Alexander Roberts

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The grave of Prof Alexander Roberts, St Andrews Cathedral churchyard

Alexander Roberts (12 May 1826 – 8 March 1901) was a Scottish biblical scholar.


Born at Marykirk, Kincardineshire, on 12 May 1826, he was the son of Alexander Roberts, a flax-spinner. He was educated at the grammar school and King's College, Aberdeen, where he graduated MA in March 1847, being the Simpson Greek prizeman.[1]

Roberts was a presbyterian minister (1852–71) in Scotland and London. In 1864, then a minister at Carlton Hill, London, he was made Doctor of Divinity of Edinburgh University. He was also minister at St. John's Wood, and was a member of the New Testament revision company (1870–84). In 1872, he succeeded John Campbell Shairp in the chair of humanity at the University of St. Andrews; he was made emeritus professor in 1899. He died at St. Andrews, Mitcham Park, Surrey, on 8 March 1901.[1] He was returned to St Andrews for burial and lies in the south-east corner of the churchyard of St Andrews Cathedral.[citation needed]


Roberts married on 2 December 1852 Mary Anne Speid (died 18 January 1911), and had fourteen children, of whom four sons and eight daughters survived him.[1]


Roberts' "Discussions on the Gospels" was published in 1862,[2] one of a series of works in which he maintained that Greek was the habitual speech of Jesus, a conclusion unpopular at the time.[1] He co-operated with Sir James Donaldson as editor and part translator of the English versions of ecclesiastical writers published as the Ante-Nicene Christian Library (1867–72, 24 vols.), the first major edition in English of these Church Fathers.[3] He also translated the Works of Sulpitius Severus (1895) in the Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers.


  1. ^ a b c d Gordon 1912.
  2. ^ Roberts, A., [1] Discussions on the Gospels accessed 29 April 2016
  3. ^ Roberts, Alexander - Oxford DNB


  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainGordon, Alexander (1912). "Roberts, Alexander" . In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography, 1912 supplement​. 3. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  • Hawke, Joanna. "Roberts, Alexander (1826–1901)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/35767. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)

External links

  • Works by or about Alexander Roberts at Internet Archive
  • Works by Alexander Roberts at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)

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