Charles, R.H., Ven. (1855-1931)


Born 6 Aug 1855, Cookstown, Co. Tyrone. Educated at Belfast Academy, Queen's College Belfast (Classics, 1874-80), and Trinity College Dublin (Classics and Theology). Ordained Deacon in 1883 and Priest in 1884. Married to Mary Lilias, 1886, no children. Served several curacies in England from 1883 to 89 before turning to academia in 1890. His studies focused on the religious developments within Judaism in the period between the Testaments, concentrating particularly on the exposition of the Apocalyptic literature, both Christian and Jewish. Charles's work attracted a great deal of attention during his lifetime, becoming a leading authority on his chosen specialisms. He became Professor of Biblical Greek at Trinity College Dublin (1898-1906), the Grinfield lecturer on the Septuagint (1905-11), Speaker's lecturer in Biblical Studies at Oxford (1910-14), Warburton lecturer in Lincoln's Inn Chapel from 1919, and Schweich lecturer of the British Academy (1919-20). He was also elected a fellow of the British Academy in 1906 and of Merton College, Oxford in 1910. In 1925 he was the first recipient of the British Academy Medal for Biblical Studies. Charles also received honorary degrees from the universities of Belfast in 1923 and Oxford in 1928 in recognition for his work. In 1913 he was appointed a canon of Westminister, becoming archdeacon later in 1919. He died at his home in Little Cloisters on 30 January 1931. Publications: Book of Enoch (1893, 2nd ed. 1912); Apocalypse of St John ( 2 vols., 1920); Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Book of Daniel (1929); Book of Jubilees (1895); Enoch (1906); The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs (1908); The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament in English (2 vols., 1913); A Critical History of the Doctrine of a Future Life in Israel in Judaism and in Christianity (1899, 2nd revised and enlarged ed., 1913); Religious Development between the Old and the New Testaments (1914); Chronicle of John, Bishop of Nikiu (1916)