Thursday, October 15, 2009


When I first went to Temple Baptist Theological Seminary (as it was called back then) in 1978 one of my professors was Dr. Fred Afman. He looked at my name on the class roll, called out "Fred Jackson" and waited for a response. I responded but instead of going on to the next name he asked if Fred was short for something else.
"How do you spell that?"
"I'm glad to hear you spell it correctly. That's how mine is spelled also."
This was my introduction to one of the greatest Bible teachers of our age. I had many good seminary teachers, two stand out as favorites, Dr. Afman was one of them. Even though I haven't seen him in a number of years I wept when I heard of his passing. Heaven is just getting sweeter and sweeter.

The Bible I preach from is a Rice Reference Bible, Dr. Afman was one of the consulting editors. My view of the Song of Solomon [often called the 3 person view] was greatly influenced by this man of God [it makes way more sense than the more commonly held 2 person view and is Biblically sound].

Dr. Afman never shied away from difficult verses in class. He explained them thoroughly as a good Bible teacher should. One explanation went against the commonly held view of a text but Dr. Afman skillfully laid out the Bible truth of the matter. One student remarked, "You certainly have ruined a lot of good preaching." To which Dr. Afman replied, "I may have ruined some preaching, but since it wasn't Biblical, it wasn't good preaching."

After leaving Chattanooga in 1991 I would occasionally find my way back to the area and when on campus I always tried to go by and see Dr. Afman. He always had time for me [indeed, come to think of it-he always had time for me when I was a student as well] and he always remembered me--- "Brother Jackson, the student who knew how to spell Frederick." I remember you too, Dr. Afman, and I thank God I got to know you and for the part you had in molding my life.

From the website of The International Board of Jewish Missions comes the following: In January 1972, IBJM went on the air with a weekly radio broadcast called "The Voice of Jacob," hosted by Dr. Orman Norwood. At the time it was only heard over a small, local church outreach called WDYN. By October 1972, the program had merged with another program and had increased to thirty minutes. It featured well-known instructor and expositor, Dr. Fred Afman, a teacher of Old Testament studies at Tennessee Temple University. Dr. Afman has over fifty years experience teaching the Bible, and he has taught every book of the Bible, verse-by-verse, on The Everlasting Nation Radio Broadcast since 1972

Here is his obituary from the chattanoogan:

Dr. Fred Afman
Tennessee Temple University Professor For 35 Years
posted October 15, 2009
Fred Afman
Dr. Fred Afman, 88, died on Wednesday, October 14, 2009.
Fred Afman was born to Dutch parents, Martinus and Martha Afman on August 17, 1921, in Hopkinsberg, Mi.
After graduating from Plainwell High School, he was called by God to pursue a lifetime of ministry. He attended Bob Jones College in Cleveland, Tn., from 1941-1946. In 1947, he married Martha Elizabeth Fyne. Fred joined the Bible faculty of Bob Jones University in 1948, and taught there for 25 years. During those years he earned his MA and PhD in Old Testament.He preached in churches throughout the Southeast. In 1971, he moved to Chattanooga, and taught at Tennessee Temple University and Seminary for 35 years. Through 60 years of teaching Bible, Dr. Afman influenced over 22,000 students.
Dr. Afman was a faithful member, Sunday School teacher, and usher at Highland Park Baptist Church for as long as his health allowed. Dr. Afman also served with International Board of Jewish Missions, teaching the Everlasting Nation radio program for 35 years.
Fred enjoyed the weekly fellowship of the Christian Businessmen Association, and taught at their fall retreats for over 20 years. Dad was renowned for his kind words and he never met a stranger. He always expressed appreciation and spoke to everyone. A great sense of humor warmed many hearts. He loved playing and enjoyed being a spectator at sporting events. He was a great father and truly loved by all who knew him.
He was preceded in death by his wife Martha Afman; parents; brother, Bill Afman; and sisters, Marian Cosgrove and Elizabeth Gren.
Survivors include his children, Frederick Martin Afman, Lemoine Elizabeth (Foster) Afman-Radford, Joel Thomas Afman, Martha June (Jim) Lehe, and Jon (Tonya) Afman; 11 grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; sisters, Margaret (Earl) Bostwick and Gerry Cave; and brother, Bob (Hilda) Afman.
Visitation will be from 5-8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 16, and 2-5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday at the funeral home.
Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 19, at Woodland Park Baptist Church, 7501 Standifer Gap Road, Chattanooga, Tn. 37421.
Memorial donations may be made to the International Board of Jewish Missions, P.O. Box 1386, Hixson, Tn. 37343.
Arrangements are by the East Chapel of Chattanooga Funeral Home, Crematory, and Florist, 404 South Moore Road.


Anonymous said...

I remember Dr. Afman when I had him for several Bible classes in the early 70's. But the greatest truth he taught me was to keep calm at all times. He played on our softball team and no matter what the umpires did or how the game went, win or lose, he kept that peaceful air about him at all times. It was one of the greatest lessons I learn at school and it was learned on a baseball field.

Vicki Templeton said...

I fondly remember Dr Afman, and I know he was a favorite of my Dad, who attended Temple's Bible school in the 70's. It's also nice to know others who hold the 3 person view of Song of Soloman, as I do :)

Vicki Templeton

Anonymous said...

My father also had Dr. Afman for Seminary classes at Temple and always remembered him fondly. However, I was most influenced by him through IBJM. I attended the monthly meeting and celebrated the festivals there. He helped me so much by teaching me how to understand my Christian faith better through my Jewish ancestry. His love and burden for the Jewish people was evident by his commitment to the mission board. I wish I could've seen the "welcoming committee" when he entered Heaven!