republished as A Treatise on Biblical Criticism (1852)
  • Lectures on Ecclesiastical Polity (1848)
  • An Introduction to the New Testament (1848), Samuel Bagster [publishing], Google eBook full read
  • The Hebrew Text of the Old Testament Revised (1855)
  • Introduction to the Old Testament (1862)
  • On a Fresh Revision of the Old Testament (1873)
  • The Canon of the Bible (1877)
  • The Doctrine of Last Things in the New Testament (1883)

Also translations of the New Testament from Tischendorf's text, Gieseler's Ecclesiastical History (1846), and Fürst's Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Chisholm 1911.
  2. ^ "Pericope De Adulterae – textual analysis site with biography and criticism of Davidson's work". Archived from the original on 9 December 2008. Retrieved 18 May 2008.

Wikisource Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Davidson, Samuel". Encyclopædia Britannica. 7 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 864.

External links[edit]

Academic offices
New title Professor of Biblical Criticism
of the Synod of Ulster (1835-40) and
of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland (1840-42)

Succeeded by
Robert Wilson