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The Cycle of Life — Personal Reflection (Monday with Mounce 89)

Categories Mondays with Mounce

Monday with Mounce I never got a chance to reflect on some of things that happened at the last ETS in Atlanta, but there is one thing of a personal nature I wanted to share.

My son Tyler was able to come for the first time. I have mentioned this in passing, but he is a Bible major at Biola and he wanted to hear the discussion of justification and meet the authors of his books. So it was a lot of fun to show him around, watch him get autographs from my friends, and get as many pictures of authors as possible. Tom Schreiner autographed five copies of one of his books for Tyler’s friends’ Christmas presents.

But the most special event for me was being able to introduce Professor Howard Marshall to my son.


Professor Marshall was my doctoral supervisor in Aberdeen, and I have often reflected on the role that he played in my life and how I am indebted to him. When he says that you are done researching and ready to write the final draft of your dissertation, you know that you are in fact ready. We all had that sort of confidence in him.

When I wrote Basics of Biblical Greek, Prof. Marshall was one of the scholars that contributed an Exegetical Insight. As it turns out, he never had actually seen the grammar or the insight, so it was fun to show him.


We all have people in our life that play an extraordinary role. In the academic world for me that is my father, George Ladd, Bill LaSor, and Professor Marshall. They all taught me things, and for each I am eternally grateful. Thank you.

 Of course, it can’t stop there. As I look that them and am thankful for the influence they made on me, I have to accept the responsibility of recognizing that I am called to play the same kind of role in other people’s lives. And the question I have to asked is, how am I doing? Do I have my priorities right? Am I willing to take time away from studies and writing projects to be part of the lives of others. That’s what love is, isn’t it?

One of my biggest regrets is that I did not take the fullest advantage of my position at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary to treat my Greek TA’s as a small group, and to help them learn and grow as others had done for me. And I don’t mean academically. I mean in terms of loving one another, valuing people above things, being most concerned about their growth into Christ-likeness and not their proficiency in Greek.

For those of you reading this, may I encourage you to breathe life into those around you so that when you run into them in the years ahead, you can feel this sense of gratitude and affection that you should, and that your son or daughter will take great delight in meeting the person who so influenced their mom or dad.

That’s what this life is about, isn’t it?

Mouncew William D. [Bill] Mounce posts about the Greek language, exegesis, and related topics at  Koinonia. He is the author of numerous books, including the bestselling Basics of Biblical Greek, and is the general editor for Mounce's Complete Expository Dictionary of the Old and New Testament Words. He served as the New Testament chair of the English Standard Version Bible translation, and is currently on the Committee for Bible Translation for the NIV. Learn more and visit Bill's blog (co-authored with scholar and his father Bob Mounce) at

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