An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Briggs, Charles Augustus

(Jan. 15, 1841-June 8, 1913). OT scholar and biblical critic. He was born in New York City, and studied at the University of Virginia, 1857-1860; Union Theological Seminary, New York, 1861-1863; and in Berlin, 1866-1869. After serving as pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Roselle, New Jersey, 1870-1874, he became the Professor of Hebrew and Cognate languages at Union Theological Seminary, New York, serving from 1874 to 1891. In 1891 he was transferred to the newly established Edwin Robinson Professorship of Biblical Theology, and gave his inaugural address on the authority of scripture. In the address he defended modern biblical scholarship and condemned the inerrancy dogma of Protestant orthodoxy, “superstitious Bibliolatry,” verbal inspiration, and “predictive prophecy.” He was accused of teaching heresy and suspended from the Presbyterian ministry by the General Assembly. Union Seminary severed relations with the General Assembly, and Briggs joined the Episcopal Church. He was ordained deacon on May 27, 1898, and priest on May 24, 1899. He died after nearly forty years as professor at Union seminary.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.