Aberdeen (Crown Terrace) Methodist Church was deeply saddened by the passing on 12th December 2015 of (Ian) Howard Marshall, a faithful servant of the Lord, who had been part of Crown Terrace Methodist Church for over fifty years.
Howard was born in Carlisle on 12 January 1934. He spent the earlier part of his childhood in Carlisle and Dumfries, before the family moved to Aberdeen in 1946. Howard's first wife Joyce died in 1996, and in 2011 he married Maureen Yeung, who holds a doctorate of Aberdeen University. Of his first marriage Howard has three daughters and one son.
Howard was educated at Aberdeen Grammar School and then at Aberdeen University, where he obtained a degree in Classics, before studying for a Bachelor of Divinity. He trained for the ministry at Wesley House, Cambridge, obtaining a BA, and then travelled to Göttingen, where he studied for a year under Professor Joachim Jeremias. Following that, he was Assistant Tutor at Didsbury Methodist College in Bristol for two years. In 1961 he married Joyce Proudfoot, and the following year was stationed in the Darlington (South) Circuit. In 1964 he moved back to Aberdeen as lecturer in the University, where he spent the rest of his working life, being awarded a personal chair in Divinity in 1979.
The following tribute was written by Paul Ellingworth
Howard was greatly respected, not only in Scotland but throughout the world by those who knew his work. He was arguably the most distinguished evangelical New Testament scholar of his generation. Among his many distinctions (which he would have thought of rather as opportunities for service) he had been chair both of the Fellowship of European Evangelical Theologians and of the British New Testament Society. His academic distinctions included an earned doctorate from the University of Aberdeen and an honorary doctorate from Asbury University in the United States.
Howard's most extensive contribution to New Testament studies was in the area of exegesis, with major works, among others, on the Gospel of Luke, the Acts of the Apostles, and the Pastoral Epistles to Timothy and Titus. These and other commentaries were marked not only by balanced and careful study of the text, but also by consistent clarity of expression - two qualities that do not always go together. Howard also involved himself, on the one hand, in the nitty-gritty of the Greek text of the New Testament, devoting countless hours to updating Moulton and Geden's Concordance, and on the other hand to studies in the broader area of New Testament theology, for one of which he won the 2005 Gold Medallion Book Award.
For those who knew Howard at close quarters for many years, respect for his academic achievement gradually mellowed into personal affection. He was greatly appreciated as preacher, as steward, and organist at Crown Terrace Methodist Church (CTM), also as preacher in other Aberdeen churches and throughout the Methodist North of Scotland Mission Circuit, having first received a note to preach at the age of sixteen. One of the first tributes to him, hours after his death, was simply: 'He will be greatly missed at CTM'. For many years he devoted most of his Sunday afternoons to a young people's group known as 'Crusaders'. As one would expect, Howard's preaching was based on thorough study of the biblical text, but he was also well known for his challenging 'action sermons', leading his hearers to ask the question of the crowd on the first Christian Pentecost: 'What shall we do?'
We thank God for every memory we have of him.
Tributes to Howard by many other organisations and individuals have been published online, including: Tyndale House, IVP, Scottish Evangelical Theology Society, University of Aberdeen, Beeson Divinity School, Christianity Today, Ray van Neste, Darrell Bock, Michael Bird, Stanley Porter, Jon Laansma, Steve Walton, Mark Goodacre, Ian Paul, Josh Carroll, Hans Kristensen, Nijay K. Gupta, Mark Ward, Chuck Bumgardner, Matthew Montonini