1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Alexander, Joseph Addison

ALEXANDER, JOSEPH ADDISON (1809–1860), American biblical scholar, the third son of Archibald Alexander, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on the 24th of April 1809. He graduated at the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) in 1826, having devoted himself especially to the study of Hebrew and other oriental languages, and from 1830 to 1833 was adjunct professor of ancient languages and literature there. In 1834 he became an assistant to Dr Charles Hodge, professor of oriental and biblical literature in the Princeton Theological Seminary, and in 1838 he became associate professor of oriental and biblical literature there, succeeding Dr Hodge in that chair in 1840 and being transferred in 1851 to the chair of biblical and ecclesiastical history, and in 1859 to that of Hellenistic and New Testament literature, which he occupied until his death at Princeton on the 28th of January 1860. Alexander was a remarkable linguist and exegete. He had been ordained as a Presbyterian minister in 1839, and was well known for his pulpit eloquence. He was the author of The Earlier Prophecies of Isaiah (1846), The Later Prophecies of Isaiah (1847), and an abbreviation of these two volumes, Isaiah Illustrated and Explained (2 vols., 1851), The Psalms Translated and Explained (3 vols., 1850), commentaries on Acts (2 vols., 1857), Mark (1858) and Matthew (1860), and two volumes of Sermons (1860).

See The Life of Joseph A. Alexander (2 vols., 2nd ed., New York, 1875) by his nephew, Henry C. Alexander.

His brother, James Waddel Alexander (1804–1859), born in Louisa county, Virginia, on the 13th of March 1804, was a famous Presbyterian preacher. He graduated at the College of New Jersey in 1820, studied theology in the Princeton Seminary, and was pastor of a Presbyterian church in Charlotte county, Virginia, from 1826 to 1828, and of the First Presbyterian church in Trenton, New Jersey, in 1829–1832. From 1833 to 1844 he was professor of belles-lettres and Latin language and literature in the College of New Jersey, from 1844 to 1849 was pastor of the Duane Street Presbyterian church in New York City, from 1849 to 1851 was professor of ecclesiastical history, church government and sacred rhetoric in the Princeton Theological Seminary, and from 1851 until his death, at Red Sweet Springs, Virginia, on the 31st of July 1859, was pastor of the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian church in New York City. He wrote numerous magazine articles and published a number of books, including The American Mechanic and Workingman (2 vols., 1847, a collection of papers to mechanics first printed under the pseudonym of “Charles Quill”), Thoughts on Family Worship (1847), Sacramental Addresses (1854), The Revival and its Lessons (1859), Thoughts on Preaching (1861), Faith (1862), and many juvenile books for Sunday-school libraries.

See Forty Years' Familiar Letters of James W. Alexander (2 vols., New York, 1860), edited by Dr John Hall (1806–1894) of Trenton, N. J.