Editorial #2 S. Lewis Johnson - The Passing of a Tyndale Giant -- By: Anonymous
CTJ 8:23 (March 2004) p. 8
S. Lewis Johnson - The Passing of a Tyndale Giant
On January 28, 2004, one of America’s greatest Greek scholars went home to be with His Savior. Dr. Johnson taught hundreds if not thousands of students the marvels and spiritual wonders of the New Testament Greek text. Dr. Johnson was steady as a rock spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually. He was a “Calvin’s Calvinist” and a one of a kind in the field of biblical studies.
Though he taught in various seminaries during his lifetime, I believe his last courses given in an academic setting were here at Tyndale Seminary in Ft. Worth. He taught five courses in the Greek New Testament, including Galatians 1–3, Romans 9–11, The Upper Room Discourse, Difficult Deity Passages, and Ephesians 1–3. The blessing to Tyndale Greek students is they can still enjoy Dr. Johnson, because all of these courses were recorded! (Tyndale is one of the few seminaries that provides courses that have been taught by America’s great professors of theology.)
During the last decade Dr. Johnson traveled many miles, both here and abroad, speaking at Bible conferences. Earlier he had been one of the co-translators of the Berkeley Bible and the New International Version. His articles can be found in numerous journals. He taught Hebrew, Greek, and systematic theology. He had come to the Lord under the teaching of Dr. Donald Gray Barnhouse in the early 1940s. He completed his Th.M. from Dallas Seminary in 1946, and his Th.D. in 1949. I was privileged to study under him in five Greek graduate courses.
I can remember several amusing moments with him that taught some important personal lessons. After receiving my Th.M. I called him one Sunday afternoon because I had some grammatical questions about Romans 8 and predestination. With head-on straightforwardness, he asked: “Mal, do you have on Romans Charles Hodge and Haldane?” I answered, “Yes sir, I do.” He
CTJ 8:23 (March 2004) p. 9
responded, “I suggest you look at what they say on Romans 8. You’ll find your questions answered!” When I hung up the phone I realized I wanted him to spoon feed me. But he wanted me to sit at the feet of other great Calvinist giants of the Bible. Too, he wanted me to dig and search on my own. I never forgot that lesson!
During a Greek class on 1 Corinthians, I recall one poor student challenging Dr. Johnson about women today wearing a headcovering. He suddenly exploded and leaned across his desk and shouted, “How dare you question the...
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