William G. Johnsson, editor of Adventist Review magazine from 1982 to 2006 and founding editor of Adventist World magazine in 2005-2006, died in Loma Linda, California, United States, March 11, 2023. He was 88.
Johnsson was born in Adelaide, Australia, in 1934. After earning undergraduate degrees in technology and chemical technology, he attended Avondale College, where in 1959 he received a Bachelor of Theology degree and met his wife, Noelene.
He then attended Andrews University, where he earned a Master of Arts in systematic theology in 1966. In 1973, he got a PhD in biblical studies from Vanderbilt University. His dissertation was entitled “Defilement and Purgation in the Book of Hebrews.”
During his long career, Johnsson was a missionary to India from 1960 to 1975. At Andrews University, he served as professor of New Testament exegesis and theology from 1975 to 1980 and was associate seminary dean (1978-1980). In 1979, he was elected as the first president of the Adventist Society for Religious Studies.
Johnsson was also a trustee of the Ellen G. White Estate for most of the time he was editor of Adventist Review. After retiring in 2006, he served for seven years as part-time assistant to the General Conference president for Interfaith Relations.
Johnsson wrote more than 40 books and 1,000 articles. Since 2017, he published five books, including, Where Are We Headed? Adventism After San Antonio (2017); Jesus of Nazareth: His Life, His Message, His Passion (2018); Authentic Adventism (2018); Defilement and Purgation in the Book of Hebrews (2020); and Experiencing Romans (2021).
Adventist Church President, Pastor Ted Wilson, stated, “William (“Bill”) G. Johnson … was a prolific author and longtime worker for the church, serving in various capacities including missionary, teacher, editor of Adventist Review and founding editor of Adventist World.”
He added, “We extend our Christian condolences and sympathies to his wife, Noelene, son Terence and daughter Julie, and extended family, and look forward to that wonderful day when “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Rev. 21:4).”
A longer obituary and tribute will follow, as well as information about a memorial service as it becomes available.