B.S. U. Louisville, 1924; M.A., 1926; study at Portland Bible Classes, 1921-4; So. Bapt. Theol. Sem., 1922-7; Ph.D. U. Chicago, 1938.
Princ. Medora HS (Valley Station, KY), 1924-6; instr. Lat. Louisville HS, 1924-39; instr. Gk. & Heb. Louisville Christian Teaching Sch., 1935-7; prof. Gk. & Lat. Westminster (MO) Coll., 1939-45; asso. prof. Lat. Northwestern Louisiana St. Coll., 1945-7; prof. & head dept. anc. langs. & lits. U. Kentucky, 1947-62; vis. instr. Lat. Western Kentucky St. Coll., summer, 1938; vis. prof. Tchrs. Coll. Columbia, summer 1940; pres. So. Sect. CAMWS, 1954.
"The Latinity of Rheo's Vita Sancti Corbiniani and of the Revised Vita et Actus Beati Corbiniani Episcopi Frigisingensis Aecclesiae" (Chicago, 1938).
"II Tim. ii, 15, and Sophocles, Antigone 1195," CP 38 (1943) 204-5; "The Commercial Vocabulary of Early Latin as Shown in the Comedies of Plautus," CJ 36 (1940-1) 510-36; "The Etymology of Manubiae," CJ 37 (1941-2) 298; "Arbeo, a Neglected Source for Vulgar Latin," CW 36 (1942-3) 30-3.
The major portion of Jonah Skiles' career was as professor and chairman of the Department of Ancient Languages, University of Kentucky, until a terminal illness forced him to retire from active service. He developed the department from one professor to a full-time equivalent of four, and he initiated many basic functions of an active department, notably the Kentucky Foreign Language Conference and the Kentucky Society of the AIA. He also laid the groundwork for the university's program of Semitic studies. Skiles' major contributions were as a classroom teacher, a teacher and adviser of classroom teachers, and, above all, as a developer of activities to enrich classical studies. Through close cooperation with Jewish groups he was able to introduce Hebrew into the University of Kentucky curriculum, later Arabic, both originally associated with his department. He was co-author of Missouri and Louisiana documents on teaching foreign languages and of numerous shorter articles, notes, and reviews in this area.