John Emerton

John Adney Emerton, FBA (5 June 1928 – 12 September 2015) was a British Anglican priest, theologian, and academic. He was Regius Professor of Hebrew at the University of Cambridge from 1968 to 1995.[1][2]

John Emerton

John Adney Emerton

(1928-06-05)5 June 1928
Died12 September 2015(2015-09-12) (aged 87)
Academic background
Alma materCorpus Christi College, Oxford
Wycliffe Hall, Oxford
St John's College, Cambridge
Academic work
InstitutionsUniversity of Birmingham
University of Durham
University of Cambridge
University of Oxford
St Peter's College, Oxford
St John's College, Cambridge
Doctoral studentsRobert Gordon

Early life and education

Emerton was born on 5 June 1928. He studied theology at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and graduated from the University of Oxford with a first class Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in 1950.[3] From 1950 to 1952, he trained for ordination at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford.[4] His BA was promoted to a Master of Arts (MA (Oxon)) degree in 1954. The following year, in 1955, the University of Cambridge also granted him MA status.[5]

Emerton continued his studies during his academic career.[3][5] In 1960, he completed a Bachelor of Divinity (BD) degree at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.[4] In 1973, he was awarded a Doctor of Divinity (DD) degree by St John's College, Cambridge; the DD is a higher doctorate awarded in recognition of a substantial body of published research.[5]

Ordained ministry

Emerton was ordained in the Church of England as a deacon in 1952 and as a priest in 1953.[4] From 1952 to 1953, he served his curacy at St Philip's Cathedral, Birmingham.[4][5] He then spent the rest of his career in academia rather than in parish ministry.[4] He was appointed an honorary canon of St George's Cathedral, Jerusalem in 1984.[5]

Academic career

He taught at the University of Birmingham and the University of Durham, and is a fellow of St Peter's College, Oxford and St John's College, Cambridge. He served as editor of Vetus Testamentum from 1976 to 1997, as President of the Society for Old Testament Study in 1979 and as President of the 15th congress of IOSOT in 1995.[1]

Later life

Emerton died on 12 September 2015. His funeral was held at St Mark's Church, Newnham, Cambridge on 6 October 2015. A memorial service was also held at St John's College, Cambridge.[6]


In 1991, Emerton was awarded the Burkitt Medal by the British Academy.[5] In 2010, a Festschrift was published in his honour. Genesis, Isaiah, and Psalms: A Festschrift to Honour Professor John Emerton for His Eightieth Birthday included contributions from Patrick D. Miller and Rudolf Smend.


  1. "John Adney EMERTON". Debretts. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  2. Day, John; Gordon, Robert P; Williamson, Hugh Godfrey Maturin, eds. (1995). "Biographical note: John Adney Emerton". Wisdom in Ancient Israel. p. 287. doi:10.1017/CBO9780511520662.025. ISBN 9780511520662.
  3. Macintosh, A. A. (2 October 2015). "The Revd Professor John Adney Emerton". The Church Times. Retrieved 22 November 2015.
  4. "John Adney Emerton". Crockford's Clerical Directory (online ed.). Church House Publishing. Retrieved 23 June 2018.
  5. "The Revd Professor John Emerton, 1928-2015". St John's College. University of Cambridge. 15 September 2015. Retrieved 22 November 2015.
  6. Emerton, Mark (September 2015). "EMERTON". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 22 November 2015.
Academic offices
Preceded by
David Winton Thomas
Regius Professor of Hebrew
University of Cambridge

1968 to 1995
Succeeded by
Robert Gordon

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