- San Francisco, CA
More informationBrent Walters was born in 1955 to a middle-class home, the second of three sons. His family moved every year until high school, which developed in the youth an independent mind.
At the age of sixteen, he purchased his first book at a local secondhand shop. His collection grew to one thousand within two years, due to his insatiable quest for answers to matters regarding the early church. During the same period, he learned New Testament Greek (which he later took officially at the university) and busied himself with searching for older and rare editions.
He graduated from San Jose State University in 1980 with a B.A. in philosophy; his emphasis was the Greco-Roman era. For the next three years he traveled widely making copies of out-of-print periodicals regarding early Christian and Jewish literature and history. He developed a vast cross-reference index of published sources on thousands of volumes and from them created topical indices on hundreds of subjects. By the middle of the decade, he had established the Ante-Nicene Archive for scholarly use.
To continue study, he packed his library and moved from California to Massachusetts to attend Boston University. The city provided ample opportunities to expand his large collection, especially since, as he found in Berkeley, a number of colleges were discarding older volumes from their stacks. The Archive grew an additional two thousand books by 1987, when he completed his MA degree; he specialized in Early Church Studies. Brent took advantage of the rich academic climate of the region and attended classes from six different universities and seminaries.
Over next decade he founded the Centre for Early Christian Studies and began teaching classes at San Jose State University. In 1993, Professor Walters received his first evaluation and a contract ensued that has remained in place since that date. Meanwhile, his collection gained national attention in the media, with dozens of articles featuring it around the country. He hosted a television show for three years and w