John Gill

John Gill (1697-1771) born at Kettering, Northamptonshire, was an English Baptist, a Bible scholar, and a staunch Calvinist. Gill received the degree of Doctor of Divinity from the University of Aberdeen in 1748. He was a profound scholar and a voluminous author.

Biographical sketch

In his youth, he attended the Kettering grammar-school, mastering the Latin classics and learning Greek by age 11. The young scholar continued self-study in everything from logic to Hebrew. His love for Hebrew would follow Gill throughout his life.

About age 12, Gill heard a sermon from his pastor, William Wallis, on the text, "And the Lord called unto Adam, and said unto him, where art thou?" (Genesis 3:9). The message stayed with Gill and eventually led to his conversion. It was not until seven years later that young John made a public profession when he was almost 19 years of age.

His first pastoral work was as an intern assisting John Davis at Higham Ferrers in 1718 at age 21. He was subsequently called to pastor the Strict Baptist church at Goat Yard Chapel, Horsleydown, Southwark in 1719. In 1757, his congregation in need of larger premises moved to a Carter Lane, St. Olave’s Street, Southwark. His pastorate lasted 51 years. This Baptist Church later became the Metropolitan Tabernacle and was pastored by Charles Spurgeon.

_This article includes content derived from the Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, 1914 (public domain)._

Selected works

  • The Doctrine of the Trinity Stated and Vindicated (London, 1731)
  • The Cause of God and Truth (4 parts, 1735-1738), a retort to Daniel Whitby's Five Points
  • _An Exposition of the New Testament_ (3 vols., 1746-1748), which with his _Exposition of the Old Testament_ (6 vols., 1748-1763) forms his magnum opus
  • _A Dissertation on the Antiquity of the Hebrew Language_ (1767)
  • A Body of Doctrinal Divinity (1767)
  • A Body of Practical Divinity (1770).


  • George Ella, John Gill and the Cause of God and Truth. Eggleston, England: Go-Publications, 1995.
  • Thomas J. Nettles, By His Grace and for His Glory: A Historical, Theological, and Practical Study of the Doctrines of Grace in Baptist Life. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1986. ISBN 0801067421
  • Robert W. Oliver, History of the English Calvinistic Baptists: 1771–1892. Banner of Truth, 2006. ISBN 0851519202
  • Peter Toon, _The Emergence of Hyper-Calvinism in English Nonconformity, 1689-1765_. London: The Olive Tree, 1967.
  • John Rippon (1838), Brief Memoir of the Life and Writings of the Reverend John Gill. Reprint: Hess Publications, 1998. ISBN 0873779207