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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Hackett, Horatio Balch, d.d., ll.d.

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an eminent Baptist scholar, was born at Salisbury, Massachusetts, December 27, 1808. In 1823 he entered Phillips Academy, Andover, and in 1827 Amherst College; became a hopeful Christian in 1828, and was valedictorian in 1830. He graduated from the theological seminary at Andover in 1834, spending one year meanwhile as tutor in Amherst College. The next year he occupied a position as teacher of classics in Mount Hope College, Baltimore, and became a member of the First Baptist Church in that city. He was adjunct professor of Latin and Greek in Brown University for four years (1835-39). In 1839 he was elected professor of Biblical Literature and Interpretation in Newton Theological Institution, and the same year was ordained to the Christian ministry. Two years of earnest devotion to the cultivation of the classes which came under his instruction were followed by a year spent abroad, six months of the time in earnest study in Halle, Germany, attending the lectures of Tholuck, Gesenius, Rediger, and other eminent scholars, and four months in Berlin, enjoying the instructions, especially, of Neander and Hengstenberg. After his return to America, in 1842, he prepared an annotated edition of Plutarch's treatise on the Delay of the Deity in the Punishment of the Wicked, devoting also much time to the study of French, Chaldee, and Syriac, modern Greek, and Sanscrit. Two years afterwards he published a translation of Winer's Grammar of the Chaldee Language.

The first number of the second volume of the Bibliotheca Sacra, January 1845, contains his critique on the Life of Jesus, by Strauss. In the number of the same quarterly for January 1846, is an able article on the Synoptical Study of the Gospels, and Recent Literature Pertaining to it. The next year (1847) appeared his Exercises in Hebrew Grammar, and Selections from the Greek Scriptures to be Translated into Hebrew, etc. The result of some of his studies in connection with the preparation of this volume may be found in the January (1847) number of the Bibiothecan Sacra, in the form of two articles from his pen, The Structure of the Hebrew Sentence, and The Greek Version of the Pentateuch, by Thiersch. 'Then came his great work, the Commentary on Acts, the first edition of which appeared in 1852. He then made a second visit to Europe, his journey being extended to Palestine, and on his return spending several weeks in Germany. In 1855 he published his Illustrations of Scripture; Suggested by a Tour through the Holy Land. Soon after, he set out upon his third foreign tour, spending six months in Athens, for the purpose of devoting himself to the study of modern Greek, and thence making excursions in different directions in Greece. In 1860 the Bible Union published his Notes on the Greek. Text of the Epistle of Paul to Philemon, as the basis of a revision of the common English version; and a Revised Version, with Notes. In 1864 appeared his Christian Memorials of the War. During the same period he wrote thirty articles for the original edition of Dr. William Smith's Dictionary. In 1861 he wrote an introduction to the American edition of Westcott's Study of the Gospels; in the winter of 1865 he began to edit an American edition of Smith's Dictionary of the Bible, aided by Dr. Ezra Abbot.

He was also engaged by Dr. Schaff to translate Van Oosterzee's Commentary on Philemon, for his edition of Lange's Commentaries, and Braune's Commentary on Philippians, for the same series. He published in 1867 a second revised edition of Plutarchus de Sera Numinis Veri Dicta, with notes prepared by himself and professor W.S. Tyler, of Amherst College. Professor Hackett's connection with the Newton Theological Institution closed with its anniversary, June 24, 1868. Two years were next spent in laborious study in his favorite department, translating and revising the books of Ruth and of Judges for the Bible Union, upon the American edition of Smith's Dictionary of the Bible, and upon translations which he engaged to make for Dr. Schaff; also, in 1870, spending several months, once more in the Old World. Having been appointed to the chair of Biblical Literature and New Testament Exegesis, in the Rochester Theological Seminary, he entered upon the duties of his office in the fall of 1870. The same zeal and enthusiasm which characterized his instructions at Newton marked his teachings at Rochester. Five years of work were followed by another of those vacations in which he took so much delight, a vacation passed amid the scenes of the Old World. He returned, apparently greatly refreshed and strengthened, to enter anew, upon his work, when the summons suddenly came, telling him that his work was done. He died almost instantly, November 2, 1875, at his own home in Rochester, N.Y. See Memorials of H.B. Hackett, edited by G.H. Whittemore (Rochester, 1876). (J.C.S.)


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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Hackett, Horatio Balch, d.d., ll.d.'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/tce/h/hackett-horatio-balch-dd-lld.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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