A great friend of the Stamps Theological Library, Dr. Ralph P. Martin, died on February 25th after a two-year battle with lymphoma. For those readers who are biblical scholars, you will know that Dr. Martin is world-renowned for his research and writing on New Testament topics and particularly in the book of Philippians. For those of you who might not have as much familiarity, I can begin to speak about the scope of his writing by saying that our library has 69 books written or edited by him and that many of his books are translated into other languages as well.
Dr. Martin spent approximately 8 years working with me and assisting the Stamps Library with a tremendous generosity of spirit. First, he gave his personal library of more than 3,000 volumes in biblical studies to help grow our collection. He could have given his collection to any seminary library but in his quiet way, he just smiled and told me that he knew we needed it the most (and he was right!). In humility, he asked that we place the books wherever they were most needed – and so his collection is scattered throughout our main Stamps library and at both our San Diego and Los Angeles Regional Center collections. I spoke with Dr. Martin’s son-in-law, Dr. Lynn Losie (on the Graduate School of Theology faculty), about a week ago and he mentioned that he will find an unusual book on our shelves and open it up and in faint pencil markings will be an RPM in one corner (Dr. Martin’s initials). In gratitude for his generous gift of his collection our downstairs level was named in his honor (a plaque is located in the study room).
Second, Dr. Martin took the time to make suggestions to help with collection development in various New Testament books and then often on one of his trips he would return with a few books he found at a local bookshop that he knew would be a good fit for us. Over the years these few books added up – so the gift of his collection was one that was ongoing.
And finally, he found a cozy seat on our upstairs level and would come in once a week with hot tea in hand – and await student questions. He was pastoral and humble and he made an important contribution to our library program – for which I am most grateful.
Dr. Martin is survived by his wife Doreen, his daughters Patricia Losie (in Undergraduate Religion and Philosophy) and Elizabeth Knode, seven grandchildren, and seven great grandchildren.