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Scholars Honor Michael Holmes with Volume of Essays

Juan Hernández, Jr. (left) with Michael Holmes holding his Festschrift (center) and Daniel M. Gurtner (right) at the on-campus celebration this winter.

University Professor of Biblical Studies and Early Christianity Michael Holmes recently received a Festschrift, which is a book published in someone’s honor, especially in academic circles.

Daniel M. Gurtner, professor of New Testament at Bethel Seminary, Juan Hernández, Jr., professor of biblical and theological studies in the College of Arts & Sciences, and Paul Foster, professor of New Testament and early Christianity at the University of Edinburgh, collaborated to edit a volume, “Studies on the Text of the New Testament and Early Christianity: Essays in Honor of Michael W. Holmes on the Occasion of His 65th Birthday.” It includes 27 essays from 32 international scholars celebrating the Holmes contributions to textual criticism and the study of the Apostolic Fathers.

Holmes’ birthday happened to have fallen on the same weekend as the annual Society of Biblical Literature conference and sincemany of the contributing scholars were already present for the November 2015 international conference in Atlanta, Georgia, they held a surprise party to present the Festschrift to Holmes.

The essays focus on the scholarship and contributions Holmes has made in two fields: textual criticism and in the study of the Apostolic Fathers. He has published critically-edited texts in each of these fields, which is a significant accomplishment in one field, let alone two. The collection first examines issues of method, the praxis of editing and collating texts, and discussions pertaining to individual textual variants. Secondly, it assembles essays on the Apostolic Fathers, with a particular focus on the person and writings of Polycarp, an area of research Holmes has researched most intensively.

During a follow-up event at Bethel this winter, Hernández lauded Holmes for his stellar scholarly record as well as for serving as a model on how to conduct scholarship at a teaching institution. Holmes has been teaching at Bethel since 1982.


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