DALLAS (BP) — Charles C. Ryrie, a scholar whose name abounds on Ryrie Study Bible editions with more than 2.6 million in print in multiple languages, died Feb. 16 in Dallas at age 90.
Known for his end-times theology of dispensationalism, Ryrie was a longtime systematic theology professor at Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS) and a longtime member of First Baptist Church, Dallas.
The Ryrie Study Bible, with the professor’s 10,000-plus explanatory notes, used the King James Version when it was first published in 1978. It is now also available in New American Standard Bible and English Standard Version translations.
The DTS tribute to Ryrie quoted the Bible scholar’s reflections on his way of writing: “When I was working on the study Bible, I thought of people in home Bible classes, and I would sometimes ask, ‘Would they want a note on this verse or an explanation of this doctrine? Simply?’ These people were my make-believe audience.
“Actually, they weren’t make-believe, they were real people,” Ryrie continued. “On the human side, I think [the ability to be concise] is because off and on through the years, I’ve taught children. If you want to advise your writers to write more clearly, tell them to go host a Good News Club somewhere, and teach it.”
In addition to the study Bible, Ryrie wrote more than 50 books. During his time at DTS, he also served as dean of doctoral students for more than 20 years before retiring in 1983.
A native of Alton, Ill., Ryrie held a Ph.D. degree from the University of Edinburgh; Th.D. and Th.M. degrees from DTS; and an undergraduate degree from Haverford College in Pennsylvania.
He is survived by three children and three grandchildren.