John H. Stek: Requiescat in Pace

John H. Stek (1925-2009)Wayne Leman informs us that the great John Stek,  former chairman of the (T)NIV’s Committee on Bible Translation and Associate Professor of Old Testament Emeritus at Calvin Theological Seminary, died last Saturday, June 6, 2009.  Like countless others, I mourn the death of this master teacher and Bible translator, and celebrate his enduring legacy, which will still be with us for decades to come. As his obituary in The Grand Rapids Press rightly states, “[m]illions around the world continue to be blessed by his work.” Last year, Professor Stek was honored by Calvin Seminary, his alma mater and the institution where he spent his entire academic career, with the Distinguished Alumni Award. I am glad that they had the opportunity to bestow this honor upon him before his time on earth was spent.

You can listen to a Talk of the Nation interview with John Stek on the TNIV here. A transcript of another interview with Stek on the same subject is available here. Additionally, a number of Stek’s talks and panel discussions on exegetical and translational subjects are available for purchase from the Calvin College bookstore.

In 1998, Calvin Seminary and CRC Publications jointly published a marvellous Festschrift for Professor Stek under the editorship of Arie Leder, his successor in the Old Testament chair at Calvin. Below I give the publishing information and table of contents.

Reading and Hearing the Word: From Text to Sermon

Arie C. Leder (ed.), Reading and Hearing the Word: From Text to Sermon. Essays in Honor of John H. Stek (Grand Rapids: Calvin Theological Seminary/CRC Publications, 1998). 260 pp.

Table of Contents


1. John Henry Stek, Professor of Old Testament from 1963 through 1990
Arie C. Leder, Professor of Old Testament
Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Part One — The Biblical Text: Translations, Version and Syntax

2. Hearing God’s Word through a Good Translation
Kenneth L. Barker
General Editor, NIV Study Bible, Lewisville, Texas

3. The New International Reader’s Version: What, Who, How, and Why
Ronald F. Youngblood, Professor of Old Testament
Bethel Theological Seminary West, San Diego, California

4. The Textuality of Narrative: Syntax and Reading the Hebrew Bible
Barry L. Bandstra, Professor of Religion
Hope College, Holland, Michigan

Part Two — Exegesis and Interpretation

5. Grave Reflections on Genesis 35:16-29: From Text to Application
William T. Koopmans, Pastor
Cephas Christian Reformed Church, Peterborough, Ontario

6. David and Nabal: A Paradigm of Temptation and Divine Providence
J. Robert Vannoy, Professor of Old Testament
Biblical Theological Seminary, Hatfield, Pennsylvania

7. 2 Kings in the Pulpit: One Leper or Two?
Arie C. Leder, Professor of Old Testament
Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan

8. Job 32-37: Elihu as the Mouthpiece of God
Al M. Wolters, Professor of Religion and Theology and Classical Studies
Redeemer College, Ancaster, Ontario

9. A Close Reading of Psalm 13: Daring to Ask the Hard Questions
Carl J. Bosma, Associate Professor of Old Testament
Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan

10. Proverbs 10:1-16: A Coherent Collection?
Bruce K. Waltke, Professor of Old Testament Studies
Regent College, Vancouver, British Columbia

11. Proverbs 10:1-22: From Poetic Paragraphs to Preaching
Calvin Seerveld, Senior Member in Aesthetics, Emeritus
Institute for Christian Studies, Toronto, Ontario

Part Three — Hearing the Word in the Church

12. The Necessity of Narrative Imagination for Preaching
John Bolt, Professor of Theology
Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan

13. Seeking God through Preaching
Cornelius Plantiga, Jr., Dean of the Chapel
Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan

14. Application in Preaching Old Testament Texts
Sidney Greidanus, Professor of Homiletics
Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan

15. Samson: The Riddle and the Reason
Roy M. A. Berkenbosch, Campus Minister and Dean of Students
The King’s University College, Edmonton, Alberta

Bibliography of John H. Stek
Paul Fields, Theological Librarian
Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Regrettably, this volume is now out of print. However, I have discovered that copies are apparently available from Cokesbury for $11.96 (20% off the original list price). If this is indeed the case, I encourage all interested parties to promptly obtain a copy from this source, since used copies of this same volume are going for as much as $265 in other bookshops.

Also not to be missed is Stek’s fascinating chapter “The New International Version: How It Came to Be,” in Glen G. Scorgie et al. (eds.),  The Challenge of Bible Translation: Communicating God’s Word to the World. Essays in Honor of Ronald F. Youngblood (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2003), pages 235-264.

May John Stek, beloved teacher of many and communicator of God’s Word to untold multitudes, rest in peace.

2 responses to “John H. Stek: Requiescat in Pace

  1. Pingback: More on Stek, His Festschrift, and His Church « The Voice of Stefan

  2. Pingback: Is the vocative now largely hidden in many recent translations? | Scripture Zealot

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