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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

The Prayer of a Dangerous King: Reflections on 1 Kings 8:1, 6, 10-11, 22-30, 41-43

Solomon was a very dangerous king, and so are we dangerous the minute we forget the source of all we have and are. Read More »

Avoiding the Truth: Reflections on 1 Kings 2:10-12; 3:3-14

The Bible rarely if ever says, "Be like this or that character." It rather says, "You are like this or that character; now what do you propose to do about it?" Read More »

What Goes Around: Reflections on 2 Samuel 11:26-12:13a

David's story is yet another example of "what goes around, comes around," and the bad things we do today affect all of our tomorrows in ways we can never quite predict and certainly do not want. Read More »

Idle Hands...and All That: Reflections on 2 Samuel 11:1-15

Yes, David is not where he is supposed to be in this passage, and yes, his hands are idle, just ready for the devil's work, but I find something even more potentially dangerous and disturbing here. Read More »

Propaganda or Using YHWH? Reflections on 2 Samuel 7:1-29

In the light of the man David, the oily, clever trickster who stops at nothing to become king and remain king, I wonder if this long prayer is more of the same self-aggrandizing, self-serving sort of palaver we have come to expect from David. Read More »

The Trouble With the Ark: Reflections on 2 Samuel 6:1-19

Like David, we imagine that God is ever with us, approving our actions, blessing our designs, shouting a divine Amen as we seek our own paths, which too often are far from God's hoped-for realm and rule. Read More »

Recent Articles

The Prayer of a Dangerous King: Reflections on 1 Kings 8:1, 6, 10-11, 22-30, 41-43

Solomon was a very dangerous king, and so are we dangerous the minute we forget the source of all we have and are. Read More »

Avoiding the Truth: Reflections on 1 Kings 2:10-12; 3:3-14

The Bible rarely if ever says, "Be like this or that character." It rather says, "You are like this or that character; now what do you propose to do about it?" Read More »

What Goes Around: Reflections on 2 Samuel 11:26-12:13a

David's story is yet another example of "what goes around, comes around," and the bad things we do today affect all of our tomorrows in ways we can never quite predict and certainly do not want. Read More »

Idle Hands...and All That: Reflections on 2 Samuel 11:1-15

Yes, David is not where he is supposed to be in this passage, and yes, his hands are idle, just ready for the devil's work, but I find something even more potentially dangerous and disturbing here. Read More »

Propaganda or Using YHWH? Reflections on 2 Samuel 7:1-29

In the light of the man David, the oily, clever trickster who stops at nothing to become king and remain king, I wonder if this long prayer is more of the same self-aggrandizing, self-serving sort of palaver we have come to expect from David. Read More »

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