Vern S. Poythress was born in 1946 in Madera, California, where he lived with his parents Ransom H. Poythress and Carola N. Poythress and his older brother Kenneth R. Poythress. The family lived on a farm until he was five years old. When he was nine years old he made a public commitment to Christ and was baptized in Chowchilla First Baptist Church, Chowchilla, California. The family later moved to Fresno, California, and he graduated from Bullard High School in Fresno.
He earned a B.S. in mathematics from California Institute of Technology (1966) and a Ph.D. in mathematics from Harvard University (1970). After teaching mathematics for a year at Fresno State College (now California State University at Fresno), he became a student at Westminster Theological Seminary, where he earned an M.Div. (1974) and a Th.M. in apologetics (1974). He received an M.Litt. in New Testament from University of Cambridge (1977) and a Th.D. in New Testament from the University of Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch, South Africa (1981).
He has been teaching in New Testament at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia since 1976. In 1981 he was ordained as a teaching elder in the Reformed Presbyterian Church Evangelical Synod, which has now merged with the Presbyterian Church in America.
More information about his teaching at Westminster can be found at the Westminster Seminary website.
Dr. Poythress studied linguistics and Bible translation at the Summer Institute of Linguistics in Norman Oklahoma in 1971 and 1972, and taught linguistics at the Summer Institute of Linguistics in the summers of 1974, 1975, and 1977. He has published books on Christian philosophy of science, theological method, dispensationalism, biblical law, hermeneutics, Bible translation, and Revelation. A list of publications is found on this website.
Dr. Poythress married his wife Diane in 1983, and they have two children, Ransom and Justin. He has side interests in science fiction, string figures, volleyball, and computers.