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Findlay, Dr George Gillanders
1849-1919; e.m. 1870

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James Findlay   Click to enlarge
The son of a WM minister, the Rev. James Findlay (1815-1877; e.m. 1840), he was born at Welshpool on 3 January 1849 and educated at Woodhouse Grove School. He took a BA in Classics at London University and spent all his working life in ministerial training: first as Assistant Tutor at Headingley and Richmond Colleges, then as Classical Tutor at Richmond (1874-81) and Tutor in Biblical Languages and Exegesis at Headingley (1881). His publications included The Church of Christ as Set Forth in the New Testament (1893) and the Fernley Lecture of 1894 on Christian Doctrine and Morals. He excelled as a teacher, but also wrote extensively on the OT prophets, the Pauline and Johannine epistles, and on Methodist doctrine in the Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics.

For many years his name was in the list of candidates for the Presidency of Conference, but he consistently declined to be nominated. He died (at Leeds?) on 2 November 1919. At the time of his death he was working on the Centenary History of the WMMS (1921-1924).

His younger brother William H. Findlay (1857- 919) was a missionary in India and from 1900 to 1910 was one of the MMS secretaries.

His son James Alexander Findlay (1880-1961; e.m. 1903) was born on 22 July 1880 at *Richmond, Surrey. After graduating at Cambridge, he was appointed Assistant Tutor at *Handsworth College (1904) and in 1919 became Tutor in NT Language and Literature at *Didsbury College, first in Manchester and later in Bristol. He was awarded an honorary DD by St Andrews University. His supreme aim was to interpret Jesus, which he did both in his teaching, preaching and writing, and through his own attractive character. His publuished work included Jesus and his Parables (the *Fernley Hartley Lecture, 1950) and commentaries on Luke and Acts. His address to the *Methodist Church Congress in 1931 was on 'Jesus - the Perfect Man'. He died at *Manchester on 11 October 1961.

Quotations

'He was one of the finest scholars of his generation, and one of the greatest teachers of his Church… A man of tireless industry, methodical even in his times of rst and recreation, he loved the open countryside and rejoiced in physical exertion. But he always returned to the study with zest. What he wrote he would revise and revise and work over until the importunity of the publishers availed to stay his emending hand. He had a feeling for the just and apt in expression which amounted to a passion (and those who have worked under his sons will be quick to believe this). Slovenliness of expression and glibness of phrasing were alike impossible to him.'

Frank H. Cumbers (ed.), Richmond College 1843-1943 (1944) pp.108-9

Sources

  • Methodist Recorder, 6 & 13 Nov. 1919; 19 October 1961
  • Gordon S. Wakefield, 'James Alexander Findlay', in Epworth Review 15:3 (September 1988) pp.28-33

Entry written by: CSR
Category: Person

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