Called a “brilliant and spirited theologian” by author Phyllis Tickle, Jack Levison has a passion for ideas and an obsession with writing. A featured blogger for the Huffington Post, Jack is also an internationally recognized author, whose books have received wide acclaim. Scot McKnight, author of The Jesus Creed, called Filled with the Spirit “the benchmark and starting point for all future studies of the Spirit,” and Walter Brueggemann hailed it as “inspired.” Eugene Peterson, author of The Message, describes his recent popular book Fresh Air: the Holy Spirit for an Inspired Life as “a rare and remarkable achievement,” while N. T. Wright claims, “His excitement is infectious … he sets little-known biblical passages on fire and drills down to unimagined depths in well-known ones. His account of the holy spirit … is mature, seasoned, challenging, and wise.” Of his last book, Inspired: the Holy Spirit and the Mind of Faith, noted Pentencostal scholar Amos Yong predicted that it would “not only inform readers about the spirit but activate, nurture, and enable a spirit-filled way of life, learning, and virtue.”
Jack’s next book, 40 Days with the Holy Spirit, is an interactive invitation to commune with the least familiar member of the Trinity. Over the course of forty days, readers will be summoned on a journey through Scripture, the witness of the church, and their own prayerful reflections upon a life together with God’s people, filled and empowered by the life-giving Holy Spirit.
To find time to write, Jack has received grants from the National Humanities Center, the Louisville Institute, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the International Catacomb Society, and the Rotary Foundation. He also maintains a vigorous scholarly life. He recently directed, with Priscilla Pope-Levison, a Lilly Fellows Seminar on gender and Christianity, and he currently co-directs an international research project, The Historical Roots of the Holy Spirit. Jack is the founding editor of a new book series, Ekstasis: Religious Experience from Antiquity to the Middle Ages. Next year, he will serve as president of the Pacific Northwest Region of the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature. He has published in a range of journals, including—just to name a few—the Harvard Theological Review, New Testament Studies, Journal of Biblical Literature, Journal for the Study of Judaism, Journal for the Study of the New Testament, and Catholic Biblical Quarterly.
Jack is the author and editor of books on a wide swath of subjects, from Early Judaism to contemporary theologies, from inspiration to gender studies, from the Old Testament to the New. His books include Portraits of Adam in Early Judaism, The Spirit in First Century Judaism, Of Two Minds: Ecstasy and Inspired Interpretation in Early Judaism, Texts in Transition: the Greek Life of Adam and Eve, Filled with the Spirit, and Fresh Air: the Holy Spirit for an Inspired Life. With Louis Feldman, of Yeshiva University, he has edited Josephus’ Contra Apionem: Studies in its Character and Context with a Latin Concordance to the Portion Missing in Greek. With Priscilla Pope-Levison, he has written Jesus in Global Contexts and edited two books, Return to Babel: Global Perspectives on the Bible and Sex, Gender, and Christianity.
Raised in Levittown, New York, Jack left to attend Wheaton College (B.A.), Cambridge University (M.A.), and Duke University (Ph.D.). At Duke, he fell in love with a divinity student, Priscilla Pope, to whom he has been married for over thirty years. Now, as Professor of New Testament at Seattle Pacific University, Jack lives in Shoreline, Washington, with Priscilla, his son Jeremy, and his daughter Chloe, when she is home from college. At his feet you’ll find Maggie, an amiable black lab mix. Jack can be found throwing a ball with his son or his dog, snowshoeing on well-marked trails (he grew up on Long Island, not in Wyoming wilderness, after all), walking along the rocky beaches of the Puget Sound, and stopping with Priscilla for strong black tea—he takes his with loads of sugar and milk—the legacy of a sojourn in Scotland too many years ago.