Rowley, Harold Henry°

views updated


ROWLEY, HAROLD HENRY ° (1890–1969), English Protestant theologian and Bible scholar. Rowley was associate professor of biblical literature at the Shantung Christian University (1924–29); assistant lecturer in Semitic languages at University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire, Cardiff (1930–34); professor of Semitic languages, University College of North Wales, Bangor (1935–45), and lecturer in the history of religions (1940–45); vice principal (1940–45) and dean of Bangor School of Theology (1936–45); and professor of Semitic languages and literatures at the University of Manchester (from 1945). He was, among other things, president of the Baptist Union of Great Britain and Ireland (1957–58).

Rowley wrote a number of works on the unity, importance, and relevance of the Bible. He argued that the pure monotheism of the prophets is rooted in the Mosaic period. He maintained that Deutero-*Isaiah's understanding of the Servant of the *Lord underwent a development from the symbolic suffering of the people of Israel to the vicarious death of an individual. He staunchly maintained that the Book of *Daniel, apart from secondary additions, was the work of a single author writing in the years of Antiochus *Epiphanes' persecution of Judaism, and held that the reform of Josiah rooted in Deuteronomy was at first welcomed by Jeremiah and then rejected by the prophet because of its dangerous implications. He commented upon every major problem of biblical history from Moses to Qumran, including the problems of the Exodus, the Samaritans, sacrifice, and the Qumran sectarians. His only full-length biblical commentary was on Job, and was published posthumously.

In addition to semi-popular dictionaries on biblical names and themes (1968), he wrote: From Joseph to Joshua (1950); The Servant of the Lord (1952); Prophecy and Religion in Ancient China and Israel (1956; Jordan Lectures, 1954); The Faith of Israel (1956); The Zadokite Documents and the Dead Sea Scrolls (1952); The Aramaic of the Old Testament (1929); Darius the Mede and the Four World Empires in the Book of Daniel (1935, 19592); Teach Yourself Bible Atlas (1960); and Men of God (1963). He was also editor of: Studies in Old Testament Prophecy (T.H. Robinson Festschrift, 1950); The Old Testament and Modern Study (1951, 19615); Journal of Semitic Studies (1956–1960); Peake's Commentary on the Bible (with Martin Black, 1962); M.A. Beek's Atlas of Mesopotamia (1962); Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible (19632 with F.C. Grant); Companion to the Bible (1963); The Century Bible (1967); and the series "Recent Foreign Theology," in: Expository Times, 58–81 (1946–70).


For a select bibliography of the works of Rowley until 1954, see M. Noth and B.W. Thomas (ed.), Wisdom in Israel and in the Ancient Near East (1955).

[Zev Garber]