A lovely J. Louis (Lou) Martyn obituary by Beverly Gaventa


Following on from my notice of the sad loss of the eminent New Testament scholar J. Louis (Lou) Martyn, the excellent Beverly Gaventa has written a lovely obituary on the SBL website here. It’s well worth reading. To give you a flavour, here are the last couple of paragraphs:

Lou’s life in all its parts reflected Christian commitment that was secure enough not to need publicity. In a statement he prepared for a class on I Corinthians in 1971, he wrote:

I believe that God is first and that his being first “makes all the difference.” It means that he is there before I think of him and that he is the one who speaks life and thought and hope into existence. He stands at the base of every arrow which points to life; and his doing that is a large part of my understanding of what life is. That is to say, because God is first, I know that life is a gift from him.

For Lou’s students, indeed for all who study the New Testament, Lou Martyn himself was a gift.

Amen to that indeed!