|1938 July 7
||Born, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
||Diploma, The Stony
||B. D., Princeton
||D. Theol., University of
||Assistant Editor, Christianity Today
||Senior Minister, Tenth
Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
||President, The Bible Study Hour (which, in 1994 became the Alliance of
||Chairman, The Philadelphia Conference on Reformed Theology
||Chairman, The International Council on Bible Inerrancy
||D. D., The
Theological Seminary of the Reformed Episcopal Church
|June 15, 2000
||Died, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
James Montgomery Boice, better known as Jim Boice, was born July 7th, 1938, in
Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, the firstborn son of Newton and Jean Boice. Just after
Jim’s first birthday, his family relocated from McKeesport, Pennsylvania, to
Philadelphia, where his father pursued orthopedic training at the University of
Pennsylvania. During their time in Philadelphia, Newton and Jean attended Tenth
Presbyterian Church for two years. During their two years at Tenth, the Boice family
became close to their pastor Donald Barnhouse, who was supportive of them in their
faith journey. After Newton’s degree was completed, Newton and Jean returned to
McKeesport where they attended the Evangelical Free Church and raised their four
children, Jim, Judy, Nancy, and Elizabeth.
In 1951, Boice moved to Long Island to attend Stony Brook School, an all-boys
Christian preparatory school. It was during his years at Stony Brook that Jim
cultivated his academic skills for a lifetime of studying and writing. After
graduating from Stony Brook, he attended Harvard University to pursue a degree in
English. During his final year at Harvard, Boice met Linda McNamara, a graduate
student at Harvard pursuing a degree in education. Both Jim and Linda were involved
in the Harvard Christian Fellowship and Intervarsity, and attended Park Street
Church on Sundays. After graduation, Boice enrolled at Princeton Theological
Seminary where he participated in a pilot program in which seminary students studied
in a seminar format under a single advisor. He studied the New Testament under Dr.
Bruce Metzger, and it was during this time in his life that Boice came to the
conviction the Bible is inerrant and infallible.
While working toward his degree at Princeton Theological Seminary, Jim and Linda were
married at Linda’s home church in Montclair, New Jersey, in June 1962. After
completing his Bachelor of Divinity degree, Jim and Linda relocated to Basel,
Switzerland, so he could pursue a doctorate before seeking a long-term church
position. During his PhD program, Boice worked under Dr. Bo Reicke and Dr. Oscar
Cullmann, finally completing his dissertation in 1966, titled "Witness and
Revelation in the Gospel of John". During their time in Basel, Jim and Linda founded
a small church out of their two-room apartment, Basel Community Church. They
remember this as an unexpected but valuable time in their ministry journey. It was
also during their time in Basel that Jim and Linda had their first child in 1964,
In December 1966, the Boice family relocated to Alexandria, Virginia, where he served as the assistant
editor of Christianity Today. He also preached
frequently at local churches, most commonly at McLean Presbyterian Church in
Virginia. While working at Christianity Today, Boice
concluded that Christian journalism was not his goal, for his intention was to
pastor a church, which he did March 17th, 1968 when he accepted the call to Tenth
Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. Soon after moving to Philadelphia, Jim and
Linda had two children, Heather Louise in March 1970 and Jennifer Sue in 1972.
One year after accepting the call at Tenth Church, Boice inherited the broadcast
ministry The Bible Study Hour and founded by Donald Barnhouse. By the mid-1970’s the
broadcast had grown to more than 100 air times each week. Boice continued this
ministry until his death in 2000, by which time the ministry had grown to more than
850 airtimes a week on more than 200 stations worldwide.
During his time at Tenth Church, Boice also developed the annual Philadelphia
Conference on Reformed Theology (PCRT). The first PCRT was held in 1974 to “glorify
God through a rediscovery of the Church’s great doctrinal foundations.” The first
gathering grew from the threefold objectives of the PCRT: “1)To awaken a new
interest in biblical theology and to give greater visibility to the doctrines of
grace throughout the Church generally; 2) To establish a forum at which men and
women in the Reformed tradition (from all denominations) might meet and be
encouraged by others of like mind, 3) To marshal resources to the end that believers
might propagate the faith more effectively and thus ‘establish, strengthen, and
settle’ the Church upon the firm foundation of the doctrines of the Apostles.” Boice
led this ministry until his death in 2000.
Boice was committed to a life of ministry that took shape in many additional ways. He
worked as a chairman for the International Council of Biblical Inerrancy, whose goal
was to “elucidate, vindicate, and apply the doctrine of biblical inerrancy as an
essential element for the authority of Scripture and a necessity for the health of
the Church of God, and as to attempt to win the Church back to its historic
position.” Additionally, after growing concern about the state of the city schools
that their daughters attended, Jim and Linda founded the City Center Academy (CCA)
in Philadelphia in 1983, a Christian academic institution dedicated to the
humanities. Jim served as the principal of CCA for its first four years, and
remained involved in its commitment to quality education in line with the
Judeo-Christian value system until his death. Finally, Boice played an important
role in the Bible Study Fellowship International (BSF), writing two of the seven
study guides in the BSF series that were available at the time of his death and
traveling all over the world to teach and encourage BSF leaders serving domestically
On Good Friday of 2000, two hours before he was to deliver a sermon on the
crucifixion to his congregation at Tenth Church, Jim Boice was diagnosed with
terminal liver cancer. He delivered his final sermon on May 7, 2000, and died in his
sleep June 15, 2000, eight weeks after his diagnosis.
The James Montgomery Boice Manuscript Collection has been arranged in five series
that document his various ministries.
Series 1: Preaching Materials (13 boxes) - This series contains sermon materials for
textual and topical sermons. Also included in this collection are various BSF Study
Guide manuscripts, and manuscripts for video sermons series.
Series 2: Organizations (4 Boxes) - This series documents Boice's involvement with
the Bible Study Fellowship, the Huguenot Fellowship, the Alliance of Confessing
Evangelicals, Tenth Presbyterian Church, the Bible Study Hour, and the Philadelphia
Conference of Reformed Theology.
Series 3: General Correspondence (17 Boxes) - This series contains general
correspondence, sorted chronologically and alphabetically, covering the years from
1967 to 2000.
Series 4: Tenth Journal (2 Boxes) - This series contains manuscripts and proofs
regarding the Tenth Church Journal.
Series 5: Miscellaneous (2 Boxes)- This series contains unsorted materials and
interviews conducted by Robert C. Beasley.