John Owen (1616–1683) is considered one of the most influential and inspiring theologians of the seventeenth century. He entered Queen's College, Oxford, at the age of twelve and completed his M.A. in classics and theology at the age of nineteen.
His first parish was at Fordham in Essex where he became convinced that the Congregational polity was the scriptural form of church government. In the 1640s he became chaplain to Oliver Cromwell, the new "Protector of England," and traveled with him on his expeditions to Ireland and Scotland.
In 1651 he was appointed dean of Christ Church and in 1652 made Vice-Chancellor of Oxford—positions which allowed him to train ministers for the Cromwellian state church. Owen later moved to London and led the Puritans through the bitter years of religious and political persecution—experiences which shaped his theological inquiry, pastoral reflection, and preaching. Owen authored one of the richest commentaries on the book of Hebrews, An Exposition of the Epistle to the Hebrewswhich are also included in The Works of John Owen along with sermons and essays.