As I’m sure most of you have heard by now, a renowned scholar at Harding School of Theology, Jack P. Lewis passed away. I never personally had ever met Dr. Lewis or had any of his classes, but I have benefited from his work. My most memorable article of his that was most helpful in research while in graduate school was “What Do We Mean by Jabneh?” Journal of Bible and Religion 32, no. 2 (Apr. 1964): 125–32. At the time, I was researching the canonization of the Old Testament, and this article proved most helpful as have some of his other scholarly articles and books, particularly on translations of the Bible.
I should like to commend to you his autobiography, As I Remember It: An Autobiography (Nashville: Gospel Advocate, 2012). This was a most delightful read that gave me greater insight into the man, scholar, and Christian. I was most taken back by the fact that he had earned two doctorates, one from Harvard Divinity School and the other form Hebrew Union. If you’d ever read any of his works, you knew that you were reading the product of a true scholar, but also a Christian gentleman. I have completed only one doctorate, and I couldn’t imagine working on a second. The first was enough for me, and though I enjoyed it, I was certainly glad when it was all over. For Lewis, he loved the Bible, and learning in such an academic capacity permitted him to dive deeper than most of us would imagine.
At the time I discovered Lewis, I had only known of Everett Ferguson as a world-recognized scholar associated with churches of Christ. Lewis was yet another fun discovery because in him I found another great teacher despite never having him in a classroom. His contributions will live on long after he’s gone, I pray, and we ministers and Christians who take seriously the study of the Bible have him to thank for such contributions to our own erudition.