Revealing the New Testament Narratives: Gospels, Acts, Apocalypse

Includes the NRSV Bible

This critical introduction to the six full-length narratives found in the New Testament—the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; the Acts of the Apostles; and the Book of Revelation—is timely as well as unique. In recent decades, narrative analysis has become a central endeavor in biblical scholarship. Treated together, the six New Testament narratives form a coherent group, Acts taking up where the gospels leave off, and Revelation taking up where Acts leaves off—that is, with Christian witness and consequent persecution. Revealing® the New Testament Narratives equips student to engage appreciatively, knowledgeably, and critically with these inestimably influential texts. They learn the main critical methods used to study them; who wrote them, why, and in what circumstances; their (often contradictory) theologies and christologies; how they work as plotted narratives; how gender is represented and constructed in them; how Judaism is represented and embodied in them; and how politics infuses them, especially issues of social justice and relations to empire.

Revealing® the New Testament Narratives aims to be the most accessible introduction available to the narrative literature of the New Testament. No prior knowledge of this literature, or of the New Testament in general, is presupposed, nor is any familiarity with Christian church life and the biblical knowledge it generates through osmosis. But this introduction does not patronize the student either. Students are not required to accept on the authority of the author any position on any important textual matter independently of the evidence or reasoning that has led to it. The evidence and the arguments are clearly and meticulously laid out throughout, enabling students to draw different conclusions or construct alternative explanations. Ultimately, this introduction is designed to equip students to become informed participants in the vigorous, consequential, open-ended debate that is critical scholarship on the foundational texts of Christianity.

Revealing® the New Testament Narratives contains integrated resources than no print textbook or etextbook can match. Each biblical chapter-and-verse reference is linked to the text of the New Revised Standard Version, the English translation most biblical scholars prefer. Reading the primary source material thereby becomes an altogether more inviting experience for the student than having to trawl through a print biblical text separate from the textbook. Even extracanonical sources, such as the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Nag Hammadi library, Irenaeus’s Against Heresies, or Eusebius’s Church History, are linked to the text when they are referenced. Each technical or potentially unfamiliar term in the text is linked to a glossary definition. Creatively designed activities distributed throughout each module facilitate understanding and retention by the student. Over a thousand images from ancient material culture and the history of biblical reception are also available to the reader and the entire text is narrated. Revealing® the New Testament Narratives imparts the basics of New Testament study engagingly and accessibly.

Revealing® the New Testament Narratives Modules:

  • The New Testament Narratives: Contents & Methods
  • A Secret Messiah: The Gospel of Mark 1
  • A Suffering Messiah: The Gospel of Mark 2
  • The Synoptic Problem: Who Copied Whom?
  • A Teaching Messiah: The Gospel of Matthew 1
  • A Torah-Abiding Messiah: The Gospel of Matthew 2
  • An Elite Evangelist: The Gospel of Luke 1
  • A Revolutionary Messiah: The Gospel of Luke 2
  • The Acts of the Apostles: To the Ends of the Earth
  • A Preexistent Messiah: The Gospel of John 1
  • Jews & Romans: The Gospel of John 2
  • The Book of Revelation: “I will show you what must take place”
Price: $40.00

The New Testament Narratives

Four Gospels, Composite Christ
  • Goals: Four Gospels, Composite Christ
  • Books of the New Testament
  • The Gospels
  • Jesus’ Early Life
  • The Mission Begins
  • The Miracle Worker
  • The Teacher & the Disciples
  • Three Years or One Year?
  • John’s Contributions
  • The Final Days
  • Resurrection & Return
  • Summary: Four Gospels, Composite Christ
  • Try It: Four Gospels, Composite Christ
Apostolic Acts, Apocalyptic Visions
  • Goals: Apostolic Acts, Apocalyptic Visions
  • Acts of the Apostles: A Sequel
  • Christian Beginnings
  • Persecution & Expansion
  • Paul’s Role
  • Questions & Problems
  • Acts & History
  • Revelation: An Apocalypse
  • Summary: Apostolic Acts, Apocalyptic Visions
  • Try It: Apostolic Acts, Apocalyptic Visions
Critical Approaches
  • Goals: Critical Approaches
  • The Historical & the Mythical
  • The Historical-Critical Method
  • A Multitude of Methods
  • Redaction Criticism & Form Criticism
  • Narrative Criticism
  • The Reader Writes Back
  • Feminist Criticism
  • Queer Criticism
  • Bible & Empire
  • Historical Criticism & Beyond
  • Summary: Critical Approaches
  • Try It: Critical Approaches
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A Secret Messiah

Outline: Mark
  • The Gospel of Mark
Reading Mark on Its Own Terms
  • Goals: Reading Mark on Its Own Terms
  • Skipping from Book to Book
  • Reading One Author at a Time
  • Mark Overshadowed
  • Mark as “Summarizer”
  • The Earliest Gospel
  • Mark’s Jesus & Other Characters
  • Summary: Reading Mark on Its Own Terms
  • Try It: Reading Mark on Its Own Terms
The Beginning of the Gospel
  • Goals: The Beginning of the Gospel
  • An Abrupt Beginning
  • An Apocalyptic Gospel
  • The Son of God
  • Mark & Empire
  • Recruiting Disciples
  • A Cosmic Battle
  • Summary: The Beginning of the Gospel
  • Try It: The Beginning of the Gospel
The Messianic Secret
  • Goals: The Messianic Secret
  • A Secret Messiah
  • A Theology of the Cross
  • An Awkward Secret
  • Elite Disciples
  • The Disciples’ Finest Moment
  • Jesus’ Mother
  • Summary: The Messianic Secret
  • Try It: The Messianic Secret
Disciples Running, Stumbling, Falling
  • Goals: Disciples Running, Stumbling, Falling
  • The Parables Discourse
  • Mark’s Parable Theory
  • A Cloud & a Storm
  • Casting Out Demons (and Romans)
  • Restoring Israel
  • Hard-Hearted Disciples
  • Jesus Outmaneuvered & Frustrated
  • Summary: Running, Stumbling, Falling
  • Try It: Disciples Running, Stumbling, Falling
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A Suffering Messiah

Outline: Gospel of Mark
  • Gospel of Mark
Jerusalem, the Cross & the Tomb
  • Goals: Jerusalem, the Cross & the Tomb
  • The Pivot of the Plot
  • Glory & Failure
  • The Passion Predictions
  • The Son of Man
  • Conflict at Jerusalem
  • Insiders & Outsiders
  • The Centurion
  • Female Followers
  • Summary: Jerusalem, the Cross & the Tomb
  • Try It: Jerusalem, the Cross & the Tomb
Who Was Mark & Why Did He Write?
  • Goals: Who Was Mark & Why Did He Write?
  • Endings of Mark
  • Who Wrote Mark?
  • Where Did Mark Write?
  • When Did Mark Write?
  • Destruction of the Temple
  • Jesus’ Imminent Return
  • Nero’s Persecution
  • Between Two Catastrophes
  • Anti-Imperial Ethics
  • Christianity & Empire
  • Summary: Who Was Mark & Why Did He Write?
  • Try It: Who Was Mark & Why Did He Write?
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The Synoptic Problem

The Problem & Why It Matters
  • Goals: The Problem & Why It Matters
  • The Lives of Jesus
  • Synoptic Gospels, Synoptic Problem
  • Main Solutions
  • Why the Synoptic Problem Matters
  • Ancient Solutions
  • Valuing Contradictions
  • Summary: The Problem & Why It Matters
  • Try It: The Problem & Why It Matters
How We Know They Copied
  • Goals: How We Know They Copied
  • Eyewitness Accounts?
  • Not Eyewitness Accounts
  • The Oral Tradition
  • Literary Dependence
  • Summary: How We Know They Copied
  • Try It: How We Know They Copied
The Solutions & Their Problems
  • Goals: The Solutions & Their Problems
  • Augustine’s Solution
  • Griesbach’s Solution
  • The Two Document Hypothesis
  • Mark’s Priority
  • Mark’s Obscurity
  • Minor Agreements
  • A Simpler Solution?
  • Summary: The Solutions & Their Problems
  • Try It: The Solutions & Their Problems
The Sayings Gospel Q
  • Goals: The Sayings Gospel Q
  • The Q Engima
  • The Sayings Gospel Genre
  • Dispensing with Q?
  • Was Q Written?
  • A Q Christology?
  • Did Mark Use Q?
  • M & L Material
  • Q, M, L
  • From 2DH to 4SH
  • Summary: The Sayings Gospel Q
  • Try It: The Sayings Gospel Q
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A Teaching Messiah

Outline: Matthew
  • The Gospel of Matthew
A New Moses
  • Goals: A New Moses
  • Matthew’s Preeminence
  • A Teaching Gospel
  • A Structured Gospel
  • A Revised Mark
  • Bookending Mark
  • Jesus’ Teaching in Matthew
  • Five Blocks, Five Books
  • Moses-Jesus Parallels
  • Israel-Jesus Parallels
  • Summary: A New Moses
  • Try It: A New Moses
A Divine Messiah
  • Goals: A Divine Messiah
  • Genealogy & Theology
  • Genealogy & Sexuality
  • Matthew’s Mary
  • Matthew & Scripture
  • A Sinful Jesus?
  • Matthew’s High Christology
  • Summary: A Divine Messiah
  • Try It: A Divine Messiah
Radical Ethics, Erratic Disciples
  • Goals: Radical Ethics, Erratic Disciples
  • The Sermon on the Mount
  • “You of little faith”
  • The Missionary Discourse
  • The Discourse on the Church
  • Cowardly Disciples
  • Comprehending Disciples
  • Peter’s Prominence
  • Female Disciples?
  • Summary: Radical Ethics, Erratic Disciples
  • Try It: Radical Ethics, Erratic Disciples
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A Torah-Abiding Messiah

Outline: Gospel of Matthew
  • Gospel of Matthew
Editing Mark, Authoring Matthew
  • Goals: Editing Mark, Authoring Matthew
  • Demystifying Mark’s Parables
  • Closing Mark’s Open Ending
  • Demystifying Mark’s Crucifixion
  • Glorifying Mark’s “Young Man”
  • Who Wrote Matthew?
  • When & Where?
  • Summary: Editing Mark, Authoring Matthew
  • Try It: Editing Mark, Authoring Matthew
A Jewish Gospel
  • Goals: A Jewish Gospel
  • Matthew’s Jewish Community
  • The Greatest Commandments
  • Observance in Matthew’s Community
  • Matthew & Paul on the Torah
  • Scribes & Pharisees
  • The Crisis within Judaism
  • Summary: A Jewish Gospel
  • Try It: A Jewish Gospel
Anti-Judaism & Anti-Semitism
  • Goals: Anti-Judaism & Anti-Semitism
  • “His blood be on us…”
  • An Anti-Semitic Gospel?
  • An Anti-Jewish Gospel?
  • Jesus, Moses, & the Torah
  • The Punishment of Jerusalem
  • “Go…to the lost sheep…”
  • The Great Commission
  • Summary: Anti-Judaism & Anti-Semitism
  • Try It: Anti-Judaism & Anti-Semitism
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An Elite Evangelist

Outline: Luke
  • The Gospel of Luke
Author & Audience
  • Goals: Author & Audience
  • The Author of Luke & Acts
  • What We Know About Luke
  • Luke, Companion of Paul?
  • The Two Pauls
  • The Authorship of Acts
  • Who Was Theophilus?
  • When Was Luke Written?
  • Luke & Gentiles
  • Summary: Author & Audience
  • Try It: Author & Audience
Evocations & Anticipations
  • Goals: Evocations & Anticipations
  • Luke’s Greek
  • Luke’s Infancy Narrative
  • John the Baptist in Luke
  • The Temple in Luke
  • Inconsistent Genealogies
  • Luke’s Universalism
  • To the Ends of the Earth
  • In Nazareth
  • Summary: Evocations & Anticipations
  • Try It: Evocations & Anticipations
The Disciples in Luke
  • Goals: The Disciples in Luke
  • Disciples on Supernatural Strings
  • Concealing & Revealing
  • Satan’s Return
  • Spirit Possession
  • Summary: The Disciples in Luke
  • Try It: The Disciples in Luke
The Gospel of Women?
  • Goals: The Gospel of Women?
  • Bringing Mary Forward
  • Pairing Women with Men
  • Jesus’ Female Followers
  • Taking Martha Out of the Kitchen
  • Women Disciples in Luke?
  • A Female Prophet in Mark
  • From Prophet to Prostitute
  • A Missing Woman
  • Summary: The Gospel of Women?
  • Try It: The Gospel of Women?
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A Revolutionary Messiah

Outline: Gospel of Luke
  • Gospel of Luke
Luke & Empire
  • Goals: Luke & Empire
  • Luke & Roman History
  • Counter-Imperial Christology
  • Pro-Roman Luke?
  • Anti-Roman Luke?
  • Ambivalence Toward Rome
  • Summary: Luke & Empire
  • Try It: Luke & Empire
The Gospel of the Poor
  • Goals: The Gospel of the Poor
  • Luke & Liberation
  • Peasant Beginnings
  • Sermon on the Plain
  • Reversals of Rich & Poor
  • The Two Teachings on Wealth
  • Summary: The Gospel of the Poor
  • Try It: The Gospel of the Poor
The Gospel of Prayer
  • Goals: The Gospel of Prayer
  • When Jesus Prays
  • Jesus’ Humanity
  • Summary: The Gospel of Prayer
  • Try It: The Gospel of Prayer
Luke & the End of History
  • Goals: Luke & the End of History
  • When Is the End Coming?
  • When Will Jesus Return?
  • The Present Kingdom of God
  • The Future Kingdom of God
  • Summary: Luke & the End of History
  • Try It: Luke & the End of History
An Exemplary Death
  • Goals: An Exemplary Death
  • Less of a Victim
  • Jesus’ Masculinity
  • Jesus’ Last Words
  • A Less Bleak Passion Narrative
  • Summary: An Exemplary Death
  • Try It: An Exemplary Death
Converging on Jerusalem
  • Goals: Converging on Jerusalem
  • Why Jerusalem?
  • Mentions of Jerusalem
  • The “Great Insertion”
  • Journey to Jerusalem
  • Destruction of Jerusalem
  • Centrality of Jerusalem
  • Summary: Converging on Jerusalem
  • Try It: Converging on Jerusalem
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Acts of the Apostles

Outline: Acts of the Apostles
  • The Acts of the Apostles
What Kind of Book Is Acts?
  • Goals: What Kind of Book Is Acts?
  • The Story of Acts
  • The Readability of Acts
  • The Genre of Acts
  • Was Paul an Eloquent Speaker?
  • Methods of an Ancient Historian
  • A More Entertaining History
  • Summary: What Kind of Book Is Acts?
  • Try It: What Kind of Book Is Acts?
The Ascension in Acts
  • Goals: The Ascension in Acts
  • The Hinge Between Luke & Acts
  • Ancient Ascensions
  • Forty Days of Symbolism
  • The Restoration of Israel
  • Once Again Jerusalem
  • Summary: The Ascension in Acts
  • Try It: The Ascension in Acts
Acts & Africa
  • Goals: Acts & Africa
  • Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria
  • Ends of the Earth: Rome?
  • Ends of the Earth: Ethiopia?
  • The Ethiopian Eunuch
  • Complicating the Plot
  • Summary: Acts & Africa
  • Try It: Acts & Africa
The Jewishness of Acts
  • Goals: The Jewishness of Acts
  • Replacing Judas
  • Why Twelve Apostles?
  • Israel & Torah in Acts
  • Was Luke Jewish?
  • Descent of the Holy Spirit
  • Two Takes on Tongues
  • Uniting Israel
  • Summary: The Jewishness of Acts
  • Try It: The Jewishness of Acts
The Acts of the Holy Spirit
  • Goals: Acts of the Holy Spirit
  • Preoccupied with the Spirit
  • God’s Spirit in the Jewish Scriptures
  • The Holy Spirit in Luke-Acts
  • Disciples Learn to Pray
  • Summary: Acts of the Holy Spirit
  • Try It: Acts of the Holy Spirit
Representations of Women in Acts
  • Goals: Representations of Women in Acts
  • Female Disciples
  • Invisible Women
  • Male Witnesses
  • Respectable Women
  • Female Benefactors
  • Summary: Representations of Women in Acts
  • Try It: Representations of Women in Acts
Mission to the Gentiles in Acts
  • Goals: Mission to the Gentiles in Acts
  • The Heroes of Acts
  • On the Road to Damascus
  • Paul’s Importance
  • The Jerusalem Council
  • Missionary Journeys
  • Acts & Empire
  • Summary: Mission to the Gentiles in Acts
  • Try It: Mission to the Gentiles in Acts
Paul of Acts vs. Paul of the Letters
  • Goals: Paul of Acts vs. Paul of the Letters
  • A Recurrent Pattern in Acts
  • Acts & Christian Anti-Judaism
  • Paul’s Version of Paul
  • Did Paul Preach to Jews?
  • Was Paul an Apostle?
  • No Dirty Laundry
  • No Friction
  • Why Paul Is Not Himself in Acts
  • Summary: Paul of Acts vs. Paul of the Letters
  • Try It: Paul of Acts vs. Paul of the Letters
The Open-Endedness of Acts
  • Goals: The Open-Endedness of Acts
  • Before Gentiles & Kings
  • Before the Emperor
  • Paul & Nero
  • Another Empire, Another King
  • Summary: The Open-Endedness of Acts
  • Try It: The Open-Endedness of Acts
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A Preexistent Messiah

Outline: John
  • The Gospel of John
Why John Is Different
  • Goals: Why John Is Different
  • John & Imperial Christianity
  • A Divine Jesus
  • John’s Independence
  • A Jesus Older than the Universe
  • What John’s Jesus Teaches
  • A Different Chronology
  • The Lamb of God
  • The Johannine Language
  • John’s Jesus & History
  • An Evolving Gospel
  • Summary: Why John Is Different
  • Try It: Why John Is Different
Who Wrote John?
  • Goals: Who Wrote John?
  • The Beloved Disciple
  • Not an Apostle?
  • Who Was the Beloved Disciple?
  • The Beloved Disciple as Symbol
  • The Beloved Disciple as Author
  • Gospel of the Beloved Disciple
  • Summary: Who Wrote John?
  • Try It: Who Wrote John?
The Preexistent Son
  • Goals: The Preexistent Son
  • High versus Low Christology
  • Preexistence Christology
  • Divine Sonship
  • Preexistent Divine Sonship
  • Paul & John
  • John 1 & Jewish Scripture
  • The Preexistent Messiah
  • Summary: The Preexistent Son
  • Try It: The Preexistent Son
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Jews & Romans

The Letters of John
  • Outline: The Letters of John
Disciples & Other Characters
  • Goals: Disciples & Other Characters
  • Wrestling with John the Baptist
  • Perceptive Disciples
  • Courageous Disciples
  • A Dumbed-Down Peter
  • Male Insider, Female Outsider
  • Summary: Disciples & Other Characters
  • Try It: Disciples & Other Characters
John & Judaism
  • Goals: John & Judaism
  • A Troublesome Theme
  • Wedding at Cana
  • Seven Signs
  • Seven “I Am” Sayings
  • Superseding Judaism
  • Is John Anti-Jewish?
  • Who Are “the Jews” in John?
  • Summary: John & Judaism
  • Try It: John & Judaism
John & Empire
  • Goals: John & Empire
  • The Political Gospel
  • The Trials of Jesus
  • No Punishment for Rome
  • John’s “World”
  • King Jesus
  • Features of a Resurrected Body
  • Scarred by Empire
  • Summary: John & Empire
  • Try It: John & Empire
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Book of Revelation

Outline: Book of Revelation
  • Book of Revelation: Outline
What Is Revelation?
  • Goals: Revelation as Apocalypse
  • How to Read Revelation
  • Revelation as a Letter
  • Revelation & Apocalypse
  • An Apocalyptic Family
  • Revelation & 1 Enoch
  • Vision or Literature?
  • A Tissue of Quotations
  • Summary: Revelation as Apocalypse
  • Try It: Revelation as Apocalypse
Who Was John of Revelation?
  • Goals: Who Was John of Revelation?
  • Is the Author an Apostle?
  • Not an Apostle
  • Gospel & Apocalypse
  • Not Pseudonymous
  • John on Patmos
  • Summary: Who Was John of Revelation?
  • Try It: Who Was John of Revelation?
A Book of Numbers
  • Goals: A Book of Numbers
  • The Opening Vision
  • The Number Seven
  • The Number Four
  • The Number Twelve
  • The Significance of Numbers
  • Summary: A Book of Numbers
  • Try It: A Book of Numbers
Seven Letters & Seven Seals
  • Goals: Seven Letters & Seven Seals
  • Letters to Seven Churches
  • John & Jezebel
  • An Eschatological Timetable
  • A Slaughtered Lamb
  • The First Six Seals
  • The First Interlude
  • Two Enigmatic Groups
  • Summary: Seven Letters & Seven Seals
  • Try It: Seven Letters & Seven Seals
Seven Trumpets & Seven Bowls
  • Goals: Seven Trumpets & Seven Bowls
  • Seventh Seal & Six Trumpets
  • The Second Interlude
  • The Two Witnesses
  • Seventh Trumpet & Third Interlude
  • The Woman & the Dragon
  • Following the Lamb
  • Punishing Enemies
  • The First Six Bowls
  • Armageddon
  • The Seventh Bowl
  • Summary: Seven Trumpets & Seven Bowls
  • Try It: Seven Trumpets & Seven Bowls
Heaven Comes to Earth
  • Goals: Heaven Comes to Earth
  • The Celestial Superwarrior
  • The Millenium
  • Hell & Hades
  • No Rapture
  • The New Jerusalem
  • Summary: Heaven Comes to Earth
  • Try It: Heaven Comes to Earth
When Was Revelation Written?
  • Goals: When Was Revelation Written?
  • The Sea Beast
  • The Woman Named Babylon
  • Dating Revelation
  • Decrypting 666
  • Nero Once Again
  • Riddle of the Seven Emperors
  • Measuring the Temple
  • Summary: When Was Revelation Written?
  • Try It: When Was Revelation Written?
Anti-Imperial Resistance Literature
  • Goals: Anti-Imperial Resistance Literature
  • The Insatiable Empire
  • The Imperial Cult
  • The Book of Persecution
  • Gender & Empire
  • The Misogyny Debate
  • The Messianic Empire
  • The Divine Emperor
  • Summary: Anti-Imperial Resistance Literature
  • Try It: Anti-Imperial Resistance Literature
How Green Is Revelation?
  • Goals: How Green Is Revelation?
  • Visions of Earth’s Destruction
  • Anti-Earth or Anti-Imperial?
  • Paradise Restored
  • An Outsized City
  • An Animal Christology
  • Summary: How Green Is Revelation?
  • Try It: How Green Is Revelation?

About the Author: Stephen D. Moore, Ph.D. (Drew University)

Stephen D. Moore is Edmund S. Janes Professor of New Testament Studies in the Theological School and Graduate Division of Religion at Drew University, Madison, New Jersey. A native of Ireland, he received the Ph.D. in New Testament from the University of Dublin (Trinity College) long ago. He is the author or co-author, editor or co-editor of around two dozen books, including Literary Criticism and the Gospels: The Theoretical Challenge (Yale University Press, 1989); The Postmodern Bible (Yale University Press, 1995); God’s Gym: Divine Male Bodies of the Bible (Routledge, 1996); God’s Beauty Parlor: And Other Queer Spaces in and around the Bible (Stanford University Press, 2001); Empire and Apocalypse: Postcolonialism and the New Testament (Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2006); Mark and Method: New Approaches in Biblical Studies (with Janice Capel Anderson; Fortress Press, 2008, 2nd ed.); The Invention of the Biblical Scholar: A Critical Manifesto (with Yvonne Sherwood; Fortress Press, 2011); and Untold Tales from the Book of Revelation: Sex and Gender, Empire and Ecology (SBL Press, 2014). He has served on the editorial boards of many journals, including the Journal of Biblical Literature. He has been learning from teaching the New Testament for more than thirty years, and his most treasured professional achievements are the teaching awards he has won.

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