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Birthdays on May 31

Alexander Cruden (1701 to 1770)
Mentally Ill, but He Compiled a Concordance.

Alexander Cruden was born at Aberdeen, Scotland. He compiled the first complete concordance of the Bible. He was raised a strict Presbyterian, but after a romantic disappointment, he developed mental problems and was sometimes violent. He was placed in an asylum. Released in 1722, he still suffered mental problems, and was not very successful at business ventures. In 1736, he began to compile his concordance, having had a hobby of tracing words through the Bible. Eighteen months later, he published the work. He became obsessed with correcting people's sins, especially swearing and sabbath-breaking, which led to his nickname "Alexander the Corrector." He died suddenly in 1770 while praying. But his concordance was so valuable a tool to ministers that Spurgeon claimed that "half-crazy" Cruden had done more for Bible scholarship than the scholars in the schools.


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