The State of New Testament Studies: Abson Joseph on Petrine Letters

Dr. Abson Joseph is dean of Wesley Seminary (Indiana Wesleyan University). Before his work as dean, Dr. Joseph taught New Testament at IWU for several years, with speciality in the Petrine Epistles.

NKG: Why are you interested in the Petrine Epistles (1 Peter, 2 Peter)?

AJ: The Petrine letters are formative for the way the church should engage society. It is exciting to look at the way the literature and scholarship on these letters have developed over the years.

NKG: Can you give a very brief description of how this discipline has changed over the last 20 years?

AJ: There is a growing commitment to and interest in engaging the Petrine Letters, though some writers continue to treat the letters with prejudice. The application of new methodological approaches has provided fresh ways to understand the message of these texts.

NKG: Can you recommend two books that have been especially important or discipline-shaping in the scholarship on 1-2 Peter, especially in the last 20 years?

AJ: Karen Jobes, 1 Peter, BECNT (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2005). Jobes’ commentary is one of the most comprehensive, balanced, and helpful treatments of the text of 1 Peter. She addresses the issues in a critical yet accessible way. Ruth Anne Reese, 2 Peter & Jude, THNTC (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2007). Reese provides a helpful treatment of 2 Peter that takes seriously the letter’s (canonical) proximity to 1 Peter while paying close attention to its relationship with Jude.

NKG: What else are you up to these days?

AJ: I am researching the role that hospitality plays in the call(s) to holy living throughout Scripture; and, I am also interested in the Gospel of Mark’s characterization of Jesus.

SNTS.jpgNKG: Thanks, Dr. Joseph! If you are interesting in reading what he has to say about the “state of scholarship” on the Petrine letters, check out the book The State of New Testament Studies.