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Alexander Souter

1873-1949. Scottish NT and patristic scholar. Educated at Aberdeen and Cambridge universities (where he was respectively influenced by W.M. Ramsay and J.E.B. Mayor), Souter was Yates professor of NT Greek and exegesis at Mansfield College, Oxford (1903-11), then regius professor of humanity, Aberdeen University (1911-37). He is widely known for his trilogy of handbooks to the study of the Greek NT: the Oxford Greek Testament (1910; rev. ed., 1947), in which he provided a select apparatus criticus for the text presumed to underlie the Revised Version of 1881; The Text and Canon of the New Testament (1913; posthumous revision, 1954); and A Pocket Lexicon to the Greek New Testament (1916).

But his most important work was done in the study of the Latin Fathers, especially the commentators on the Pauline epistles-a field where two great interests, the Latin language and Paul, converged; cf. his Princeton Stone Lectures, The Earliest Latin Commentaries on the Epistles of St. Paul (1927). Two outstanding achievements in this field were (1) his demonstration in A Study of Ambrosiaster (1905) that the author of the pseudo-Ambrosian commentaries on Paul (called “Ambrosiaster”* since Erasmus's time) was identical with the author of the pseudo-Augustinian Quaestiones Veteris et Noui Testamenti (which he edited for the Vienna Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum, 1908), and (2) his recovery and publication of the original text of Pelagius's expositions of the Pauline epistles (2 vols., 1922, 1926; with the pseudo-Jerome interpolations, 1931). His Glossary of Later Latin to a.d. 600 (1949) presents the quintessence of over half a century's research in Latin lexicography.

See Memoir by R.J. Getty in Aberdeen University Review 33 (1949-50), pp. 117-24.