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The Bernhard W. Anderson Manuscript Collection

Identifier: SCM 264

Scope and Content

The Bernhard W. Anderson Collection contains Anderson’s personal writings, including diaries, datebooks, notes, lectures, sermons, photographs, correspondence, and some publications, and course outlines as well as essay and book manuscripts. It also includes many reviews of his academic work by others, as well as collections of offprints of others’ work and a collection of journals. He also documents the Drew University Crisis of the 1960’s through a collection of student publications, correspondence, and faculty meeting records.


  • 1931-2007


Language of Materials

English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, and other languages


Access is restricted to portions of this collection. Please consult the Curator of Special Collections for information.


Born in Dover, Missouri to Arthur Lincoln Anderson, an itinerant preacher, and Grace (Word) Anderson. September 25.
B.A., College of the Pacific. Married Joyce Griswold.
Pastor of Sunnyvale Methodist Church in California
M.A., Pacific School of Religion
B.D., Pacific School of Religion. Ordained in the United Methodist Church
Pastor at Millbrae Methodist Church
Ph.D., Yale University
Instructor in the department of Philosophy and Religion, Colgate University
James A. Gray Associate Professor of Biblical Literature, University of North Carolina
Joseph B. Hoyt Professor of Old Testament Interpretation, Colgate Rochester Divinity School
Henry Anson Buttz Professor of Biblical Theology, Drew University
Publication of Understanding the Old Testament
Honorary D.D., Pacific School of Religion
Honorary S.T.D., University of the Pacific
Annual Professor, American School of Oriental Research, Jerusalem
Honorary D.D., Colgate University
Professor of Old Testament Theology, Princeton Theological Seminary
Professor of Old Testament Theology, Princeton Theological Seminary
Death. December 26.

Biographical Information

Bernhard Word Anderson was born September 25, 1916, in Dover, Missouri to parents Arthur Lincoln Anderson, an itinerant preacher, and Grace Word Anderson. In 1936 Anderson earned a B.A. from the College of the Pacific. From there he went on to earn an M.A. (1938) and B.D. (1939) from the Pacific School of Religion, where he studied under James Muilenberg. In 1939 he was ordained in the United Methodist Church and pastored Methodist churches in California, specifically Jamestown, Pittsburg, Sunnyvale, Millbrae, and Congregational churches in Wauregan and Central Village, Connecticut.

In 1945 Anderson earned a Ph.D. from Yale University and began a career in academia. From 1946 to 1948 he worked as an instructor in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Colgate University. From 1948 to 1950 he was James A. Gray Associate Professor of Biblical Literature at the University of North Carolina and from 1950 to 1954 he was Joseph B. Hoyt Professor of Old Testament Interpretation at Colgate Rochester Divinity School. In 1954 Anderson began working at Drew University. He was employed as the Henry Anson Buttz Professor of Biblical Theology, a position he held until 1968. From 1954 to 1963 he was Dean of the Theological School at Drew University. In 1957 he published Understanding the Old Testament.

Anderson was deeply interested in archaeology and in 1956 he, together with George Ernest Wright, launched the Drew-McCormick Archaeological Expedition to excavate the city of Shechem. From 1963 to 1964 Anderson served as the Annual Professor at the American School of Oriental Research in Jerusalem. From Drew, Anderson went on to be a Professor of Old Testament Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary from 1969 to 1983 and later as an adjunct professor of Old Testament Theology at the Boston University School of Theology 1984 to 1996.

During the course of his life Anderson was awarded a variety of honorary degrees. In 1960 he was awarded an honorary D.D. from the Pacific School of Religion. In 1961 he was awarded an honorary S.T.D. from the University of the Pacific, and in 1965 he was awarded an honorary D.D. from Colgate University.

Anderson and his first wife Joyce (Griswold) Anderson married in 1936 and had four children: Carol Joyce born in 1937, Sylvia Joan born in 1940, Ronald Bernhard born in 1949, and Ruth Ann born in 1954. Anderson had 6 grandchildren. He later married Monique Anderson. Anderson passed away on December 26, 2007 at the age of 91.


20 Linear Feet (17 Boxes)


The collection is arranged in its original order into 17 boxes:

Box 1: Datebooks and Diaries

Box 2: Composition Books

Box 3: Files on Will Herberg

Box 4: Biographical Materials and Photographs

Box 5: Correspondence with Publishers

Box 6: Courses, Lectures, Academics 1

Box 7: Professional Correspondence and Correspondence with Students

Box 8: Courses and Lectures 2

Box 9: Courses and Lectures 3

Box 10: Essay and Book Manuscripts

Box 11: Sermons

Box 12: Reviews of Works by Bernhard W. Anderson

Box 13: Miscellaneous (L.Q.L., Shechem, Drew)

Box 14: Presentations at Churches, etc.

Box 15: Offprints

Box 16: Offprints and Reviews

Box 17: Drew Crisis

Related Material

See also the following manuscript materials in Special Collections:

The John M. Mulder Manuscript Collection

The James Iley McCord Manuscript Collection

Processing Information

This collection was donated to Princeton Theological Seminary by Bernhard W. Anderson. Processing of the collection, including writing and publishing of a finding aid, was done by John Lewis and Sarah Kok.

The Bernhard W. Anderson Manuscript Collection
John Lewis and Sarah Kok
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Princeton Theological Seminary. Library. Special Collections Repository

Princeton Theological Seminary
Wright Library
25 Library Place
Princeton NJ 08540 USA