of Biblical Theology as a Science and as a Theological Discipline
Geerhardus Vos was born March 14,
1862, in the Netherlands. In 1881, he came to the United States, when his father accepted
the pastorate of a Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, MI. He continued his
theological studies first in Grand Rapids, then at Princeton Seminary; and completed his
studies in Germany. Vos received his doctor's degree in Arabic Studies in 1888 from the
philosophical faculty at Strassburg. Upon receiving his doctorate, Dr. Vos accepted a
position in 1888 with the faculty of the Theological School of the Christian Reformed
Churches. In 1892, Vos accepted appointment as professor of the newly created chair of
Biblical Theology at Princeton Seminary, where he taught until he retired in 1932. During
his 39 years at Princeton, Dr. Vos laid the groundwork for his best-known books: Biblical
Theology, Old and New Testaments and The Pauline Eschatology.
Dr. Vos defined Biblical Theology as
that branch of Exegetical Theology that concerns the process of God's self-revelation
within the Holy Scriptures. For him, exegeting God's Word was a process in which God
speaks and man listens, and that the reception of truth on God's authority is an eminently
Dr. Vos greatly helped to strengthen the Church's perception that revelation in Scripture
is organic, progressing from the perfect seed form of earlier revelation to the
manifestation of full doctrinal development in later revelation. He had a deep commitment
that his Biblical Theology should plant itself squarely upon the truthfulness of all
Scripture from Genesis through Revelation. He is one of the outstanding biblical
theologians God has placed in His Church.
John Murray said of him, "Dr.
Vos is, in my judgment, the most penetrating exegete it has been my privilege to know, and
I believe, the most incisive exegete that has appeared in the English-speaking world in
Dr. Vos died August 13, 1949.