Note from CM: Sorry for the delay in posting today. I worked late last night.
Today I found out that one of my great heroes is now in God’s care. Dr. John Sailhamer, my OT prof at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, died earlier this week. No one influenced me more in my study of the Bible. John was the one who began to open the book of Genesis to me in particular, and I’m finding it hard to express my gratitude and sense of loss this morning.
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Dr. John Herbert Sailhamer, lion of the Word and faithful follower of Jesus, is safely Home. He passed away January 9, 2017, after a long battle with Parkinson’s and Lewy Body Dementia. Loved by his family and revered by his students, John was an evangelical Old Testament scholar and theologian. His work was characterized by a consistent focus on the canonical text of the Hebrew Bible and the compositional strategies of the biblical authors. The author of over 15 books, various articles and essays, John’s writing has centered on reading the Bible, the Pentateuch in particular, as a unified, coherent whole.
Born in Moline, IL on October 17, 1946, John graduated from Lakewood High School in Lakewood, CA and continued on to receive a BA from California State University, Long Beach; ThM from Dallas Theological Seminary; MA and PhD from the University of California at Los Angeles. Over his 36 year career in the classroom, John taught at Biola University, Bethel Seminary, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Western Seminary, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. He served his country in the United States Army from 1968 to 1970.
John was married to Patty Sailhamer (nee Engdahl) on June 12, 1971. He is survived by his wife Patty; his children David Sailhamer, Dr. Elizabeth Sailhamer Soukup (Jason), John Christian Sailhamer (Kelly), Peter Sailhamer (Angela); grandchildren Joshua Sailhamer, Sadie Soukup, Allyn Sailhamer, Samuel Soukup, John David Sailhamer, Troy Sailhamer, Simeon Soukup and Evangeline Sailhamer; brother Paul Sailhamer and sister Claudette Miller. John is preceded in death by his parents Claude and Belva Sailhamer.
A memorial service and celebration of his life will be held Friday, January 13 at 4:00 PM, First Evangelical Free Church of Fullerton, north campus, at 2904 N. Brea Blvd. in Fullerton. Rev Todd Chapman of Richfield Community Church will deliver a short message. A private burial will take place near John’s birthplace of Moline, IL at Kingsbury Country Cemetery. In lieu of flowers please send donations to First Evangelical Free Church (FEFC): Compassion Fund or Disability Family Fund.
Published in Orange County Register on Jan. 12, 2017
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The Pentateuch may be compared to a Rembrandt painting of real persons or events. We do not understand a Rembrandt painting by taking a photograph of the “thing” that Rembrandt painted and comparing it with the painting itself. That may help us understand the “thing” that Rembrandt painted, his subject matter, but it will not help us understand the painting itself. To understand Rembrandt’s painting, we must look at it and see its colors, shapes and textures. In the same way, to understand the Pentateuch, one must look at its colors, contours and textures.
• The Meaning of the Pentateuch