Bethel Mourns the Loss of Biblical Scholar
Visitation will take place on Friday, July 6 from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Everest/Rohrer Auditorium on Bethel’s campus. The funeral service will be held on Saturday, July 7 at 11 a.m., also in the Everest/Rohrer Auditorium. Friends may visit one hour prior to the service.
“Gene was like the many giant oak trees that dot Bethel’s campus in that we never expect them to fall. But this one has, and the entire Bethel family will greatly miss the shade of his influence in our lives,” says President Steven R. Cramer, Ph.D.
Carpenter taught at Bethel for 26 years, during which time he served as chair of religion and philosophy and director of graduate studies. Most recently, he was scholar-in-residence and director of the master of ministries/master of arts in theological studies programs. He graduated from Bethel in 1970 with a B.A. in Biblical Literature and English Literature with a minor in Greek. He earned a Master of Divinity in 1973 from Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminaries (AMBS) and a Ph.D. in Old Testament and Semitic Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary in 1979.
In addition to teaching at Bethel, Carpenter served on the faculties of Wheaton College and Graduate School and Asbury Theological Seminary. He also taught at AMBS, Fuller Theological Seminary and Lexington Theological Seminary.
Carpenter’s scholarly writing includes some 21 published volumes (nine translations of biblical books and 12 other works); major contributions to two study Bibles (New Living Translation; The Wesley Study Bible); and numerous dictionary, encyclopedia and journal articles. Recent titles include a commentary on the Book of Daniel (Tyndale), a commentary on Deuteronomy (New Illustrated Bible Background Commentary Series: Zondervan) and a searchable electronic translation of the prophet Ezekiel for the Lexham English Bible Project.
Carpenter was involved in church ministry nearly all of his life in various ways, including positions as youth ministry director, assistant pastor and senior pastor. He did missions work in the Dominican Republic and regularly served as a guest teacher in Sunday schools across different denominations. He repeatedly led academic study trips to Jerusalem University College in Israel for undergraduate, graduate and adult students. His hobbies included woodworking, travel, hiking, fishing, reading, writing and weight training. His wife, Joyce D. Carpenter, served as an adjunct professor of ceramics and pottery at Bethel College for six years; she continues as an artist, working primarily with clay. She too is a graduate of Bethel College (B.A.) with a major in art.