On May 22nd, in the year 1916, a boy was born in Norwell, Massachusetts to Gleason Leonard and Elizabeth Glenn Snyder Archer. At the age of 11 he committed himself to Christ, and by 22 he had earned his BA in Classics from Harvard (summa cum laude). He was awarded an LLB from Suffolk Law School a year later (and accepted into the state bar), and an AM from Harvard a year after that. After another four years Harvard forked over a PhD, and after just one year more, Princeton gave Gleason his BD.

By this time he was the pastor of a church in Boston, after which time he became the Professor of Biblical Languages at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. When his work there was finished he accepted a position as Professor of Old Testament and Semitics at Trinity Evangelical Seminary in Deerfield Illinois. He went emeritus in 1989 and planned out how he would spend the rest of his life researching, writing, and speaking.

He was one of the 50 translators of the original NASB Bible and also worked on the 1978 NIV. He wrote acclaimed books on Job, Hebrews, Daniel, the entire Old Testament, the quotations of the Old Testament in the New Testament, the various views on the rapture, and an encyclopedia of Bible difficulties called “The Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties”. And while doing all this, he even managed to carve out time to meticulously catalogue the extensive coin collection at Trinity.

At one point he began picking up a language a year, and became fluent in about 20. He took his notes in Hittite.

In one way or another almost every Hebrew scholar in America has been taught, pastored, discipled, or otherwise influenced by Gleason Archer.

Even after retirement, Archer would wake up early in the morning, do push-ups, and go running to kick start his day. He outlived his faithful wife and got married to a much younger but equally lithe beauty.

I know this, because my father discipled his grandson.


Filed under Biographical Sketches

3 Responses to Archer

  1. The embodiment of a badass. I suppose Archer is pretty awesome, too.

  2. “and an encyclopedia of Bible difficulties called “The Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties””

    This was my favorite part.

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