E. W. Bullinger

E. W. Bullinger

Infobox Person
name = Ethelbert William Bullinger

image_size =
caption = E. W. Bullinger (1837-1913)
birth_date = 15 December 1837
birth_place = Canterbury, Kent, England
death_date = death date and age|1913|6|6|1837|12|15|df=y
death_place =
death_cause =
education = King's College London
occupation = clergyman, Biblical scholar, and theologian
known_for = The Companion Bible
spouse =
parents =
children =
relatives =

Ethelbert William Bullinger (December 15, 1837 - June 6, 1913) was an Anglican clergyman, Biblical scholar, and dispensationalist theologian.

Life and work

He was born in Canterbury, Kent, England, the youngest of five children of William and Mary (Bent) Bullinger [" E. W. Bullinger: A Biography", Carey, Juanita, 2000, p.27] . His family traced their ancestry back to Heinrich Bullinger, the Swiss Reformer [" E. W. Bullinger: A Biography", Carey, Juanita, 2000, p.28-29] .

His formal theological training was at King's College London from 1860-1861, earning an Associate's degree [" E. W. Bullinger: A Biography", Carey, Juanita, 2000, p.35] . After graduation, on October 15, 1861, he married Emma Dobson, thirteen years his senior [" E. W. Bullinger: A Biography", Carey, Juanita, 2000, p.39] .

Bullinger's career in the Church of England spanned 1861 until 1888. He began as associate curate in the parish of St. Mary Magdalene, Bermondsey in 1861 [" E. W. Bullinger: A Biography", Carey, Juanita, 2000, p.39] , and was ordained as a priest in the Church of England in 1862 [" E. W. Bullinger: A Biography", Carey, Juanita, 2000, p.40, states July 6, 1862.] . He served as parish curate in Tittleshall from 1863-1866; Notting Hill from 1866-1869; Leytonstone, 1869-1870; then Walthamstow until he became vicar of the newly established parish of St. Stephen's in 1874. He resigned his vicarage in 1888. [" E. W. Bullinger: A Biography", Carey, Juanita, 2000, pp.42-47, 55, 65] .

In the spring of 1867, Bullinger became clerical secretary of the Trinitarian Bible Society, a position he would hold till his death in 1913 [" E. W. Bullinger: A Biography", Carey, Juanita, 2000, pp.71-73] .

In the great Anglican debate of the Victorian era, he was a Low Churchman rather than High Church sacerdotalist.

His three major works were
*"A Critical Lexicon and Concordance to the English and Greek New Testament" (1877) ISBN 0-8254-2096-2;
*"Figures of Speech Used in the Bible" (1898) ISBN 0-8010-0559-0
*primary editor of "The Companion Bible" (published in 6 parts, 1909-1922 ISBN 0-8254-2177-2. It was completed after his death by his associates.These works and many others remain in print (2007).

In 1881, he received a Doctor of Divinity degree from Archibald Campbell Tait, Archbishop of Canterbury who cited Bullinger's "eminent service in the Church in the department of Biblical criticism." [" E. W. Bullinger: A Biography", Carey, Juanita, 2000, pp.62]

Bullinger's friends included well-known Zionist Dr. Theodore Herzl. This was a personal friendship, but accorded with Bullinger's belief in a Biblical distinction between the Church and the Jewish People.

Trinitarian Bible Society

In 1867, at age 29, Bullinger accepted the office of clerical secretary of the Trinitarian Bible Society (TBS), an office which he exercised, with rare lapses due to illness in his later years, until his death. Accomplishments of TBS during his secretariat include:
* Completion and publication of a Hebrew version of the New Testament under a TBS contract with Christian David Ginsburg after the demise of Isaac Salkinson.
* Publication of Ginsburg's first edition of the Tanakh ("Introduction to the Massoretico-Critical Edition of the Hebrew Bible").
* Formation of the Brittany Evangelical Mission Society under [http://www.gospelmagazine.org.uk/february1957.pdf Pasteur LeCoat] and translation of the Bible into the Breton language.
* First-ever Protestant Portuguese Reference Bible.
* Distribution of Spanish language Bibles in Spain after the Spanish Revolution of 1868.

Bullinger was also a practiced musician. As part of his support for the Breton Mission, he collected and harmonized several previously untranscribed Breton hymns on his visits to Tremel, Brittany.

Bullinger's TBS workload in his later years was reduced by the assistance of Henry Charles Bowker and Charles Welch. Their assistance enabled him to focus on "The Companion Bible" in his final years. Bullinger and Ginsburg parted ways, and another edition of Tanakh was published by the British and Foreign Bible Society.


Bullinger's theology was a form of dispensationalism on which he wrote numerous articles which appeared in his monthly journal "Things to Come". Bullinger described dispensations as divine "administrations" or "arrangements" wherein God deals at distinct time periods and with distinct groups of people "on distinct principles, and the doctrine relating to each must be kept distinct." He emphasizes that "Nothing but confusion can arise from reading into one dispensation that which relates to another." {Companion Bible, [cite book | title=Companion Bible | last=Bullinger | first=E. W. | authorlink= | publisher= | location= | edition= | date=1922 | id= | pages=Appendix 181] }

He listed seven "dispensations" in the Bible:

:1. The Edenic State (Innocence) - which lasted until the expulsion from Eden.

:2. Mankind as a whole (Patriarchal) - from the expulsion from Eden until the giving of the Law to Israel, although in one place Bullinger says that this dispensation ended with the Flood and the confusion of Babel.

:3. Israel (under the Law) - ended with the rejection by Israel of the grace of God at the end of Acts.

:4. The Church of God (The Secret Dispensation of Grace) - gradual transition from Law to Grace during the Acts period, culminating in the rejection of Israel in Acts 28:24-28. {Companion Bible, Appendix 193}

:5. Israel (Judicial) - begins at the "Gathering Together".

:6. Mankind as a whole (Millennial or Theocratic) - ends with the destruction of Satan.

:7. The Eternal State (Glory) - no end.

His name has become virtually synonymous with Ultradispensationalism. Although Bullinger was influenced by Edward Irving [Carey, Juanita "E. W. Bullinger", pp.104-105: In "Number in Scripture", Bullinger indirectly alluded to the work of a man who had died a few years before Bullinger was born but whose work...was to influence him significantly. As he explained: ...'Some sixty years ago the [the true teaching concerning... the Mystery concerning the Body of Christ] ...was recovered, but was speedily perverted.' In these cryptic remarks, Bullinger alluded to the work of Edward Irving, who had burst on the ecclesiastical scene about sixty years before... ] and although Bullinger shared with Irving's contemporaries, the Plymouth Brethren such as John Nelson Darby, similar dispensational doctrines, members of the Brethren became some of his most persistent critics.

Bullinger also taught a form of annihilationism.

See also

* Harry A. Ironside — a dispensationalist who was a critic of ultra-dispensationalism.



*cite book | title=E.W. Bullinger: A Biography | last=Carey | first=Juanita S. | authorlink= | publisher=Kregel Publications | location= | edition= | date=1988 | id=ISBN 0-8254-2372-4

External links

* [http://www.companion-bible.com/ The Companion Bible In PDF Format... Free Downloads]
* [http://www.levendwater.org/companion/index_companion.html Appendixes to The Companion Bible] (All 198 appendices to the Bible)
* [http://books.google.com/books?vid=ISBN0825422035 Google has a limited preview of The Companion Bible]
* [http://www.companionbiblecondensed.com/ The Companion Bible (Condensed) on line]
* [http://www.jba.gr/Articles/jbadec06b.htm E.W. Bullinger: Did Jephthah really sacrifice his daughter?]
* [http://philologos.org/__eb-nis/ Number in Scripture]
* [http://www.bibleunderstanding.com/greatestneed.htm The Christian's Greatest Need]
* [http://www.bibleunderstanding.com/richmanandlazarus_contents.htm The Rich Man and Lazarus - the Intermediate State]
* [http://www.peterwade.com/articles/bullingr/cloud00.shtml Great Cloud of Witnesses]
* [http://www.bibleunderstanding.com/twonatures.htm The Two Natures in the Child of God]
* [http://www.heavendwellers.com/hd_witness_of_the_stars.htm The Witness of the Stars]

For more information on Bullinger's dispensationalism go here : [http://philologos.org/__eb-htetb/133.htm#2d E.W. Bullinger's "How to Enjoy the Bible - Rightly Dividing the Word as to its Times and Dispensations"] and here : [http://philologos.org/__eb-htetb/ E.W. Bullinger's "How to Enjoy the Bible"] .

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