Professor of Religious Studies; Brooke Foss Westcott Professorship of New Testament Textual Criticism, Greek Studies, and Hermeneutics; Chair, Religious Studies Department
Office
Trinity Western University, Langley/BC
Phone
+1 (604) 513-2121 ext. 3116
Email

Research & Scholarship

Education

Ph.D. Trinity College, University of Bristol, Department of Theology and Religious Studies, Bristol, England, 2002.

  • Thesis Topic: “Enlightenment Reason and Christian Faith: The Eighteenth Century and the Development of the ‘Modern’ Christian Weltanschauung”.
  • Director of Studies: Dr. John Nolland (Professor of New Testament Studies), Trinity College, Bristol, England; Examiners: Professor John Clarke (Professor and Chair of History), University of Buckingham, Buckingham, England; Dr. Robert Forrest (Principal Lecturer of New Testament Studies and Biblical Criticism), Trinity College, Bristol, England.

Master’s Degree in Theological Studies (Major in Biblical Studies), First Class Honours, Trinity Western University, Langley, British Columbia, Canada, 1994.

  • Thesis Topic: “An Analysis of the United Bible Societies’ Greek New Testament with Reference to the Evaluation of Evidence Letter-Ratings” (Published by Sheffield Academic Press, 1997).
  • Supervisor: Dr. Larry Perkins (Professor of New Testament and Inter-Testamental Literature); Examiners: Dr. Craig A. Evans (Payzant Distinguished Professor of New Testament); Dr. Philip Schafran (Senior Lecturer in Theology).

Bachelor’s Degree in Theology (Double Major in Theology and Outdoor Recreation), First Class Honours, summa cum laude, Okanagan Bible College, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, 1992.

Awards & Honors

The Trinity Western University Rooted & Reaching Award, 2017-2018 Academic Year (Awarded annually to one faculty member in recognition of their Christian character, their integration of faith into their academic discipline, their advancement of the legacy and purposes of students, and their significant contribution to Trinity Western University).

The Davis Distinguished Teaching Award, 2013-2014 Academic Year (Awarded annually to one faculty member in recognition of a high level of teaching excellence and significant contribution to the pedagogical life of Trinity Western University).

Brooke Foss Westcott Funded Research Professorship (Trinity Western University; 2007-Present).

Overseas Research Students Award (O.R.S.), Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals, London, England, 1994-1997.

Nelson Lumber Foundation Bursary, Northwest Baptist Theological College, 1993.

Student Leadership Award, Okanagan Bible College, 1992.

Member of Honours Society of Canadian Bible Colleges, 1992.

Esso Resources Scholarship, 1990-1991.

Roland Financial Scholarship, Okanagan Bible College, 1988-1991.

Academic Dean’s List, Okanagan Bible College, 1988-1991.

Recent Publications

Books & Monographs:

A Handbook to the Principles and Practice of New Testament Textual Criticism (Under Contract with Baker Academic Press for Completion of Manuscript for Fall 2018).

Christian Faith and Enlightenment Reason: The Development of Modern Biblical and Theological Studies in the Eighteenth Century and Beyond (Manuscript in Final Preparation).

Codex Vaticanus: A New Transcription and Critical Assessment Incorporating Corrections to Tischendorf’s Editio Princeps (Norfolk, VA: BibleWorks LLC; 2011).

Textual Optimism: An Analysis of the United Bible Society’s Greek New Testament and Its Evaluation of Evidence Letter-Ratings (JSNTSup 138; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1997). For reviews of this work, see W.L. Richards in Review of Biblical Literature 05/26/2000; P. Ellingworth in NovT 40 (1998), pp. 382-84; J.N. Rhodes in CBQ 60 (1998), pp. 759-60; D.A. Black in Filologia Neotestamentaria 10 (1997), pp. 157-158; M.C. Parsons in The Bible Translator, 50 (1999), pp. 346-350; J.K. Elliott in ExpTim 108 (1997), pp. 341-42; idem in JTS 49 (1998), pp. 293-97; and more extensively, C. Zamagni, “Un Art De L’«Optimisme Textuel» Néotestamentaire? Étude Critique D’après un Travail De K.D. Clarke”, Rivista Biblica 50 (2002), pp. 421-43.

Chapters & Articles:

“Paleography and Philanthropy: Charles Lang Freer and His Acquisition of the ‘Freer Biblical Manuscripts’”, in Larry W. Hurtado (ed.), The Freer Biblical Manuscripts: Fresh Studies of an American Treasure Trove (SBL Text Critical Studies 6; Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2006), pp. 17-73. Publication served as basis for portions of the CTVC (London) two-part documentary entitled “The Bible Hunters” that aired on BBC2 and the Smithsonian Channel (2014), wherein the author served as both a consultant and contributor.

“A Rebuttal to William L. Petersen’s Review of Studies in the Early Texts of the Gospels and Acts”, TC: A Journal of Biblical Textual Criticism 8 (2003), par. 1-5 [http://purl.org/TC].

“Textual Certainty in the United Bible Societies’ Greek New Testament”, Novum Testamentum 44 (2002), pp. 105-33.

“The Problem of Pseudonymity in Biblical Literature and Its Implications for Canon Formation”, in L.M. McDonald and J.A. Sanders (eds.), The Canon Debate (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2002), pp. 440-68.

“Pseudo-Phocylides”, in C.A. Evans and S.E. Porter (eds.), Dictionary of New Testament Background (Downers Grove: Inter Varsity Press, 2000), pp. 868-69.

“The Construction of Biblical Certainty: Textual Optimism and the United Bible Society’s Greek New Testament”, co-authored with Kevin Bales in D.G.K. Taylor (ed.), Studies in the Early Text of the Gospels and Acts (Texts and Studies, 3rd Series, 1; Birmingham, UK: University of Birmingham Press, 1999), pp. 86-93.

“Original Text or Canonical Text? Questioning the Shape of the New Testament Text We Translate”, in S.E. Porter and R. Hess (eds.), Translating the Bible: Problems and Prospects (JSNTSup 173; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1999), pp. 281-322.

“What is Exegesis? An Analysis of Various Definitions”, co-authored with S.E. Porter in S.E. Porter (ed.), Handbook to Exegesis of the New Testament (NTTS 25; Leiden: Brill, 1997), pp. 3-21.

“A Canonical Critical Perspective and the Relationship of Colossians and Ephesians”, co-authored with S.E. Porter; Biblica 78/1 (1997), pp. 57-86.

“Canonical Criticism: An Integrated Reading of Biblical Texts for the Community of Faith”, in S.E. Porter and D. Tombs (eds.), Approaches to New Testament Study (JSNTSup 120; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1995), pp. 170-221.

Significant & Ongoing Research:

BibleWorks Biblical Manuscript Transcription and Collation Project; General Editor and Academic Project Leader (Fall 2007-Present) of the fully-funded BibleWorks Manuscript Transcription Project, which seeks to provide over an on-going period scholarly-produced transcriptions of approximately two hundred New Testament papyri, uncial, and minuscule manuscripts. These new transcriptions, which will be based upon high quality digital images of the actual manuscripts or of their facsimiles, will serve as the foundation for the development of a New Testament textual criticism software application. This project will (1) develop a module that incorporates new technology and processes that more accurately and effectively allow for manuscript transcription and collation; (2) provide extremely accurate representations of the manuscripts being transcribed; (3) make the raw transcription data available without charge for personal or academic use; (4) effectively enable program users to immediately compare, contrast, and fully collate any desired selection—either partial or full text—of these manuscripts; (5) allow for a broad range of detailed statistical queries relating but not limited to such issues as textual affiliation and congruity of the New Testament manuscript tradition; (6) link directly to the manuscript transcriptions their corresponding high resolution digital images where publication permissions have been granted; (7) be “open-ended” in that on-going transcription and imaging work, as well as the recording of relevant extra-textual features such as sociological and codicological details, can be seamlessly incorporated into the software; and (8) serve as the groundwork for traditionally published volumes containing full transcriptions of each manuscript, as well as complete collations for each book of the New Testament.

New Testament Greek Manuscripts Image Collection at Trinity Western University; Director of the largest collection of New Testament Greek manuscript images in Canada (including published facsimiles, microfilm, and digital images). The goal of this project is to catalogue and to establish a collection of ancient biblical manuscript images that will aid in the on-going work of New Testament textual criticism. The growing collection, which is temporarily housed at Trinity Western University and is accessible to both academic and public alike, is formally named in honour of the Late Professor Reuben J. Swanson and his life’s work and commitment to New Testament textual criticism. Newly added to this collection are one hundred and seventy-five fragments of recently discovered and as yet unpublished ancient Egyptian papyri (formally named the Trinity Western University-Wikene Papyri Collection).

Academic Conference Papers & Presentations:

“The Ancient New Testament’s Transmission, Translation, and Interpretation: Questions of Reliability”. Public Lecture presented at the Metzger Collection/Columbia Bible College, Abbotsford, British Columbia, September 20th, 2017.

“Nourishing the Self through Holistic Leisure and Spirituality: Addressing the ‘Modern Dualism’ between Body and Spirit in the Pursuit of Human Flourishing”. Trinity Western University Faculty Retreat, August 24th, 2016. Co-presented with J. Reimer.

“Holistic Perspectives on Health Promotion and Personal Wellness: Developing a Phenomenology and Theology of the Body that Embraces Spiritual Flourishing”. Annual Meeting of the Christian Society of Kinesiology and Leisure Studies (CSKLS), Westmont College, Santa Barbara, Calif., June 9, 2016. Co-presented with J. Reimer.

“Biblical Faith, Enlightenment Reason, and the Problem of Hermeneutics”. Faith and Reason Taskforce, Trinity Western University, February 21, 2013.

“The BibleWorks Biblical Manuscript Transcription and Collation Project: New Technology in the Aid of New Testament Textual Criticism”. The Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting, Boston, MA, November 23, 2008 (presented in the Computer Assisted Research Program Unit).

“The Trinity Western University-Wikene Papyri ‘Rediscovery’”. The Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting, Boston, MA, November 22, 2008 (presented in the Palaeographical Studies in the Ancient Near East Program Unit).

“Paleography and Philanthropy: Charles Lang Freer and His Acquisition of the Freer Biblical Manuscripts”. The Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, November 18-21, 2006 (presented at the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC).

“The Construction of Biblical Certainty: Textual Optimism and the United Bible Society’s Greek New Testament”. The University of Birmingham Colloquium on the Textual Criticism of the New Testament, Birmingham, UK, April 14-17, 1997.

“Original Text or Canonical Text?: Questioning the Basis of New Testament Translation and Exegesis”. Paper given at the Theology and Religious Studies Research Cluster, Roehampton Institute London, London, England, April 1997.

“The Use of Scripture in Canonical Criticism: Prolegomena for Biblical Exegesis”. Paper given at the Theology and Religious Studies Research Cluster, Roehampton Institute London, London, England, March 1996.

“The Use of the Bible in Canonical Criticism: Hermeneutical Outlook or Exegetical Method”. Paper given at the Society for the Study of Theology Annual Conference (Biblical Theology Session), The University of Cambridge, Selwyn College, Cambridge, England, April 8-11, 1996.

“A Canonical Critical Perspective and the Relationship of Colossians and Ephesians”. Paper given at the Theology and Religious Studies Research Cluster, Roehampton Institute London, London, England, February 1995.

“A Canonical Critical Perspective and the Relationship of Colossians and Ephesians”. Paper given with S.E. Porter at the Tyndale Fellowship New Testament Study Group, Tyndale House, Cambridge, England, June 26-28, 1995.

“Defining Canonical Criticism”. Paper given at the Theology and Religious Studies Research Cluster, Roehampton Institute London, London, England, December 1995.

Expertise

English, Modern Research Languages: English, French, German, and Ancient Research Languages: Classical & Koine Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Aramaic.

Courses Taught

Courses Regularly Taught (Undergraduate):

Introduction to New Testament Studies

Introduction to New Testament Studies Discussion Groups

Foundations II Human Flourishing

Elementary Greek

Readings in the Greek New Testament

Advanced Greek Readings

Advanced New Testament Exegesis

Principles of Biblical Interpretation

Life and Teachings of Jesus

Life and Letters of the Apostle Paul

New Testament Book Study—Romans

The Synoptic Gospels and Acts

New Testament Theology

Current Issues in Biblical Theology

Introduction to Biblical Archaeology

Interdisciplinary Studies: Developing a Christian Worldview

Israel, Egypt, and Jordan Travel Study

Turkey, Greece, and Rome Travel Study

Courses Regularly Taught (Graduate):

Elementary Greek

Readings in the Greek New Testament

Advanced New Testament Exegesis

Advanced Greek Readings

Advanced Greek Studies

Principles of Biblical Interpretation

Current Issues in Biblical Theology

New Testament Seminar

Israel, Egypt, and Jordan Travel Study

Turkey, Greece, and Rome Travel Study

Introduction to Biblical Archaeology

Other Occasional Courses Taught:

Introduction to Philosophy

Introduction to Old Testament Studies

Introduction to Old Testament Studies Discussion Groups

God and Human Beings in the Old Testament

The Religious Experience of the Psalms

Christian Tradition Past and Present