Who was Charles Ryrie?

Question: “Who was Charles Ryrie?”

Answer: Dr. Charles C. Ryrie (1925–2016) was one of the greatest theologians of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. He was born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1925 and, after considering going into banking, enrolled in Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS). Within three years of earning his bachelor’s degree, he finished both a masters and a doctorate in theology from DTS. Four years later, he earned a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Edinburgh.

Dr. Ryrie spent his career teaching in several Bible colleges and seminaries. He also wrote over fifty books, including the seminal Dispensationalism Today, Basic Theology, and The Holy Spirit. He is probably best known for The Ryrie Study Bible, which has sold more than 2.6 million copies since its initial publication in 1978. Available in several different Bible versions, The Ryrie Study Bible includes contextual notes (over 10,000 of them), cross references, maps, book outlines, and timelines, as well as articles on theology, doctrine, archeology, and church history.

Dr. Ryrie’s greatest academic contributions were probably in the area of systematic theology, specifically his works on dispensationalism and dispensational premillennialism. Dispensationalism is the belief that God has worked throughout human history in different ways in various divinely ordained eras. Dispensational premillennialism says that the end times will be characterized by the rapture of the church, the tribulation, the restoration of Israel to a place of preeminence, and the millennial kingdom.

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