BENJAMIN B. WARFIELD, D.D., LL.D.
Late Professor at Princeton Theological Seminary
Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield (1851-1921) is widely recognized as the greatest English-speaking orthodox theologian of the early twentieth century, and perhaps of the whole century.
Born in Lexington, Kentucky, he entered Princeton College in 1868 and later graduated from the Seminary in 1876. After a brief spell of pastoral ministry in Baltimore, he taught at Western Seminary, Allegheny, Pennsylvania before succeeding A. A. Hodge as Professor of Didactic and Polemical Theology in 1887.
Warfield was a judicious and gracious preacher (“His words proceeded out of his mouth as if they walked on velvet” said F.L. Patton); but it was through his pen that he gave his lasting legacy to the church. Largely confined to Princeton because of his wife’s long-term ill health he devoted his energies to the hundreds of articles and reviews which flowed from the marriage of his fertile mind and monumental scholarship to disciplined study and research.
Always generous in his acknowledgment of God-given scholarly gifts and insights, Warfield was also devastating in his critical analysis of every misuse to which he saw such gifts being devoted. An intellectual of Olympian proportions, he commanded the respect and devotion of his peers: “Nearly everything I have done” (wrote J. Gresham Machen to his mother) “has been done with the inspiring hope that Dr. Warfield would think well if it . . . he was the greatest man I have known”.