Carl Ferdinand Wilhelm Walther was born at Langenshursdorf, Saxony, Germany. After completing his theological studies at the University of Leipzig, he encountered opposition to his strongly conservative Lutheran position and emigrated to the United States in 1839 with 750 other Lutherans, establishing a Lutheran colony in Missouri. Walther became pastor of Trinity Congregation in St. Louis (1841) and became a professor and eventually president of Concordia Seminary which he helped found. He was also president of a new church body which was organized in 1847, largely under his direction, the Evangelical Lutheran Synod, with a membership comprising one third of all Lutherans in North and South America. A prolific writer, Walther was called the "most commanding figure in the Lutheran church of America during the 19th century."
Fr?d?ric Louis Godet was born in Neuchatel, Switzerland. Ordained in 1836, he pastored for twenty-two years, fifteen of them in Neuchatel. He then taught theology at Swiss Reformed seminary from 1851-1873. A prominent representative of Reformed theology, Godet combined deep Christian piety with positive Biblical criticism. His work strongly influenced orthodox Swiss theology. His most famous book was Commentary of the Gospel of St. John.