One of my great regrets of seminary was never having Grant Osborne as a professor. Many of my friends did and I’ve heard stories. I’ve heard his lectures compared to drinking through a firehose with all of the information he dispensed.
Dr. Osborne passed away last night. I had actually just bought one of his books earlier this week. While I never had him as a professor, I’ve benefited greatly from his writings. As someone who spends a lot of time studying the Bible, for New Testament scholars, I consider Osborne to easily be in the top five of the last 50 years. I know that I know the Bible better because of his writing.
His scholarship was always thorough but also approachable. It was written with conviction but also charitable. In writing about significant and contested theological subjects, there was a gentleness and respect. At the heart of it all was a man who was sincerely dedicated to the word of God and sharing that knowledge with his students and readers.
Recently, Osborne had finished a commentary series covering the entire New Testament through Lexham Press. An incredible undertaking, but what I found even more astounding is that he had already written commentaries on several books of the New Testament (. He served as the General Editor for the IVP New Testament Commentary Series. And his book on studying the Bible “The Hermeneutical Spiral” is perhaps his best known work. He was an editor for the New Living Translation of the Bible and contributed to the ESV Study Bible. A giant in New Testament Scholarship.
Personally, I consider his commentaries on Matthew and Revelation to be among the finest scholarly works done on those books.
I love this quote I read from Dr. Osborne after retiring in a blog post through Logos Academic, “I didn’t just like my job, I loved it and couldn’t get enough of it. I retired only because my body made me do so.”
Grant Osborne: 1942-2018.
Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’
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Josh Benner is the associate pastor at Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church in Fergus Falls, Minnesota and has a Master of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He enjoys writing about faith and culture. He lives with his wife Kari in Minnesota.