#50-2-Follow: 50 NT Scholars to Read and Follow—Holly Beers

#50-2-Follow: 50 NT Scholars to Read and Follow—Holly Beers March 17, 2020

This blog series spotlights 50 NT scholars and their research. The goal of this series is to introduce readers to a wider circle of scholarship than they have encountered. The majority of people on this list are early or mid-career NT scholars who are doing great research and writing. 


Explain why you love teaching and/or writing, and why it brings you vocational satisfaction.

I deeply enjoy both researching/writing and teaching, though in terms of order of passion I think of myself as a teacher-researcher. My heart is in the classroom; I feel as if I’m the best version of myself, in terms of who God created me to be, in that space. I always tell people that I feel as if I have the best job in the world; my task is to learn about the Bible, and then share what I’ve learned with others. In my writing projects I also see this dynamic, especially in my projects that are directed toward popular audiences.

What is one “big idea,” emphasis, or theme in your scholarship that you hope impacts the way students and scholars read and understand the NT?

Much of my scholarship has involved the way that the Hebrew Scriptures/Old Testament texts were read and understood by Jews in time of Jesus and Paul, which then affects how the authors of the New Testament are using these Scriptures. I have come to see this as an expansion and layering of the idea of context; context is so much bigger and more complex and nuanced than I used to think, and I hope that people are impacted by that in their own attempts to understand the NT.

Who is your academic hero and why?

Jeannine Brown, Professor of New Testament at Bethel Seminary, has been a hero and mentor for me since grad school. She was the first woman I saw in the role that I hoped to have as well someday. She was a wife and a mother; she had friends and church commitments, and yet she excelled in the classroom as a professor and turned out top-tier scholarship. She has given me some of the best, and most practical, advice over the years, and I am grateful that she was and is willing to give of her time in that way.

Name a few academic books that were formative for you as a student.

Jeannine Brown, Scripture as Communication

Tom Wright, The Challenge of Jesus

Gordon Fee, Paul, the Spirit, and the People of God

 Read Beers’ Work

A Week in the Life of a Greco-Roman Woman (author)

The Followers of Jesus as the ‘Servant’: Luke’s Model from Isaiah for the Disciples in Luke-Acts (author)

Reading Mark in Context (contributor)

Follow Beers’ ONLINE

Chapel Messages @ Westmont College (Youtube)


Follow Beers on Social Media

If you ran into me at SBL, and you didn’t want to talk about New Testament studies, what would you want to talk about?

I’d want to know what, if any, novels you’ve read recently. Also, I’d want to know what TV shows and/or movies you watch and why. This is important cultural and contextual info! 🙂 I’d also want to hear about your family, especially wife and kids and what they’re up to.

What is a research/writing project you are working on right now that you are excited about?

I’m going to be co-editing a new commentary series on the New Testament that aims to serve the broader charismatic, renewalist, and Pentecostal church(es). I was raised in a Pentecostal context and still see it as my primary tradition, and I’ve always wanted to serve my “home” context in this way.

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