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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

Propaganda or Something Else? Advent Reflections on 2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16

Does not that child of Bethlehem come, too, to call us all to our higher and better selves? Does he not grow up to urge us to be less like David and more like him? 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 »

The Unbreakable Love of YHWH: Reflections on Isaiah 40:1-11

God comforts us in order that we may at long last become what God wanted us to be from the beginning. Read More »

The Longing...for What? Reflections for the First Sunday of Advent: Isaiah 64:1-9

We need to look for God not in the great deeds or in the torn heavens, but under and through the wrapping paper, in the bowl of gravy, in the face of a wife or husband, or child or grandchild. Read More »

On Recognizing the Shepherd: Reflections on Christ the King Sunday (Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24)

The ruler YHWH has in mind, the leader we all should have in mind, judges people with righteousness and the poor with justice. Read More »

Things Are Seldom What They Seem: Reflections on Judges 4:1-7

The Bible often presents us with surprising actions and characters, dashing our common expectations, warning us that YHWH acts in ways we sometimes least expect. Read More »

Recent Articles

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 »

The Unbreakable Love of YHWH: Reflections on Isaiah 40:1-11

God comforts us in order that we may at long last become what God wanted us to be from the beginning. Read More »

The Longing...for What? Reflections for the First Sunday of Advent: Isaiah 64:1-9

We need to look for God not in the great deeds or in the torn heavens, but under and through the wrapping paper, in the bowl of gravy, in the face of a wife or husband, or child or grandchild. Read More »

On Recognizing the Shepherd: Reflections on Christ the King Sunday (Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24)

The ruler YHWH has in mind, the leader we all should have in mind, judges people with righteousness and the poor with justice. Read More »

Things Are Seldom What They Seem: Reflections on Judges 4:1-7

The Bible often presents us with surprising actions and characters, dashing our common expectations, warning us that YHWH acts in ways we sometimes least expect. Read More »

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