Cover photo for John Franklin Hall III's Obituary
1951 John 2023

John Franklin Hall III

April 14, 1951 — March 14, 2023


John Franklin Hall III passed from this life and has returned home to a beloved family on March 14, 2023, after a brief illness. He is survived by his wife, Dena Marie Ming-Hall, three sons, John Franklin Hall IV, James Lafayette Fillerup Hall, and Jefferson Hendricks Hall, and his grandchildren John V, Sylvia, William, Kirsten, Erica, Luke, Raechel, and Matthias. He is also survived by his brother Michael Glen Hall, his sister Susan Hall Howard, and step-mother Brenda Hall, and several nieces and nephews.

John was born April 14, 1951, to John Franklin Hall, Jr. and Alice Ann Beam Lord in Jacksonville, Florida. He was immediately greatly loved by his parents and grandparents, especially by his beloved “Nanny.” John was a darling baby and even won a baby contest and named “King Johnny” of greater Riverside in Jacksonville. From his early years, John loved learning and reading about the Vikings and anything historical and ancient. In junior high school he was president of the Latin Club and often participated in Roman Games while dressed in the finest togas. During his high school years at Terry Parker he was in the Marching Band. He was the schools spirit mascot “Geronimo” and he ran onto the field during the football games in a full Indian Brave costume. He was president of the Key Club and was voted the class of 1969 “Most Likely to Succeed.”

He was a professor of Classics and Ancient History at Brigham Young University, where he was the Eliza R. Snow University Fellow. He specialized in Rome from the time of the Etruscans to the reign of Augustus. He was best known among scholars for his work on the Secular Games, which was published in the well-respected ANRW (Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt, or Rise and Fall of the Roman World). 

He received his B.A. from Brigham Young University, his M.A. from Princeton University, and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.  He was a past president of the Classical Association of the Middle West and South, a professional organization for Classicists. He was instrumental in arranging, organizing, and hosting the inaugural exhibit of the Brigham Young University Museum of Art, The Etruscans, which featured artifacts from the Vatican’s collection of Etruscan antiquities. In connection with this exhibit, Hall edited the volume Etruscan Italy, which featured contributions from noted Roman historians, Etruscologists, and members of the BYU faculty.

John is also the author of several important works on early Christianity, particularly in terms of providing insight into the LDS (Mormon) perspective. He has written Charting the New Testament, Masada and the World of the New Testament and parts of Apostles and Bishops in Early Christianity, which is composed of lecture notes of his teacher Hugh Nibley that he pieced together, edited and footnoted for publication in a book format. His most widely read work is New Testament Witnesses of Christ: Peter, John, James, and Paul, a discussion of the “pillars of early Christianity” both in a biographic fashion and also in respect to their doctrinal teachings about Christ. 

John accepted the definition of truth as “knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come” and therefore never stopped his search into history, religion, antiquity, cultures, and languages. He was relentless in his pursuit, and shared his knowledge with those willing to be taught.

He is remembered by his many students at Brigham Young University as an outstanding academic. To those who knew him best, however, he was prized as an esotericist whose mind was drawn to antiquity, the world of the antediluvian, and searching into what Egypt preserved from that long-forgotten world. He was an assistant to Hugh Nibley, providing research and input to Dr. Nibley that in turn drew John into his lifelong passion.

After retiring from BYU, he continued teaching privately. He guided students through New Testament Greek to equip them to follow his New Testament studies. He led groups of students on tours of sacred places in Europe, the Middle East, and the northeast United States, expounding on the events that made them sacred.

During the Coronavirus pandemic, John continued to teach through a series of lectures which were distributed online with the help of his wife, Dena. He presented his final lecture a few months before his death. His life was spent in the pursuit of light, truth, and knowledge. His words and teachings will continue to be treasured in the minds and hearts of many. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John Franklin Hall III, please visit our flower store.


Visits: 1108

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree