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Warfield, B. B. (1851–1921)

  1. Christopher M. Rios

Published Online: 25 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470670606.wbecc1453

The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization

How to Cite

Rios, C. M. 2011. Warfield, B. B. (1851–1921). The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 NOV 2011


A conservative Presbyterian theologian, Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield's rigorous defense of Reformed confessionalism and the plenary inspiration of Scripture helped to establish him as one of the giants of the Princeton theology and put him at odds with much 20th century theology. Born near Lexington, Kentucky to William Warfield and Mary Cabell Breckinridge, Warfield was privately educated and trained in the Presbyterian faith until he entered the College of New Jersey (later Princeton University) in 1868. Warfield graduated in 1871 and entered Princeton Theological Seminary, where he was greatly influenced by a mature Charles Hodge. In 1876, Warfield graduated from the seminary, married Annie Pearce Kinkead, and began a period of advanced study in Europe. He began his teaching career at Western Theological Seminary (Pittsburg) in 1878. In 1887, he returned to Princeton Seminary to become professor of didactic and polemical theology, a position previously held by Archibald Alexander, Charles Hodge, and Archibald Alexander Hodge. From this position, Warfield continued the seminary's tradition of expounding Calvinistic theology, a high view of Scripture, and Scottish Common Sense reasoning. Though he never wrote a systematic theology of his own, his prolific output of books, articles, and reviews dealt with nearly every major issue of the day and helped keep many Americans abreast of the developments in Continental theology. Warfield died at Princeton Seminary, having spent nearly four decades defending conservative American religion.


  • Warfield, B. B. (1851–1921);
  • conservative presbyterian theologian;
  • giants of the princeton theology;
  • heyday of American protestant liberalism, 19th, 20th centuries;
  • “evading the supernatural”, “heresy and concession”