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Gavin, Frank Stanton Burns (31 October 1890–20 March 1938), Episcopal theologian and church historian, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, the son of William James Gavin, a physician, and Laura Adelaide Burns. In 1907 he entered the University of Cincinnati, from which he received the A.B. in 1912. While there he also took courses at Xavier University and at Hebrew Union College. In 1912 Gavin entered the General Theological Seminary in New York City; while there he also studied at Columbia University, where he was a University Fellow in Semitics (1913–1914). He received his M.A. in Semitic languages from Columbia in 1915, his S.T.B. from General Theological in 1915, and his Ph.D. from Columbia in 1922. His dissertation, “Aphraates and the Jews: A Study of the Controversial Homilies of the Persian Sage in Their Relation to Jewish Thought,” published in the ...

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Jacobs, Henry Eyster (10 November 1844–07 July 1932), historian, theologian, and churchman, was born in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, the son of the Reverend Michael Jacobs, a college professor, and Julianna Matilda Eyster. Michael Jacobs taught natural science at the Lutheran Pennsylvania (now Gettysburg) College. As a consequence, from the outset Henry Jacobs lived in the contexts of education and church. In his youth Jacobs’s world view was also profoundly influenced by witnessing at close range the battle of Gettysburg, fought when he was nineteen, and by hearing ...

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Pauck, Wilhelm (31 January 1901–03 September 1981), church historian and theologian, was born in Laasphe, Germany, the son of Wilhelm Heinrich Paul Pauck, a physicist, and Maria Hofmann. He studied at the Universities of Göttingen (1920–1923) and Berlin (1920–1922, 1923–1925). In 1925 he graduated from the University of Berlin magna cum laude with a licentiate of theology. Among his professors were Ernest Troeltsch, Karl Holl, Adolph von Harnack, and Karl Barth. Pauck immigrated to the United States in 1925 and became a naturalized citizen in 1937. In Germany he was a member of the Evangelische kirche; in the United States he joined the Congregational church (later the United Church of Christ)....

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Schaff, Philip (01 January 1819–20 October 1893), theologian, biblical scholar, and church historian, was born Philipp Schaf (or Schaaf) in Chur, Switzerland, the illegitimate son of Philipp Sha(a)f, a carpenter, and Anna Louis Schindler, who came from a large farming family. (He changed the spelling of his name sometime around 1847, a few years after his arrival in the United States.) Schaff was born into poverty and obscurity as well as illegitimacy in the Swiss mountain canton of Graubündten. His father died before his first birthday, and his mother was ordered to leave Chur because of the scandal. Thus left as a ward of the city, he was reared in an orphanage. Having grown up without parents or siblings, in later life Schaff would never meet a stranger, male or female, and he would always yearn for an extended family....