Professor Howard Marshall

IHM christmas letterAs has now been widely reported, I Howard Marshall, Emeritus Professor of New Testament at Aberdeen University, passed away this weekend.

I had the privilege of studying with Howard doing my doctoral work from 1998-2001. Howard was always clear that no one studied “under” him but “with” him. He corrected my use of prepositions early on. He also insisted that he be called, simply, Howard. In the biographical sketch of Howard which I wrote for his most recent festschrift, I related the humorous manner in which he finally convinced me- against my Southern upbringing- to adopt this practice.

In correspondence over the weekend, my friend J Hering, related a story which illustrates the experience of many who studied in Aberdeen, whether directly with Howard or not. For his research J needed a 40-50 year old unpublished German thesis which he had not been able to locate through the major libraries. J relates:

“When Prof. Marshall one day asked me how my research was coming along, I related to him that I had stalled, due to the unavailability of this single thesis. He just smiled. He had a copy in his personal library. Incredible. I soon learned that there were very few German NT works that he had not read.”

J went on to reflect on Howard’s love for us- “He really looked out for us.” Howard was not J’s supervisor, but he took an interest in helping all of us.

IHM fss presentationThe Gospel Coalition posted tributes to Howard from myself and from Darrell Bock.

Howard’s voluminous writing is often commented on. Here is the bibliography from the festschrift with some updates:
I H Marshall Bibliography
Here are four other tributes which I found and appreciated:

Mark Goodacre:

Michael Bird:

Stan Porter:

Chuck Bumgardner:

Mark Goodacre’s post includes this Youtube clip of a young Marshall defending historicity of Jesus’s teaching in New Testament– vintage Howard.

Carl Trueman’s interview of Howard in Themelios in 2000 (cited in my tribute) shows much of the heart of the man:



  1. Thanks Ray for the Gospel Coalition article. I must echo every word, the example, grace, and humility he showed to my wife and I at Aberdeen are still prophetic these 15 years later. Without his encouragement and blessing my life would have been very different. Thank you Ray for saying this so well. Matthew Elliott, PhD NT, University of Aberdeen.

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