John Brown

John Brown of Haddington (1722 – 19 June 1787), was a Scottish minister and author. He was born at Carpow, in Perthshire. He was almost entirely self-educated, having acquired a knowledge of ancient languages while employed as a shepherd. By his own intense application to study, before he was twenty years of age, he had obtained an intimate knowledge of the Latin, Greek, and Hebrew languages, with the last of which he was critically conversant. He was also acquainted with the French, Italian, German, Arabic, Persian, Syriac, and Ethiopic. His early career was varied, and he was in succession a travelling merchant, a soldier in the Edinburgh garrison in 1745, and a school-master. He was, from 1750 till his death, minister of the Burgher branch of the Secession Church in Haddington. From 1786 he was professor of divinity for his denomination, and was mainly responsible for the training of its ministry. He gained a just reputation for learning and piety. The best of his many works are his Self-Interpreting Bible and Dictionary of the Bible, works that were long very popular. The former was translated into Welsh. He also wrote an Explication of the Westminster Confession, and a number of biographical and historical sketches.