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Saleska named Butterbach Professor of Exegetical Theology

Legacy of support for Old Testament studies continues

Dr. Timothy Saleska photo

The Board of Regents for Concordia Seminary, St. Louis recently named Dr. Timothy Saleska the Gustav and Sophie Butterbach Professor of Exegetical Theology, an endowed faculty position that has been established to support scholarship in the area of Old Testament studies.

Saleska serves the Seminary as professor of Exegetical Theology and dean of Ministerial Formation. He will be formally installed as the Butterbach Chair during the 184th academic year Opening Service, which is set for 10:30 a.m. CDT Friday, Aug. 26.

Gustav A. Butterbach (1926-2016), of Detroit, Mich., established the Gustav and Sophie Butterbach Chair of Exegetical Theology in memory of his parents, Gustav (1896-1980) and Sophie (1901-86) Rast Butterbach, and to use his blessings to glorify God and strengthen the ministry of the church, particularly in the area of Old Testament studies. Previous occupants of the Butterbach Chair include Dr. Thomas J. Egger, now Seminary president, and Professor Emeritus Dr. Andrew Bartelt.

“Dr. Saleska is a leading voice for our church and for our students in a Christ-centered and self-reflective reading of the Old Testament Scriptures,” Egger said. “He models a humble, honest approach to God’s Word and combines it with a depth of linguistic and literary insight. He is a much-loved professor and has invested himself beyond the classroom both in scholarly writing and in time with students. It is a joy to name Dr. Saleska to the Butterbach Chair.”

Saleska was selected as the Butterbach Chair because of his status as a senior professor of Old Testament studies, his expertise in Hebrew and the history of exegesis, and his extensive work studying and writing on the Psalms. A faculty member since 1997, his areas of interest also include examining how Christians interpret the Bible in general and how pastors can form faithful readers of God’s Word and remain faithful themselves.

Author of the first volume of commentary on the Psalms, Psalms 1–50, in the Concordia Commentary Series (Concordia Publishing House, 2020), Saleska has written books, numerous articles and reviews, and contributed to several other projects including the Bible study God’s Abiding Word: Psalms (Concordia Publishing House, 2002) and The Lectionary Commentary (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2005). Saleska holds a Master of Philosophy and a Doctor of Philosophy from Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati, Ohio (1992, 1999) and a Master of Divinity from Concordia Seminary (1982).

“It is a distinct honor for me to be appointed the Gustav and Sophie Butterbach Chair of Exegetical Theology,” Saleska said. “I am very thankful for Gus Butterbach’s generosity to Concordia Seminary. The chair established in his name is a legacy to him that will have an impact on our students for generations to come. As the recipient of the Butterbach Chair, I promise to do my best to faithfully serve our Lord in my teaching, writing and mentoring. My sincere thanks to everyone responsible for this honor.”

The Butterbach Chair is one of 13 endowed professorships currently at the Seminary.

About Concordia Seminary

Concordia Seminary, St. Louis provides Gospel-centered graduate-level theological education for pastors, missionaries, deaconesses, scholars and other leaders in the name of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS). To learn more, visit csl.edu.