Johann Friedrich Penther was born on May 17, 1693, in Fürstenwalde in northeastern Germany. He was educated at the academy for knights founded for Silesian nobility in Liegnitz in Lower Silesia. In 1717, Penther was court controller for the sons of the Duke of Haugwitz. In 1720, he became the secretary for mining in the service of the Duke of Stolberg and instructed the Duke's sons in mathemtics. Penther subsequently accompanied the imperial captain Gottlog Friedrich Duke of Stolberg-Stolberg on his campaign through Silesia to Hungary. He returned to the Harz area in 1729, where he was named duke's counsel. In his service there, he was also responsible for the oversight of the manors and state buildings.
Already in the autumn of the founding year of the University of Göttingen in 1736, Penther was appointed ordinary lecturer for house maintenance and economics. He went over to the department of philosophy in 1743 and also gave lectures on practical mathematics. For this he composed his work "Praxis geometriae" (1732). Penther also lectured on military architecture at this time. He held the position for prorector at the University of Göttingen from 1774 until 1775.
Johann Friedrich Penther died on September 17, 1749, in Göttingen.