It's pretty rare that ETS holds any surprises. Yesterday brought a pleasant one, though, for me and several folks who attended an afternoon session on writing and reading commentaries. What we thought was going to be a rather routine presentation on different aspects of writing commentaries profitably for exegesis turned into a warm celebration of the writing and teaching career of Grant Osborne, professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Unbeknownst to him or the attendees, the presenters had all contributed to a Festschrift in honor of his 70th birthday; their papers were the articles they had written to celebrate his work, and Dr. Eckhard Schnabel presented him with a hard copy of the work. Dr. Osborne was completely surprised and warmly thanked the contributors and all in attendance.
Personally I have benefitted from Dr. Osborn's work in a multitude of ways. I read his Hermeneutical Spiral a long time ago when I was learning exegesis, and if you visit my office now you will often find one of his several commentaries open on my desk. I had the privilege of traveling to Israel with Dr. Osborne as part of the IBR Jesus Group; it was a joy to travel back and forth there with him and his wife, Nancy, as we were working on the key events in Jesus' life.
A key point Dr. Osborne made during the session will show his heart for scholarship that touches the church. This isn't verbatim, but it captures well what he said:
The primary tasks of commentary writing are to model and to motivate. We must show both knowledge of and love for the Word of God.
Thank you, Dr. Osborne, for your ministry of teaching and writing. I and many others have been blessed by your work. May your tribe increase!