Born on a farm in 1946 in Madera, California, Poythress later graduated from Bullard High School in Fresno. He then earned his bachelor's degree from California Institute of Technology in mathematics and his Ph.D. in mathematics from Harvard University. After teaching math for one year, Poythress decided to attend Westminster Theological Seminary and earn his Masters of Divinity and a Th.M. in apologetics. Taking a teaching position at the school in 1976, Poythress instructed his students on the New Testament and continues to do so today. Yearning to keep learning, Poythress continued his education to receive an M.Litt. in New Testament from University of Cambridge and a Th.D. in New Testament from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa. An author of books on biblical law, Bible translation, and theological method, to name a few subjects, Poythress is also the editor of the Westminster Theological Journal.
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