[K:NWTS 25/3 (December 2010) 5-7]

G. Vos to B. B. Warfield

Grand Rapids

Nov. 30th, [18]89

Dear Sir [B. B. Warfield],

I shall try to have the notice ready by Dec.15th. Will also write to Dr. K. about the paper you wish him to forward. Hope that the new publication will be a decided success. You may count on me to do everything that lies within my limited powers.

Sincerely yours,

G. Vos


Since the publication of my edition of The Letters of Geerhardus Vos (hereafter LGV) in 2005, fifteen postcards and letters previously unknown to me have been inventoried as a result of the reorganization of the Papers of B. B. Warfield by the Special Collections staff of the Princeton Theological Seminary Archives. I was alerted to the existence of these additional items by Prof. Bradley Gundlach and am indebted to him for his kindness in informing me of them.

Kerux: The Journal of Northwest Theological Seminary has pioneered the publication of Vos's sermons and ephemera since its inception in 1986. We are no less committed to making Vos's remains public now. To that end, we intend to publish all the newly uncovered postcards and letters in the pages of this journal. We have launched our effort with the note on the postcard above. The fifteen new items date from November 30, 1889 to August 27, 1894. Students of Vos's life and career (cf. my biography of this "Father of Reformed Biblical Theology" in LGV, pp. 13-85) will be able to fill in some gaps in his life story, giving us an even more complete portrait of the magisterial scholar and Christian believer—though there will be no startling revelations, nor unexpected surprises. We present our type-written transcriptions of Vos's handwritten originals with the gracious permission of Special Collections, Princeton Theological Seminary Libraries, Princeton, New Jersey. I wish also to acknowledge the prompt and cordial cooperation of Mr. Kenneth W. Henke, Reference Archivist.

Anent the above note to Warfield. The "notice" to which Vos refers is his Book Review of Leesboek over de Gereformeerde geloofsleer, by H. E. Gravemeijer. It would appear in the initial (January) number of the newly inaugurated Presbyterian and Reformed Review 1 (1890): 146-149. For the background to the demise of this journal's predecessor (Presbyterian Review) and the conflict over revision of the Westminster Standards, which was the cause célèbre, cf. LGV, pp. 26-27, n. 54 and 55; cpr. the letters to Herman Bavinck (LGV, pp. 131-33, dated Feb. 1, 1890) and Abraham Kuyper (LGV, pp. 133-35, also dated Feb. 1, 1890).

"Dr. K." is Abraham Kuyper and the paper to which Vos refers is likely Warfield's request that Kuyper provide an article on "Recent Theological Thought in Holland" or "Recent Dogmatic Works in Holland" (cf. Vos's letter to Kuyper, dated Feb.1, 1890, LGV, p. 134). Kuyper did not succeed in fulfilling this request (though Bavinck did, cf. Vos's translation of his "Recent Dogmatic Thought in the Netherlands," Presbyterian and Reformed Review 3 [1892]: 209-228), begging instead for a different "choice of topic" (cf. Vos's letter to Kuyper dated July 12, 1890, LGV, p. 140). What would eventuate from this exchange was Vos's translation of Kuyper's "Calvinism and Confessional Revision," Presbyterian and Reformed Review 2 (1891): 369-399.

Vos's pledge "to do everything that lies within my limited powers" was fulfilled, as one notices, when browsing his bibliography from 1890 to 1902 (LGV, pp. 90-94). He would contribute translations (Kuyper and Bavinck), book reviews and some still remarkably profound articles on the 8th century B.C. prophets—Isaiah, Amos, Hosea and Micah.

—James T. Dennison, Jr.