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<< Return to SBL Forum Archive Donald J. Verseput

Professor of New Testament, Bethel Seminary, St. Paul.

Donald J. Verseput passed away on February 2, 2004, after a long battle with cancer. He is survived by wife Laura (Altorfer), daughter Elisabeth (Lissy), 18, and son Timothy, 15. Verseput was born on November 28, 1952, in Grand Rapids, Mich. He graduated magna cum laude from Wheaton College, Wheaton, Ill., in 1974 with a B.A. in religious studies. He then attended Dallas Theological Seminary, Dallas, Texas, where he earned a Th.M. in New Testament in 1979, graduating with both summa cum laude distinction and the W.H. Griffith-Thomas award for the highest academic achievement. He and Laura then moved to Basel, Switzerland, where he completed the D.Theol. degree in New Testament under Dr. Bo Reicke in 1986. For 11 years Verseput taught as Dozent fuer Neues Testament at the Freie Theologische Akademie in Giessen, Germany; for two years as guest lecturer at Wheaton College, Wheaton, Ill.; and for one year as associate professor for New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Ill. In addition, he taught courses at the Johannesburg Bible Institute, Johannesburg, South Africa, and at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, Calif. Verseput came to teach at Bethel Seminary in 1998. He was a gifted teacher and mentor who worked with each student to help them achieve the highest level of learning possible. He received the seminary's 1999-2000 Faculty Excellence Award, which honors a faculty member who excels in areas of service such as teaching, scholarship, mentoring of students, or contributing to church life.

Don was a highly respected New Testament scholar. Elected to membership in Studiorum Novi Testament Societas, he authored numerous essays and articles on the Gospel of Matthew and the Epistle of James for such publications as New Testament Studies, Novum Testamentum, Journal of Biblical Literature, Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Journal for the Study of the New Testament, and Bulletin for Biblical Research. "Don Verseput combined the finest of research and exegesis skills with a passion to prepare the next generation of teachers and preachers in the Church," says Leland Eliason, executive director and provost of Bethel Seminary. "In this respect he brought together what is so often tragically separated at graduate level schools—a passionate commitment to understand Scripture and an unqualified desire to teach in the classroom."

Information regarding messages of remembrance and condolence and memorials is available at .html Contact:

Amanda Wanke

Director of Media Relations, Bethel Seminary


Citation: , " Donald J. Verseput," SBL Forum , n.p. [cited March 2004]. Online:


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