Faculty Profile

Rev. Dr. James Waddell

Associate Professor of

Biblical Studies

Room 306

jwaddell@etseminary.edu

“Reading the New Testament documents in their natural context of Second Temple Judaism and Graeco-Roman culture is essential for understanding the extraordinarily complex dynamics of the social, political, and religious forces that shaped the emergence of the early church as Christianity.”

The Rev. Dr. James Waddell is Associate Professor of Biblical Studies and Director of the Masters Programs. With more than twenty years of experience as a Lutheran pastor, James also serves in urban parish ministry.

James earned the Ph.D. in Second Temple Judaism from the University of Michigan. He has taught Biblical Studies, Classics, Religious Studies, World Religions, and Liturgical Theology at several institutions, including the University of Michigan and Ecumenical Seminary. His teaching highlights early Jewish and early church views of exploitation of the economically marginalized, and postmodern/post-colonial appropriation of justice regarding wealth, poverty, racism, violence, endurance, and liberation.

His research focuses on early developments of christology, as well as social and ideological intersections of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. He has published a number of peer-reviewed books and articles, has delivered numerous papers at professional conferences, and is an active member of the Society of Biblical Literature. He is the author of The Messiah: A Comparative Study of the Enochic Son of Man and the Pauline Kyrios (T.&T. Clark, 2011) and The Struggle to Reclaim the Liturgy in the Lutheran Church: Adiaphora in Historical, Theological and Practical Perspective (Mellen, 2005), which was referred to by Bryan Spinks (Yale Institute of Sacred Music) as “a major contribution to the wider debate on liturgical theology,” and was included by Frank Senn (North American Academy of Liturgy) in a select bibliography for the article on Lutheran Worship in The Cambridge Dictionary of Christianity (2010).

His blog Studia Rerum Iudaicarum reflects on early Jewish intellectual traditions as this literature informs his contemporary socio-political commentary and criticism, in particular addressing issues of tsedaqah (justice) as we learn from our past and as we live today to love God and each other.

James’ current curriculum vitae may be viewed here.

If you are considering studying Hebrew and/or Greek at ETS but you aren’t quite sure, please read this.

Publications

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS …

Wisdom Poured Out Like Water: Studies on Jewish and Christian Antiquity in Honor of Gabriele Boccaccini. J. Harold Ellens, Jason von Ehrenkrook, Isaac Oliver, James Waddell, Jason Zurawski editors. Deuterocanonical and Cognate Literature Studies 38. Edited by Friedrich V. Reiterer, Beate Ego, Tobias Nicklas, and Kristin de Troyer. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2018.

“‘I Have Been Born Among You’: Jesus, Jews, and Christians in the Second Century.” Wisdom Poured Out Like Water: Studies on Jewish and Christian Antiquity in Honor of Gabriele Boccaccini. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2018. 526-538.

“The Shadow and the Substance: Early Reception of Paul the Jew in the Letter to the Colossians.” The Early Reception of Paul the Second Temple Jew: Text, Narrative and Reception History. Isaac Oliver and Gabriele Boccaccini editors. The Library of Second Temple Studies 92. Lester Grabbe editor. London: Bloomsbury T.&T. Clark, 2018. 75-87.

The Messiah: A Comparative Study of the Enochic Son of Man and the Pauline Kyrios. London: T.&T. Clark, 2011.

The Struggle to Reclaim the Liturgy in the Lutheran Church: Adiaphora in Historical, Theological and Practical Perspective. Mellen, 2005.

Interests & Projects

CURRENT PROJECTS …

The Birth of Lord Jesus Messiah: Infancy Christologies from the First to the Second Centuries CE. … in progress

Classes

BL5101 Koine Greek I


2019 Fall / Biblical Languages Professor James Waddell Associate Professor of Biblical Studies Kenneth E. Harris President and Professor of Biblical Studies This is the first quarter of a three-quarter sequence of introductory study of Koine Greek (NT Greek). This course will focus on the mastery of vocabulary and the basic rules of Koine Greek syntax and grammar. Some memorization of paradigms for nouns, verbs, adjectives, and other part of speech will be required. Emphasis, however, will be placed on learning to recognize forms rather than rote reproduction of forms. The primary objective is to build confidence and competence in the reading and consistent use of the Greek text of the New Testament. Master of Arts (Academic), Master of Divinity REGISTRATION




BL5102 Koine Greek II


2019 Winter / Biblical Languages Professor James Waddell Associate Professor of Biblical Studies Kenneth E. Harris President and Professor of Biblical Studies This is the second quarter of a three-quarter sequence of introductory study of Koine Greek (NT Greek). This course will continue to focus on the mastery of vocabulary and the basic rules of Koine Greek Syntax and gramnar. Some memorization of paradigms for nouns, verbs, adjectives, and other parts of speech will be required. Emphasis, however, will be placed on learning to recognize forms rather than rote reproduction of forms. The primary objective, however, is to build confidence and competence in the reading and consistent use of the Greek text of the New Testament. Master of Arts (Academic, Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry REGISTER




BLK6100 Biblical Greek Exegesis


2019 Spring / Biblical Languages Professor James Waddell Associate Professor of Biblical Studies Kenneth E. Harris President and Professor of Biblical Studies This is the third quarter of a three-quarter sequence of introductory study of Koine Greek (NT Greek). This course will focus on the details and nuances of biblical exegesis by reading in Greek an entire NT epistle, Ephesians, from beginning to end. Up to this point, students have been readnig examples of NT Greek in sentences and paragraphs. As th efinal quarter of the three-quarter sequence, emphasis is now placed on giving the student he experience of readin NT Greek in the context of an entire letter. Special attention will be given to strengthening the student's understanding of vocabulary, grammar, and syntax as well as learning to read complex theological arguments in Greek from beginning to end. Master of Arts (Academic), Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry REGISTER




BS5100 Introduction to the Hebrew Bible (OT)


2020 Summer, 2020 Winter / Biblical Studies Professor Brandon R. Grafius Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies James Waddell Associate Professor of Biblical Studies This is a general introductory course to the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament). The student will learn to use various methodologies to explore the diverse origins of the traditions of ancient Israel and Second Temple Judaism and how these traditions came to be written in the Hebrew bible. By making use of the results of current archaeological and comparative studies, significant attention is placed on the surrounding cultures of the ancient Near East and their impact on the development of the Hebrew Bible. Special attention will be given to the problem of developing the student's research and writing skills using historical analysis and specific, detailed element of biblical exegesis. The course includes lectures, discussions, and prepared slides. Course requirements include reading the Hebrew Bible and selections from texts of various ancient Near Eastern cultures. Master of Arts (Academic), Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry, Master of Divinity REGISTER




BS5200 Introduction to the New Testament


2020 Spring / Biblical Studies Professor James Waddell Associate Professor of Biblical Studies This course is a general introduction to the study and interpretation of the New Testament. We will explore the historical contexts and theological perspectives of the individual New Testament texts. The course includes lectures, discussions, and prepared slides. Course requirements include reading the New Testament and selections from the Pseudepigrapha, the Apocrypha, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the works of Philo and Josephus, and other writings from Second Temple Judaism(s). Special attention will be given to the problem of developing the student's research and writing skills using historical analysis and specific, detailed elements of biblical exegesis. Certificate in Theological Studies, Master of Arts (Academic), Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry, Master of Divinity REGISTER




BS6101 Second Temple Judaism and the Dead Sea Scrolls


2018 Winter / Biblical Studies Professor James Waddell Associate Professor of Biblical Studies This course is a survey of Jewish literature from the sixth century BCE to the first century CE. We will explore the cultural, literary, and historical contexts of the Pseudepigrapha (Enoch, Jubliees, etc.), the Apocrypha (Tobit, Judith, Widom Ben Sira, 1 & 2 Maccabees, etc.), philosophical works (Philo of Alexandria), and historiographical works (Flavius Josephus). We will also examine in some detail the community that produced the Dead Sea Scrolls, its social development and contribution to the history of Jewish thought, as well as intertextual relationships with the document in the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament. Master of Arts (Academic), Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry, Master of Divinity. REGISTER




BS7004 The Prophetic Tradition


2018 Winter / Biblical Studies Professor Brandon R. Grafius Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies James Waddell Associate Professor of Biblical Studies This course is the second general course in Old Testament and is required at most of the cooperating seminaries. You will explore the central role that the prophetic movement played in ancient Israel with special attention to the defining role of the free-lance prophetic movement and its institutionalization in "prophetic schools" which facilitated the transition from charismatic figure to religious text. The central dynamic of the relationship of this prophetic material to subsequent Deuteronomic materials is given particular emphasis. You will devote significant attention to the rise of wisdom, cultic and other special historical interests that grew up around the prophetic movement and interacted with it. You will learn to write a carefully researched and argued exegetical paper on a particular text taken from this material snd given attention to its application to the problems of contemporary American life. Master of Arts (Academic), Master of arts in Pastoral Ministry, Master of Divinity REGISTER




BS7101 Paul the Apostle


2018 Spring, 2019 Winter / Biblical Studies Professor James Waddell Associate Professor of Biblical Studies This course offers a historical study of Paul's life and letters. The primary focus of the course will be to read Paul as a Jewish intellectual who understood himself to be called by the risen Jesus to be his apostle of the Gentiles. Part of the focus of the course will be given to the urban context of Paul's mission work with reference to Greco-Roman culture and empire, and the stark contrast between Rome's ideology of power and Paul's ideology of service. Special attention will be given to reading each of Paul's letters in the unique historical and literary contexts in which they were written. Analysis will include examination of the relation of Paul's christology to Jewish messiah traditions of the Second Temple period. Some attention will be given to the disputed letters attributed to Paul Master of Arts (Academic), Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry, Master of Divinity REGISTER




BS7102 Gospel of Mark


2017 Fall, 2018 Fall / Biblical Studies Professor James Waddell Associate Professor of Biblical Studies This course offers a detailed study of the Gospel of Mark and its presentation of Jesus as the suffering Messiah. The course will focus on Mark's unique perspective within the anonical gospel traditions. The course will examine issues such as Mark's contribution to developing christologies of the first century CE and evidence of different trajectories of leadership in dialogue in the earliest churches. Special attention will be given to contextual readings of Mark in relation to other Jewish texts of the Second Temple period. Master of Arts (Academic), Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry, Master of Divinity REGISTER




BS7103 Gospel of Matthew


2017 Winter / Biblical Studies Professor James Waddell Associate Professor of Biblical Studies This course offers a detailed study of the Gospel of Matthew with its unique emphasis on the Jewishness of Jesus and his earliest followers. Using critical historical methodology to the course will focus on Matthew's unique perspective within the canonical gospel traditions. The course will examine issues such as the Synoptic Problem and Q, Matthew's contribution to developing infancy christologies of the first and second centuries CE, and Matthew's particular apocalyptic perspective, Special attention will be given to historical analysis and contextual readings of Matthew in relation to other Jewish texts of the Second Temple period. Certificate in Theological Studies, Master of Arts (Academic), Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry, Master of Divinity REGISTER




BS7104 Luke - Acts


2017 Spring, 2019 Spring / Biblical Studies Professor James Waddell Associate Professor of Biblical Studies This course offers an in-depth historical critical reading of the two-part New Testament text known as Luke-Acts. Special attention will be given to Luke's unique perspective on justice issues, such as racism, the subversion of cultural expectations of the roles of women, and exploitation of the economically marginalized by the wealthy elite. Part of the focus of this course will be placed on questions of dating, authorshhip, and christology of Luke's gospel, the presentation of the individual traditions of Jesus' sayings, the events of this life which were developed into a narrative from the author's unique perspective, a narrative that leads to and climaxes in the cross. We will also examine the Acts of the Apostles and critically read this document for historical information about the experience of community in the early church, the social and economic structures of the early church (community of goods with its Essene origins, e.g.), the leadership of the Jerusalem apostles, the gentile mission of Paul, and the tensions (as the author described them) in the transition from Jewish communty to Gentile Church. Special attention will be placed on the author's agenda for writing Acts in its Greco-Roman context and the complicated problem of the author's use of sources and their historical reliability. Master of Arts (Academic), Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry, Master of Divinity REGISTER




BS7105 Johannine Tradition


2017 Fall / Biblical Studies Professor James Waddell Associate Professor of Biblical Studies This course offers a detailed historical analysis of the Johannine Tradition. The focus of this course is an in-depth study of the Gospel of John, the Letters of John, and the Apocalypse of John. Detailed attention will be given to the social, historical, political, and religious contexts of the Johannine community, issues of dating, authorship, the development of Johannine christology, the unique Johannine presentation of the individual traditions of Jesus' words and actions the events of his life which are presented in a narrative that leads to and climaxes in the cross. Special attention will be given to current theories of the origins of the Johannine community in both its Grego-Roman and Jewish contexts. Master of Arts (Academic), Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry REGISTER




BST7103 Empire, Wealth, and Poverty in the New Testament


2019 Fall / Biblical Studies Professor James Waddell Associate Professor of Biblical Studies This course will examine issues of Roman dominance in the Mediterranean world from the second century BCE to the second century CE. Special attention will be given to issues of empirical ideologies of power, wealth, exploitation, and economic marginalization, as these important social and political realities were a concern for conquered peoples enslaved under Roman political and social dominance in this period. We will read primary sources from Second Temple Judaism, Greco-Roman historiography, the New Testament, and Jewish and Christian writings fron this period. We will discuss post-modern/post-colonial interpretations of these primary sources, from critical historical analysis to critical social analysis, and we will apply these readings to the social and political realities of empire, economic exploitation, and the response of faith in our world today. Master of Arts (Academic), Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry, Master of Divinity, Certificate in Theological Studies REGISTER




HIS6000 Church History I


2019 Fall / History Professor James Waddell Associate Professor of Biblical Studies Brandon R. Grafius Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies The Church History I and Church History II courses identify and explore the fundamental theological questions of the Christian tradition and examine the various ways in which the church evolved in response to those questions. Beginning with New Testament communities, it follows the growth and development of the church as an institution beginning with formative early centuries, the Reformation, up until our own day. It gives special attention to the ways in which the church responded to persecutions, heresies, schism, conflict, and the rise of contemporary denominationalism. It also evaluates the impact upon the church of major historical events. Master of Arts (Academic), Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry, Master of Divinity REGISTER




HIS6100 Church History II


2020 Winter / History Professor Brandon R. Grafius Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies James Waddell Associate Professor of Biblical Studies The Church History I and Church History II courses identify and explore the fundamental theological questions of the Christian tradition and examine the various ways in which the church evolved in response to those questions. Beginning with New Testament communities, it follows the growth and development of the church as an institution beginning with formative early centuries, the Reformation, up until our own day. It gives special attention to the ways in which the church responded to persecutions, heresies, schism, conflict, and the rise of contemporary denominationalism. It also evaluates the impact upon the church of major historical events. Certificate in Theological Studies, Master of Arts (Academic), Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry, Master of Divinity REGISTER





 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ecumenical Theological Seminary is accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools​ in the United States and Canada, and the following degree programs are approved: MDiv, MA, MA in Pastoral Ministry, DMin.

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