The Legacy of John Sailhamer Continues at Southeastern

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John Sailhamer’s book collection has arrived at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. This book collection reflects a lifetime of travel and acquisition attributed to the former Southeastern Old Testament professor and scholar.

Sailhamer’s degrees in language and Old Testament Studies are a B.A. from State University at Long Beach; M.A. at University of California, Los Angeles; Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary; and Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles. Sailhamer’s teaching career includes service at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in Brea, CA; Trinity Divinity Evangelical Seminary in Chicago, IL; Bethel College and Seminary in St. Paul, MN; Biola University in La Mirada, CA; Northwestern College in St. Paul, MN; Western Conservative Baptist Theological Seminary in Portland, OR; and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC.

Dr. Sailhamer served as professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at Southeastern from 1999-2006. Dr. Shawn Madden, Associate Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew and Director of Library Services, said, “Dr. John Sailhamer has been a major scholastic force in the evangelical community for a very long time. Dr. Sailhamer had a great concern and interest in the scholastic responsibilities of the evangelical community, imbuing in his students an intentional devotion to God’s Word and its proper understanding, interpretation and teaching.”

Sailhamer’s book collection, which arrived the last week of April, will be housed in a specially constructed room on the second floor of Denny Library in the scholar’s name. The collection is comprised of language studies in Hebrew, Greek, Latin, German, French, etc. and Old Testament studies as well. These works cover a wide gamut of fields such as theological studies, reference works, philosophical studies, cultural studies, historical studies, monographs, syntaxical studies, exegetical studies, grammars, commentaries, textual studies, dictionaries, theses, dissertations, facsimiles, archaeological studies, New Testament studies, etc. 

“Dr. Sailhamer’s linguistic thinking and work,” said Shawn Madden, “is best reflected in the dissertations and writings of his students who have carried away from his classes a deep devotion to the proper understanding of inter- and intra-textual relationships found in the Bible.”

Former student of Sailhamer and Instructor of Theology and History of Ideas at Southeastern, Benjamin Quinn said, “Dr. Sailhamer was one of the best teachers I ever had the privilege of sitting under. The truth is, however, that he was light years ahead in his understanding of Scripture and his insight into the original text. Dr. Sailhamer was humble, gracious and brilliant in the classroom. In twenty-five years of formal education, I cannot recall any other class where I learned so much.”

Testimonies like Quinn’s are numerous on the campus at Southeastern. Dr. Sailhamer taught and influenced hundreds of students, and this influence will not cease. His passion for the Old Testament drove his lectures and his love for Christ filled his books. Opening this fall, the John Sailhamer Library will continue to equip Southeastern students to fulfill the Great Commission by instructing them in the ways of Jesus, the anticipated Messiah foretold in the Law, the Prophets and the Writings of the Old Testament. 

President of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Daniel Akin said, “Bringing the John Sailhamer library to Southeastern allows us to honor a premiere Old Testament scholar whose contribution to evangelical scholarship is significant. Our school was graced to have him on this faculty for a number of years and this gift from the Sailhamer family will continue the legacy of a wonderful man of God.”

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