Milestones in the Life of Robert Lisle Lindsey

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Robert L. Lindsey was born in Norman, Oklahoma on August 16, 1917. Here are some of the milestones in his life.

Revised: 21-May-2013

Aug. 16, 1917

Born in Norman, Oklahoma, to J. L. and Elsie Lisle Lindsey.

Jan. 23, 1935

Graduates from University High School, Norman, Oklahoma.


Preaches his first sermon (age 18).

Jan. 1939

A.B., University of Oklahoma. Major: Greek. Minors: English and History.

Feb. 4, 1939

Arrives in Palestine on Holy Land tour led by Dr. David L. Cooper.

Jun. 1940

Returns to the United States (via India and Japan). On board the ship from Japan, meets Margaret.

Sept. 15, 1940

Ordained, First Baptist Church, Norman, Oklahoma (Dr. E. F. Hallock, pastor).

Jul. 12, 1941

Marries Margaret Lutz, Methodist Church, Leonia, New Jersey.

Mar. 26, 1943

Birth of Bob and Margaret’s first child, David Lisle, in Shelbyville, Kentucky.

May 7, 1943

Th.M., Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky.


The Lindseys appointed as missionaries by the Foreign Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Apr. 2, 1945

Birth of second child, Margaret Lenore, in Princeton, New Jersey.

May 22, 1945

Th.M., Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, New Jersey.

Oct. 16, 1945

Sails from New York for Palestine, with Margaret, David and Lenore.

Nov. 1945ff.

Resides at Baptist House in the Rehaviah neighborhood of Jerusalem.

Mar. 7, 1946

Birth of third child, Barbara Anne, in Jerusalem.

May 14, 1948

State of Israel established.

Jun. 1948-Mar. 1949

On furlough in Norman, Oklahoma.

Mar. 1949

Negotiates, on behalf of the Baptist Convention in Israel, the purchase of a 15-acre tract of land near Petah Tikvah. The Christian kibbutz Lindsey hopes to found never materializes, but the farm, known to Israelis as the Baptist Village, will serve as an orphanage and boarding school, camp and retreat center.

Mar. 16, 1951

Birth of fourth child, Daniel Norman, in Jerusalem, Israel.


Completes, with the help of two Israeli translators working from English and French, a preliminary translation of the New Testament into Hebrew.


Postgraduate studies at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky, during the academic years 1952/53 and 1953/54.

Aug. 7, 1952

Birth of fifth child, Robert Lutz, in Hayward, California.

May 20, 1954

Ph.D., Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky. Major: Practice and Philosophy of Missions. Minors: Old Testament Hebrew and Theology; New Testament Greek. Dissertation: “The Philosophy of a Christian Approach to Jews.”


Negotiates, on behalf of the Baptist Convention in Israel, the purchase of property in the heart of Tel Aviv’s theater and cafe district for an art gallery and bookshop. The bookshop, which is named Dugith (“small fishing boat” in Hebrew), will open on Oct. 1, 1959.


Bob and Margaret reside at Baptist Village (near Petah Tikvah), becoming father and mother to the George W. Truett Children’s Home’s nineteen Arab orphans.

Sept. 29, 1956

Birth of sixth child, Deborah Kay, in Tiberias, Israel.

Jun. 1959-Jul. 1960

On furlough at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, North Carolina. There, he produces the first draft of a Hebrew translation of Mark based on the Greek text. In the spring, he interrupts his furlough to act as Billy Graham’s translator during Graham’s visit to Israel.

Jul. 1960

Returning to Israel from Wake Forest, spends several days in England discussing textual questions with Prof. G. D. Kilpatrick of Queens College, Oxford.

Sept. 7, 1960-Aug. 31, 1962

Resides in Tiberias devoting himself to synoptic research.

Summer of 1961

Meets Professor David Flusser.

Night of Sept. 13, 1961

In an attempt to rescue 15-year-old Edward Salim Zoumout, one of the Baptist Village orphans, steps on a mine in no-man’s land between the Jordanian and Israeli sides of Jerusalem. Lindsey’s left foot is amputated in a Jordanian hospital. The Israeli press turns Lindsey into a hero. For details, read Lindsey’s biography, One Foot in Heaven: The Story of Bob Lindsey of Jerusalem.

Oct. 5, 1961

Repatriated to Israel by Jordan.

Oct. 31, 1961

Discharged from Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem after undergoing further surgery.

Around midnight, Feb. 14, 1962

The “Eureka experience”: Lindsey realizes that Luke was written before Mark. He dozes in his study, and then, “after a fantastic dream, the synoptic problem opened up like a book.” He wakes Margaret at about 2:00 in the morning to announce: “It’s not Mark that’s first; it’s Luke!”

Apr. 5, 1962

Edward Zoumout is returned to Israel by the Jordanian authorities.

End of Aug. 1962

Moves to Jerusalem, where, until his retirement in 1987, serves as senior pastor of the Narkis Street Baptist Church.

Fall 1962

Lindsey’s meetings with Prof. Flusser become more frequent.


Lindsey’s “A Modified Two-Document Theory of the Synoptic Dependence and Interdependence” is published in the journal Novum Testamentum.

Sept. 25, 1964

Serves as one of five judges of the Third International Bible Quiz held in Jerusalem.

Aug. 1965-Jul. 1967

On furlough in Norman, Oklahoma.

Oct. 19, 1969

First edition of Lindsey’s A Hebrew Translation of the Gospel of Mark is published. Lindsey and Prof. Flusser hold a joint press conference at Baptist House.


The charismatic renewal movement sweeps Israel touching many of the Baptists in Israel, including Lindsey and his congregation.

Jan. 1979

Discovery of congruent story units. While participating in Prof. Flusser’s weekly seminar on the gospels at the Hebrew University, Lindsey discovers that many pericopae are dislocated parts of longer stories, and that it is possible to restore these longer stories by joining their dislocated parts.

Sun. morning, Mar. 11, 1979

Preaches to United States President Jimmy Carter and other regular worshipers at St. Andrew’s Church of Scotland in Jerusalem.

Oct. 9, 1982

Baptist Chapel (adjoining Baptist House), built in 1933, is destroyed by arsonists.

May 16, 1987

Retires as senior pastor of the Narkis Street Baptist Church.

May 18, 1987

Leaves Israel. Resides in Moore, Oklahoma.

Jun. 18, 1988

Ground is broken for the Narkis Street congregation’s new sanctuary.


Third, and final, volume of Lindsey’s A Comparative Greek Concordance of the Synoptic Gospels is published.


Lindsey’s The Jesus Sources is published.


Lindsey’s Jesus: Rabbi & Lord is published.

Mar. 1994

As his health begins to fail, moves from Moore to Tulsa, Oklahoma, near daughter, Lenore, and son-in-law, Ken.

May 31, 1995

Dies in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Age 77.

Jun. 5, 1995

Funeral, First Baptist Church, Norman, Oklahoma.

Jun. 7, 1995

Memorial service, Narkis Street Baptist Church, Jerusalem. The eighteen speakers include Teddy Kollek, former mayor of Jerusalem, and Jerusalem School members Prof. David Flusser, Prof. Brad Young and David Bivin.

This article originally appeared in issue 49 of the Jerusalem Perspective magazine. Click on the image above to view a PDF of the original magazine article.

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  • David N. Bivin

    David N. Bivin

    David N. Bivin is founder and editor of Jerusalem Perspective. A native of Cleveland, Oklahoma, U.S.A., Bivin has lived in Israel since 1963, when he came to Jerusalem on a Rotary Foundation Fellowship to do postgraduate work at the Hebrew University. He studied at the Hebrew…
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