Ranston, Dr Harry
1878-1971; e.m. 1901

Biblical scholar, born Harry Ramsbottom at Keighley, Yorks. He started work at 10, but through night school obtained scholarships to higher education and joined the local PM society. AtHartley College he came under the influence of A.S. Peake. He arrived in New Zealand in 1902, changing his name c. 1904, when he transferred to the WM Conference. While serving in South Island circuits he completed his MA in Greek and Semitic languages. Moving to Auckland in 1916 he taught part-time at the Theological College. In 1923 he gained a DLitt for a thesis published as Ecclesiastes and the Early Greek Wisdom Literature (1925). The Old Testament Wisdom Books and their Teaching (1930) established him as a scholar of some international repute. He is credited with having secured for Trinity College, Auckland its reputation as a teaching institution, giving it its strong biblical basis. He served on the Auckland University Council and was examiner in Hebrew for the University of New Zealand. His unsophisticated character endeared him to his students. He retired in 1941 and died at Auckland on 6 June 1971 .