About DTS

Gordon H. Johnston

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Gordon H. JohnstonDr. Gordon Johnston’s passions range from archaeology, to the Hebrew Scriptures, to his family.

His life changed during the summer after high school graduation. A close friend had been hounding him to attend a Bible study for about a year, and he had never gone. Finally, his friend made him a deal—if he would go to the study just one time, his friend would never talk to him about it again. So Gordon agreed. He went to the Bible study, and afterward sat in his car for an hour, completely shaken.

“Before that study I knew that God existed, but it was the first time that I realized God is holy, and that I needed to trust Christ as my Savior,” he said.

And since that night, his life has taken a different course. He had expected his first year of college to be all parties, but God brought purpose and direction into his life.

Now Dr. Johnston has more goals and passions than most. After graduating from college, he went on for his master’s and doctorate.

After graduating with his doctorate in 1992 he started teaching at Lancaster Bible College, where one of his colleagues went on archaeological digs every year. He was about to retire, so Dr. Johnston was asked to assume his role in the school's archaeological program.

“I was scared to death to go to Israel that first year because of terrorists, but I got over there and fell in love with Israel and archaeology. It’s a lot of hard work, and not at like an Indiana Jones adventure, but it is exciting in its own way.”

He tries to go once a year now, but the recent terrorist problems in Israel have prevented his trips for the past two years. In spite of this, the relationship between archaeology and the Bible excites him.

“The thing with archaeology is that you end up seeing all this archaeological support for the Scriptures. It helps to support the basic historicity of the Bible.”

Dr. Johnston sees this as a wonderful way to share the gospel. He says archaeology provides “neutral ground” to talk to non-Christians about the Bible and Christianity. Hardly a trip goes by that he doesn’t get to share his faith with someone.

Although he travels across the ocean for digs in Israel, he also enjoys his opportunity to teach the Hebrew Scriptures at the seminary. In addition to teaching required Hebrew courses at DTS, he teaches several electives in the Wisdom Literature (Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs). He particularly enjoys teaching the Song of Songs (a.k.a. Song of Solomon).

“The reason I’m interested in Song of Solomon is that it’s the only book of the Bible totally devoted to love, romance, and marriage. I'm married to a wonderful, beautiful, vivacious wife, so I want as much help as I can get to find out how to become a good husband.”

Each time he teaches his class on Song of Solomon at the Seminary, he hears reports of wives telling their husbands that they can’t skip this class.

Of all his interests, though, Dr. Johnston is most passionate about his family. He and his wife, Danielle, have three wonderful children whom they dearly love: a six-year-old daughter, and two little boys—one two years old, and one eight months old. Any extra time he has he uses to play with his children. A favorite pastime is playing tea with his daughter, and hide-and-seek with his two-year old son.

“Danielle and our children are the joy of my life!”