What’s Ben Doing?

By Dr. Ben Witherington III, Jean R. Amos Professor of New Testament for Doctoral Studies

            When you get to be 65, in order to avoid becoming a ‘has Ben’, you have to remember the old adage of Satchel Page—‘don’t look back, something may be gaining on you.’  Following that advice, I’ve been keeping quite busy, and I intend to do so for the next decade or so, the Lord willing and the creek don’t rise.  This Spring has been unbelievably busy not only with regular teaching and supervising of doctoral students, but with no less than nine outside events at some of your churches and at scholarly venues (in Jackson, Myrtle Beach, Charlotte, Birmingham, Baton Rouge, Norfolk, Toronto, Toccoa Falls, and elsewhere).  You know you are traveling too much when the stewardess on the Delta flight from Lexington says, ‘Hi Ben, where are we going to this week’?  But it’s all good ministry, and I enjoy teaching, preaching and writing.  On the writing front, this is a bumper crop year with four books coming out— Isaiah Old and New and Psalms Old and New both for Fortress Press examine the use of the OT in the NT, but also how those purple passages from the OT spoke to God’s people in their original context.  Just out is a legacy project publishing the classic Methodist sermons of my mentor C.K. Barrett.  This is brilliant stuff, maybe the best thoroughly Biblical and Methodist sermons of the twentieth century.  Barrett preached from the early 1930s to 2009, preaching more than 5,000 separate occasions.  Three of the volumes are appearing from Cascade under the title Luminescence: The Sermons of C.K. and Fred Barrett (his father), and one further volume is being published by the Methodist Publishing House as well.  My second novel in the Week in the Life series with Intervarsity Press is out soon, with the title A Week in the Fall of Jerusalem chronicling the story of what happened to the Christian women and men trapped in Jerusalem as the Romans conquered the city and burned the temple in 70 A.D.  Many of you will remember A Week in the Life of Corinth, which was the first volume in this series and became a best seller.  All of this is, of course, available on Amazon.

             On the family front, Ann and I are just back from Ireland.  We went to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary with a two week tour, and afterwards I lectured at Trinity College Dublin and at the Irish Bible Institute, and then flew over to Newcastle, England and lectured and preached at my alma mater, Durham University.  Ann continues to work in the biology department at Asbury University, though she is retiring soon, to do more gardening.  Our son David and his wife Emily live just outside Philadelphia and are doing well, and our Russian daughter Yuliya has just moved to Paris (not the one in Kentucky) and is gainfully employed already— hooray, finally!  She will finish her PhD thesis this summer and become Dr. Yuliya.  As you can see, the Witheringtons are not letting the grass grow under their feet!  All being well, I look forward to continue to serve Asbury for many years to come.

8 responses to “What’s Ben Doing?”

  1. John Kavanaugh says:

    Blessings to you, your family, and your work!

  2. Dr. Witherington,
    Although I never had the pleasure to take on of your classes while at Asbury, I have thoroughly enjoyed benefiting from your writing. I pray God’s continual blessing on you in your relationship and service with our good God!

  3. David Worley says:

    Hi Ben, my wife and I have just joined a Sunday School class
    At First Methodist in Baton Rouge and have been using your videos to teach with. Wow what nice lessons. I am so glad that my wife and I found this class. Keep up the great work.
    David and Charlene

  4. R. Larry Shelton, Th.D. (ATS '67) says:

    Ben, keep up the good work! Wish we could have been better acquainted!

  5. James Mace says:

    Brother Ben! Glad to see you pursue fruitfulness in several areas unto ecclesial edification.

    In work 1, are you by any chance incorporating the latest appreciation of Isaianic description of Israel’s reunification by the coming Messiah and how NT (esp. Luke-Acts and John) feature this messianic reunification of “all Israel” (as per Chronicles)?

    In work 4, are you (hopefully) addressing how the Jerusalem Christians understood Jesus’s command to flee the Roman judgement and how a great number went to Pella in the old east Manasseh tribal land (or maybe in Gad’s)?

  6. Rena Lewis says:

    It was a joy to read your books and I learned so much. Thank you for all that you are doing and have done in increasing the knowledge of those searching for meaning in God’s word.

    • David Wilson Ntogohnya says:

      God bless you so much Dr Witherington with more years to bless many more people as you were a blessing to us in Seminary

  7. Connie Keplinger says:

    As God has blessed you with His love and grace, so also have you blessed His children with your faithful writing and telling of the story of His love and grace.

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