Kirk Lowery’s graduate studies began in the late 1970s correcting hard copy printout of a Syriac chrestomathy stored on punch cards. His graduate work at the University of California, Los Angeles (MA, PhD) included proofreading of the book of Judges for the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) effort to create the electronic version of Biblia Hebraica Stuttargtensia under the direction of H. Van Parunak. It was this involvement that led to his first contact with Prof Groves in 1982.
His dissertation, Toward a Discourse Grammar of Biblical Hebrew, includes the first published algorithm for the determination of clause boundaries in Hebrew and raises the question of the adequacy of traditional Hebrew grammatical categories and notions in a computational world. It was also among the first to be printed at UCLA by a room-sized laser printer, using bitmaps of Hebrew characters created in consultation with the Department of Computer Science.
Kirk spent 15 years in Europe teaching pastors and church leaders in the then Communist bloc of Eastern Europe. After the fall of Communism, he became Professor of Hebrew and Old Testament at the Baptist Theological Seminary in Budapest. He is fluent in German and Hungarian as well as in various biblical and ancient languages.
In his ninth year at Westminster, Kirk succeeded Prof Groves as Director in 2002. Besides his duties as Director of the Groves Center, he is also Adjunct Professor of Old Testament at Westminster, former Chair of the Computer Assisted Research Group (CARG) of the Society of Biblical Literature, and is one of the moderators of the B-Hebrew Internet discussion forum.
Message from Kirk:
The Groves Center’s work in advanced biblical studies stands squarely in the midst of Westminster’s core values: the Scriptures in the original Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic alone are God’s inspired Word. Biblical and systematic theology, missiology, Bible translation and, yes, even the practical skills of the pastor all rest upon an accurate exegesis of that Word. The Groves Center is committed to pursing that goal, exploring every tool spawned by our Information Age that may have relevance to providing a virtual Bible scholar to every user. “We do the math...so you don’t have to!”
Stephen Salisbury received B.S. and M.S. degrees from Purdue University with a major in computer science, followed by two additional years of graduate work in the same field at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His graduate work in computer science was supported by a National Science Foundation graduate study fellowship. After various summer jobs with high technology firms during his undergraduate and graduate years, Stephen's first full-time employment was as a software design engineer at Microsoft Corporation in the Seattle suburbs.
He began as a part of the team that developed the first version of the OS/2 operating system. Most of his time at Microsoft was spent working on software tools (“C” and “C++” languages) used by programmers both inside and outside Microsoft to create their applications, first for OS/2 and later for the Microsoft Windows operating system (Windows 95, Windows NT, etc.)
After nearly a dozen years at Microsoft, Stephen decided to pursue a seminary degree with the goal of combining his background in computer science with his interest in biblical languages. When he began considering seminary studies he was drawn to Westminster both because of its confessional stance and its emphasis on the study of the Bible in the original languages.
Meeting Alan Groves and learning about his work with the Westminster Hebrew Morphology cemented Stephen’s decision to move to the Philadelphia area to attend Westminster. He earned a Master of Arts in Religion degree in 2002 and is currently a part-time student in the Master of Divinity program.
He began working with Alan Groves and Kirk Lowery part-time in 2001 and became assistant director of the Groves Center in 2004. Besides studying Hebrew and Greek, Stephen began learning French in high school and spent a semester in southern France as an undergraduate.