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In Memory: Ronald F. Youngblood

In Memory: Ronald F. Youngblood

Ronald Youngblood was a renowned scholar, translator, professor, and author.

Ronald F. Youngblood, Bethel Seminary professor of Old Testament and Hebrew emeritus, died on July 5 at the age of 83. A renowned biblical scholar, he served on the translation team for New International Version of the Bible (NIV) beginning in 1970, joined the Committee on Bible Translation in 1976, and was a member of the translation team for a major revision of the NIV released in 1984. He was executive editor of the New International Reader’s Version of the Bible, part of the team that translated Today’s New International Version of the Bible, and associate editor of the NIV Study Bible. “Ron Youngblood was a giant in the world of Bible translation,” says Bethel President Jay Barnes. “His work reflected well on Bethel Seminary and Bethel University—many people knew us because they knew him…His promotion to heaven is a loss for the world of biblical scholarship.”

In addition to his extensive translation work, Youngblood wrote more than 20 books, was the longtime editor of the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, and was the general editor of the Gold Medallion-winning Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary. He taught full time for 40 years, much of that time at Bethel Seminary—first at the St. Paul campus (1961-1978), and later at Bethel Seminary San Diego (1982 to 2001). He also served on the faculty at Wheaton Graduate School, Wheaton, Illinois, (1978-1981), and at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Illinois (1981-1982). He held a B.A. from Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, Indiana; a B.D. from Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California; and a Ph.D. from Dropsie College for Hebrew and Cognate Learning, Philadelphia. “Ron’s life was a long, remarkably useful and well-lived obedience in the same direction,” says Glen Scorgie, professor of theology and ethics. “What a legacy. He was a special gift to the church and especially to all of us who had the privilege of knowing him and being inspired by him personally.”

Youngblood is survived by his wife Carolyn, children Glen and Wendy, and beloved grandchildren. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, July 19, at 2:30 p.m. at College Avenue Baptist Church, San Diego.