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Archives and Special Collections at Southeastern: Sailhamer, John H. papers

This guide is designed to introduce researchers to Archives and Special Collections at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

John H. Sailhamer papers, 1514-2017, predominant 1970-2010

Creator(s): Sailhamer, John H. (John Herbert)
Date(s): 1514-2010, predominant 1970-2010
Extent: 15.0 cu.ft.
Biographical Note:

John H. Sailhamer was born in Moline, Illinois on October 17, 1946 to Claude and Belva Sailhamer. He graduated from Lakewood High School in Long Beach, California in 1964 and began his undergraduate studies at Bethel College in St. Paul, Minnesota. He transferred to Wheaton College in Illinois during his junior year of undergraduate studies before withdrawing in his senior year to return to Southern California and volunteer for the draft during the Vietnam War. He was sent to Fort Ord in California for United States Army Basic Training and was stationed at the United States Pentagon from 1968-1970 with the charge of expediting re-assignments for United States Army soldiers across the globe.

Following his honorable discharge from the Army, John Sailhamer returned to California and completed his undergraduate studies in journalism at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB). While at CSULB, John Sailhamer met Patty Engdahl, who was serving on the Campus Crusade for Christ staff at CSULB, and the two were married in 1971. John and Patty Sailhamer moved to Texas the following Fall and John began his focused Biblical studies earning a ThM at Dallas Theological Seminary. He went on to complete the coursework for an MA and PHD in Ancient Near Eastern Languages at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1978. During that period, John also began his work as an educator, teaching classes at LOGOS Bible Study Center in the San Fernando Valley, Western Graduate School of Theology in Long Beach, Biola College in La Mirada, and Los Angeles Baptist College in Santa Clarita.

In 1978, the Sailhamer family, now including their eldest children David and Elizabeth, relocated to St. Paul, Minnesota for John's first full-time teaching assignment at Bethel College followed by an assignment to Bethel Seminary. At the conclusion of his service at Bethel, John Sailhamer completed his first scholarly publication, a commentary on First and Second Chronicles, with Moody Press. Sailhamer was ordained by the Evangelical Free Church in 1983 and accepted a new teaching position at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS) where he taught for 11 years.

In 1993, Sailhamer resigned his teaching position at TEDS with the intention of taking on a leadership role in cooperation with Chuck Swindoll at Dallas Theological Seminary. When that opportunity did not materialize as planned, Sailhamer served a number of institutions across the United States from 1994-1999 including the Philadelphia College of the Bible, Northwestern College (St. Paul, Minn), and Western Seminary (Portland, Oregon). This was a very productive period of Sailhamer's scholarly career when, in addition to teaching, he served a term as President of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) and published a number of important works including a volume on Genesis for The Expositor's Bible Commentary, The Pentateuch as Narrative, additions to the NIV Compact Bible Commentary Introduction to Old Testament Theology and the Zondervan Quick-Reference Library, Genesis Unbound, and dozens of scholarly articles, reviews, and papers.

John Sailhamer accepted the position of Professor of Hebrew and Old Testament at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) in 1999. The focus of his time for the next 7 1/2 years, was spent advising ThM and PhD students through the thesis and dissertation process. While at SEBTS, he submitted a draft of his last major work, later entitled The Meaning of the Pentateuch, as well as serving on Bible translation projects. The Sailhamer family returned to California in 2006 where John taught as Professor of Old Testament primarily at the Brea, California campus of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary (now Gateway Seminary).

After teaching and serving in California for two years, John Sailhamer was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. He finished his work on The Meaning of the Pentateuch (published in 2009) and continued teaching for 1 1/2 years after his diagnoses. Sailhamer retired from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in the Fall of 2010. John Sailhamer reposed on January 9, 2017.

Scope and Contents: This collection contains instructional materials, scholarly research, notes, manuscripts, correspondence and other materials ranging from 1514-2010 (predominantly 1970-2010) that were created or collected by John H. Sailhamer. These materials primarily document Sailhamer's teaching, scholarly research, and academic service. The majority of the most valuable material for researchers is contained in Boxes 1-4 and 12-14. The other boxes contain mainly unannotated secondary literature (Boxes 5–11), although they do contain some annotated secondary literature (e.g., Box 7, Folders, 1-4, 36-37; Box 9, Folders 3, 7, 12, 16; Box 11, Folders 1, 2, and 5) and some of Sailhamer’s own notes (e.g., Box 7, Folder 18; Box 8, Folder 27; Box 11, Folder 5).

Language(s): English, Latin, German, Hebrew
Conditions Governing Access:  This collection is open for research.
Custodial History: The John H. Sailhamer papers were transferred to Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2013 and officially donated to the archives by Donor Agreement in 2017.
Processing History: Arranged and described by Craig Freeman in June 2014. Collection level description created by Stephen Jones on 12/12/2017.
Preferred Citation: John H. Sailhamer papers, Archives and Special Collections, Library at Southeastern, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, NC.
Repository: Archives and Special Collections, Library at Southeastern, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, NC
Resource Identifier: ARC.017
Subjects and Access Points:
Biblical languages--Hebrew
Ancient Near Eastern texts and studies
Christian educators
Bible. Old Testament
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Bethel College and Seminary (Saint Paul, Minn.)
University of California, Los Angeles