It’s that time again. Yes, it’s interview time! This week’s interview comes from the Professor of New Testament Language and Literature at Western Seminary, James DeYoung. He is author of Homosexuality: Contemporary Claims Examined in Light of the Bible and Other Ancient Literature and Law, as well as a co-author of Beyond the Obvious: Discover the Deeper Meaning of Scripture, and contributor to The Gospels and the Scripture of Israel.
First, tell us a little about yourself.
I am professor of NT Language and Literature, I’ve been teaching Gr and related studies for over 35 years. I’ve written a few books; I live in a semi-rural area where I raise Christmas trees and a few beef cattle. I’ve been married for 44 years, have 4 married children and 10 grandchildren.
What motivated you to enter your field of study? What keeps you going?
The Lord’s call to full time ministry at home or abroad, and the gift and desire to teach God’s word to any who would listen. Seminary is one of the very best places to do this, and this keeps me going.
What issues have you had to overcome along the way?
Among several, one is the obstacle of tradition—we’ve always believed it this way. We need to be open to God’s new things that he is doing in the world and the unfolding of revelation to understanding his word to us.
What is your favorite passage of scripture?
The books of Romans, Hebrews, Galatians, Matthew, Revelation, Psalms, Genesis, Deuteronomy, Isaiah , Zechariah, Daniel, etc, etc.
Can you divulge any information on any new publication or project on which you are working?
I’m working on a response to The Shack since I know the author personally; and to universal reconciliation. Also I’m working on a project about the Christian and the State; and a biography of my mother.
What do you think are the biggest problems facing New Testament scholarship today?
To evaluate the New Perspectives on Paul and the Law and to examine 1st century Judaism; also the LXX; to continue to refine hermeneutics; finally the place of Greek and Hebrew in a Seminary curricula.
Where do you believe are the best places for a student to study the New Testament either as an undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral student?
I think our institution does well in this area. I think a broader education is preferable on the doctoral level than a very narrow area.
Lastly, if there is one piece of advice you could give to someone entering New Testament scholarship, what would it be?
Study the OT and Hebrew as well as NT and Greek.
My thanks go out to Dr. DeYoung for his willingness to participate in this interview series. Remember, if any of you have a scholar you would like to see featured here, let me know.