Born at Wernberny, near S. Clears, son of Silvanus Davies, farmer. He began to preach at the age of 15, but in later life lost his early bilingual eloquence. He was a pupil at Glandŵr, ‘The Forge,’ Carmarthen, and Rhyd-y-ceisiaid schools before entering Bristol Baptist College (1830), where he showed such promise in Semitic studies as to proceed to further courses at Dublin, Glasgow, and Leipzig. At Leipzig he gained the Ph.D. degree and the friendship of several eminent German Hebraists. Returning in 1838, he was ordained in London before undertaking the first of the four academic posts which occupied the remainder of his life. They were: (a) principal of the new Montreal Training College for North American missionaries (1838-44); (b) president and theological tutor of Stepney Baptist College, London (1844-7); (c) professor of Semitics at McGill College, Montreal (1847-57); and (d) classical and oriental tutor at the former Stepney — but then Regent's Park — Baptist College (1857-75). He m. Eliza Try of Portland, Maine, during his first stay in Canada; he outlived her and d. 19 July 1875 at his son's house in Frome.
His literary work includes: (a) an annotated edition of E. Robinson, Harmony of the Gospels; (b) substantial contributions to the R.T.S. Paragraph Bible and to the Thes. Syr. of Payne-Smith; (c) Student's Hebrew Grammar and Student's Lexicon of the Hebrew Language, based on the German works of Roediger and Gesenius respectively. He also edited the Canadian Baptist periodical The Register (1838-44), and in London served on the Revisers’ Old Testament Committee.
Published date: 1959
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