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.
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I have always been curious. My parents bought me a set of books that answered questions such as “Why is the sky blue?” when I was very young because I was constantly trying to understand more about the world around me. When I became a Christian in high school, I turned this curiosity towards God. I think that still drives me a lot, but I also get really excited when I’m able to make new connections and clarify aspects in a new way.
It’s really important to me that my students understand how the NT fits within a trajectory of Jewish interpretation. It wasn’t Paul, for example, who was the first to read X, Y, Z in light of Christ; many passages that he is interpreting were already understood in terms of messianic expectation. This isn’t to say that “Christian” readings aren’t distinct; it’s to say that they aren’t unique.
Perhaps it’s cliché to name one’s supervisor, but I admire Francis Watson, and this is more true today than the day I went to study with him. Watson is a remarkable scholar; he remains curious and desires to learn (which is why he’s had such a profound influence on Pauline studies, Theological Interpretation of Scripture, and Gospel studies). I hope that I always remain interested in learning more and that I invest in my students in the way that he does. Along those same lines, another person that I admire is Joey Dodson. I wouldn’t be here today if Joey hadn’t taken the time to invest in me as an undergraduate. Especially in his/our Baptist context, he made sure that female students felt supported and knew that they had an advocate. Joey took me seriously before I did, and I’m so grateful.
Star Wars! (But I try to keep up on popular TV as well!)
I’m writing a book about messiah language in Hebrews. I’m very excited about that.