Feast of R. B. Y. Scott (July 17)   3 comments

Above:  R. B. Y. Scott

Image in the Public Domain

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ROBERT BELGARNIE YOUNG SCOTT (JULY 18, 1899-NOVEMBER 1, 1987)

Canadian Biblical Scholar, Hymn Writer, and Minister

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What Israel’s prophets said long ago when they condemned the manner of this world and pointed men to the city of God, is directly and profoundly relevant for us.  They concerned themselves with political and economic issues because of their human consequences.  They laid bare the moral facts involved, in the light of Yahweh’s will as the supreme fact with which man in this life has to do.  They traced society’s troubles to the inverted order of material and spiritual things, to man’s self-interest and self-exaltation even against God, and to the denial of his own nature in denying human kinship.

–R. B. Y. Scott, The Relevance of the Prophets, 2nd. ed. (1968), 233

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R. B. Y. Scott comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via my library.  I own a copy of The Relevance of the Prophets (1968), a copy of The Way of Wisdom in the Old Testament (1971), and a copy of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes (1965).  I can also easily consult The Interpreter’s Bible, Volume V (1956), which includes Scott’s exegesis of and introduction to Isaiah 1-39.  I own all twelve volumes of The Interpreter’s Bible.  I also own the four original volumes (1962) of The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible:  An Illustrated Encyclopedia, to which Scott contributed.

Above:  Some of the Germane Books from My Library

Photographer = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

Scott, one of the greatest Biblical scholars in the twentieth century, was a Canadian.  Robert Belgarnie Young Scott, born in Toronto, Ontario, on July 18, 1899, grew up in the Presbyterian Church in Canada.  Our saint’s father was John McPherson Scott, a minister in that denomination.  Scott studied at Knox College, the University of Toronto (B.A., 1922; M.A., 1924; Ph.D., 1928).  His dissertation (later published) was “The Original Language of the Apocalypse.”

Scott, ordained in the United Church of Canada (formed via merger in 1925) in 1926, spent most of his career in academia.  After two years as the minister of Long Branch United Church, Long Branch, Toronto, Ontario, our saint became a professor.  He was Professor of Old Testament at Union College, Vancouver, British Columbia (1928-1931).  Then Scott taught at United Theological College, Montreal, Quebec (1931-1945).  During this time, Scott helped to found the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies (1933) and served as its Secretary-Treasurer (1933-1940).  Our saint, the Dean of McGill University, Montreal, Quebec (1945-1955), then the William H. Danforth Professor of Religion, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey (1955-1968), served as one of the translators of the Dead Sea Scrolls.  Scott was also active in the World Council of Churches from 1949 to 1955.

Scott took the Bible seriously without falling into fundamentalism.  His Social Gospel orientation was evident in many of his 24 hymns, the majority of which dated to the Montreal period.  Scott also argued for multiple authorship of the Book of Isaiah.  Furthermore, our saint insisted that Solomon was not Koheleth, author of Ecclesiastes, due to the presence of Greek literary forms and philosophical terminology (from a subsequent period) in the text.

Scott retired in 1968.  He served as the President of the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies in 1971.  Our saint’s first wife, Kathleen Cordingly, died in 1979.  After Scott, aged 88 years, died in Toronto on November 1, 1987, his widow was Ruth Tretheway Secord.

The Canadian Society of Biblical Studies offers an annual award in Scott’s honor.  The Scott Award recognizes

an outstanding book in the areas of Hebrew Bible and/or the Ancient Near East, written in English or French by a member of the CSBS and published in the current and previous two years.

The Scott Award is a properly-named prize.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 7, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS RALPH MILNER, ROGER DICKINSON, AND LAWRENCE HUMPHREY, ENGLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYRS, 1591

THE FEAST OF FRANCIS FLORENTINE HAGEN, U.S. MORAVIAN MINISTER AND COMPOSER

THE FEAST OF SAINT HEDDA OF WESSEX, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF LEO SOWERBY, EPISCOPAL COMPOSER AND “DEAN OF CHURCH MUSIC”

THE FEAST OF THOMAS HELMORE, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND ARRANGER AND COMPOSER OF HYMN TUNES

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O God, you have endowed us with memory, reason, and skill.

We thank you for the faithful legacy of [R. B. Y. Scott and all others]

who have dedicated their lives to you and to the intellectual pursuits.

May we, like them, respect your gift of intelligence fully and to your glory.

In the Name of God:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Psalm 103

Philippians 4:8-9

Mark 12:28-34

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 6, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT CHRODEGANG OF METZ, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF EDMUND KING, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF LINCOLN

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3 responses to “Feast of R. B. Y. Scott (July 17)

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  1. Pingback: R. B. Y. Scott | GATHERED PRAYERS

  2. Pingback: The Prophecy of the Seven Weeks | BLOGA THEOLOGICA

  3. Pingback: The Family of Hosea and the Restoration of Israel | BLOGA THEOLOGICA

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