Monday, February 25, 2013

Ralph P. Martin (1925-2013)

Ralph P. Martin and I at SBL 2007, Washington D.C.

My friend and mentor, John Byron is sadly reporting that Ralph P. Martin has passed away this morning in Southport England. Martin, who was probably best known for his A Hymn of Christ: Philippians 2:5-11 in Recent Interpretation & in the Setting of Early Christian Worship was also general editor of the famed WBC series (on the NT side), as well as author of both 2 Corinthians and James for that series.

I fondly remember meeting he and his wife during SBL 2007 (Washington, D.C.) at a Pauline Soteriology session. Despite the man's enormous stature in the world of New Testament studies, I was struck by his warmth and kindness. He was genuinely interested in me, where I was from, what I was studying, and I was able to convey my appreciation to him on his work, particularly his 2 Corinthians commentary.  What struck me as well,  was his modesty, sitting in the back and taking notes during the session. That image has always stuck with me, a man considered a giant in his field, behaving like a student attending his first SBL.

I look forward to hearing more about him in the days and weeks to come. Rest in peace, Dr. Martin, thank you for your excellence in scholarship and your outstanding character, examples I'll do my best to follow.

1 comment:

Glenn said...

Thanks for your post about Dr. Martin. His granddaughter and I grew up together, and even though the world of theology knows him well (he's practically required reading for all of us who have passed through seminary), I will always remember him first as my best friend's grandpa. :)