Edwin H. Palmer (1922-80) was born, grew up and went to school in Quincy, Massachusetts. He graduated from Harvard College (A.B.) in 1944, following which he served as first lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps 1944-1946, service which included operations in the Pacific theatre and involvement in the fighting around Okinawa.
In 1949 he received his Th.B. degree from Westminster Theological Seminary and furthered his education at The Free University of Amsterdam, receiving his doctorate (Th.D.) there in 1953. His accomplishments and contributions were so respected by the Christian academic community that, in 1977, Houghton College conferred on him the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity.
Palmer was a pastor, educator, author, and a concerned citizen. He pastored three Christian Reformed Churches in Michigan: Spring Lake (1953-1957), Ann Arbor (1957-1960), and Grandville Avenue, Grand Rapids (1964-1968). He was Instructor in Systematic Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary (1960-1964). He wrote numerous articles and pamphlets and two books, The Five Points of Calvinism (1972) and The Person and Ministry of the Holy Spirit: The Traditional Calvinist Perspective, the latter of which is published in Spanish by the Trust (El Espiritu Santo).
Besides his being a frequent conference and convention speaker, Palmer served as National Chairman of the Board of Citizens for Educational Freedom (1964-1968) and chairman of the New Jersey Right-to-Life Committee (1969-1972). He served as Executive Secretary for the Committee on Bible Translation for the NIV from 1968 until his death. In 1979 he was appointed General Editor of the proposed NIV Study Bible. He was unshakably committed to his part in seeing that the body of Christ had the best translation of Scriptures available, by which the reader could know the Word of God with complete confidence and in his own idiom.
Palmer died from a heart attack in September 1980.