Stephen E. Robinson: Mormon Scholar

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Stephen E. Robinson Mormon Scholar

Stephen Edward Robinson was a religious scholar, educator, apologist, and professor emeritus of Ancient Scripture.

Robinson was born in 1947 in Southern California. He was reared in the La Crescenta and La Canada area. He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served a full-time mission to Northern States mission. He earned his bachelor’s degree in English and Philosophy from Brigham Young University, graduating with high honors with distinction. He went on to receive a PhD in 1978 in biblical studies and classics from Duke University. He taught at Duke, University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, Hampden Sydney College, and Lycoming College.

He earned tenure in 1984 when teaching religion at Lycoming College. He is the first member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to be tenured in Religion at a non-Latter-day Saint institution. He was chairman of the Scholars Program of the Religion Department and the Faculty Senate at Lycoming College. He joined the Religion faculty at Brigham Young University in 1986 and retired in 2012. While at BYU, he served as chair of the Department of Ancient Scripture.

Robinson has several popular books to his credit, including Believing Christ and Following Christ, both of which won a Best Book Award with ILDS Booksellers (1995, 1996). Robinson and Ben Sowards later retold the Parable of the Bicycle, which was taught in Believing Christ, in a children’s book entitled You Are Priceless: The Parable of the Bicycle.

His book Are Mormons Christian? ventured into apologetics. He coauthored a book on Church of Jesus Christ and evangelical relations (How Wide the Divide?) with evangelical New Testament scholar Craig Blomberg. The book was a Best Book Award winner with Christianity Today. This book launched friendly and objective dialogue between Latter-day Saint and traditional Christian scholars.

He has authored many scholarly articles published in the Society of Biblical Literature, Revue de Qumran, Anchor Bible Dictionary, Journal for the Study of Judaism, the Coptic Encyclopedia, and others.

Robinson and his wife, Janet, were the parents of six children. He passed away on June 17, 2018.