Dr. Ralph Martin, 1925-2013


Dr. Ralph Martin, well known as a New Testament scholar, died on February 25, at the age of 87, in Southport after a two-year battle with cancer.

He earned his BA and MA at the University of Manchester and was awarded his PhD from King’s College London. Ordained as a Baptist minister in 1949, he spent ten years in ministry in the UK.

His early works included An Early Christian Confession (1960) and Worship in the Early Church (1964). He also contributed the volume on Philippians in the Tyndale New Testament Commentary series for IVP.

After lecturing in New Testament at Manchester University for four years (alongside F.F. Bruce), he took up a post at Fuller Theological Seminary in the USA.

During his life, he also taught at London Bible College, University of Sheffield, Bethel College and Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota, The Institute of Holy Land Studies in Jerusalem, Moore Theological College in Sydney, Australia, Logos Evangelical Seminary in El Monte, California, and Azusa Pacific University.

Martin also served as editor of InterVarsity Press’s Dictionary of Paul and his Letters (1993) and Dictionary of the Later New Testament and its Developments (1997). Most importantly, he served on the founding editorial team of the Word Biblical Commentary as New Testament editor, a project that began at Fuller, and contributed volumes on 2 Corinthians and James.

Scholar of scholars

Kevin Mannoia of the Graduate School of Theology at Azusa Pacific University, who knew Dr. Martin personally, said: ‘Though he was a scholar to scholars, his spirit of grace and gentle kindness reflected the nature of Christ at work though him shaping and mentoring countless young people in pursuing their vocation in Kingdom work’.

He is survived by his wife Doreen, his daughters Patricia Losie and Elizabeth Knode, seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.