ETHERIDGE, JOHN WESLEY (1804–1866), English nonconformist divine, was born near Newport, Isle of Wight, on the 24th of February 1804. He received most of his early education from his father. Though he never attended any university he acquired ultimately a thorough knowledge of Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Syriac, French and German. In 1824 he was placed on the Wesleyan Methodist plan as a local preacher. In 1826 his offer to enter the ministry was accepted, and after the usual probationary trial he was received into full connexion at the conference of 1831. For two years after this he remained at Brighton, and in 1833 he removed to Cornwall, being stationed successively at the Truro and Falmouth circuits. From Falmouth he removed to Darlaston, where in 1838 his health gave way. For a good many years he was a supernumerary, and lived for a while at Caen and Paris, where in the public libraries he found great facilities for prosecuting his favourite Oriental studies. His health having considerably improved, he became, in 1843, pastor of the Methodist church at Boulogne. He returned to England in 1847, and was appointed successively to the circuits of Islington, Bristol, Leeds, Penzance, Penryn, Truro and St Austell in east Cornwall. Shortly after his return to England he received the degree of Ph.D. from the university of Heidelberg. He was a patient, modest, hard-working and accurate scholar. He died at Camborne on the 24th of May 1866.
His principal works are Horae Aramaicae (1843); History, Liturgies and Literature of the Syrian Churches (1847); The Apostolic Acts and Epistles, from the Peshito or Ancient Syriac (1849); Jerusalem and Tiberias, a Survey of the Religious and Scholastic Learning of the Jews (1856); The Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan ben Uzziel (1st vol. in 1862, 2nd in 1865). See Memoir, by Rev. Thornley Smith (1871).