Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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ENOCH, SAMUEL IFOR (1914-2001), minister (Presbyterian) and theological professor.

Ifor Enoch was born in Ciliau Aeron, Ceredigion, 26 December 1914, one of the three sons of the Rev. J. Aeronydd Enoch (Independent) and Jennie Enoch. He was brought up in Ferryside, Carms., where the three brothers attended the CM Sunday School. He graduated in Greek at University College, Swansea, in 1937 before moving to Westminster College, Cambridge, having won a Lewis and Gibson Scholarship, where he graduated in Theology. After a year's preparation for the ministry at Bala College he received a call in 1941 to minister at Trinity English Presbyterian Church, Aberdare. In 1948 he continued his New Testament studies at Union Theological Seminary, New York, where he was greatly influenced by the eminent scholar, F. C. Grant. He was appointed to the New Testament Chair at the United Theological College, Aberystwyth, in 1953, and he became its Principal in 1963. He retired from his position in 1978.

He served as Dean of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Wales 1971-74, and played a prominent role in the University's committees, and especially in the administration of the University College, Aberystwyth. He was a natural administrator and proficient in his care for all aspects of the work and maintenance of the Theological College. He was a popular lecturer in the eyes of his students and fostered a good and friendly relationship with them throughout his years at the College.

For a number of years he succeeded in holding very popular classes in the counties of Ceredigion and Montgomery under the auspices of the Extra-Mural Department of the University College. In 1966 he delivered the Davies Lecture on ‘The Jesus of Faith and the Dead Sea Scrolls’, and the Pantyfedwen Lecture on ‘Jesus in the Twentieth Century’ in 1979. Both lectures were published in booklet form. His revision of David Williams's Commentary on Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians appeared in 1966. He was a member of the New Testament and Apocrypha Panel of the New Welsh Bible from its outset in 1964 and remained on it until the publication of the full translation in 1988. He preached regularly in chapels throughout Wales, emphasizing the need for the church to present a strong social gospel to the contemporary world, and especially the need for it to show concern for the poor of ‘the Third World’.

He married Margaret Mary (Peggy) O'Connor from Ireland in 1953, she predeceased him in the year 2000. They adopted two children, Desmond John and Helen Margaret. Ifor Enoch died at Aberystwyth on 10 June, 2001, and his body was cremated at the local crematorium.

Sources:

  • Personal knowledge;
  • The Independent , 18 June 2001;
  • The Cambrian News , 5 July, 2001.
  • Presbyterian Church of Wales Yearbook , 2002.

Author:

John Tudno Williams, Aberystwyth

Published date: 2013