In Memoriam -- By: Anonymous
WTJ 60:2 (Fall 1998) p. 183
John H. Skilton
(September 17, 1906-July 22, 1998)
With sorrow we announce the recent death of Dr. John H. Skilton.
A native of Philadelphia, professor Skilton studied at the University of Pennsylvania where he completed a B.A. and M.A. At the age of fifty-five he eventually received a Ph.D. in literature from his alma mater. His first professional work was in the ministry of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. Ordained in 1933 by the Presbytery of Philadelphia, Skilton shortly thereafter accepted the call of Second Parish Presbyterian Church in Portland, Maine. In 1936 he led that congregation into the newly formed Orthodox Presbyterian Church. Four years after finishing a Th.B. at Westminster Theological Seminary, professor Skilton joined the seminary faculty and served in the New Testament department until his retirement in 1973. He also served as Assistant Academic Dean (1962–1963) and Dean of Students (1963–1973). From 1968 until 1973, Skilton edited the Westminster Theological Journal. Even in retirement he remained indefatigably active, lecturing at Westminster Seminary and the Manna Bible Institute, and performing academic administrative duties at the Reformed Bible Institute of the Delaware Valley. For the last fifteen years of his life he was the Minister-in-Residence at the Skilton House, his childhood home named in honor of his parents, where he devoted his energies to diaconal ministries in the neighborhood.
Professor Skilton wrote and edited many books and articles, the more notable of which are Machen’s Notes on Galatians (1972), Scripture and Confession (1973), New Testament Student Series, seven volumes (1974–1997), and Listening to God’s Voice (1988). His greatest scholarly achievement was his work on English translations of the Bible. His dissertation at the University of Pennsylvania, “The Translation of the New Testament into English, 1881–1950,” was the capstone of professor Skilton’s lifelong interest.1 But throughout all his academic work, professor Skilton demonstrated great love, reverence, and scholarly care for the inscripturated word of God. When the previous
WTJ 60:2 (Fall 1998) p. 184
editor of the Westminster Theological Journal, Moisés Silva, dedicated an issue to professor Skilton, he wrote, “Few and far between are those who combine, as [Dr. Skilton] has, an unshakable and fearless commitment to orthodox Christianity in its Reformed expression alongside a most gentle and patient spirit.” Those words summarize well what those of us who were blessed to know and study with Dr. Skilton will most remember and explain why he will be sorely missed.
As a tribute...
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