Luther Seminary remembers the life of Professor Emeritus Roy Harrisville ’47 B.Th., who passed away on July 25 at the age of 101.
A longtime member of the seminary’s New Testament faculty (1958–92), Roy was a prolific author and scholar who produced excellent biblical scholarship for the church. He was a formidable teacher and an influential mentor, helping many Luther Seminary graduates find success in ministry and pursue doctoral studies in both Europe and the United States. Former students remember the intellectual rigor of his classes, most especially his course on Romans, as well as the Friday afternoon teas that he and his wife Norma would regularly host for students. He was well-known on campus for his sense of humor.
In his scholarship as well as his teaching, Roy was committed to integrating the historical-critical method with a strong confessional-theological approach. He authored more than 20 books, including “The Bible in Modern Culture” (with Walter Sundberg), “Fracture: The Cross as Irreconcilable in the Language and Thought of the Biblical Writers,” and “Pandora’s Box Opened.” He also translated over 20 books, making German biblical scholarship available to the wider world. Together with Carl Braaten and Robert Jenson, he co-founded and served as an editor for the theological journal “dialog” in 1962. A 1953 graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary, where he studied under Otto Piper, Roy received the Lutheran World Federation Scholarship, the Association of Theological Schools Fellowship, and the Fredrik A. Schiotz Fellowship. He was a member of the Society of Biblical Literature, Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas, and the American Association of University Professors.
Visitation will take place on August 2, 2023, from 4–7:00 p.m. at Holcomb-Henry-Boom-Purcell Funeral Home, 536 N. Snelling Ave., St. Paul. A funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on August 3 at Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church, 5025 Knox Ave. S., Minneapolis, with additional visitation for one hour beforehand. Additional details are available online.