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John C. Holbert

Columnist

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John C. Holbert was born in Indiana, raised in Arizona, and educated in Iowa and Texas, receiving a Ph.D. in the Hebrew Bible in 1975. He has been a local church pastor in Louisiana, professor of religion at Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth, and was Lois Craddock Perkins Professor of Homiletics at Perkins School of Theology, where he joined the faculty in 1979. He retired from this faculty position in May, 2012. John is married to Diana, a retired minister of the United Methodist Church. They have two children: a son, Darius, and a daughter, Sarah. John has extensive vocal solo experience, having sung in musicals, opera, and oratorio. Darius has sung with the Texas Boys' Choir, and is now a studio musician in Los Angeles, writing for film and TV. He and John have written an opera, based on the book of Job, entitled “Job’s Truth.” Sarah lives in Los Angeles where she works for the ABC Channel. John has authored eleven books and many articles in scholarly and church journals. He was the editor for the Psalms and Canticles material of the 1989 United Methodist Hymnal. He has also served as Interim Senior Minister of two large United Methodist churches, 1st UMC in Fort Worth in the Fall of 1994 and 1st UMC, Dallas, in the spring of 1997. He has preached and taught in over 1000 churches in 40 states and 20 countries. In 2007, he was named an Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor at Southern Methodist University. His first novel, King Saul, was published in 2014.

Opening The Old Testament

How to Evaluate a Prophet: Reflections on Deuteronomy 18:15-20 (21-22)

When a prophetic word remains empty, unrelated to the powerful love and challenge of YHWH that is shown throughout the Hebrew Bible, then it is plainly not YHWH's word. Read More »

Prophet Gone Bad: Reflections on Jonah 3:1-5

Whenever we read the Bible and use it to exclude, deny, and reject living creatures of God, there is Jonah. Read More »

Whose Voice? Reflections on 1 Samuel 3:1-10 (11-20)

I can only conclude from the scene of Samuel's confrontation with YHWH's voice in the night at Shiloh that hearing the voice of God is both exhilarating and very dangerous. Read More »

The Power and Peace of YHWH: Reflections on Psalm 29

This poem is easily 3500 years old, yet its ancient cry for strength leading to the search for peace remains supremely relevant to us as we strive for peace in a world bent on war and destruction. Read More »

Writing Epiphany: Reflections on Isaiah 60:1-6 for Epiphany Sunday

Yes, the Hebrew Bible still offers us much to ponder and much upon which to chew at Epiphany and throughout the year. Read More »

Let All Things Praise YHWH! Reflections on Psalm 148

All of nature is from the hand of God; it is not finally up to us to determine the value of nature, to determine whether or not it is "useful." Read More »

Recent Articles

How to Evaluate a Prophet: Reflections on Deuteronomy 18:15-20 (21-22)

When a prophetic word remains empty, unrelated to the powerful love and challenge of YHWH that is shown throughout the Hebrew Bible, then it is plainly not YHWH's word. Read More »

Prophet Gone Bad: Reflections on Jonah 3:1-5

Whenever we read the Bible and use it to exclude, deny, and reject living creatures of God, there is Jonah. Read More »

Whose Voice? Reflections on 1 Samuel 3:1-10 (11-20)

I can only conclude from the scene of Samuel's confrontation with YHWH's voice in the night at Shiloh that hearing the voice of God is both exhilarating and very dangerous. Read More »

The Power and Peace of YHWH: Reflections on Psalm 29

This poem is easily 3500 years old, yet its ancient cry for strength leading to the search for peace remains supremely relevant to us as we strive for peace in a world bent on war and destruction. Read More »

Expectations for the Child? Advent Reflections on Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11

By quoting Isaiah 61 Luke reminds his hearers and readers that the sweet little Jesus boy is no one to be trifled with or romanticized. Read More »

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