Samuel Martin was born in England and is the youngest child of Dr. Ernest L. and Helen R. Martin, who are both Americans. He lived in the UK for the first 7 years of his life before moving to the USA with his family at age 7. He lived in the USA until 2001 when he married a native Israeli and relocated to live in Jerusalem. He and his wife, Sonia, have 2 daughters. His experience with biblical scholarship began at an early age. His father initiated a program in conjunction with Hebrew Univ. and Prof. Benjamin Mazar, where over a 5 year period, some 450 college students came to work on an archaeological excavation in Jerusalem starting in 1969. Since that first trip, Samuel has visited Israel on 14 different occasions living more than 16 years of his life in the country. He has toured all areas of Israel as well as worked in several archaeological excavations. Today, he has begun his academic career publishing three books dealing with biblical issues. He writes regularly on biblical subjects with a particular interest in children, families, nature, science and the Bible,and gender in the Biblical context.




Thy Rod and Thy Staff, They Comfort Me: Christians and the Spanking Controversy



It has now been over six years since this book first appeared in print and I have definitely been pleased with some of the feedback that I have gotten from it. I have also received the following academic reviews, which I am happy to share with you for your reference.


Samuel Martin



"I‟ve had a chance to read through your manuscript and I find it very interesting! I think you‟ve made an important contribution, especially to contextualizing biblical ideas about childrearing. I hope you will find a publisher for this book. I‟m sure many others would benefit from learning of your research."

Dr. Dawn Devries, Professor of Systematic Theology, Union Theological Seminary and contributor to the book "The Child in Christian Thought" (Eerdmans: 2000)


I want to take my hat off to Samuel Martin and say, Thanks!

When I think about Samuel Martin, what comes to mind is a contemporary and contextualized, this-world version of William Wilberforce.  He certainly has Wilberforce blood running through his veins.  He is a Christian living in Jerusalem with an interest in connecting to the rest of the world in ways that are helpful and strategic about how to live out ones faith.  Check his website:  .  You will find interesting discussions about various biblical subjects.

In addition to being a blogger, Samuel is an author.  I just finished reading his book Thy Rod and Thy Staff They Comfort Me: Christians and the Spanking Controversy.  I ordered the book from a California source and had it delivered to a Canadian residence  Unlike more academic books that I tend to write, which can often be inaccessible to average readers (!), Samuel Martin does a good job of writing with an easy-to-understand touch.  For me the greatest benefit in reading his book was to see how a movement towards an anti-spanking position can be developed through Jewish sources and readings of Scripture (as well as Christian ones).  He comes to similar conclusions that I do regarding the spanking controversy but his path through the biblical material is quite differenta fascinating read.

Blogger, author and, most importantly, activist!  My third thanks to Samuel is that he has reminded me of my own need to be at least to some extent . . . an activist.  He has not done this by way of harrassment.  No, he has shown me this through his own life and example.  He would be happy to know that recently I have broken out of my insulated scholarly circles and actually done a handful of radio interviews.  Now that is a stretch for a stuffy, old professor of New Testament.  Through his own activist workquite extensive as I have watched from afarhe is changing the world one person at a time.  He does so often by putting people together in ways that help to bring influence on those who perhaps would otherwise not listen.  Samuel has reminded me of something that is easily forgotten in the ivory towers of academia, namely, that ideas only work to the degree that there are people willing to influence (other) people about those ideas.

So, on three accounts my hat is off to Samuel Martinblogger, author and activist. - Professor William Webb


Dr. Bill Webb is Adjunct Professor of Biblical Studies. He has worked as a pastor, chaplain, and professor over a span of over twenty years. In addition to conference speaking ministry, he has published several articles and books, including Returning Home (Sheffield Press, 1993), Slaves, Women, and Homosexuals (InterVarsity, 2001), Discovering Biblical Equality (two chapters; InterVarsity, 2005), Four Views on Moving from the Bible to Theology (one view and responses; Zondervan, 2009), Corporal Punishment in the Bible: A Redemptive Hermeneutic for Troubling Texts (InterVarsity, 2011).



"Thank you very much for your manuscript … I found some of your passages very, very interesting, … It would be of great interest to parents…

Fr. Lawrence Boadt, CSP, Publisher, Paulist Press


"Many thanks for sending me a copy of your book. Since I, like so many, cannot read Hebrew, I found your analysis of language fascinating and persuasive. Your exploration of these complex issues is thorough and convincing"

Dr. Philip Greven, Professor Emeritus, Rutgers University, author of "Spare the Child: The Religious Roots of Punishment and the Psychological Impact of Physical Abuse" (Random House, 1992)


"This is not an easy read, but it is one any Christian who desires to be true to the Bible in the first instance should take time to read. ... In my view this study is a definitive reading of the biblical texts for Christians and non-Christians alike."

Rev. Alistair McBride, Scots Presbyterian Church – Hamilton, New Zealand (see - July 25 2006)





This website does not use cookies