Especially the Parchments -- By: Charles C. Ryrie

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 117:467 (Jul 1960)
Article: Especially the Parchments
Author: Charles C. Ryrie

Especially the Parchments

Charles C. Ryrie

[Charles C. Ryrie is President of Philadelphia College of Bible, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.]

[Editor’s Note: This article is the text of the address given by Dr. Ryrie at the dedicatory services for the Mosher Library on the campus of Dallas Seminary on January 18, 1960.]

The heart of any school is its faculty—the living faculty and the written faculty. This is why this is such an important occasion, for the dedication of the Mosher Library to house the written faculty of Dallas Theological Seminary is as important as the addition of qualified men to its living faculty. The emphasis given to the library is a true measure of the alertness of faculty, students, and friends to a proper concept of priorities. And it is to this matter of priorities that we shall address ourselves.

The most revealing times in a person’s life are the times of stress. The emotional strain of a parting, the stress of illness or accident, wrestlings against spiritual temptations are illustrative of such times. But the nearness of death is perhaps the ultimate of all such times, for the nonessentials are easily forgotten, and what the dying person considers important comes quickly to the fore. I remind you of a New Testament text which illustrates this. “Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me. The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments” (2 Tim 4:9, 13).

Here is a pathetic picture of a doomed man. Prison was not a new experience for the Apostle Paul. Two-thirds of the six years before he wrote this text had been spent in confinement. Apparently his first imprisonment at Rome had ended because no one showed up to press charges, and according to Roman law he had been released by default after eighteen months. He immediately went to Crete, Macedonia, Spain, Miletus, Troas, and Corinth, and there having been rearrested back to Rome. Only this time he was not permitted the luxury of his own hired house. You see, Nero had celebrated his own kind of independence day in July 64 by burning Rome, and had blamed it on the Christians. Naturally since Paul was one of the leaders of that hated group, he was one of the first to

be captured. Evidently he had had his pretrial but no man stood with him but all forsook him. Now he was waiting the disposition of his case, with no prospect other than death except that of a bleak winter in the Mamartine Prison before being executed. In this climactic moment of stress and in this text he reveals the things he considers...

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