Westminster Hebrew Institute renamed in honor of Professor J. Alan Groves

Posted in General at 2:39 pm by Karyn

This is a news update from the Westminster website that I (the blog administrator) thought many of you might be interested in:

12/12/06–With great honor and deep appreciation for Professor of Old Testament J. Alan Groves, the faculty and board of Westminster Theological Seminary have renamed the Westminster Hebrew Institute the J. Alan Groves Center for Advanced Biblical Research. Professor Groves is to be presented with the honor at a ceremony on December 15. He is executive director of the Center, which was established under his leadership in 1986. The mission of the Center is to apply computing and related technology to the study and teaching of the Hebrew Bible and language. Their most recent project is a collaboration with the Asia Bible Society on the Chinese Standard Bible, a fresh translation of the Bible into Mandarin Chinese.

Many of us are blessed by the fruit of Al’s labors in establishing and leading the Center. Hebrew study has never been the same, and translators have incredible tools to help bring the Word of God to people in their own language. This is a fitting honor for the man who has taught us so much. We hope this is yet another way we can say to Al, “God has used you and you have blessed us!”


  1. Mike and Kathy Peat said,

    December 18, 2006 at 4:22 pm

    Congratulations Al – you really deserve this – and belated birthday wishes. Love and prayers the Peats

  2. Eep Talstra said,

    December 18, 2006 at 4:47 pm

    Dear Alan,

    Congratulations! This is good news and an honour you deserve for your years of pioniering work in the area of Bible and computer assisted textual analysis.
    I am very happy with this and I also congratulate the Westminster Theological Seminary with this new name for the Centre. Your Centre has helped the Seminary to acquire international prestige in this particular discpline. I think I can say this on behalf of many of your colleagues on many places in the world!

    Let me for once sign this statement not only as an old friend, but also as your colleague in the field:

    Eep Talstra
    professor of Old Testament, Bible and computer assisted analysis
    Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, Netherlands

  3. Stafford Carson said,

    December 18, 2006 at 7:44 pm

    What a wonderful tribute to all that you have done, Al. Many congratulations! Westminster Seminary has been richly blessed by your work and your commitment to biblical studies. This is a richly deserved honour. God bless you!

  4. Craig Combs said,

    December 18, 2006 at 11:26 pm

    I am so proud of you. What a grand and well-fitting providence.
    The glory goes to the Lord, and yet what a joy that he calls us to give honor where honor is due. Your work for the kingdom will outlive you, Al, and that is more than any poor servant of Jesus could ever hope for.
    I’m all smiles tonight.

  5. JoAnn Stracuzzi said,

    December 19, 2006 at 7:46 pm

    At first I wrote UNBELIEVABLE.

    But I think SO BELIEVABLE is more appropriate.


  6. Tom Nicholas said,

    December 19, 2006 at 10:48 pm

    What an appropriate honor for you, Al. I am so glad for you.

    Tom Nicholas

  7. Allie Stryd said,

    December 19, 2006 at 10:51 pm

    This is wonderful! Congratulations. And a happy belated birthday, Al, from all of us Stryds. Much love to you all, Allie

  8. Keallie Wozny said,

    December 20, 2006 at 9:58 am

    Al, it must have just taken your breath away to be acknowledged like this. You certainly deserve it, and we’re so glad for you. You’ve been such a faithful servant, helper, and encourager to so many over the years and prepared so many others to be the same. What a fitting honor! Much love from the Woznys.

  9. Dale Wheeler said,

    December 20, 2006 at 5:06 pm


    This naming of the center for you is an honor richly deserved. Without extraordinary efforts on your part, electronic biblical studies would still be floundering. Very few people really know the immense debt that they owe to you when they start up their Bible software program to do serious research in God’s Word. The legacy of your impact on biblical studies will last for generations. Yours is a life well-invested for the sake of Christ’s Kingdom. As someone who has been able to make a small contribution to your work and vision, I honor and congratulate you. Your friendship, scholarship, MAKROTHUMIA, and humility have always been an inspiration to me personally.

    Dale M. Wheeler, Ph.D.
    Prof., Multnomah Bible College
    Co-Editor, Groves-Wheeler Westminster Hebrew Morphology

  10. johnmccracken said,

    December 20, 2006 at 5:50 pm

    Al, this is so fitting. Congratulations!

    John & Mindy McCracken
    Trinity Presbyterian Church, Plano, TX

  11. Paul Koptak said,

    December 20, 2006 at 6:22 pm

    Congratulations! This a wonderful and much deserved honor, a testimony to your investment in the study and teaching of biblical Hebrew.

    Paul Koptak
    North Park Theological Seminary

  12. Richard Weis said,

    December 20, 2006 at 10:02 pm

    Dear Alan,

    As many others have already said, this is a richly deserved honor and recognition. Still, I would like to add my voice to that chorus. So much of your work in applying information technology to the study of the Hebrew Bible is so foundational for many and also so often in the background, that I am glad to see this very public and enduring honoring of your work. For the Biblia Hebraica Quinta project you joined the team at just the right time to help us think our way through computerization, and then with Soetji pioneered what needed to be done to make it all work. All who use that edition will be in your debt as its editors already are. Personally, I am also grateful for this because it was the occasion of our meeting, and the beginning of a friendship I will always treasure.


    Richard Weis
    Professor of Old Testament Theology
    United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities
    one of seven general editors of Biblia Hebraica Quinta

  13. gail obenour said,

    December 20, 2006 at 10:57 pm

    thinking of you all today and want you to know that i prayed through the following for you. quote is by cs lewis and found in mere christianity. thought it was fitting for many reasons, not to mention all of the house projects you are doing… :O)

    Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.

    libby, thank you for your words in your most recent blog. He is indeed building a palace for and in you all. i was thinking that GOD designed you perfectly and every aspect of your personality to be Al’s life partner in the most perfect way. you are GOD’s PERFECT choice for the life he has given you–every day of it. you are so lovely and beautiful to HIM. thank you for honoring HIM and shining so bright.

    with much thanksgiving for you all.

  14. Fred said,

    December 21, 2006 at 12:03 am

    Dear Al,

    The right honour, well bestowed, is a joy to all who hear of it. And so, all who hear of this rejoice with you in the Lord who does all things well.

    This is good, no, very good indeed.



  15. Dawn Dobbs Smith said,

    December 21, 2006 at 7:11 pm

    We wished we could be there for the ceremony. With the multitudes who have said it already we are happy for this honor that is so well suited. Blessings, Dawn, Adrian and Emma

  16. Jessie Bible said,

    December 22, 2006 at 10:57 am


    What a wonderful honor – and it is so fitting – as everyone else has said.

    I remember what an eye-opener it was for me to sit with you in Hebrew Discourse Analysis.

    I wish you, Libbie & all your family a wonderful Christmas.

    Much love,


  17. Steve Huber said,

    December 22, 2006 at 4:15 pm

    This is great great news and is also richly deserved.
    happy belated birthday to you Al

    Libbie– great post on what God is teaching you a few days ago. Your faith is a real encouragement.

    Merry Christmas from all the Hubers.


  18. Tom Kulp said,

    December 24, 2006 at 11:21 am

    Dear Al, Libbie and the rest of the Family,

    Happy Birthday I’m sure it was a special one! I was talking with my oldest son Zeke today and we had a little bit of bad news regarding an experimental drug out there called PTC, which is some cases have slowed down the muscle waisting process of Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy. Zeke was hoping that if he could get it, and slow it down, a cure would be imminant. CHOP called and said that in his genetic make up, the PTC drug does not show promise and therefore he could not be a canidate to receive it. So before he got out of bed today, I crawled into to his bed and asked him how he felt about it. He said, “I really wanted to be able to run with my friends, so I’m a little sad that I won’t”.

    Trying to figure out what to say, I told him,”Some day you will”, and he looked at me and said, “Do you mean in Heaven” and I nodded.

    As I was reflecting over life and love and family I thought what a powerful feeling is sorrow. As a nurse I get to see its effect, as a Dad who have two children not expected to see their 30’s I get to feel it on a daily basis, most the time on an hourly one. But the most wonderful thing I see in your family and mine is that it just doesn’t end there!!! Our hope sees through sorrow into an eternal light and bright day in which the night will never come again.

    Thank you for letting me see,


  19. judi said,

    December 25, 2006 at 12:40 pm

    al, libbie and family, it was such a joy to see you in church last night! ron and i wish you the best christmas, filled with the peace of Christ and the love of the Father.

    we love you all and continue to pray
    judi and ron

  20. Ondrej and Milina Franka said,

    December 28, 2006 at 5:54 am

    Dear Al and Libbie,

    You have been a tremendeous encouragement to us personally and many Christians in Serbia who pray for you! You have been an incredible example of the ministry to us. I will never forget when you recited to us Gen 1 in Hebrew! I was just at the beginning, what an inspiration! Thanks for the Supplementary notes which Al has written for us! For all of the humorous things which helped me to remember the strange words and grammar!

    Keep on, may the Lord give you strength!

    Merry Chistmas and Blessed New 2007 Year!

    Rev. Ondrej and Milina Franka
    Backi Petrovac, Serbia

  21. Susan Michaelson said,

    December 29, 2006 at 12:26 am

    Dear Al, Libbie, and family:

    I was so thrilled for you when I learned of this honor. Each time I boot my electronic BHS, and see your name, Al, I’m reminded of the power and reach of your linguistic gifts. What an incredible blessing to be your student and friend.

    May you continue to know the constant presence of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.



  22. Mark Hartman said,

    January 2, 2007 at 12:10 am

    Dear Al,
    Congratulations on this tremendous honor! As one who recalls the days when you were an engineering student at Dartmouth, and then a ThM candidate at Westminster (I can remember when you first told me about your computer project with Univ of Pennsylvania in the mid-1980’s), I have some perspective on the journey that God has taken you on. It is such a joy to see this recognition of your unique contributions to the field of Old Testament studies. Thanks be to God!
    Your friend,
    Mark Hartman

  23. Kent Morton said,

    January 10, 2007 at 9:24 am


    What a wonderful tribute to you in recognition of your initiative, your leadership, and your scholarship! Warm congratulations! Believe it or not, I still have my notes from the hermeneutics class that you taught in Wentworth Hall one summer very early in your academic career. I know that because I go back and look at them from time to time. Thank you for the good foundations you helped lay in my life early on; they’re still bearing fruit!

    May the joy of the Lord be your strength today!


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