As many of you know, I officially retired from Northern Baptist Seminary at the end of June 2017. I taught at Northern Seminary for 28 years. During my tenure at the seminary, I worked with a group of dedicated Christians who love the Lord and are committed to prepare leaders for the church.
The members of the faculty of Northern Seminary are a special group of people. They are scholars, educators, and ministers of Christ who care for their students and make a profound impact in the life of the church through their writings, conferences, preaching, teaching, and mentoring of pastors and students. Any person who chooses to attend Northern Seminary will be blessed by learning and growing with these amazing scholars.
As I transition into retirement, I want to express my appreciation to Dr. Bill Shiell, Northern’s president, and the faculty of the seminary for honoring my years of service to the seminary by appointing me Professor Emeritus. This is a great honor that has been given to me and I will be eternally grateful. This honor will also allow me to continue my relationship with Northern Seminary for years to come.
I want to express a special word of gratitude to my friend and colleague Scot McKnight for announcing at my retirement program that he was dedicating his commentary on Colossians to me. In his dedication, Scot wrote: “To my friend and colleague Claude Mariottini, who reminds me of what Paul said of Epaphras: Ἐπαφρᾶς ὁ ἐξ ὑμῶν, δοῦλος χριστοῦ [Ἰησοῦ], πάντοτε ἀγωνιζόμενος ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν ἐν ταῖς προσευχαῖς, ἵνα στῆτε τέλειοι καὶ πεπληρωμένοι ἐν παντὶ θελήματι τοῦ θεοῦ.” [Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God.]
Scot also wrote: “The commentary is dedicated to my friend and colleague Claude Mariottini upon his retirement after a full career of teaching Old Testament at Northern Seminary. Claude is not just a good friend and wise counselor but a careful scholar, sensitive to theology and church life, and one whose door is always open for conversation. To him and his good wife Donna, Northern will be eternally grateful, but I will sorely miss his kind presence in my life.”
I was greatly touched by Scot’s words and generosity. Scot and I used to sit either in his office or mine and talk about theological issues related to our fields of study. I reviewed his commentary on Philemon in a previous post and soon will review his commentary on Colossians. I have learned much from Scott. His concern for pastors and seminary students is evident to anyone who reads these two commentaries.
I also need to mention the people who work at the seminary. The whole staff are there to serve the students. The staff of Northern Seminary are women and men who are involved in ministry, who serve in their local congregations, and who understand the needs of seminary students. My work at Northern was very satisfying because of their hard work and their willingness to help the faculty in their work. Northern’s staff make the work of the faculty much easier.
One thing that my retirement has affected is the work on my blog. It has been months since I last posted to the blog. During this time I have received dozens of emails from people who are encouraging me to post again. I have also talked to former students who miss reading my posts.
Because my blog has helped so many people, I have decided to post again. I will try to post as often as I can. Since I retired, Donna and I have been traveling, visiting family and friends, and will continue to do so in the coming months. I will try to be regular in writing posts, even though I will probably not be able to post every day.
Since my blog has been dormant for months, I have also been behind in responding to your comments. I am grateful for your comments and I will begin responding to the many comments waiting a response.
Later this week I will begin a series of studies on the golden calf. The narrative of Exodus 32-34 is very familiar to people who read the Bible regularly. However, there are some important issues that need to be emphasized as we study these three great chapters in Exodus. I hope you will enjoy these studies.
Finally, I want to thank you, the reader of my blog, for your support over the years. I hope that you and I will continue our adventure together as we study and learn more about the Old Testament.
Claude F. Mariottini
Emeritus Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary
Scot McKinght, The Letter to the Colossians. The New International Commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids, Eerdmans, 2018.
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