Brown, Driver, and—Briggs the Heretic

Old School Script

posted by Kris (with a “k”)


You know that cheap but handy lexicon you bought when you first started your Hebrew studies—yeah, Brown-Driver-Briggs, or BDB as we all affectionately refer to it. I didn’t know this before, but just read that Charles Briggs got himself excommunicated from the Presbyterian church in 1893 for a number of heretical beliefs he wouldn’t stay quiet about. Who would have thought that one of the great lexicographers of the past had such a checkered past?

Here’s some of reasons he was kicked out. I’ll let you decide if they’re worthy of heresy and getting the boot.

  • Moses is not the author of the Pentateuch
  • Isaiah, similarly, isn’t the author of at least half of the book that’s got his name on it
  • Scripture is not inerrant
  • redemption is a process that extends into the world to come

Some of these heretical views are more humorous…

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