The death of Ralph P. Martin (1925-2013) marks the passing of a great evangelical New Testament scholar.
Early in his career he was a colleague and friend of F. F. Bruce, and Martin would later take his own place as one of the leading representatives of a post–World War II generation of British scholars who made a significant contribution to the academy and to the church.
Martin's doctoral dissertation, Carmen Christi: Philippians ii. 5-11 in Recent Interpretation and in the Setting of Early Christian Worship (Cambridge University Press), early established him as an authority on the Christ hymn of Philippians. In 1997 his dissertation was reissued by InterVarsity Press as A Hymn of Christ.
Martin went on to become professor of New Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary, where he served for many years. Known for his encyclopedic knowledge of the New Testament and its world, Martin was an ideal editor (with Gerald F. Hawthorne and Daniel G. Reid) for IVP’s Dictionary of Paul and His Letters and (with Peter H. Davids) the Dictionary of the Later New Testament and Its Developments.
His comprehensive knowledge of New Testament studies contrasts with our present inclination toward specialization, and his deft pen gave a signature clarity and grace to his writing.
"Martin's graciousness and moderation in dealing with sensitive issues of New Testament criticism is a model that calls for reflection and emulation in our increasingly polarized environment," said IVP senior editor Dan Reid. "IVP Academic is thankful to God for the gifts and generosity of this remarkable Christian gentleman and scholar."