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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

Pharaoh Goes Bonkers, or the Stupidity of a Tyrant: Reflections on Exodus 1:8 -- 2:10

It is always far easier to play the tyrant than it is to be God's people. Read More »

Revenge is Sweet? Reflections on Genesis 45:1-15

Yes, revenge is sweet, but like all sweet things it is, in the end, not very good for you. Read More »

Death to the Tattletale! Reflections on Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28

This is fully a Genesis tale: trickery and hatred and deception abound, and the hero is finally not so heroic after all. Read More »

The Surprise of Grace: Reflections on Genesis 32:22-31

"Jacob wrestles with a man" is in fact what the text itself says, but that designation may stand in the way of a fuller understanding. Read More »

What Goes Around: Reflections on Genesis 29:15-28

The founders of Israel are, like us, always ready to get even, always concerned to get the best stuff, always interested in the way to save their own skin. Read More »

Forgetting Leads to Exile: Reflections on Genesis 28:10-19a

Like Jacob, in the face of God's free gift we too often grudgingly give God a crumb or two and imagine we are then God's followers. Read More »

Recent Articles

Pharaoh Goes Bonkers, or the Stupidity of a Tyrant: Reflections on Exodus 1:8 -- 2:10

It is always far easier to play the tyrant than it is to be God's people. Read More »

Revenge is Sweet? Reflections on Genesis 45:1-15

Yes, revenge is sweet, but like all sweet things it is, in the end, not very good for you. Read More »

Death to the Tattletale! Reflections on Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28

This is fully a Genesis tale: trickery and hatred and deception abound, and the hero is finally not so heroic after all. Read More »

The Surprise of Grace: Reflections on Genesis 32:22-31

"Jacob wrestles with a man" is in fact what the text itself says, but that designation may stand in the way of a fuller understanding. Read More »

What Goes Around: Reflections on Genesis 29:15-28

The founders of Israel are, like us, always ready to get even, always concerned to get the best stuff, always interested in the way to save their own skin. Read More »

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