English Christian Biblical critic, and Oriel professor of Biblical exegesis at the University of Oxford, England; born at London Sept. 18, 1841; educated at Merchant Taylors' School, London, Worcester College, Oxford, and under Ewald at Güttingen. Before graduating he showed his interest in Hebrew studies by taking the Pusey, Ellerton, and Kennicott scholarships, and his post-graduate life has been devoted almost exclusively to Old Testament exegesis and theology. For a long time he was almost the sole representative of the higher criticism in England. Together with Professor Driver, he provided the Queen's Printers' Bible, 1881, with a series of variorum readings and renderings which were of great use to Bible students. He has devoted particular attention to the Book of Isaiah, of which he published notes on the Hebrew text in 1869, a translation in 1870, an edition in 1880-81, an introduction in 1896, and a new translation, based on a critical text, in the Polychrome Bible in 1898. Besides this, he has given two versions of Psalms to the world, in 1884 and 1889, while in 1891 he treated of the "Origin of the Psalter" in his Bampton Lectures, probably his most important contribution to Old Testament exegesis. A volume on "Job and Solomon" in 1886 treated of the Wisdom literature, while his "Founders of Old Testament Criticism" in 1893 gave the only adequate history of that subject in existence.

In the winter of 1897-98 Cheyne visited the United States and delivered lectures on "Jewish Religious Life in the Post-Exilic Period"; these were subsequently published (London and New York, 1898), and show a certain sympathy with specifically Jewish religious thought, which was also shown in his Bampton Lectures. Cheyne has frequently contributed to the "Jewish Quarterly Review."

Cheyne has shown great daring in textual emendation, which has grown upon him of recent years. His most recent contributions to Biblical study consist of numerous articles contained in the "Encyclopedia Biblica," which was edited by himself and A. S. Black, and which bears the stamp of Cheyne's influence on every page.

  • Plarr, Men and Women of the Time, 1895;
  • Who's Who, 1902.
T. J.
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