Born in Salem on September 3, 1866, Ropes graduated from Harvard College in 1889 and from Andover Theological Seminary in 1893. After studying in Germany for two years, he joined the Harvard faculty as an instructor and, in 1903, received the Bussey Chair (until 1910) and the Hollis Professorship of Divinity.
While at Harvard, Ropes was instrumental in the Andover Theological Seminary's move to Cambridge in 1908 and in the even closer (and short-lived) affiliation with Harvard that began in 1922. Ropes was also much involved in the larger Harvard community. He was a member of the corporation of Radcliffe College (1905-1912) and Simmons College.
Ropes served as the editor of the Harvard Theological Review from 1921 until his retirement. His scholarship focused on New Testament criticism and interpretation; one of his books, The Text of Acts, was awarded the British Academy's medal for biblical studies.
Additional source of information:
Dictionary of American Biography. New York: C. Scribner's Sons, 1928-1958.