Robert Balgarnie Young Scott

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Robert Balgarnie Young Scott (July 16, 1899 – November 1, 1987) was a clergyman of the United Church of Canada and an Old Testament scholar.[1]


Born in Toronto, Ontario, the son of John McPherson Scott (a Presbyterian Church in Canada minister), he was a graduate of Knox College, University of Toronto and the University of Toronto where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1922, a Master of Arts degree in 1924, and a Ph.D. in 1928. He was ordained in the United Church of Canada in 1926.

He started teaching at Vancouver's Union College in 1928. In 1931, he moved to Montreal where he was a professor of Old Testament language and literature at the United Theological College of Montréal. From 1948 until 1955, he taught Old Testament at McGill University. In 1947, he became the first Dean of the Faculty of Divinity at McGill University. He was a member of the World Council of Churches from 1949 to 1955.

In 1955, he was appointed the Danforth Professor of Religion in the new Department of Religion at Princeton University. He was chairman of the department from 1963 to 1965. He retired in 1968.

He is noted for his staunch support for the social gospel ethos of the United Church, both at Princeton and at home in Canada and for some ten of his 24 hymns, many written in the cause of the Fellowship for a Christian Social Order, especially the social gospel hymn "O day of God draw nigh" which is found in the hymnals of the United Church of Canada, the Anglican Church of Canada, the Presbyterian Church in Canada, the joint hymnal of the Uniting, Anglican, Roman Catholic, Lutheran and Church of Christ churches of Australia and in hymnals of British and US churches. It was sung at Westminster Abbey at the memorial service for John Smith, the leader of the British Labour Party.

His published writings include Towards the Christian Revolution (1936), Relevance of the Prophets (1953); Treasures from Judaean Caves (1955); The Psalms as Christian Praise (1958); Proverbs and Ecclesiastes (1965) in the Anchor Bible Series; The Way of Wisdom, (1971)

He died on November 1, 1987 in Toronto.[2]


  1. ^ "Robert Balgarnie Young Scott". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2008-06-07. 
  2. ^ "Rev. R.B.Y. Scott, 88, Old Testament Scholar". New York Times. November 5, 1987. Retrieved 2008-06-07. The Rev. Dr. R.B.Y. Scott, an Old Testament scholar and former William H. Danforth Professor of Religion at Princeton University, died Sunday at a home for the elderly in Toronto, where he had lived for several years. He was 88 years old. 

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