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B. B. Warfield (1851–1921)

Ian S. Markham

Subject Religion » Christianity

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1800-1899, 1900-1999

Key-Topics theology

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405135078.2009.00051.x


A key influence on reformed Presbyterian theology in the United States was Benjamin B. Warfield. Warfield is also indicative of the dramatic influence that Princeton Theological Seminary had on American theology. Mark Noll writes of Warfield that “at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth centuries, Benjamin Brekinridge Warfield was the most widely known American advocate of confessional Calvinism” (Noll in Elwell, 1993 , 26). At a time of dramatic change, Warfield sought to defend the key classical themes of reformed theology, for example, the inerrancy of scripture and the sinfulness of humanity. Warfield was born in 1851 near Lexington in Kentucky. On his mother's side, there was a strong Presbyterian commitment; his grandfather, for example, was a Presbyterian preacher. On his father's side, there was a solid Puritan influence. William Warfield was part of the Puritan migration to avoid English persecution. Warfield was educated at the College of New Jersey (which later became Princeton University). This was the start of a connection that would endure throughout his life. He returned to Princeton for Seminary in 1873, where he was heavily influenced by Charles Hodge; he graduated and married Annie Kinkead in 1876. His postgraduate studies were in Germany. Here he worked with Ernst Luthardt (1823–1902) and Franz Delitzsch (1813–90). In 1879, he was ordained ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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