Carroll D. Osburn

Carroll D. Osburn , an American scholar recognized as one of North America’s leading New Testament textual critics and a prominent Christian egalitarian , is Carmichael-Walling Distinguished Emeritus Professor at Abilene Christian University , [1] and an Executive Director, Caris Foundation. As an author, it has been collected primarily by libraries. [2]


Osburn graduated from Harding University , where he was president of the senior class and received a BA in 1963, with majors in biology and Greek. He received the MTh in 1968 from Harding School of Theology . After graduating from Vanderbilt University in 1970 with the DDiv [now DMin] degree, he received his PhD in New Testament and early Byzantine Greek from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, in 1974.

Academic career

From 1973-1983, Osburn served as Professor of Greek and New Testament at Harding School of Theology. [3] Osama emphasized the literal and historical controls of biblical interpretation. Eugene Nida, a translator for Bible translators among pre-literate people. Utilizing discourse analysis, Osburn conducted numerous short-term, one book workshops for translators in Central and South America in the 1970s and 1980s. [4]He also developed a sensitivity to humanitarian needs in the Developing World. Adding discourse analysis to literary and historical methods to Greek classes or six. He became a popular speaker at seminars and retreats in the US and around the world. In 1980, he was Visiting Professor at the University of St. Andrews, and in 1983, was named “Educator of the Year” by 20th Century Christian . [5]

Osburn became Distinguished Professor of New Testament at Pepperdine University 1983-1987. [6] Urged by Kurt Aland, Matthew Black, and Bruce Metzger, he concentrated attention on ancient manuscripts underlying the Greek New Testament, and chaired the New Testament Textual Criticism Section of the Society of Biblical Literature 1984-90.

In 1987, Osburn was invited to Abilene Christian University, where he was Carmichael-Walling Distinguished Professor of New Testament Language and Literature until 2004. [7] He was named “Honors Professor of the Year” in 1992 and 1996, and was chair of the Faculty Senate in 1999-2000. He was on the Steering Committee of the International New Testament Project on John (Birmingham, England) and co-editor of Acts of the Apostles in the Novum Testamentum Graecum Editio Critica Maior (Institut für neutestamentliche Textforschung; Münster, Germany) until 2004. [ 8]He was Visiting Professor at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens in 1989, at the Universität Münster in 2003, and at the Claremont School of Theology in 2008. He was visiting the University of Jerusalem at the Philistine City of Ekron [Tel Miqne] In 2004, he published The Text of the Apostles in Epiphanius of Salamis . [9] Osburn was frequently invited to read at universities in Europe, Canada, Africa, and South America. He was a member of International Association of Patristic Studies and continued membership in Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas . [10]

In addition to challenging fundamentalists to rethink polemical interpretation of biblical texts, [11] Osburn also worked to expand boundaries of exclusiveness. He was a pioneer within his religious heritage, tackling difficult issues such as dogmatic sectarianism and gender inequality. In 1993, he published The Peaceable Kingdom: Essays Favoring Non-Sectarian Christianity , [12] and in 2001, Women in the Church: Reclaiming the Ideal . [13]Carmichael-Walling Lectures at ACU, which brought scholars to the campus for stimulating readings and discussion beyond traditional thinking. His challenges to crucial rethink issues forceful opposition, but with passing of time, are accepted by increasing numbers of moderates. A festschrift presented to him on his sixty-fifth birthday consists of essays by the scholars of the world, some of his students. [14]

Humanitarian career

In 2004, Osburn retired early from academia, became non-denominational, and embraced early Christian becoming a caring for the poor by becoming Executive Director of Caris Foundation, Irving, TX, providing basic needs for the underserved. [15] Following construction of medical facilities in Guatemala [16] and Haiti, [17] he concentrated on providing water, food, shelter, clothing, medicine, and education in Africa from 2004-2008. [18] A member of the Corporate Council on Africa, he is well known for rigorous due diligence, collegiality, and forging alliances among agencies.

In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, [19] he enabled the Fistula Hospital to build a midwife training college at Desta Minder. [20] In Kenya, he Worked with agencies to drill Several deep wells to pure water Provide, [21] Provide care for Thousands of orphans, enable women with AIDS to learn skills with qui to earn a living, distribute Thousands of anti-malarial mosquito nets, provide quality-controlled medications, and assistance. He Arranged Construction of a headquarters facility for at Kijabe year accredited residency program in pediatric orthopedic surgery for African doctors, [22] and funding for Hundreds of clubfoot treatments in Kenya and Ethiopia.[23] In Uganda, [24] in northern Democratic Republic of Congo, rehabilitation of several medical clinics and the destruction of civil war 1997-2002, [25] and in Rwanda assistance for hundreds of child-headed households. [26] In Zambia, he has built a major AIDS hospital, [27] TB / AIDS clinics, [28] laboratories, [29] funded hundreds of burn surgeries, [30] and provided an x-ray machine for a rural hospital. [31] In 2008, Osburn was Visiting Professor in the School of Management, University of St. Andrews, writing on humanitarian issues arising from his work.

Since 2005, Osburn serves the National Committee of Boy Scouts of America. From 2008-2015, he served as Advisor with International Chiapas, Dallas, Texas, providing micro-finance for the underserved in Mexico and the Dominican Republic. Since 2016, he serves on the Advisory Board of Miles of Freedom, a non-profit organization in Dallas. [32]

Selected bibliography

  • “The Greek Lectionaries of the New Testament,” In The Text of the New Testament in Contemporary Research: Essays on the Status Quaestionis . Second Edition. Ed B. Ehrman and M. Holmes. Leiden: EJ Brill, 2013: 94-113.
  • “James, Sirach, and the Poor.” Ex Auditu 22 (2006): 113-132.
  • “Methodology in Identifying Patristic Quotations in NT Textual Criticism.” Novum Testamentum 47.4 (2005): 313-343.
  • The Text of the Apostles in Epiphanius of Salamis . NTGF 6. Leiden, The Netherlands: EJ Brill, 2004.
  • Women in the Church: Reclaiming the Ideal . Abilene, TX: Abilene Christian University Press, 2001.
  • “Letter of Jude.” In Eerdman’s Dictionary of the Bible . Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1998: 225-256.
  • Essays on Women in Earliest Christianity . Ed. Carroll Osburn. 2 Flights. Joplin, MO: College Press, 1993, 1995.
  • “The Johannine Comma (1 John 5: 7).” In Anchor Bible Dictionary . New York: Doubleday, 1992: Vol. 3, 882-883.
  • “Discourse Analysis and Jewish Apocalyptic in the Epistle of Jude.” In Linguistics and New Testament Interpretation: Essays on Discourse Analysis, Ed DA Black, Nashville, TN: Broadman Press, 1992: 287-319.
  • “The Search for the Original Text of Acts.” Journal for the Study of the New Testament (1991): 39-55.
  • “Manuscripts.” In Encyclopedia of Early Christianity . New York: Garland, 1990: 563-566.
  • Enoch 80: 2-8 and Jude 12-13 ” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 47 (1985): 296-303.
  • “The Epistle to Titus: A Missiological Perspective.” Called to Be Servants. Ed. Carl Brecheen. Abilene, TX: ACU Bookstore, 1984: 146-177.
  • “The Third Person Imperative in Acts 2:38.” Restoration Quarterly 26 (1983): 81-84.
  • “Historical Present in Mark as a Text-critical Criterion.” Biblica 64 (1983): 486-500.
  • “The Text of the Pauline Epistles in Hippolytus of Rome.” The Second Century 2 (1982): 97-124.
  • “Alexander Campbell and the Text of Revelation 19:13.” Restoration Quarterly 25 (1982): 129-138.
  • “Interpretation of Romans 8:28.” Westminster Theological Journal 44 (1982): 99-109.
  • ” Authenteo (1 Timothy 2:12).” Restoration Quarterly 25 (1982): 1-12.
  • “The Present Indicative in Matt. 19: 9 ” Restoration Quarterly 24 (1981): 193-203.
  • “The Text of 1 Corinthians 10: 9.” In New Testament Textual Criticism: Essays in Honor of Bruce M. Metzger . Ed. G. Fee and E. Epp. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1981: 202-212.
  • “The Text of Jude 5.” Biblica 62 (1981): 107-115.
  • “The Christological Use of Enoch 1.9 in Jude 14.15” New Testament Studies 23 (1977): 334-341.
  • “The Text of Jude 22, 23.” Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Textforschung 63 (1972): 139-44.


  1. Jump up^ “Osburn Retires,” Abilene Christian University Press Release, September 7, 2004.
  2. Jump up^ “Osburn, Carroll D” . . Retrieved November 4, 2016 .
  3. Jump up^ Harding of MemphisGraduate School Bulletin13.8 (Nov. 1974): 4.
  4. Jump up^ “Carroll Osburn.”ACU Today(Spring, 1996): 13, “Bible Translation Among Pre-Literate People,”Image7 (1991): 26-27.
  5. Jump up^ “Osburn Honored as Educator of the Year,”20th Century Christian45.11 (August 1983): 31.
  6. Jump up^ “Osburn Assumes Post.”The Christian Chronicle40.7 (July 1983): 12, andWho’s Who in the World, 1984-85.
  7. Jump up^ “First $ 1 Million Endowed Chair Established.”ACU Today41.4 (Winter, 1990): 1.
  8. Jump up^ Tera Harmon, “Carroll D. Osburn,” inTransmission and Reception: The New Testament Text-Critical and Exegetical Studies. Texts and Studies, Third Series, Vol. 4. Ed. J. Childers and D. Parker. Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press, 2006: 286. Osburn also served as Beirut for the Hermann Kunst-Stiftung at Münster, 2003-2005.
  9. Jump up^ Osburn Carroll,The Text of the Apostles in Epiphanius of Salamis. NTGF 6. Leiden, The Netherlands: EJ Brill, 2004.
  10. Jump up^ Firm Foundation100: 28 (12 July 1983): 21 [489].
  11. Jump up^ Eg, “Interpreting Greek Syntax.” InBiblical Interpretation: Principles and Practices. Studies in Honor of Pearl Jack Lewis. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1986: 234-243; and “Continuing in Sin-Matthew 19: 9,” ACU Readings. Ed. Carl Brecheen. Abilene, TX: ACU Bookstore, 1982: 131-148.
  12. Jump up^ Eg,The Peaceable Kingdom: Essays Favoring Non-Sectarian Christianity. Abilene, TX: Restoration Perspectives, 1993.
  13. Jump up^ Women in the Church: Reclaiming the Ideal. Abilene, TX: ACU Press, 2001. See “Prominent Christian Egalitarians,” in Essays on Women in Earliest Christianity. Ed. Carroll Osburn. 2 Flights. Joplin, MO: College Press, 1993, 1995, is now published by Wipf and Stock.
  14. Jump up^ Childers and Parker,Transmission and Reception(2006).
  15. Jump up^ “James, Sirach, and the Poor,”Ex Auditu22 (2006): Sp. 125-128.
  16. Jump up^ Enabled Health Talents International, Searcy, CA to build Clinica Caris near Chichicastenango, Guatemala, 2007. See “Health Talents International 2007 Annual Report,” p. 2.
  17. Jump up^ Enabled Family Health Ministries, Durham, NC to complete construction of Blanchard Family Health Center in remote northern Haiti, 2005-06. See Letter of Completion from Kathy Walmer, Executive Director, FHM, to Caris Foundation, November 28, 2006.
  18. Jump up^ University of St. Andrews, Scotland, School of Management. “MN4266, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) – Alumnus Profile, 2008, Dr. Carroll Osburn,” by Dr. Eleanor Burt.
  19. Jump up^ Enabled Bright Hope Organization of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, to provide care for 200 orphans in Yeka and Cherkos kebeles, 2006-08, and construction of two facilities to provide intensive rehabilitation of male and female street children. See “Bright Hope Annual Report of the Year 2006,” pp. 1, 2, 11-16. Also note Blessing the Children International, Kawkawlin, MI, to drill for an orphanage and school in Kamashi. SeeKamashi Post-Orphanage & School Update, Vol. 6, Issue 5 (May 2007): p. 2.
  20. Jump up^ Fistula Foundation, Santa Cruz, CA. SeeTransformations. News from the Fistula Foundation. “Hamlin College of Midwives Moves Quickly Forward,” Fall 2007, pp. 1, 5. “Hamlin Midwifery College Opens in Ethiopia,” Spring 2008, pp. 1, 3
  21. Jump up^ Enabled Living Water International, Houston, TX, Kangubiri, Machakos, and Mwaani Kyawango Health Center. See also provided laboratory for Kyawango clinic from CURE and quality medications through the Mission for Essential Drugs and Supplies (MEDS), Nairobi, Kenya. Also enabled Buckner Foundation, Dallas, TX to begin an orphanage at Kitale, Kenya, in 2007, including deep water well (2008). See Letter from David Slover, BF, to Caris Foundation, 10 July 2008.
  22. Jump up^ Arranged funding for CURE International, Lemoyne, PA, to construct Caris Surgical Center at AIC-CURE Int’l Children’s Hospital at Kijabe in 2007-08. See CURE Int’l, “Caris Surgical Center, Dedication, April 21, 2008,” pp. 1-5.
  23. Jump up^ Enabled CURE International to treat hundreds of children with clubfoot. See Letter from Rick Klein, CURE, to Caris Foundation, June 14, 2007.
  24. Jump up^ CURE Children’s Hospital of Uganda, “Progress Report, December 2006,” pp. 1-2.
  25. Jump up^ Paul Carlson Partnership, Chicago, IL. See “Report to the Caris Foundation by PCP,” 30 November 2007, and “Congo Project, 2008 Project Catalog,” p. 4. Clinics were rehabilitated at Zongo, IPOK, Bokonzo, Bugose Nubea, Gbado, Bogene, and Gbadolite.
  26. Jump up^ Enabled Firelight Foundation, Santa Cruz, CA to assist care and development of 100 child-headed households by Solidarity Women 3×3 in Rwanda, 2007-08. See Letter from Anne Holmes, FF, to Caris Foundation, 26 November 2008.
  27. Jump up^ Arranged funding for Catholic Relief Services, Baltimore, MD AIDSRelief through Zambia to construct major anti-retroviral therapy at hospital Chikuni, Kenya. See AIDSRelief Zambia, “Chikuni Mission Hospital, The Construction of the Chikuni Bunyina Center,” 2008, esp. pp. 8, 11, 15.
  28. Jump up^ Eg, CIDRZ Foundation, Washington, DC, to construct TB / AIDS clinics and at Muoyo Mitete in Zambia’s remote Western Province. See Letter of Completion from Dr. Albert Sitali, Provincial Health Director, Mongu, Zambia, to Caris Foundation, 6 February 2008.
  29. Jump up^ Eg, CIDRZ Foundation to construct a laboratory at Chongwe. See CIDRZ “Chongwe Laboratory Construction Report,” 19 September 2008, pp. 1-2.
  30. Jump up^ Funded Interplast, Mountain View, CA, to provide 200 burn surgeries in Zambia, 2007-2008. See “Report to the Caris Foundation,” 8 November 2007, and Letter from Susan Hayes, President, Interplast, to Caris Foundation, 14 February 2008. See also, “Burns-a ‘forgotten’ crisis,”The Washington Times, 17 October 2007.
  31. Jump up^ Enabled purchase of x-ray machines for Namwianga Christian Hospital in remote area of southern district of Zambia. See Letter from Phil Watson, Chairman, Board of Directors, Zambia Mission Fund, Edmond, OK, to Caris Foundation, 10 February 2006.
  32. Jump up^

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