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Robert Rollock

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Robert Rollock.jpg

Robert Rollock (c. 1555 – 8 February 1599) was the first regent and first principal of the University of Edinburgh.

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When you sit down for your personal devotions or for family worship, how do you read your Bible? What is the relationship between Malachi and Matthew, between Leviticus and Luke, between Genesis and Revelation? How do we understand the different parts of the Bible to the person and work of Jesus Christ? How does the landscape of Scripture fit together? What about the relationship of the law to the gospel? How do we think about the relationship between Israel and the church? Well, covenant theology seeks to answer those questions and many more. Covenant theology is an organizing principle that structures the entire biblical message. Like the air we breathe, covenant theology pervades every text of Scripture. Like the interstate highway, it actually connects the beginning of the Bible to the end of the Bible. You can even think of covenant theology as the Route 66 of Scripture—that goes from Genesis to Revelation. For this reason, the great Princeton theologian even called covenant theology "the architectonic principle of Reformed theology." It structures our understanding of how we read the Bible. We can actually even think of covenant theology as a set of spectacles that God gives us that we can read the text of Scripture to expound our understanding of His relationship with us. And so covenant theology seeks to give form to the relationship and the promise that God gives: "I will be your God, and you will be My people." This divine pledge establishes the baseline of covenant theology, it actually shapes every historical relationship between God and His people from Genesis to Revelation. This divine pledge, "I will be your God, and you will be My people," centers on the person and work of Christ and finds fulfillment in a new heaven and new earth. So the great Scottish reformer Robert Rollock said that 'all the Word of God pertains to some covenant.' Covenant theology is an organizing principle. It's a biblical- theological hermeneutic that helps us understand how all of God's Word fits together for a united message that centers on the person and work of Christ.



He was the son of David Rollock of Powis, near Stirling. He received his early education at the school of Stirling from Thomas Buchanan, a nephew of George Buchanan, and, after graduating from the University of St Andrews in 1577,[1] became a regent there in 1580. In 1583 be was appointed by the Edinburgh town council sole regent of the towns college (Academia Jacobi Sexti, afterwards the University of Edinburgh), and three years later he received from the same source the title of principal, or first master, and was engaged in lecturing on philosophy.

When the staff of the young college was increased by the appointment of additional regents, he assumed with consent of the presbytery the office of professor of theology. From 1587 he also preached regularly in the East Kirk every Sunday at 7 am, and in 1596 he accepted one of the eight ministerial charges of the city. He took a prominent part in the somewhat troubled church politics of the day, and distinguished himself by gentleness and tact, as well as ability. He was appointed on several occasions to committees of presbytery and assembly on pressing ecclesiastical business. He was elected moderator of the General Assembly held at Dundee in May 1597. In 1598 he was translated to the parish church of the Upper Tolbooth, Edinburgh, and immediately thereafter to that of the Grey Friars (then known as the Magdalen Church). He died in Edinburgh on 8 February 1599.


Rollock wrote Commentaries on the Epistles to the Ephesians (1590) and Thessalonians (1598) and Hebrews (1605), the book of Daniel (1591), the Gospel of St John (1599) and some of the Psalms (1598); an analysis of the Epistle to the Romans (1594), and Galatians (1602); also Questions and Answers on the Covenant of God (1596), and a Treatise on Effectual Calling (1597).

Soon after his death eleven Sermons (Certaine Sermons upon Several Places of the Epistles of Paul, 1599) were published from notes taken by his students. His Select Works were edited by W Gunn for the Wodrow Society (1844-1849).

A Life by George Robertson and Henry Charteris was reprinted by the Bannatyne Club in 1826. See also the introduction to the Select Works, and Sir Alexander Grant's History of the University of Edinburgh.


  1. ^ "Robert Rollock: First Regent and first Principal of the University". University of Edinburgh. 13 May 2015.


External links

Preceded by
Edinburgh University Principals
Succeeded by
Henry Charteris
This page was last edited on 12 September 2018, at 22:36
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