Dr. Grant R. Osborne

July 7, 1942 ~ November 4, 2018 (age 76)

Dr. Grant R. Osborne, Professor of New Testament, 76, of Libertyville, went home to be with his Lord and Savior on Sunday, November 4, 2018, at Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville. He was born on July 7, 1942 in New York, NY to the late Thomas and Evelyn (née Burkett) Osborne. On July 1, 1967 in Fort Wayne, IN, Grant married the love of his life, Nancy Hardy.

Grant earned a BA from Fort Wayne Bible College, an MA from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and a PhD from the University of Aberdeen. He also did postdoctoral research at the universities of Cambridge and Marburg. In May of 2018 he was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Bethel College in Mishawaka, Indiana.

Dr. Osborne’s areas of expertise included the gospels, hermeneutics, and the book of Revelation. He also served as the general editor for the gospels and Acts portion of the New Living Translation. Even at the end of his life, he was willing to reexamine the evidence for an issue and change his mind if it was merited.

Dr. Osborne retired from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in 2016 after forty years of teaching, research, and service (1971-72, 1977-2016). He also taught at Winnipeg Theological Seminary, the University of Aberdeen, and Giessen School of Theology. He had a passion for the Word of God and the church, and taught Scripture in a way that made it accessible and practical for those in his classes, including many men and women who went on to be pastors, missionaries, chaplains, and academics around the world. Grant developed deep relationships with his colleagues, and enjoyed sharing and receiving wisdom and life with them in the hallway and over a meal.

In 1991, Dr. Osborne completed The Hermeneutical Spiral, which became a classic evangelical text on hermeneutics. Along with numerous academic articles, during his career Grant wrote commentaries on Revelation, Romans, John, Matthew, Mark, James, 1-2 Peter, and Jude. After retirement, he set out to write a commentary series on the New Testament not for the academic or pastor, but for the average church member. At the time of his death, he was almost finished with Hebrews, the twelfth of the planned nineteen volumes in the Osborne New Testament Commentaries series.

Somehow, Grant managed to write so much while typing with two fingers.

Dr. Osborne also served as a general editor for the IVP New Testament Commentary Series and the Life Application Bible Commentary series. Many of his books have been translated into multiple languages. In 2011 he was honored by a Festschrift, On the Writing of New Testament Commentaries.

Grant was an ordained minister in the Evangelical Free Church. Earlier in life, he pastored churches in Ohio and Illinois, and ministered in Pakistan, Germany, and England. During the last few decades, he traveled extensively to China, Korea, the Philippines, and many other countries to teach, preach, and train pastors. He was part of the early development of Timothy Training Institute, which trains pastors in China. He also served on a number of ministry boards.

Grant and Nancy were members of the Village Church of Gurnee for many years. Grant was as an elder, regularly taught a Sunday school class that he loved, and served on the congregational care committee. He also taught a Wednesday night class at Willow Creek for many years—another group of people he loved.

Grant loved teaching and encouraging men and women to faithful ministry, and has left a lasting impact on the global Christian community. He has fulfilled the calling of what he considered to be his life verse, 2 Tim 2:15: “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” When asked, he said that his legacy was “love of family, love of God’s Word, and love of the Church.”

Grant was devoted to family. He loved to spend time with them over good food, and enjoyed watching movies with his children and grandchildren. Most importantly, he was devoted to leaving a godly legacy for his family. Every Christmas he would read the story of the birth of Jesus first to his children, and later to his grandchildren. He was also proud to be Welsh.

Among other things, Grant and Nancy loved to drink tea and coffee, walk on the beach, watch British mysteries, travel both near and far, and engage with art. Grant was an avid reader of science fiction, mysteries, and biographies. He loved watching movies. He was also a lifelong fan of sports, including basketball (Bulls), football (Bears, Packers, Notre Dame, Ohio State), baseball (New York Yankees), Olympic sports, the Tour de France, the Iditarod, and whatever else might be on.

Dr. Osborne is survived by his loving family, his devoted wife of 52 years, Nancy Osborne of Libertyville, IL; two daughters, Amber (Pastor Cody) Kargus of Rice Lake, WI and Dr. Susanne (Jeff) Calhoun of Libertyville, IL; grandchildren, Kaylin Kargus, Autumn Kargus, Nicole Kargus, Grace Kargus, and Eliana Calhoun; brother, David (Donna) Osborne of Detroit, MI; brother-in-law, Dave (Renee) Hardy of Reading, MI; sisters-in-law, Sue (John) Rockey of Jackson, MI, Randi (Kevin) Miller of Solsberry, IN, and Susie Osborne of Columbia City, IN; half-brother, Tom (Grace) Costagliola of Staten Island, NY; and many nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, Dr. Osborne was preceded in death by his brother, Robert Osborne.

A celebration of Dr. Osborne’s life will take place on Saturday, November 10, 2018, at 4:00 PM at Village Church of Gurnee, 1319 N. Hunt Club Rd., Gurnee, IL with Pastors Todd Habegger and Cody Kargus officiating. A time of visiting will follow the memorial service at the church. Interment will be private.

In lieu of flowers or gifts, the family is asking for donations to a scholarship at Trinity, tentatively named the Grant R. Osborne Memorial Scholarship. People can give at the memorial service, or online at

Arrangements entrusted to Sambrano Funeral & Cremation, Gurnee, IL; for information, please call 847-571-7719.

Donations may be made to:

Grant R. Osborne Memorial Scholarship at Trinity

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