#50-2-Follow: 50 NT Scholars to Read and Follow—Madison N. Pierce

#50-2-Follow: 50 NT Scholars to Read and Follow—Madison N. Pierce March 3, 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. 


Assistant Professor of New Testament

Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

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

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.

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?

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.

Who is your academic hero and why?

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.

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

Paul and the Hermeneutics of Faith (Francis Watson)

Obeying the Truth (John M. G. Barclay)

From Every People and Nation (J. Daniel Hays)

 Read Pierce’s Work

Divine Discourse in the Epistle to the Hebrews (forthcoming in June)

 Muted Voices of the New Testament (2017; edited)

Trinity without Hierarchy (2017; contributed)

Follow Pierce’s Work ONLINE

Follow Pierce 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?

Star Wars! (But I try to keep up on popular TV as well!)

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

I’m writing a book about messiah language in Hebrews. I’m very excited about that.

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