Today is the birthday of my doktorvater, Ralph P. Martin. He has had a long and distinguished career in the field of New Testament studies, marked in particular by his seminal work on Philippians 2.5-11, published now by IVP as A Hymn of Christ (1997).
The subtitle points to his strengths in NT study: “Philippians 2:5-11 in Recent Interpretation & in the Setting of Early Christian Worship.” He is first of all an excellent exegete, able to carefully identify and explain the issues in Scripture necessary for accurately understanding their meaning and their significance for believers. Readers of his numerous commentaries will be familiar with his abilities here.
His interest in worship in the early church is clear not only from his work on Philippians 2 but from books on the subject, such as Worship in the Early Church and Family and the Fellowship: New Testament Images of the Church. You might begin to see why I sought him out to supervise my own study on Paul’s thinking about the church. It was a real privilege to study with him, and I’m grateful for his diakonia.
Many happy returns of the day, Dr. Martin.