December 23 in Christian History

Dec 23, 2008 12:55 PM EST

1648 - Birth of Robert Barclay, Scottish Quaker theologian. He published his most famous work, "An Apology for the True Christian Divinity," in 1676, making him the most prominent theologian in the early Quaker Church.

1790 - Birth of Jean Francois Champollion, French Egyptologist. In 1822 he successfully decoded the hieroglyphics of the Rosetta Stone (uncovered in 1799), and is recognized today as the founder of modern Egyptology.

1841 - Birth of Handley C.G. Moule, Anglican theologian. He succeeded B.F. Westcott in 1901 as Bishop of Durham. A profound scholar, he could nevertheless speak and write for ordinary people, and published commentaries on nearly all of Paul's letters in the New Testament.

1862 - Birth of Amos R. Wells, American Christian educator. He was first editorial secretary of the newly organized Christian Endeavor Society (forerunner of modern church "youth fellowships") from 1891 until his death in 1933.

1950 - Pope Pius XII declared that the tomb of St. Peter had been discovered beneath St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.

© 1987-2008, William D. Blake. Used by permission of the author, from

Almanac of the Christian Church