Carroll Osburn
Professor Emeritus


Dr. Carroll Osburn Retires from Faculty


For immediate release
Sept. 7, 2004

Dr. Carroll Osburn, the Carmichael-Walling Distinguished Professor of Greek at Abilene Christian University retired from full-time teaching in August. Osburn has been at ACU for 17 years.  He previously taught at Pepperdine University in Malibu. 

"Carroll's commitment to rigorous study has heightened the academic reputation of the Graduate School at ACU. An internationally respected scholar, he was a member of Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas. He will be missed," said Dr. Jack Reese, Dean of the College. Dr. Royce Money, ACU president, also noted that Dr. Osburn served as Chair of the Faculty Senate and twice was Honors Professor of the Year.

In addition to his teaching, Osburn authored The Text of the Apostolos in Epiphanius of Salamis and Women in the Church: Reclaiming the Ideal. He also edited Essays on Women in Earliest Christianity, a comprehensive two-volume study by over forty scholars. His scholarly articles appeared in numerous journals, and he lectured widely, both in the U.S. and abroad.

Osburn initiated and hosted the annual Carmichael-Walling Lectures at ACU which brought renowned scholars from around the world to the campus for stimulating lectures and discussion.

Throughout his time at ACU, Osburn has been actively involved in editing the Greek New Testament. He served as co-editor of Novum Testamentum Graecum Editio Critica Maior, headquartered at the University of Muenster, Germany. Much of his research involved texts in ancient Greek and Coptic (Sahidic) manuscripts. For more than 20 years, he served as a Greek translation consultant for Bible translators working among primitive people in the jungles of Central America, the headwaters of the Amazon, and on Native American reservations.

Festschrift for Dr. Osburn

Transmission and Reception: New Testament Text-Critical and Exegetical Studies [Festschrift for Carroll Osburn]. Texts and Studies, Third Series, Vol. 4. Ed. J. Childers and D. Parker. Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press, 2006.

 Bibliography of Books and Selected Journal Articles

 "James, Sirach, and the Poor," Ex Auditu22 (2006): 113-132.

"Methodology in Identifying Patristic Citations in NT Textual Criticism," Novum Testamentum 47.4 (2005): 313-343.

 The Text of the Apostolos in Epiphanius of Salamis. NTGF 6. Leiden, Netherlands: E. J. Brill, 2004. 283 pp.

 Women in the Church: Reclaiming the Ideal. Abilene, Texas: Abilene Christian University Press, 2001. 280 pp. [Individuals may order directly at $18.95 plus shipping (and sales tax, if in Texas) from For orders in quantity, call toll free 877-816-4455.]

 "The Epistle of Jude," "Codex Claromontanus," "Itala," "Old Latin Versions," "Oxyrhynchus Fragments," and "Vulgate," in Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1998: 225-26, 538, 608, 778, 787, 1042.

 "The Search for the Original Text of Acts," New Testament Text and Language. Ed. S. Porter and C.Evans. Sheffield, England: Sheffield Academic Press, 1996. 39-45.

 "The Greek Lectionaries of the New Testament," The Text of the New Testament; Contemporary Research: Essays on the Status Quaestionis—in Honor of Bruce M. Metzger. Ed. B. Ehrman and M. Holmes. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995: 61-74.

 Essays on Women in Earliest Christianity. Ed. Carroll Osburn. 2 Vols. Joplin, MO: College Press, 1993, 1995. [reprints available from Wipf & Stock]

 "The Johannine Comma (1 John 5:7)," Anchor Bible Dictionary (1992): 882-83.

 "Manuscripts," "Parchment," Encyclopedia of Early Christianity. Ed. E. Ferguson. New York: Garland,1990: 563-66; 691-92.

 "1 Enoch 80:2-8 (67:5ff) and Jude 12-13," Catholic Biblical Quarterly 47 (1985): 296-303.

 "The 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.

 "The Interpretation of Romans 8:28," Westminster Theological Journal 44 (1982): 99-109.

 "The Text of 1 Corinthians 10:9," New Testament Textual Criticism: Essays in Honour of Bruce M. Metzger. Ed. G. Fee and E. Epp. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1981: 202-212.

 "The Christological Use of 1 Enoch 1.9 in Jude 14,15," New Testament Studies 23 (1977): 334-341.

 "The Text of Jude 22,23," Zeitschrift fuer die neutestamentliche Textforschung 63 (1972): 139-44.



          MN4266 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)—Alumnus Profile

In 2004, Dr. Carroll Osburn retired early as university professor to become involved in international humanitarian work. Dr. Osburn was in residence at St. Andrews as Visiting Professor at the School of Management during 2008, writing on human rights issues arising from his recent work.

For the past several years, he has facilitated humanitarian projects on behalf of a wealthy businessman, involving medical and orphan care in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Zambia, and South Africa, as well as Guatemala, Haiti, and India. He arranged construction of two major medical facilities and dozens of clinics, laboratories, and TB and HIV/AIDS wards. In addition to funding hundreds of pediatric neuro and orthopedic surgeries, burn surgeries, and clubfoot treatments, he arranged on-going care for over 3,500 orphans and several hundred child-headed households, drilled numerous water wells, and distributed thousands of anti-malarial mosquito nets.

After graduating from Vanderbilt University, he received his Ph.D. at St. Andrews in 1974. In 1987, he moved from Pepperdine University to Abilene Christian University to become the Carmichael-Walling Distinguished Professor of Greek. He served as Chair of the Faculty Senate, twice was Honors Professor of the Year, and was respected internationally as an expert in ancient Greek manuscripts.

While his academic career was rewarding, the opportunity to “re-invent himself” opened unexpected ways of becoming involved in social justice. Dr. Osburn says that clarity and diligence are essential for vetting humanitarian grants, but cultural sensitivity, listening carefully, adaptability, and creativity are also vital. Corruption and lack of transparency in sub-Saharan life and politics necessitates monitoring grants closely, so he implemented an “adoptive philanthropy,” which not only writes checks, but plays an active role in the field in meeting basic human needs. As one Ugandan leader recently remarked, “Dr. Carroll appears to be white, but he has the heart of an African.”

[email Dr. Eleanor Burt,] updated September 2008