Robert G. Jones, 87, a former chairman of the department of religion at George Washington University, died of congestive heart failure Sept. 3 at a medical center in Knoxville, Tenn.

His death was confirmed by his daughter, Carolyn Parkhurst.

Dr. Jones was a member of the religion faculty at GWU from 1959 until his retirement in 1991. He was the department’s chairman from 1963 to 1979. He also served as the university marshal from 1969 to 1989. This position included planning and presiding over public ceremonies at the university.

As a scholar, he specialized in research on the Dead Sea Scrolls. In 1956, he published the first English translation of “The Rules for the War of the Sons of Light with the Sons of Darkness,” taken from the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Robert Gean Jones was born in Magnolia, Ark. He graduated from Baylor University in Waco, Tex., in 1947. He received a bachelor of divinity in 1950, a master’s degree in religion in 1957 and a doctorate in religion in 1959, all from Yale University.

While studying at Yale, Dr. Jones was the pastor of Baptist churches in Connecticut. In Washington, he was a member of the First Baptist Church of the City of Washington, D.C., where he directed the religious education program and taught adult classes.

A former resident of Takoma Park and Potomac, Dr. Jones moved to Tennessee after retiring from GWU. At the time of his death, he was living in Loudon, Tenn. In retirement, he taught at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Maryville College and the Oak Ridge Institute for Continued Learning.

Survivors include his wife of 66 years, Marian Alexander Jones of Loudon; a daughter, Carolyn Ann Parkhurst of Signal Mountain, Tenn.; and two grandsons.

— Bart Barnes