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Sir George Adam Smith

1856-1942. OT scholar. Born in India, where his father was editor of the Calcutta Review, he read arts and theology at Edinburgh and pursued further studies at German universities and in Cairo. Following a brief period as tutor at the Free Church College, Aberdeen, after the suspension of W.R. Smith, he became minister of Queen's Cross Free Church in the city (1882-92). He saw the issues involved in Smith's trial and set himself “to reconcile the outlook of an advanced scientific scholar with the spirit of devout reverence” (his wife's words). While professor of OT at the Free Church College, Glasgow (1892-1909), he campaigned for proper labor conditions and also undertook four lecture tours in America. His Yale lectures, Modern Criticism and the Preaching of the Old Testament (1901) threatened a heresy trial in Scotland. From 1909 until retirement in 1935 he was principal of Aberdeen University. He became a knight, Fellow of the British Academy, moderator of his church's assembly, and a royal chaplain in Scotland. His many publications include the incomparable Historical Geography of the Holy Land (1894; rev. 1931).