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Harold W. Hoehner

The Lord called home a faithful servant on February 12, 2009. Dr. Harold Hoehner passed away at the age of 74. His legacy and influence on Dallas Theological Seminary will be lasting. Dr. Hoehner was Distinguished Professor of New Testament Studies. He carried on a very fruitful and significant career, teaching and providing leadership to the academic work of Dallas Seminary for forty-two years—twenty-seven of those years as Director of Ph.D. Studies and twenty-four as chairman of the New Testament department.

As a department chair, he brought the highest ideals in academic standards to the DTS campus along with compassion and encouragement to his department faculty and their families. Along with others in the department, he crafted a thorough yet learner-friendly model of New Testament Greek exegesis that is widely used today.

As a teacher, he always pushed his students toward excellence, careful study of Scripture, and fair-minded interaction with the wider world of New Testament scholarship. His magnificent commentary on Ephesians—his magnum opus—will continue to instruct and inspire pastors and teachers for many years to come. Because one of his books is entitled Herod Antipas, he became affectionately known to a generation of students as “Herod Hoehner.” He was known for his unwavering love for the style manual by Kate Turabian. With King’s College of Cambridge, England, as his doctoral alma mater, some have said his only educational regret was that he did not attend Texas A&M (simply because he loved Aggie jokes so much)!

As a person, Harold was a man of integrity, frugality, hard work, strong opinions, and fairness to others coupled with a loyal, collegial spirit, humility, and humor. Though he was not a good actor by his own admission, he took opportunities to participate in Senior Chapel or Missions Conference videos because he knew students would get a laugh seeing him trying to act cool. His loving and exemplary family life with Gini, their four adult children, and eleven grandchildren was a model and blessing to all of us.

In 2006, the New Testament faculty, former students, and fellow scholars published a book on New Testament exegesis as a tribute to Harold as their teacher, mentor, colleague, and friend. The editors concluded the preface with these words: “Most of all Harold has shown us what it means to be a man of God, committed to Christ and His gospel, and reflecting the fruit of the Spirit over a lifetime of faithful service.”