Martin, professor of New Testament at Fuller for nearly four decades, passed awy on Feb. 25
Ralph P. Martin,
former professor of New Testament and director of the Graduate Studies Program
at Fuller Theological Seminary, passed away on February 25, 2013, after a two
year battle with lymphoma. He was 87 years old.
highly regarded in the United States and Europe for his academic work and
writings on the New Testament. He blessed Fuller Seminary for decades with his
teaching and mentoring of doctoral students.
"We are so sad to learn
of Ralph Martin's passing," said Fuller President Richard J. Mouw.
"He was an outstanding New Testament scholar and author, and he
significantly impacted the lives of so many students and others in the Fuller
community and beyond. He will be greatly missed."
produced numerous scholarly works throughout his life and brought to Fuller a
passion for both teaching and New Testament scholarship. Some of the classes he
taught at Fuller Seminary included “Paul in Prison,” “Pauline Theology,” and “Worship
in the New Testament”—a study, no doubt, that was based in part on his PhD
thesis titled “Philippians 2:5-11 in recent interpretation and in the setting
of early Christian worship.”
of the Graduate Studies Program responsible for PhD programs at Fuller, he
also mentored a countless number of students, who are doing important work both
at Fuller and around the world today.
so much good to say about my friend Dr. Ralph Martin, with whom I served at
Fuller during my time as dean of the School of Theology,” said Dean Emeritus
Robert Meye. “Ralph’s attributes ranged all the way from being a most learned
and prolific scholar to being the epitome of Christian gentlemen—and points in
between and beyond!”
remembers Martin as a widely learned scholar of biblical and theological
studies, who contributed significantly to the formation of ministers through a
lifetime of service, and a mentor to many current teachers in the field of New
Testament studies. He also recalled that Martin was a “devoted servant of
Christ and minister to the body of Christ worldwide.”
A native of
the United Kingdom, Martin earned both his BA and MA at the University of
Manchester. He was awarded his PhD at the University of London, Kings
College. He was ordained as a Baptist minister in 1949 and spent 10 years in
ministry in the U.K.
to his PhD thesis, which was published by the Cambridge University Press, he
wrote a number of commentaries and study books, and contributed to numerous
periodicals, reference books, and symposia over the course of his career.
include An Early Christian Confession (1960),
Worship in the Early Church (1964), Mark: Evangelist and Theologian (1972), Reconciliation: A Study of Paul’s Theology
(1981), The Worship of God (1982), and
The Spirit and the Congregation: Studies
in 1 Corinthians 12-15 (1984). His two-volume textbook New Testament Foundations (1975, 1978)
was the fruit of his teaching at Fuller Seminary.
served as editor of InterVarsity Press’s Dictionary
of Paul and His Letters (1993) and Dictionary
of the Later New Testament and Its Developments (1997). Most importantly,
he served on the founding editorial team of the Word Biblical Commentary as New
Testament Editor, a project that began at Fuller, and contributed volumes on 2 Corinthians and James.
arrived at Fuller in 1969 after serving as a lecturer in New Testament at the
University of Manchester for four years. Throughout his life, he also taught at
London Bible College, Bethel College and Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota, the
Institute of Holy Land Studies in Jerusalem, Israel, Moore Theological College
in Sydney, Australia, Logos Evangelical Seminary in El Monte, California, and
Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, California.
continued to lend his expertise to Fuller for nearly a decade as a
Distinguished Scholar in Residence for Fuller’s Center for Advanced Theological
Studies beginning in 1996.
Leslie C. Allen, Fuller’s senior professor of Old Testament, was a colleague of
Martin’s at London Bible College from 1960 to 1965. They were reunited as
coworkers when Allen joined Fuller’s staff in the 1980s.
a good friend,” Allen recalled. “He and his first wife Lily warmly welcomed me
and my family to Fuller in 1982 and initiated us into the strange new world of
California. He will be remembered with respect and appreciation.”
that while Martin taught systematic theology at London Bible College, he also
worked as librarian, “turning
the library into a valuable academic resource.” Martin also regularly preached
and taught adult Sunday school classes in the Los Angeles area, Allen recalled.
survived by his wife Doreen, his daughters Patricia Losie and Elizabeth Knode,
seven grandchildren, and seven great grandchildren.
will be held in Southport, England, on March 4.