Franklin Woodrow Young

October 2, 2010 


Noted biblical and patristic scholar Franklin Woodrow Young died Saturday, September 25 at his home at Carolina Meadows. Young was Amos Ragans Kearns Professor Emeritus of New Testament and Patristic Studies at the Duke Divinity School, having retired in 1985 after a total of 23 years on the faculty there.

A memorial service will be held at the convenience of the family. Contributions in his memory may be made to the charity of one’s choice.

Young was educated at Dartmouth College and earned the bachelor of divinity from Crozer Theological Seminary. He then undertook doctoral studies at Duke University on a University Fellowship, and was an instructor in the Divinity school from 1944-1946. After receiving the Ph.D. in 1946, he was made assistant professor and dean of students. He held this position until 1950, when he joined the faculty of Yale Divinity School as assistant professor. In 1954, Young became professor of New Testament and patristic at Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest, and in 1959 he moved back east to serve on the faculty at Princeton; he was director of graduate studies in religion and then chair of department of religion. In 1968, Young returned to Duke Divinity School where his career had begun. He was professor of, New Testament and patristic studies until 1970, when he was awarded the Amos Ragan Kearns endowed professorship. Young served as director of graduate studies in religion at Duke for six years.

Young was known for courses on the Greek gospels and patristic texts, and for exegesis courses in English and Greek. He was the author of several books, among them “Understanding the New Testament” and “The Living World of the New Testament,” both with Howard C. Kee. He also contributed numerous articles to scholarly journals, bible dictionaries, and encyclopedias.

An ordained priest in the Protestant Episcopal Church, Young served both the National Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches in many capacities.

He is survived by his wife of almost 70 years, Jean Steiner Young; Sons David (Karen) Young and Frank (Ingrid) Young; five grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. Condolences may be expressed at

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