Allen Wikgren

Allen Paul Wikgren (3 December 1906 – 7 May 1998) was an American emeritus professor,[1] New Testament scholar at the University of Chicago.[2][3] His work centred on the text of the New Testament and New Testament manuscripts, but also included Hellenistic and biblical Greek and early Jewish literature (particularly Josephus), as well as the English Bible.

Allen P. Wikgren
Born(1906-12-03)December 3, 1906
Chicago, Illinois, United States
DiedMay 7, 1998(1998-05-07) (aged 91)
Woodruff, Wisconsin, United States
OccupationNew Testament scholar
Academic background
Alma materUniversity of Chicago
ThesisA Comparative Study of the Theodotionic and Septuagint Versions of Daniel (1932)
Academic work
DisciplineNew Testament studies
InstitutionsUniversity of Chicago


Wikgren earned his Bachelor of Arts degree (in Greek) in 1928, his Master of Arts degree in 1929 and his Ph.D. in 1932, all from the University of Chicago.[1] His doctoral dissertation was entitled "A Comparative Study of the Theodotionic and Septuagint Versions of Daniel".


An ordained minister in the mainline Northern Baptist Convention, Wikgren then served as a minister at First Baptist Church in Belleville, Kansas and as a professor of New Testament literature at Kansas City Baptist Theological Seminary (now Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Shawnee, Kansas) (1935-1937) and of biblical literature and classics at Ottawa University in Ottawa, Kansas (1937-1940) before returning to Chicago to join the University of Chicago Divinity School as the J. M. Powis Smith Instructor in 1940.[1] At Chicago, Wikgren was a member of the Department of New Testament and Early Christian Literature in the university's Division of the Humanities, a department which he would later serve as chair. His colleagues in New Testament studies during his long tenure administering the department (1953-1972) included figures such as Norman Perrin, Robert M. Grant and Markus Barth.

Perhaps Wikgren's most widely known contribution to the study of the New Testament was his role, together with Kurt Aland, Matthew Black, Carlo Maria Martini and Bruce M. Metzger, on the editorial committee that established the Greek text and critical apparatuses in the standard hand editions of the Greek New Testament: the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece (26th edition, published by the Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft first in 1979 and revised in 1983) and the United Bible Societies' The Greek New Testament (3rd edition, published by the United Bible Societies in 1983).

Wikgren served as president of the Chicago Society of Biblical Research in 1951–1952. He was a member of the Revised Standard Version committee from 1952, participating in the translation of the deuterocanonical books and the revision of the New Testament. And he was director of the Chicago Lectionary Project from 1958 to 1972.[4] He also held visiting professorships at a number of universities: Indiana University–Gary, Pacific School of Religion (Berkeley, California), University of Ghana, Århus University, Concordia Theological Seminary (Springfield, Illinois [now back in Fort Wayne, Indiana]) and Uppsala University.



  • Wikgren, Allen P. (1932). A Comparative Study of the Theodotionic and Septuagint translations of Daniel (Ph.D.). Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. OCLC 7493395.


  • ——— (1974). A Leaf from the First Edition of the First Complete Bible in English, the Coverdale Bible, 1535: With an Historical Introduction. Book Club of California. Vol. 145. San Francisco: Book Club of California. OCLC 1177496.
  • ———; Martin, Ira Jay (1989). A Catalogue of English Bibles in the University of Chicago Library - in 2 vols. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. OCLC 20005123.

as EditorEdit


  • Aune, David E., ed. (1972). Studies in New Testament and Early Christian Literature: Essays in Honor of Allen P. Wikgren. Supplements to Novum Testamentum. Vol. 33. Leiden: Brill.


  1. ^ a b c In memoriam: Allen Wikgren. The University of Chicago Chronicle. Retrieved 2021-01-01.
  2. ^ "Allen Wikgren". Harvard University Press. Retrieved 2021-01-01.
  3. ^ Robert W. Allison. Allen P. Wikgren: Biography and Bibliography.
  4. ^ See the article on New Testament lectionaries

External linksEdit