Martens honored with “Festschrift”

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April reception honors former MBBS president

MB Biblical Seminary will host an afternoon reception and program April 3 to celebrate the reslease of a new book honoring the contributions of Elmer Martens to Old Testament theology. Martens is president emeritus and professor emeritus of Old Testament at MB Biblical Seminary, Fresno, Calif. His career as teacher, author and preacher spans nearly six decades and five continents. He taught his signature class, Old Testament theology, for nearly 40 years and authored a textbook, God’s Design, which continues to be used at the seminary.

The Old Testament in the Life of God’s People, published by Eisenbrauns in late January, is a “Festschrift,” or volume of essays honoring a scholar, that includes three essays by Martens as well as 15 others written by former students, colleagues, friends and a former professor. The essays are clustered around three topics—Christian use of the Old Testament, aligning God's people with God's call for justice and addressing the issue of land in the life of God's people—each of which reflects an area of special interest to Martens. A biographical sketch and a list of his varied publications are included.

The April 3 event will include a presentation of the Festschrift, several speeches on the challenges of Old Testament studies and reflections from Martens on his long tenure as a scholar, mentor and churchman. Theodore Hiebert, the Francis A. McGaw Professor of Old Testament at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, Ill., will be among those who pay tribute to Martens. Family, contributors, donors, university and seminary faculty and friends are invited. “It should be a rich afternoon,” says Jon Isaak, editor of the book.

Isaak says that the reception falls on the same weekend as the West Coast sale and auction for Mennonite Central Committee in Fresno, for those interested in making a weekend of it. Copies of the Festschrift will be available for purchase at a reduced price. More information is available on the publisher's website.—MBBS

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