I have not been able to bring myself to talk about Rod Decker since he went home to be with his Savior four days ago. Rod would not want me to go on and on about him so I will try and keep this brief. I first met “Dr Decker” almost 15 years ago when I was being interviewed for the PhD program at BBS. I was a bit petrified as I walked into the seminary and was told to head down the hall. As I did, I saw a man walking toward me who looked like the Rod Decker in the seminary catalog. I had heard of him but in the words of Paul in Galatians 1, he was know to me by reputation and not by sight! As we approached each other he looked at me and said, “Hi Dan.” It meant the world to me that he must have taken the time to look at the picture I supplied for the application and make a point to put me at ease for the interview. Though a very humble man he intimidated me. As a matter of fact, after I finished the PhD I continued to call him Dr Decker. He finally said, “It’s Rod now.” About six months later I called him “Rod.” It still feels weird. He deserved such respect.
Rod was my advisor on my dissertation and his suggestions and guidance were invaluable. He was a cautious scholar, never pushing an interpretation past where the exegetical evidence would take him. Rod was a great Greek scholar both in the classroom and in his publications. His work on verbal aspect is groundbreaking and his Greek Reader is heavily used in Bible colleges and seminaries for second year Greek. In addition, he has two forthcoming academic books mentioned earlier on this blog. Rod was not just a great Greek scholar, but he was also a model believer. He also served as a pastor for at least 10 years after his MDiv before heading back for a ThD and the classroom. Over the years at seminary he and Linda showed hospitality to hundreds of students in their home. Rod Decker was a great prof, mentor, and friend. I could go on and on but he would not want that so I will close by saying that I will miss him.