Old Testament Matters: Some Resources from the Pen of Heath Thomas

For the past two years, we have been publishing book notices, informing our readership about books published by Southeastern’s faculty members, in order to make our readers aware of (1) good books on specific topics in which they might be interested; (2) the fact that Southeastern’s faculty members are writing top-shelf scholarly volumes that are used in many universities and seminaries around the world, and serious-minded books that are helpful for pastors and churches; and (3) the opportunity to study at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level under our faculty.

I write the present installment because two monographs in Old Testament Theology have recently brought themselves to my attention, both of which are edited collections with essays by an impressive array of European and American scholars, and both of which contain essays by our very own Heath Thomas. Dr. Thomas is a brilliantly prolific polymath who serves at SEBTS as an Assistant Professor of OT and Hebrew and as editor of Southeastern Theological Review.

The first essay, ” Hearing the Book of the Twelve,” is in Hearing the Old Testament: Listening for God’s Address (Eerdmans), a forthcoming volume on theological interpretation of the Old Testament edited by Craig G. Bartholomew and David J.H. Beldman. Dr. Thomas’ work is featured alongside Stephen Dempster, Tremper Longman III, Gordon Wenham, Christopher J.H. Wright, and others.

The second essay, “‘I Will Hope in Him’: Theology and Hope in Lamentations” is published in A God of Faithfulness: Essays in Honour of J. Gordon McConville on his 60th Birthday (London: T&T Clark). This book is a festschrifft published on the occasion of J. Gordon McConville’s 60th birthday in recognition of the outstanding contribution that he has made to the field of Old Testament studies over the last 25 years. The collection incorporates 12 essays written by colleagues, friends and former research students along with an introduction and complete list of McConville’s publications. Dr. Thomas studied under Dr. McConville at the University of Gloucestershire.

Along with these book chapters, Dr. Thomas has published various articles this year in highly respected scholarly journals, including contributions in Vetus Testamentum, Tyndale Bulletin, and Bulletin for Biblical Research. Finally, he has a good number of books completed or in the works:

  1. Heath Thomas and Robin Parry (eds.) Great is Thy Faithfulness? Reading Lamentations as Sacred Scripture (Eugene, OR: Pickwick, 2011)
  2. Heath Thomas, “Until He Looks Down and Sees”: The Message and Meaning of the Book of Lamentations (Cambridge, UK: Grove, 2009)
  3. Heath Thomas, Poetry & Theology in Lamentations: The Aesthetics of an Open Text (forthcoming)
  4. Habakkuk: A Commentary, in Two Horizons Commentary Series (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, forthcoming)
  5. Heath Thomas, Paul Copan, and Jeremy Evans (eds.) Old Testament Holy War and Christian Morality (Downers Grove: IVP Academic, forthcoming).
  6. Heath Thomas and Craig Bartholomew, The Old Testament Minor Prophets: A Theological Introduction (under contract with IVP Academic).

And, for those of our readership who are potential students: yes, Southeastern offers several degrees with a focus on the Old Testament. The Bachelor of Arts in Christian Studies with a minor in Biblical Studies introduces undergraduate students to the knowledge and skills central to the work of pastors, particularly in the area of Old and New Testament competency. The Master or Arts (Biblical Languages) prepares students to serve as translators and as field supervisors for Bible translation teams. The Master of Arts (Old Testament) provides serious students with an opportunity for advanced study beyond the Master of Divinity or baccalaureate degrees.

The M.Div. with Pastoral Ministry prepares students for pastoral ministry in the local church with and is grounded in study of the Old and New Testament. The M.Div. with Christian Ministry offers the same strong core education while giving one freedom to pursue elective courses in the area of Old Testament and Hebrew. The M.Div. with Advanced Biblical Studies offers the greatest opportunity for focus in Old Testament and Hebrew exegesis, preparing one for a pastoral or teaching ministry.

The Th.M. in Biblical Studies equips post-M.Div. students who want to enhance their theological training, either for preparation for doctoral study or as an advanced degree for service in the church. Students can take the thesis or non-thesis tracks under the supervision of a professor in the area of Old Testament. Finally, the Ph.D. in Biblical Studies with a concentration in Old Testament prepares students to teach Old Testament, Hebrew, and other courses to college or seminary students, and to write about the interpretation and theology of the Old Testament.

We invite you to come study with Dr. Thomas and the rest of our Old Testament Faculty in the B.A., M.A., M.Div., Th.M., or Ph.D. programs of Southeastern. For more info visit our website (http://www.sebts.edu/) and check out the Admissions and Academics links.

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