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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

What Is a Veil Anyway? Reflections on Transfiguration Sunday

For those of us who have heard the call of our God to leadership, this passage gives us much to ponder. Where are our masks and when do we wear them? Read More »

Choose Somebody Else! Reflections on Jeremiah 1:4-10

Old Jeremiah is my very favorite prophet from the Hebrew Bible for many reasons, beginning with the fact that he sounds like a far more honest version of my less than honest self. Read More »

Listening at the Watergate: Reflections on Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10

How would our history be different if the ancient Watergate were better remembered than the modern one? Read More »

The Real Meaning of Beulah Land: Reflections on Isaiah 62:1-5

"Beulah Land" is the transformed Jerusalem, a marvelous symbol of God's power to change devastation into a marriage-like joy and to do so in such a way that the world may see and act accordingly. Read More »

Baptisms and Baptisms: Reflections on Isaiah 43:1-7 and the Baptism of the Lord

On this Baptism of the Lord Sunday, may our own life's baptisms, those that are pleasant and those not so pleasant, be occasions of an affirmation of the presence of God in our lives, the God who simply never forsakes us. Read More »

The Promise Fulfilled: Reflections on the Epiphany of the Lord

The light of God pierces our gloomy and dark lives and offers to us a hope that we must both grasp and exemplify. Read More »

Recent Articles

What Is a Veil Anyway? Reflections on Transfiguration Sunday

For those of us who have heard the call of our God to leadership, this passage gives us much to ponder. Where are our masks and when do we wear them? Read More »

Choose Somebody Else! Reflections on Jeremiah 1:4-10

Old Jeremiah is my very favorite prophet from the Hebrew Bible for many reasons, beginning with the fact that he sounds like a far more honest version of my less than honest self. Read More »

Listening at the Watergate: Reflections on Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10

How would our history be different if the ancient Watergate were better remembered than the modern one? Read More »

The Real Meaning of Beulah Land: Reflections on Isaiah 62:1-5

"Beulah Land" is the transformed Jerusalem, a marvelous symbol of God's power to change devastation into a marriage-like joy and to do so in such a way that the world may see and act accordingly. Read More »

Baptisms and Baptisms: Reflections on Isaiah 43:1-7 and the Baptism of the Lord

On this Baptism of the Lord Sunday, may our own life's baptisms, those that are pleasant and those not so pleasant, be occasions of an affirmation of the presence of God in our lives, the God who simply never forsakes us. Read More »

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