Scofield, Cyrus Ingerson

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Author of The Scofield Reference Bible and influential disseminator of dispensational theology in America; b. Aug. 19, 1843, Michigan; d. July 24, 1921, Long Island, N.Y. Scofield's early career was plagued by legal problems and scandals. Converted in 1879, he was greatly influenced by a prominent dispensationalist pastor in St. Louis, James H. Brookes. In 1882 Scofield moved to Dallas and became pastor of the First Congregational Church. In 1909 he published his famous reference Bible. Using the King James Version as its translation, The Scofield Reference Bible interprets the biblical text through the lens of dispensational theology. The centerpiece of the reference Bible is the division of all history into seven dispensations or time periods from creation to the millennium. Each dispensation represents a specific form of revelation given by God to humanity with a corresponding covenant: Scofield's seven dispensations are: Innocence (Edenic Covenant), Moral Responsibility (Adamic Covenant), Human Government (Noahic Covenant), Promise (Abrahamic Covenant), Law (Sinaitic Covenant), the Church (Covenant of Grace), and the Millennium (Christ's 1,000 year reign on Earth). Its attractive format, copious notes, and ample cross-referencing made The Scofield Reference Bible an immediate success. Revised once by Scofield himself in 1917 and several times since by other dispensationalists, The Scofield Reference Bible continues to be a best-seller among fundamentalists and dispensationalists in America.

Bibliography: j. m. canfield, The Incredible Scofield and His Book (Vallecito, Calif. 1988). c. g. trumbull, The Life Story of C. I. Scofield (New York 1920).

[w. t. stancil]