Reaping Fruits of Joy

I am back! Today I returned from Louisville, Kentucky where I spent several days visiting old friends. The last time I visited Louisville was in 1983, the year I graduated from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

I spent five years at Southern Seminary working on my Ph.D. in Old Testament. While in seminary, I majored in three areas: Old Testament History, Biblical Archaeology, and Hebrew. My major professor was Dr. Joseph A. Callaway. Dr. Callaway was a great archaeologist. He spent many years digging in the ruins of the biblical city of Ai. In a future blog, I will give you a brief description of the work of my beloved professor.

During my visit to Louisville, I visited with Dr. Marvin E. Tate, a retired professor who taught Wisdom Literature at Southern. Dr. Tate is a scholar and a gentleman. When I arrived at his office at Southern Seminary, Dr. Tate was deeply involved in studying Psalm 68. Dr. Tate wrote the commentary on Psalms 51-100 in The Word Biblical Commentary series. At the present, he is revising his work in preparation for the publication of the second edition of his commentary.

Dr. Tate also wrote a supplement to the second edition of Psalms 1-50, a commentary written by Peter C. Craigie and published in the same series. Dr. Tate graciously gave me a copy of this revised commentary. I am planning to write a review of the commentary and of Dr. Tate’s supplement in October. I hope you will visit us again and read my review of Craigie’s commentary. I recommend these commentaries for your library. You can buy this book at

On Sunday, August 21 my wife and I worshiped at St. Matthews Baptist Church, our home church during the time we lived in Louisville. In 1978 Kentucky Baptist Convention asked me to begin a Spanish church in Louisville. St. Matthews became the sponsoring church of this new work. I began a Spanish church at St. Matthews Baptist Church in Louisville and another at Stithton Baptist Church in Radcliff. Both churches are still active today. On Wednesday, August 24, my wife and I visited the Spanish Church and marveled at their new facilities. I was invited to teach the Bible study on the book of Nahum. I discovered that most people present that night had never read the book of Nahum.

As I think about my years as a student at Southern Seminary, I remember the words of the Psalmist: “Those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy” (Psalm 126:5). My professors sowed precious seeds in my heart and as a result, my love for the Old Testament grew. I sowed the seeds of the good news of Jesus Christ, and as a result, two churches were born. Paul said: “If you sow to the Spirit, you will reap eternal life from the Spirit. So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:8-9).

So, let us sow for the glory of God.

Claude F. Mariottini
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary

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