huffmonDr. Herbert B. Huffmon, professor of Old Testament Studies, retired after teaching at Drew since 1968.

Dr. Huffmon is an acknowledged expert on the literature, culture, and languages of ancient Israel, and the ancient Near East more broadly. His proficiency in ancient languages in general, and Near Eastern languages in particular, is impressive in the extreme.
In the wider scholarly world, Dr. Huffmon is an acknowledged expert on prophecy in the ancient Near East. In particular, he is an internationally acknowledged expert on Mari archives, a major archeological find of some 25,000 Akkadian tablets from the early second millennium B.C.E., which includes prophetic texts with significant parallels to biblical prophetic texts. Dr. Huffon’s doctoral dissertation, subsequently published by Johns Hopkins University Press, was on the Mari find, as have many of the more than 70 scholarly articles, book chapters, and encyclopedia articles that he has published. The journals in which he has published have included some of the leading peer-reviewed journals in his field, such as the Journal of Biblical Literature, Vetus Testamentum, and the Catholic Biblical Quarterly.

A further index of the quality and influential nature of Dr. Huffmon’s scholarly work is that he was in 2004 the recipient of a Festschrift, a volume of essays celebrating his scholarly achievements, titled Inspired Speech: Prophecy in the Ancient Near East. Essays in Honor of Herbert B. Huffmon, and published by T. & T. Clark International, one of the leading publishers of critical biblical scholarship.

Please share your fond memories and well wishes in the guest book below.

Posted in gdr

71 Responses to “Honoring Dr. Herbert B. Huffmon”

  1. Kenneth Ngwa says:

    Dear Herb,
    I wish you all the best as you transition into another phase of your life and work. It has been a great pleasure to know and work with you here at Drew, and I thank you for your outstanding work as a scholar, teacher, and mentor.

  2. Michael Oliver says:

    Dr. Huffmon,

    You were the first professor I had when I began my M.Div. at Drew in the fall of 2006, and it was a wonderful introduction to theological studies. Thank you. I wish you the best.

  3. Gerald Liu says:

    Dear Prof. Huffmon,

    I’m honored to inhabit the office where so much of your genius took place. It was a pleasure to meet you and I wish you every blessing in retirement.

  4. Heather Murray Elkins says:

    Dear Herb:

    Thank you for your courage to teach in the Forest after the “giants” departed. You helped to turn their curse into a blessing. Thank you for being one of those in 1985 who called for the vision of an truly inclusive faculty to be reached by the end of the 20th century. What we are now is what you dreamed then.

    You have served as a doorkeeper in this House of God for generations. May the Gates of LIfe be open for you now and forever.


  5. Dong Sung Kim says:

    Thank you, Dr. Huffmon, for your presence in the Drew community.
    Your keen scholarly insight and genuine care for students, which you have demonstrated to us in classrooms, will be greatly missed. I believe that your intellectual rigor and energy will continue to thrive even after retirement.

    Best wishes!
    Dong Sung

  6. Ted Linn says:

    Hi Herb,
    Remember all those indoor doubles we played, and also some outdoor singles. You seemed to think you could call the serve to me! Yikes! I am still playing tennis not quite so vigorusly but still having. I also cook the occasional Chinese meal ala Mai. Wasn’t that fun? Hope you are well and we might cross paths some day. Take care, Herb.


  7. Ted Linn says:

    Hi Herb,

    I recall indoor doubles with you Perry and John. Some outdoor singles when you often thought you could call your serve in or out! And coo0king chinese food with Mai and at you home. All the best.


  8. Wesley Ariarajah says:

    Dear Herb,
    I clearly remember the breakfast meeting you had with me seventeen years back when I first came to Drew to be interviewed by the search committee for the position in Ecumenical Theology. Your warm friendship to the unknown new comeer, and your “no-nonsense directness” when you speak about something were refreshing. You have extended this friendship through the years I had been here. Thank you. Many thanks also for the deep scholarship and pastoral insights that you have shared with generation of students. As we retire at the same time, I wish you all the blessings of a well-earned retired life- Wesley.

  9. Stephen Moore says:

    Dear Herb,

    We’ve always been on different planets with regard to the kinds of biblical scholarship we each produce–there’s no denying that–but I’ve always admired and appreciated your linguistic and historical expertise.

    I’ve also been grateful for your various kindnesses over the years, beginning with my arrival at Newark airport from England with my wife and daughter in the summer of 1999 to begin my job at Drew. You and your then doctoral student Carl Savage were waiting at the airport to meet us, greet us warmly and make us feel welcome, and drive us to Madison.

    Sincere wishes for a long, fruitful, and happy retirement,


  10. Kevin D. Miller says:

    Grace and peace Herb,
    I am one of the few persons at Drew who is able to say you were my professor, my colleague and someone who enjoyed seeing the Mets win a baseball game! Sam Phillips and I still talk, with admiration, about the wonderful experience you gave to us in our Old Testament class.

    I remember our first class with clarity as you gave us the ground rules for the class. Class started at 7pm. For many of us it was a long day of work followed by class. No time to stop and eat. You pointed your finger and gave us the rules, “There will be no eating in my class… unless of course, you are hungry.” Thank you for that! We nibbled on snacks, but feasted on the depth of your lessons.

    I still reflect on the “Prophet, Priest and Sage” class that I took with you. Thank you for pouring into my life and ministry. I pray and wish you the very best that God has to offer. Remain blessed in the Lord! (Go Mets!)

  11. Melanie Johnson-DeBaufre says:

    Dear Herb

    Thank you for your strong commitment to fostering the study of history and archaeology in biblical studies here at Drew. Getting to know the Israelites and their neighbors through your classes has been an important part of so many Drew students’ experiences.

    I wish you all blessings for your retirement, although I am sure that you will keep researching too! I admire your dedication to the field and appreciate the years we shared as colleagues.

    All best wishes,

  12. angella son says:


    thank you for your rigorous scholarship, dedicated teaching, and caring mentorship it was also wonderful having you on the faculty trip to s korea, especially hiking up and down in snow from Bulku Temple to sukgulam. may G bless you and your family as you transition into a new phase in your life.


  13. Tanya Linn Bennett says:

    Dear Herb,
    You are one of the few remaining faculty members I grew up among here on campus. Your presence in our family home, with my dad on the tennis court, and here as a professor and colleague has helped to me value persistence, deep commitment and loyalty. Thank you for all you have brought to Drew in the most challenging and most rewarding of times. May God bless you richly as you move into this next time in your life. Peace–Tanya

  14. Rlandall Bailey says:

    Dr. Huffmon, Congratulations on reaching this milestone in your life. You taught me so much and I greatly value you insights, scholarship, and friendship. You were one of the greatest blessings of my “Drew Years (1981-1987) and I still see your imprint on my teaching and mentoring of my own students. May God Bless You in Every Way Possible.

  15. Floyd Parker says:

    Dr. Huffman,
    Thanks so much for making an introverted southern boy believe that he could indeed complete a PhD in biblical studies. Thanks also for the introduction to hieroglyphics, for serving as a guide through the MET and the Brooklyn museums (I thought of you last month when I visited the MET with my family), and for being such a great mentor to me and your other students. Perhaps in “retirement” you will produce several more books and articles.
    Floyd Parker

  16. Jeff Markay says:

    Hello Herb,
    I have fond memories of you worshiping at the Morristown United Methodist Church in the early 90′s and then having you has a professor. Thanks for your work and ministry at Drew for so many years. May God continue to bless you in this new season of your life.

  17. Traci West says:

    Congratulations Herb! Your scholarship and teaching have touched the lives of so many all around the world. You have been a wonderful model for our Theo School students of a serious scholar who is also deeply committed to the life of the church. Thank you for the generous contributions of service that you have made to Drew over so many years.

  18. Laurel Kearns says:


    Thanks for all that you have done for Drew. My time shared with you was only 20 of your many decades at Drew, and thus I only know part of your long leadership and commitment to Drew. I have always admired your spirit, your humor, and your dedication to scholarship and teaching, and to DTS. My fondest memory is, as Angella mentioned, our hiking in the snow in Korea.

    I wish you all the best in retirement, and many more adventures!


  19. Beth Quick says:

    I never had you for class, Dr. Huffmon, but your impact was felt on campus during my time at Drew nonetheless (sometimes with the Old Testament coming dramatically to life in chapel through with your guidance!) Many blessings in your retirement!

  20. Jeremiah Williamson says:

    Dr. Huffmon,

    You are a generous teacher and a great person. I appreciate your kindness and your intelligence. Thank you.

  21. Ben Comings says:

    Dear Dr H:

    Thanks so much for being my OT Prof. I had a great time and learned a lot of interesting things. I really enjoyed writing papers for you – it’s good to have a prof who is so engaged. I hope your retirement brings you a lot of happiness, and that this new chapter in your life is full of joy and good experiences.


  22. Ron Verblaauw says:

    Dr. Huffmon,

    Best wishes to you on your retirement from Drew. I recall our time in Biblical Studies during June 2009 – a difficult time for you as you traveled back and forth to North Carolina to be with your wife. Yet in our summer intensive you were fully present with us, making the Hebrew Scriptures come alive during those long, very warm June nights. Thank you!

    Your encouragement, in your role as my advisor, was appreciated.

    Wishing you good health, and great joy, in this next phase of life’s sacred journey.


  23. Jeffrey Kuan says:

    Dear Herb,

    What an honor it was for me to have crossed paths with you for 2 1/2 years after knowing so many of your former students. It was a sheer joy to have served as your Dean and, more excitingly, to have served on dissertation committees with you. I continue to be deeply impressed with your breadth of knowledge and command in our shared field on interest. You have taught and influenced a few generations of students and scholars of Old Testament/Hebrew Bible.

    I wish you blessings and good health in your retirement!

    Jeffrey Kuan

  24. billy cicchino says:

    Dr. Huffmon,

    I want to wish you all the happiness in the world in your retirement – you deserve it! I thoroughly enjoyed your classes and they enriched my life. Thank you!


    Billy Cicchino

  25. Dr. Maurice Luker says:

    We worked together at Shechem. Happy retirement.

  26. Ken Sloane says:

    Dr. Huffmon,

    Wishing you all the best in the next chapter of this great adventure. Have fond memories of your class during my M.Div years and D.Min. Fondly remember playing in your “Justification By Faith Alone” Brass Ensemble!


    Ken Sloane

  27. Amy Jayne (Hume) Johnson says:

    שלום, חבר שלי! זה ברכה להכיר אותך!

    It’s great to have a perfect twin!

  28. Dale Patrick says:

    I respected your scholarship very much and you seem to respect mine. I remember esp. working on a paper with Ken Diable (or was it Dieble?) on laments. You gave us very encouraging words. I hope that you keep busy and continue to stand up for Biblical theology and the lively interpretation of Scripture.

  29. Dr. Huffmon,
    Wishing you God’s abundant blessing on this new season in your journey of faith. You were the first professor I ever interacted with, while attending the School of Theology. The impact of your faithful teaching and mentoring was truly inspirational.

  30. Dr. Debra Moody Bass says:

    Dear Dr. Huffmon,
    Greetings from Birmingham, AL and Stillman College. Congratulations on your retirement. Thank you for the many days we spent in your office fine tuning my dissertation. I was ready to go straight to publishing from there. Also, thank you for your many lectures full of information and insight that has made me a better teacher today. I have even taken on your teaching style! I have published two books and am writing my third book on The Female Prophets, as we speak. Take care and find a way to continue to share your gift with new generations of biblical scholars. Shalom!

  31. Sue Moore says:

    Dear Herb,
    I don’t know where to begin to express my appreciation for you. You taught the first class I took for my M.Div. You led me through Israel and Turkey and Egypt and opened my eyes to an ancient world beyond my imagination. We have squatted down on the floor at the Brooklyn Museum and looked up at hieroglyphics on the bottom of a sarcophagus, and we have stood together at Masada and looked down across the Judean desert. You have been my teacher, my mentor, and my friend. You have touched my life. Thank you.

  32. Steve Finlan says:

    Dear Professor:
    Thank you so much for hanging in there with the Coptic course, even when it was down to just us two. Thanks also for the Jeremiah course. We had our debates, but then it wouldn’t be Jeremiah without debates!

  33. Liz Kendall says:

    My first year of seminary, as an older student, was the first time I met Herb. I didn’t do particular well in his class since I hadn’t been in school for over 20 years (probably an excuse on my part). I do remember that one night, we (all the students) decided that we would turn all the desks around to face the back wall and sit that way for the beginning of class. (I know, it’s a middle school thing-but it was pretty funny). Herb came in and went to the front on the room and started the class as “per usual”. He is a great professor, kind, smart, giving, with a great sense of humor. Good luck in all your future endeavors.
    Liz Kendall ’96′??

  34. Thank you for your wonderful insight into Biblical Studies. I enjoyed being a part of your class (some years ago) and appreciate you much! Best wishes and God Bless.

  35. James C. Woodley says:

    Dr. Huffmon,
    Like many students your course in O.T. was required in my first year of studies. It was one of my favorite classes, not because of the content, but because you were the professor. To this date, I still revisit my notes on the book of Jeremiah. God Bless you!!
    Thank you
    James C. Woodley ’05

  36. Dear Dr. Huffmon,
    I gained a wealth of information from your Old Testament class and your study of Job and suffering. Your wealth of knowledge was evident by the way you wove the Old testament story in a way that was interesting and wanted me to dig deeper on my own. May your future be blessed in many ways just as I was blessed to be in your classes.

  37. Dr. Huffman
    I was told to try a course at Drew – and that first one was yours. When I formally registered you were my supervisor
    Thank you for your time and your advice
    I also took two others with you
    Thank you for your love of the OT and all you gave in your lectures.
    God bless you

  38. Nish Najarian says:

    Dear Herb,

    I recall with great fondness your delicate forehand, vicious serve which rarely went in and your non-existing backhand all of which made you a fierce competitor along with Perry and Ted Linn playing on the clay court behind Drew.

    May your years of retirement be as productive,fulfilling and healthy as you move into the next phase of your life.

    Stay well,

  39. Jorge E. Sanchez says:

    Dr. Huffmon opened for me a distinct widow of knowledge and learnings while I studied under his titelage. From 1977-79, his insights in the ANET and the Hebrew Scriptures was what opened my interest in biblical studies.. Thank you very much we will miss you greatly!

  40. Herb –

    It’s amazing how time flies! I consider myself blessed to
    be one of the many souls that were challenged and graced by the power of your full engagement in life – and not merely in class. Thank you for the gift of purpose and engagement that lasts far beyond a class or commencement ceremony. May God bless and keep you in the years ahead.

  41. Jeremiah Cataldo says:

    Dear Herb,

    You have challenged and encouraged me in ways the benefits of which I am still reaping in scholarship and in the classroom. I am eternally grateful for what you’ve taught me both in substance and in application. From one *awilum* to another, Thank you!

  42. Marcia Wickert says:

    I will never hear the story of David and Bathsheba in quite the same way after having you “enact” if, complete with jumping up on the desk to illustrate David peering down on Bathsheba from the rooftop. Thank you for bring so much of the Old Testament to life.

    Enjoy your well earned and deserved retirement!

  43. Dear Herb Huffmon:
    I remember having you as my professor in 2012 and 2013. I enjoyed the two classes on Sickness and Healing, and Sacred Space and Time. God bless you as you retire from Drew.
    Grace Akinbode

  44. Robert Putt says:

    Thank you for your help on my D.Min. project in 1987-88. Also for the O.T. class in the summer of 1987. You will never know how much your teaching and comments on by project helped to develop my ministry.

  45. Woody Noblitt says:

    I had a class with Dr. Huffmon in the early 1980′s when I was on campus for a month working on my D.Min. degree. I was impressed with his enthusiasm for his material, and remember both the material and Dr. Huffmon’s energetic and charismatic teaching style more than any of the other classes or professors I had that month.

  46. Jim D'Angelo says:


    Best wishes on your “retirement.” No doubt in a few years you’ll be wondering how you can retire from retirement, you’ll be so busy (just not getting a salary)!

  47. Jim Bridges says:

    Your Intro to the Old Testament was the first and only class I took in my first semester at Drew – back in 1992 – as I continued working full time in my regular job – that of a school psychologist in Goshen, NY. Your course was an excellent intro for me in seminary – reflecting excellent scholarship combined with an enthusiasm for the subject matter and a sense of humor. I still can picture you in my mind in front of our class – 22 years later. May you enjoy your retirement. Be forewarned, however, that in retirement one may work just as hard, if not harder, as you did while fully employed, but the financial reimbursement is far, far less! Yes, I speak from experience. God bless.

  48. Dia Vale says:

    My first memory of a class at Drew was you walking into OT & announcing (if I recall correctly, in answer to a student’s query) that, “God is not sexy.” The ride went on from there, never a dull moment. You almost convinced me to study Hebrew seriously. Thanks for all you shared, most especially the gift of being you.

  49. John Rivera says:

    I first met Dr. Huffmon in “The Forest” in the Fall of 2010 in my last year at Drew. The course, “Creation and Redemption in Second Isaiah” was an elective for me and I was looking forward to this course.

    Well, I never thought that I would be encountering one of the most brilliant minds that I have ever met. His astounding intellect challenged my “not-so astounding” intellect and after taking his course, the Book of Isaiah was never the same again. Thank you Dr. Herbert B. Huffmon.

  50. Susan Heafield says:

    Congratulations Dr. Huffman, for your dedication and effective teaching. When I think of taking courses at Drew School of Theology, your OT class comes to mind – I enjoyed and learned! Thank you. I wish you well with many blessings in your retirement.
    Susan Heafield
    Pastor at Orleans UMC in Orleans, MA

  51. James Sprenger says:

    Congratulations! I will always remember playing in the JBFA (Justified By Faith Alone) brass! One day I was getting some practice time on trombone in the chapel and you walked in and we chatted for awhile. Then as you left you said I was a works righteous trombone player – because I was practicing! I wish all the best for you in the years ahead.

  52. I remeber you OT courses and especially how you you made the aaaaot interesting. You may know that one of your students ended up as an archbishop with two earned doctor degrees. You were a profound influence on me.

    The Most Rev Robert Edmondson

  53. Juanita Connerleey Wallpe says:

    You were most encouraging to me, an older student & praised my maps. I retired af age eighty from parish ministry & owe my continuing at Drew to your kind words. You & Charles Rice taught me so much about how to be a parish minister. Hope you enjoy retirement & continue to encourage. Yours in Christ’s service.

  54. John D Painter says:

    Dear Herb:
    Thank you for your scholarship and leadership over many years. You have been a blessing to Drew and to thousands of Theological School students and alums. May you be blessed as you enter this new period of your life.
    Blessings, John

  55. Jongsoo Park says:

    Dear Dr. Huffmon,
    Thank you very much for guiding me for a long time.
    You did a really great job at Drew in your life.
    To me, you are one of the corner stones in my life.
    Missing you all the time, I am trying to be like you in my life as well as academic journey.
    You are my eternal Dotor Vater! Thanks a lot.
    I will never forget you.
    And you will be always with me .
    I hope you will be able to make your new life very happy.
    I hope to see you again.

    Your student,


  56. Dear Herb,
    Your classes in the 1980′s were a bright spot in the five inspiring years I spent at the Theological School. I’m sorry I’ll miss your visits here during the faculty retreats. If you’re still in the area, I hope you’ll drop by!
    Blessings and best wishes,
    Barbara Jean
    Community of St. John Baptist

  57. Robbie Klauder says:

    Dear Dr. Huffmon,
    Every encounter with you in class in early 1980′s
    was an inspiring experience. Your own truth came through
    the scriptures. Thanks so much and all good wishes in the future.

  58. Barry L Ross says:

    Lunch with you and Paul Riemann in the Spring of 1974, with your warm invitation to join the OT PhD program at Drew was a redeeming experience. You assured me that I could safely put behind me the experience of a previous disastrous PhD studies program at another institution, and that such would not happen at Drew under your direction. And, indeed my Drew PhD studies experience, though rigorous and demanding, was a pleasant and fulfilling experience. It opened doors for teaching worldwide (as you have been aware) over the years since. I am now officially retired, but your wise input into my life continues to inform my ongoing writing. Congratulations on you own retirement!

  59. John Lawlor says:

    Dear Herb
    I deeply appreciate your patience and encouragement as my shepherd through the PhD program at Drew. Your courses, personal interaction with you and your wise counsel were key factors in opening up my world! Studying with you changed my own teaching. I am forever grateful! Best wishes in your retirement.

  60. Jim White says:


    Thanks for the memories of a wonderful O T Summer Intensive, and for the honor of conducting a wedding in the Wesley Room at Morristown UMC. Enjoy every day of retirement.


  61. Chick Straut says:

    Dear Herb,

    Although you joined the faculty after I earned my first theological degree, so that I never had the opportunity to take a course with you, I never missed a chance. when I was on campus and you were offering a seminar, to sit with you. It benefited me greatly, since later, when I became an adjunct faculty member in the religious studies department at St. Joseph’s College, my Old Testament course was greatly influenced by you. And I am sure neither of us will ever forget the time we ran into each other in Vienna, while riding on public transportation! Enjoy your retirement and bask in your contributions to Dtew, its theological school and so very many students.


  62. Carl Olson says:

    Hi Herb,

    Best wishes for a happy, productive, and healthy retirement. It seems only like yesterday that we were racket-ball partners when you shed your blood for the cause. What a mensch? I had the good fortune to work with numerous fine teachers at Drew who have inspired me to be a productive teacher/scholar. And you were among that group.

    All the best,


  63. Stephen Palmer says:

    Dear Dr. Huffmon,
    Thank for exciting and growth stretching classes. Yours was the first one that I took when I began my MDiv and I have always valued it greatly.
    Steve Palmer

  64. Diane M. Ritzie says:

    Prof. Huffmon,

    What a pleasure it was to study with you. I learned so much from you. I wish I could have spent more time on campus.

    You were so helpful and gracious. I loved the times I spent at your house with you and Margie. And the times we spent studying at the airport.

    Have a wonderful retirement. You have earned it! Good health, and the memories of your students.

    Diane Ritzie

  65. Rev. Thomas L. Shanklin says:

    Herb!!! You’re retiring! I beat you to it by about 8 years!!! I’m sorry we didn’t connect at the Ken Rowe Celebration at the Archives. We both had matured so much we didn’t recognize each other!!!! Ha ha! The time has flown by. Thank you for buying my Downeast book. I hope you liked it. I’m on my way to a schooner cruise in Maine and then downeast to connect some more with the folks in that book. So I vividly remember my years at Drew and your classes. I was thankful that you came and took over Old Testament after a semester with RBY(XYZ we called him) Scott with his crinkly notes. Blessings for a long and fun retirement. Tom Shanklin

  66. Bill Presnell says:

    Congratulations on your retirement, Herb! I could cite many memories of your kind and friendly outreach, mutual work with students in the D.Min. program, and my my experiences of your awesome grasp of Old Testament literature and its languages. But most of all I want to thank your for your long and devoted scholarly presence, and the stature you have achieved, here. Have a terrific life ahead!

  67. Maria Ling says:

    Dr Huffmon,

    Appreciate your meaningful and impactful dent (bigger than a ding!) in my life for the short time I was a student at Drew and taking that Summer OT class with you.

    Enjoy the passage you are about to take!

  68. Daniel A. Shadix says:

    It was the Summer of 1984. It was a D.Min. Class. We sat in class waiting on our professor to arrive. He was a little late. Then we heard a voice from the fire escape,
    “Behold, the prophet arriveth.” It was Dr. Huffmon with umbrella in hand. He marched to the front of the class and began his lecture on the prophets.

    What a delight! Congratulations Dr. Huffmon! Keep up the good fight!

  69. Gretchen Den Braven-fischer says:

    Dear Dr. Hoffman,
    You brougt the Old Testament to life with your lively renditions of the biblical characters. Your humor was only made possible by your scholarship and deep understanding of the scriptures.Your reminder that those of us who are called to the priesthood will be held accountable to a higher standard has continuously kept my toes to the fire, even in retirement from the appointment process. I wish you some private space in the busy hours that follow your retirement.

  70. Ferdinand Serra says:

    Dr. Huffmon,

    Thank you for being a great mentor, adviser, and father-like figure to me. I was inspired of your great teaching and opened my eyes to the ancient Near East. Shalom to another phase or stage of your life.


  71. Jennifer Lovallo says:

    Dr. Huffmon,
    Thank you so much for helping me understand the story of our faith through the study of the Hebrew Scriptures. Your teaching became the foundation for my preaching and for that I am eternally grateful. May your years of retirement be long and enjoyable!

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