David Edmond Hiebert was born 27 July 1910 near Corn, Oklahoma. He was the sixth of eight children born to David Kornelius Hiebert (27 August 1875, Alexanderfeld, South Russia - 4 April 1950, Buhler, Kansas) and Katherine (Warkentine) Hiebert (12 February 1877, South Russia - 30 August 1965, Buhler, Kansas). Edmond married Ruth Velma Kopper (2 June 1911, Kingman County, Kansas – 4 November 2002), daughter of Peter Bernard Kopper (1880-1952) and Elisabeth “Lizzie” (Krehbiel) Kopper (1879-1963), on 26 December 1935 in Ingalls, Kansas. Edmond and Ruth had three children: Dorothy, Larry, and Alice. Hiebert suffered a heart attack in October 1994, and died in Fresno, California, on 30 January 1995. The funeral took place on 3 February in the Butler Avenue Mennonite Brethren Church, Fresno, where Hiebert and his wife had been members since 1957.
Young David Edmond was soon called Ed to avoid confusion with his father, David. The family moved to Kansas in 1921, where they lived in Hillsboro and Ingalls. Hiebert was baptized and became a member of the Ingalls Mennonite Brethren Church in 1925. Although born to a farming family, Edmond was surrounded by an extended family of ministers, businessmen, and teachers. Paternal uncles included P. C. Hiebert, long time Mennonite Central Committee and Mennonite Brethren Conference leader; J. K. Hiebert, minister of the Ebenfeld, Kansas, congregation; C. A. Hiebert, president of Wall-Rogalsky Milling Company of McPherson, Kansas, and Daniel, a medical doctor.
After completing high school in Ingalls, Hiebert enrolled at Tabor College in 1929. When Tabor temporarily closed due to financial difficulties in 1931, Hiebert transferred to John Fletcher College in Oskaloosa, Iowa. A neck injury forced him to postpone his education for a few years, and he graduated from John Fletcher College in 1935. While taking time out from his studies, Hiebert was asked to serve as a temporary minister for the Ingalls Baptist Church. The church eventually asked him to become their permanent pastor, which required him to transfer his membership from the Mennonite Brethren Church to the Baptist Church. He served as pastor there from 1933 to 1935. Hiebert continued to participate in the Ingalls Mennonite Brethren Church after joining the Baptists, teaching a Bible class there on Sunday afternoons and occasionally delivering the Sunday evening message.
In 1936 Hiebert and his new wife, Ruth Kopper, moved from Ingalls to Louisville, Kentucky, where he enrolled at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Hiebert received his Th.M. from that school in 1939 and his Th.D. from there in 1942. His dissertation was entitled "Teaching Christian Doctrine in the Church-Related College." While in graduate school, Hiebert served as a part-time pastor of Baptist churches in Vevay, Indiana, and Garnetsville, Kentucky. He also taught religious education at Simmons University in Louisville from 1939 to 1942. Upon completion of his doctoral studies, Hiebert returned to Hillsboro, Kansas, where had been appointed Professor of New Testament at Tabor College. Soon thereafter the Hieberts rejoined the Mennonite Brethren Church.
Hiebert contracted undulant fever in 1944, from which he nearly died. Several months after his apparent recovery, it became evident that he was losing his hearing, and by 1946 Hiebert was completely deaf. Following a recurrence of his illness, Hiebert resumed teaching at Tabor in fall 1947.
In 1955 Hiebert joined the faculty of the newly-established Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary (MBBS) in Fresno, California. He served as a professor of New Testament there from 1955 to 1975. In 1975 he was named Professor Emeritus at MBBS, and continued to teach on a part-time basis there until 1985.
Despite his deafness, D. Edmond Hiebert was a successful and respected lecturer in New Testament studies during his long career at Tabor and MBBS. Despite his great contributions in the classroom, Hiebert's most significant legacy was his writing. His first book, Working By Prayer, was published by the Mennonite Brethren Publishing House in 1953. Hiebert was, however, best known for his commentaries on the New Testament. His first such book, An Introduction to the Pauline Epistles, was published by Moody Press in 1954. Over the next four decades Hiebert published seventeen books, most of them studies of New Testament books and topics. Several of these books were subsequently reissued or translated into Spanish. Hiebert also wrote many articles for periodicals such as The Christian Leader, The Defender, The Journal of Church & Society, Bibliotheca Sacra, and Direction. D. Edmond Hiebert continued to write until almost the end of his life.
Martin, Loyal. "D. Edmond Hiebert." Direction (January 1975): 269-273.
Archival RecordsCenter for Mennonite Brethren Studies, Fresno, CA: D. Edmond Hiebert Papers, 1928-1995.
|Date Published||October 2011|
Cite This Article
Enns-Rempel, Kevin. "Hiebert, D. Edmond (1910-1995)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. October 2011. Web. 25 Jan 2015. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Hiebert,_D._Edmond_(1910-1995)&oldid=65222.
Enns-Rempel, Kevin. (October 2011). Hiebert, D. Edmond (1910-1995). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 25 January 2015, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Hiebert,_D._Edmond_(1910-1995)&oldid=65222.
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