Dr. Charles C. Ryrie



Dr. Charles C. Ryrie died February 16, 2016 after a very full 90 years of ministry, academic study, and teaching both in the classroom and through writing. With a Th.D. from Dallas Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. from University of Edinburgh, he was highly educated and deserving of respect in that realm. But Dr. Ryrie is remembered by most for his clarity and ability to simplify the most complex issues for the theological academic and layman alike.

Most Christians know Dr. Ryrie's name because of his Ryrie Study Bible, in which he provides over 10,000 copious and clear explanations of difficult verses. He is quoted as saying in regards to these notes, "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." He seems to have met his preferred audience well, as laymen, pastors, and academics alike continue to use the Ryrie Study Bible thirty years after it was published.

The Ryrie Study Bible is near to my heart, as it has been the gold standard in my family since it was published, and I started using it as soon as I learned to read. My grandfather gave one to my father after hearing Dr. Ryrie speak in the late 1970's, and that was the Bible my father used while attending Moody Bible Institute, sister organization to the book's publisher, Moody Publishers (then Moody Press). That Bible still sits in my parents' living room, ready for reference whenever needed. When I later also attended Moody Bible Institute, I had the pleasure of reading Dr. Ryrie's Basic Theology for my Systematic Theology class, and appreciated his easy to understand formatting and explanations. Now, working at Got Questions Ministries, we keep his Basic Theology on our shelves, and a number of us keep his study Bible and certain other books available for research.

In addition to those written works, Dr. Ryrie wrote over fifty books on such topics as Dispensationalism, end times prophecy, and women's roles in the church. He also wrote a number of commentaries for various collections. Two of his books, The Miracles of Our Lord and How Great Salvation received Gold Medallion Book Awards.

Widely revered for his work on Irenic Dispensationalism, Dr. Ryrie did much to make Dispensational Premillennialism a common if not nearly standard view of the church and eschatology in American Evangelical Protestant Christianity. A number of my theology professors studied under Dr. Ryrie at Dallas Theological Seminary and would fondly recall his teachings on eschatology and Dispensationalism as the final word on such matters.

Dr. Ryrie also continued to minister in churches throughout his time in teaching and administration at Westmont College, Philadelphia College of the Bible (now Cairn University), and Dallas Theological Seminary. He was highly regarded by his pastors, and those who sat under his tutelage in Sunday school classes.

Dr. Ryrie's death means the loss of a great mind and open heart. Our condolences, love, and prayers go out to his family. For many, including myself, he affected our spiritual lives and learning on a very foundational and personal level. We thank God for bringing men like Dr. Ryrie into our lives.

To learn more about Dr. Ryrie's life and work, read the obituary published by Dallas Theological Seminary.

Dr. Charles C. Ryrie
A small selection of Dr. Ryrie's works owned by GotQuestions staff
(The stained title page is Kersley Fitzgerald's. She's fairly certain it's 30-year-old sauce from a pepperoni Hot Pocket. Needless to say, the Bible is well-loved.)

TagsBiblical-Truth  | Current-Issues  | Ministry-Church  | Theological-Beliefs

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Published 2-18-16