Jack Brown Scott, former CEP Staff Writer and Teacher, January 2, 1928-June 13, 2011
While attending the 39th General Assembly of the PCA last week in Virginia Beach, I received word along with a request for prayer from John Thomas Scott that his dad Jack was near death. We requested prayer from the General Assembly and Jack Scott revived a bit; however, Monday afternoon 12:45 pm, Jack was called home to be with the Lord.
I need not remind those who knew him, Jack Scott was an amazing man of God. I have had the privilege of knowing him for many years and then the special privilege and honor of having him on our CEP staff of over seven years. When I began serving the PCA as the Coordinator of CEP, Jack Scott was on that committee. At that time he was professor of Old Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi. (Jack was one of the founding professors of RTS). We had been together on several previous occasions, Bible conferences, various committee meetings, etc.
Part of my desire from the beginning was to develop an adult Bible study series that would help people in the church to better know the English Bible from a Reformed perspective. As I shared my vision at that first CEP Committee meeting in January of 1977, Dr. Scott expressed his appreciation. My response was “Jack, I really need someone to help me actualize that. Would you consider being that man?” To my surprise his response gave me encouragement.
After a period of prayer over the next couple of weeks, we continued to talk and early 1977 Jack left RTS and joined our CEP staff. He shared both the concern and vision for such a curriculum. He and his precious wife Eleanor Caslick Scott joined us.
At that point he began writing a 26 volume curriculum for studying the English Bible, including two outstanding surveys of the Old and New Testament. Over the next six years Jack wrote that curriculum with great diligence. Of course when I say English Bible, he was a brilliant linguist, having mastered the Hebrew language for which he soon received his PhD. Among his many writings, I would have to call the Adult Biblical Education Series (ABES) his magnum opus. The first volume appeared in late 1977 and since that time we have continued to print and reprint those studies. (I had the privilege and responsibility of writing the early leader’s guides which required reading each one. What a spiritual education and blessing!).
Jack Scott was an exemplary husband and father, a faithful brother in Christ, an outstanding Bible scholar, and a servant leader with an obvious pastor’s heart. Jack loved his family, his friends, as well as his Lord, and that was reflected in every aspect of Jack’s life.
His love and care for Eleanor, his children, Edward, Caroline, John Thomas, and Ann modeled a real covenant family for all of us.
Having begun as a missionary in Korea where he met and married Eleanor, to pastoring churches in Kentucky and Mississippi, to the faculty of RTS, and then CEP. Jack demonstrated his commitment to Christian education as the fulfillment of God’s great commission.
His love and counsel sustained me through many hard and frustrating times in our ministry together. Jack modeled a consistency in his Christian life that has been a challenge to us all. Kennedy Smartt, a former classmate of Jack’s at Davidson College, prior to serving together later in the PCA, said to me this morning, “my fondest memory of Jack is teaching himself Hebrew while in college.”
We continue to reprint many of his writings, especially the ABES series which PCA churches have been using now for over 25 years. Though Jack did not like for me to say it, I had to because it was true, namely, “when you read Jack Scott’s material, you have read the best of biblical scholarship.” It was my privilege to write a chapter in a book honoring Dr. Jack B. Scott three years ago, Interpreting and Teaching the Word of Hope, Essays in Honor of Jack Brown Scott on His Seventy-Seventh Birthday.”
Jack was a gifted man of God and his life has blessed us in so many ways.
We join with Eleanor, and the family in remembering Jack Scott and we do so with the confidence of the Apostle Paul’s words, “…To depart and be with Christ, for that is far better,” Phil. 1:23 “And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: “Blessed are the dead, who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Sprit, “That they may rest from their labors, for this deeds follow him,” Rev. 14:13.
Charles Dunahoo, CEP Coordinator.