William Milligan

For other people named William Milligan, see William Milligan (disambiguation).

William Milligan

(1821-03-21)21 March 1821

11 December 1893(1893-12-11) (aged 72)



William Milligan (15 March 1821 – 11 December 1893) was a renowned Scottish theologian. He studied at the University of Halle in Germany, and eventually became a professor at the University of Aberdeen. He is best known for his commentary on the Revelation of St. John. He also wrote two other well-known books that are classics: The Resurrection of our Lord and The Ascension of our Lord.


1 Life
2 Works
3 Family
4 References
5 External links

He was born at Edinburgh on 15 March 1821, the eldest of seven children of the Rev. George Milligan and his wife, Janet Fraser. His father, a licentiate of the church of Scotland, was then engaged in teaching at Edinburgh, and Milligan was sent to the high school, where he was dux of his class. In 1832, when his father became minister of the Fifeshire parish of Elie, he was transferred to the neighbouring parish school of Kilconquhar, and thence proceeded in 1835 to the university of St. Andrews. Though only fourteen years of age, he earned from that day, by private teaching, as much as paid his class-fees, much to his parents’ relief, for Elie was a ‘small living.’ Graduating M.A. in 1839, and devoting himself to the ministry, he took his divinity course partly at St. Andrews and partly at Edinburgh, and for a time he was tutor to the sons of Sir George Suttie of Prestongrange. [1]
During the disruption controversy of 1843, Milligan adhered to the church of Scotland. He wrote to his father that he was resolved to “remain in … and lend any aid he could to those who are ready to unite in building up, on principles agreeable to the word of God, the old church of Scotland.” He was at this time assistant to Robert Swan, minister at Abercrombie ; next year he was presented to the Fifeshire parish of Cameron and ordained.[1]
In 1845, his health gave cause for anxiety, and he obtained a leave of absence for a year, which he spent in Germany, studying at Halle. He made the acquaintance, among others, of August Neander, in whom he found a kindred spirit. Promoted in 1850 to the more important parish of Kilconquhar, and in 1860 he was appointed first professor of biblical criticism in the university of Aberdeen. He worked hard ; but h