- BSc (East Tennessee), ThM (Dallas), MA (Wheaton), PhD (Sheffield)
- Joined the University of Manchester in 1998
- Lectured previously at Sheffield (1995-96) and at St Andrews (1997-98)
- Senior Lecturer in Biblical Studies and early Christian literature
I grew up mainly on the Tennessee-Virginia border and remained in the Tri-Cities area until a growing interest in biblical texts and Christian theology inspired me to move to Dallas, where I focussed on biblical languages and especially ancient Greek at Dallas Theological Seminary.
Two years as an assistant pastor in Bristol, Virginia, and an MA in Historical and Theological Studies at Wheaton were followed by a move to Sheffield (1989), whose Department of Biblical Studies was internationally renowned at that time for its intellectual creativity and theoretically experimental approaches to biblical and related writings from antiquity. My doctoral research at Sheffield reinforced, deepened, and significantly broadened my interests in method and theory in the study of early Judasim, Christianity, and religious discourse more generally.
My long fascination with all things biblical, theological, and religious is accompanied by an enduring romance with the game of basketball, which I still play from time to time - though with much greater caution than in my youth. In addition to making fifty-seven consecutive free throws (a school record) during my final season of high school competition, on separate occasions I lost a front tooth, sustained a broken jaw, and fractured the fifth metatarsal on my left foot. Hence the scary photo above.
Supervision Areas for Prospective PhD Applicants:
- The use of linguistics (e.g., conceptual metaphor theory, systemic linguistics, pragmatics, and discourse analysis) and the social sciences in the interpretation of biblical and related literatures from antiquity
- Comparative and intertextual study of the New Testament and the Nag Hammadi library
- Hellenistic Greek grammar
- Exorcism and demonology in the world of early Judaism and Christianity
- Problems of category construction in the definition of 'Gnosticism', 'magic', 'religion' and related terms
I have advised and co-advised a significant number of PhD students to successful completion of their degrees. The research of several of those students has been foundational to scholarly articles published after the awarding of the degree; and four in particular have seen their PhD thesis published in revised form as a scholarly monograph. Namely:
- Gillian Beattie. Women and Marriage in Paul and His Early Interpreters. JSNTSup 296. London: T & T Clark, 2005).
- Philip Goodwin. Translating the English Bible: From Relevance to Deconstruction. London: James Clarke and Co, 2013.
- David Lamb. Text, Context and the Johannine Community: A Sociolinguistic Analysis of the Johannine Writings. Library of New Testament Studies. London: Bloomsbury T&T Clarke, 2014.
- Frederick Tappenden. Resurrection in Paul: Cognition, Metaphor, and Transformation. Early Christianity and Its Literature. Atlanta: SBL Press, 2016.
I welcome enquiries from all qualified students interested in the possibility of doing PhD research in New Testament and related fields, including most especially discourse analytic approaches to New Testament interpretation, 'Gnosticism' in antiquity, the Nag Hammadi corpus, 'magic' in the ancient Mediterranean world, and select pseudepigraphal texts (e.g., the Testament of Solomon, and the Eighth Book of Moses).