John Gill (theologian): Wikis

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John Gill

John Gill (23 November 1697 – 14 October 1771) was an English Baptist, biblical scholar, "Jehovist", and held to a staunch Calvinistic Soteriology. Born in Kettering, Northamptonshire, he attended Kettering Grammar School where he mastered the Latin classics and learned Greek by age 11. He continued self-study in everything from logic to Hebrew, his love for the latter remaining throughout his life.

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Early life and education

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At the age of about 12, Gill heard a sermon from his pastor, William Wallis, on the text, "And the Lord called unto Adam, and said unto him, where art thou?" (Genesis 3:9). The message stayed with Gill and eventually led to his conversion. It was not until seven years later that he made a public profession when he was 18.

Pastoral work

His first pastoral work was as an intern assisting John Davis at Higham Ferrers in 1718 at age 21. He became pastor at the Strict Baptist church at Goat Yard Chapel, Horsleydown, Southwark in 1719. His pastorate lasted 51 years. In 1757 his congregation needed larger premises and moved to a Carter Lane, St. Olave’s Street, Southwark. This Baptist church was once pastored by Benjamin Keach and would later become the New Park Street Chapel and then the Metropolitan Tabernacle pastored by Charles Spurgeon.

During Gill's ministry the church strongly supported the preaching of George Whitefield at nearby Kennington Common.

Various works

In 1748, Gill was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity by the University of Aberdeen. He was a profound scholar and a prolific author. His most important works are:

Eighteenth-century theologian John Gill in his writing, A Dissertation Concerning the Antiquity of the Hebrew Language, Letters, Vowel-Points and Accents,[2] disputed the idea that the vowel points were invented by the Masorites. Gill claimed that the use of Hebrew vowel points and therefore of the name Jehovah (Ye-HO'-VaH) is documented from before 200 B.C., and even back to Adam, throughout the centuries of Jewish Authorities, the early Church and the following millennium. He argued that throughout this history the Masorites did not invent the vowel points and accents, but that they were delivered to Moses by God at Sinai, citing Karaite authorities[3] Mordechai ben Nisan Kukizov (1699) and his associates, who stated that "all our wise men with one mouth affirm and profess that the whole law was pointed and accented, as it came out of the hands of Moses, the man of God,"[3] The argument of the Karaites[4] shows that some copies have always been pointed (voweled)[5] and some copies were not pointed with the vowels because of "oral tradition" done for control of interpretation by some Judeo sects, including non-pointed copies in Synagogues which Gill talks about.[6][7]
John Gill also claimed that various early historical sources indicate that vowel points and accents were used in their time, and on that basis held that the pronunciation "Jehovah" can be traced back to then, including:

Gill quoted Elia Levita, who said, "There is no syllable without a point, and there is no word without an accent", as showing that the vowel points and the accents found in printed Hebrew Bibles have a dependence on each other, and so Gill attributed the same antiquity to the accents as to the vowel points,[17] while also acknowledging that Elia Levita, "who first asserted the vowel points were invented by "the men of Tiberias"; yet (Levita) declared,"if anyone could convince him that his opinion was contrary to the book of Zohar, he should be content to have it rejected." Gill goes on to show Elia Levita's opinion was contrary to the book of Zohar, which was declared by rabbis as older than the Masoretes, as it attests to the vowel-points and accents, and even names them in various places.[18]

The "Jehovist" argument, defending the divinely-given vowel points, are also presented by many other scholars past and present which include, John Buxtorf and John Owen (17th century), as well as Peter Whitfield (18th century), John Moncrieff (19th century), G. A. Riplinger (21st century),(In Awe of Thy Word, G.A. Riplinger-Chapter 11, page 413-435)Online</ref> and Thomas M. Strouse (21st century).[19] 1200s-The name Jehovah is found in the writings of Raymund Martin
1300s- Used in the writings of Porchetus
1500s- Used in the writings of Theodore Beza, Galatinus, and Cajetan among many others. Scholars such as Michaelis, Drach and Stier proved the name as original.
1602-Used in the 1602 Spanish Bibles which gave a lengthy defense of the pronunciation Jehovah in its preface.[20]

Article by John Hinton, Ph.D. (Harvard) http://av1611.com/kjbp/ridiculous-kjv-bible-corrections/Yahweh-Jehova-YHVH.html

Significance

John Gill was the first major writing Baptist theologian, his work retaining influence into the 21st century. Gill's relationship with hyper-Calvinism in English Baptist life is a matter of debate. Peter Toon has argued that Gill was himself a hyper-Calvinist, which would make Gill the father of Baptist hyper-Calvinism. Tom Nettles has argued that Gill was not a hyper-Calvinist himself, which would make him merely a precursor and hero to Baptist hyper-Calvinists.

References

  1. ^ John Gill, "A Dissertation Concerning the Antiquity of the Hebrew Language, Letters, Vowel-Points and Accents", Vol. 3, p. 429.
  2. ^ John Gill, "A Dissertation Concerning the Antiquity of the Hebrew Language, Letters, Vowel-Points and Accents", Vol. 3, p. 429.
  3. ^ a b (In Awe of Thy Word, G.A. Riplinger-Chapter 11, page 422-435)Online,A Dissertation Concerning the Antiquity of the Hebrew Language, Letters, Vowel-Points, and Accents, by John Gill, p. 540 Online
  4. ^ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karaite#Pronouncing_the_Name
  5. ^ http://av1611.com/kjbp/ridiculous-kjv-bible-corrections/Yahweh-Jehova-YHVH.html
  6. ^ A Dissertation Concerning the Antiquity of the Hebrew Language, John Gill, pp. 548-560 [1]
  7. ^ A Dissertation Concerning the Antiquity of the Hebrew Language, John Gill [2]
  8. ^ A Dissertation Concerning the Antiquity of the Hebrew Language, John Gill, p. 461-462 [3]
  9. ^ A Dissertation Concerning the Antiquity of the Hebrew Language, John Gill, p. 501 [4]
  10. ^ A Dissertation Concerning the Antiquity of the Hebrew Language, John Gill, pp. 512-516 [5]
  11. ^ A Dissertation Concerning the Antiquity of the Hebrew Language, John Gill, p. 522 [6]
  12. ^ A Dissertation Concerning the Antiquity of the Hebrew Language, John Gill, p. 531 [7]
  13. ^ A Dissertation Concerning the Antiquity of the Hebrew Language, John Gill, p. 535-536 [8]
  14. ^ A Dissertation Concerning the Antiquity of the Hebrew Language, John Gill, p. 536-537 [9]
  15. ^ A Dissertation Concerning the Antiquity of the Hebrew Language, John Gill, p. 538-542 [10]
  16. ^ A Dissertation Concerning the Antiquity of the Hebrew Language, John Gill, p. 544 [11]
  17. ^ A Dissertation Concerning the Antiquity of the Hebrew Language, John Gill, Volume 3, p. 499
  18. ^ A Dissertation Concerning the Antiquity of the Hebrew Language, John Gill, Volume 3, p. 531
  19. ^ http://docs.google.com/gview?a=v&q=cache:iPaM7xkY6W4J:www.emmanuel-newington.org/seminary/resources/Whitfield.pdf+Peter+Whitfield,+1748&hl=en&gl=us&sig=AFQjCNHvvPvD5AlbbkqQ4zRqjlgic-Q-4g
  20. ^ In Awe of Thy Word, G.A. Riplinger Chapter 11, page 416
  • Daniel, Curt. Hyper-Calvinism and John Gill. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of Edinburgh, 1983.
  • Ella, George (1995). John Gill and the Cause of God and Truth. Eggleston, England: Go-Publications.
  • Murray, Iain H. Spurgeon v. Hyper-Calvinism: The Battle for Gospel Preaching. Banner of Truth, 2000. ISBN 0851516920
  • Nettles, Thomas J. (1986). By His Grace and for His Glory: A Historical, Theological, and Practical Study of the Doctrines of Grace in Baptist Life. Grand Rapids: Baker Books. ISBN 0-8010-6742-1
  • Oliver, Robert W. History of the English Calvinistic Baptists: 1771–1892. Banner of Truth, 2006. ISBN 0851519202
  • Peter Toon, The Emergence of Hyper-Calvinism in English Nonconformity, 1689-1765. London: The Olive Tree, 1967.
  • Rippon, John (1838). Brief Memoir of the Life and Writings of the Reverend John Gill. Reprint: Hess Publications, 1998. ISBN 0-87377-920-7

External links

This article includes content derived from the Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, 1914, which is in the public domain.

Religious titles
Preceded by
Benjamin Stinton
Pastor of the New Park Street Chapel
1720-1771
Succeeded by
John Rippon
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