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Robertson, A. T. (1863-1934) | Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Archives

Name: Robertson, A. T. (1863-1934)
Fuller Form: Archibald Thomas Robertson

Historical Note:

Born on November 6, 1863 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia, Archibald Thomas Robertson (1863-1934) lived in the foothills of Virginia until his family moved to Cool Spring, North Carolina in 1875. Robertson attended Boone Preparatory School in Statesville, North Carolina until he was sixteen. During this time, Robertson professed faith in Jesus Christ and united with the Statesville Baptist Church. When he was sixteen, Statesville Baptist licensed him to preach, and he preached his first sermon to an African-American congregation in North Carolina. Robertson was a student at Wake Forest College from 1879 to 1885. While attending Wake Forest, he completed some high school courses, the standard baccalaureate program, and the Master of Arts program. Robertson showed a proclivity for languages, winning medals in French and Latin, and placing second in his class for Greek. He was also the co-editor of the college paper.

After graduating from Wake Forest College, Robertson moved to Louisville, Kentucky, to attend The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He received the ThM degree in 1888, and John A. Broadus invited him to become his teaching assistant in New Testament. In 1890, Robertson became an associate professor at the seminary. He later married John Broadus's daughter, Ella Broadus, on November 27, 1894. They had five children: John Albert, Cary, Archibald Thomas, Eleanor, and Charlotte.

Upon Broadus’s death in 1895, Robertson became professor of New Testament Interpretation at the seminary, a position he held for thirty-nine years. He was an avid defender of William H. Whitsitt during the controversy that surrounded his presidency at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Robertson enjoyed an international reputation as the premier New Testament scholar of his generation. He twice delivered the prestigious Stone Lectures at Princeton Seminary, and was a speaker in great demand at the Chautauqua, Northfield, and Winona Lake conferences. He was an active churchman, contributing to denominational papers and magazines and serving on the editorial board of the Baptist Argus. A voluminous writer, Robertson published forty-five books: four grammars of the New Testament, fourteen commentaries and studies, six volumes in the series Word Pictures in the New Testament, eleven histories, and ten New Testament character studies. His most massive book was A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research (1914). Other important books by Robertson included An Introduction to the Textual Criticism of the New Testament (1925), Life and Letters of John A. Broadus (1901), The Minister and His Greek New Testament (1923), and Luke the Historian in the Light of Research (1920). One of Robertson’s final projects, which he was working on the afternoon he died, was an expanded translation of the New Testament. A. T. Robertson died of a stroke on September 24, 1934, after dismissing his Senior Greek class because he felt unwell.

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