The Glory Has Departed
Saturday, July 21, 2018
A Man Spoke, But the LCMS-WELS World Is No Longer Listening.
"Justification by Faith Together with its Twin Truth, the Inerrancy of Holy Scripture, Are the Keystone and the Cornerstone of Protestantism."
Maier was born in Boston, Massachusetts on October 4, 1893, the fourth of five children to German immigrants Emil William and Anna Katherine 'Grossie' Maier. Maier grew up in Boston as an integral part of this large, close-knit, devoutly Christian family, spending his summers at the family farm near Canaan, New Hampshire. Maier planned to enter the ministry from an early age. His family supported his goals by arranging for him to attend the Concordia Collegiate Institute in New York, an academy combining both high school and junior college in the fashion of a European Gymnasium. Here, young Maier learned Greek, Latin, and German, along with other background materials suitable for an aspiring Lutheran minister. And here he first developed his love for studies in Hebrew, the language of the Christian Old Testament.
After graduating as valedictorian of the Concordia Institute, Maier obtained his B.A. from Boston University in 1913. From there, he went directly to Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri, where he supported himself by selling Oliver typewriters. Here, once again, it was the Hebrew language and Old Testament studies that engrossed Maier. And once again, his love for the subject caused him to excel in it. Upon graduation in 1916, and in recognition of his proficiency in the field, young Maier was awarded a graduate fellowship in Old Testament studies at Harvard Divinity School.
Due to the breadth of his academic goals, Maier studied at Harvard Divinity School from 1916 to 1918, and at Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences from 1918 to 1920. These four years saw the completion of course requirements for both Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees, and the creation of a first draft of his doctoral dissertation, Slavery in the Time of the Hammurabi Dynasty. His perspicacity concerning Biblical Hebrew led to the mastery of other Semitic languages such as Arabic, Assyrian, and Babylonian, as well as the Hittite and Sumerian languages; and included the ability to read ancient cuneiform. The study of Semitics also led to his deep understanding of the history, literature, and culture of the ancient societies associated with these languages. In 1917, Harvard Divinity School awarded Maier the Billings Prize for oratory. He received an M.A. in Semitic language, literature and history from Harvard University in 1920; and in 1929 became the twentieth person to ever receive his doctorate from Harvard in Semitics.