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Beverly Roberts Gaventa

Distinguished Professor of New Testament


  • B.A. Phillips University
  • M.Div. Union Theological Seminary
  • Ph.D. Duke University


Beverly Roberts Gaventa joined the Baylor faculty in 2013. She previously taught at Princeton Theological Seminary, Columbia Seminary, and Colgate Rochester Divinity School. She has been active in a number of professional societies, including Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas, the Society of Biblical Literature, and the American Theological Association. She has served on a number of editorial boards and lectured widely in the United States, Canada, Europe, South Africa, and Australia.

Academic Honors

    Extraordinary Professor, Stellenbosch University, 2004-

    Member, Center of Theological Inquiry, 2000-2001, 2004-2005

    Doctor of Letters (honoris causa), Christian Theological Seminary, 2002

    Award of Special Merit, Disciples Theological Digest, 1988 (for From Darkness to Light)

    Doctor of Divinity (honoris causa), Kalamazoo College, 1983

    Award for Theological Scholarship and Research, Association of Theological Schools, 1981-82

Selected Books

From Darkness to Light: Aspects of Conversion in the New Testament. Overtures to Biblical Theology. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1986.

The Conversation Continues: Studies in Paul and John in Honor of J. Louis Martyn. Edited with Robert T. Fortna. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1990.

Mary: Glimpses of the Mother of Jesus. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 1995; Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1999.

I and II Thessalonians. Interpretation. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1998.

Blessed One: Protestant Perspectives on Mary. Edited with Cynthia Rigby. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2002.

The Acts of the Apostles. Abingdon New Testament Commentaries. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2003.

The Ending of Mark and the Ends of God: Essays in Memory of Donald Harrisville Juel. Edited with Patrick D. Miller. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2006.

Our Mother Saint Paul. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2007.

Seeking the Identity of Jesus. Edited with Richard B. Hays. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2008.

The Child in the Bible. Edited with Marcia Bunge and Terence Fretheim. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2008.

The New Interpreter's Bible One Volume Commentary. Edited with David L. Petersen. Nashville: Abingdon, 2010.

Apocalyptic Paul. Edited volume. Waco, Texas: Baylor University Press, 2013.

Selected Research Articles

"Comparing Paul and Judaism: Rethinking Our Methods." Biblical Theology Bulletin 10 (1980) 37 44.

"‘You Will Be My Witnesses': Aspects of Mission in the Acts of the Apostles." Missiology 10 (1982) 413 25.

"The Eschatology of Luke Acts Revisited." Encounter 43 (1982) 27 42.

"‘You Proclaim the Lord's Death': I Corinthians 11:26 and Paul's Under¬stan¬ding of Worship." Review and Expositor 80 (1983) 377 87.

"‘Where Then is Boasting?': Romans 3:27 and Its Contexts." Proceedings of the Eastern Great Lakes Biblical Society 5 (1985) 57 66.

"The Overthrown Enemy: Luke's Portrait of Paul." Society of Biblical Literature Seminar Papers 1985. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1985. Pp. 439 49.

"To Speak Thy Word With All Boldness: Acts 4:23 36." Faith and Mission 3 (1986) 76-82.

"Galatians 1 and 2: Autobiography as Paradigm." Novum Testamentum 28 (1986) 309 326.

"The Rhetoric of Death in the Wisdom of Solomon and in Paul." The Liste¬ning Heart: Essays in Wisdom and the Psalms in Honor of Roland E. Murphy, O.Carm. Edited by K. G. Hoglund et al. Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1987. Pp. 127 45.

"Toward a Theology of Acts: Reading and Rereading." Interpretation 42 (1988) 146 57.

"Apostles as Babes and Nurses in 1 Thessalonians 2:7." Faith and History in the New Testament: Essays in Honor of Paul W. Meyer. Edited by John T. Carroll, Charles H. Cosgrove, E. Elizabeth Johnson. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1991. Pp. 193 207.

"The Singularity of the Gospel: A Reading of Galatians." Pauline Theo¬logy: Vol. I. Edited by Jouette Bassler. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1991. Pp. 147 59.

"Romans." The Women's Bible Commentary. Edited Carol Newsom and Sharon Ringe. Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1992. Pp. 313-20.

"Conversion," "Cornelius," "Ethiopian Eunuch." The Anchor Bible Dictionary. New York: Doubleday, 1992.

"The Peril of Modernizing Henry Joel Cadbury." Cadbury, Knox, and Talbert: American Contributions to the Study of Acts. Edited by Mikeal C. Parsons and Joseph B. Tyson. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1992. Pp. 7-26, 46-51.

"Apostle and Church in 2 Corinthians." Pauline Theology: Vol. II. Edited by David M. Hay. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1993. Pp. 182-99.

"Our Mother St. Paul: Toward the Recovery of a Neglected Theme." Princeton Seminary Bulletin 17 (1996) 29-44. (Repr. in A Feminist Companion to Paul. Edited by Amy-Jill Levine. London: T.&.T. Clark, 2004. Pp. 85-97.)

"The Archive of Excess: John 21 and the Problem of Narrative Closure." Exploring the Gospel of John: In Honor of D. Moody Smith. Edited by R. Alan Culpepper and C. Clifton Black. Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1996. Pp. 240-52.

"Mother's Milk and Ministry in 1 Corinthians 3." Theology and Ethics in Paul and His Interpreters: Essays in Honor of Victor Paul Furnish. Edited by Eugene H. Lovering, Jr. and Jerry L. Sumney. Nashville: Abingdon, 1996. Pp. 101-113.

"‘All Generations Will Call Me Blessed': Mary in Biblical and Ecumenical Perspective." Princeton Seminary Bulletin 18 (1997) 250-61; republished in A Feminist Companion to Mariology. Edited by Amy-Jill Levine with Maria Mayo Robbins. London: T. & T. Clark, 2005. Pp. 121-29.

"The Economy of Grace: Reflections on 2 Corinthians 8 and 9." Grace Upon Grace. Edited by Robert K. Johnson, L. Gregory Jones, and Jonathan R. Willson. Nashville: Abingdon, 1999. Pp. 511-62.

"Is Galatians Just a ‘Guy Thing'? A Theological Reflection." Interpretation 54 (2000) 267-78.

"Traditions in Conversation and Collision: Reflections on Multiculturalism in the Acts of the Apostles." Making Room at the Table. Edited by Brian K. Blount and Leonora Tubbs Tisdale. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2001. Pp. 30-41.

"Witnessing to the Gospel in the Acts of the Apostles: Beyond the Conversion or Conversation Dilemma." Word and World 22 (2002) 238-45.

"Galatians." Eerdmans Commentary on the Bible. Edited by James D.G. Dunn and John W. Rogerson. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2003. Pp. 1374-84.

"Theology and Ecclesiology in the Miletus Speech: Reflections on Content and Context." New Testament Studies 50 (2004) 28-39.

"Initiatives Divine and Human in the Lukan Story World." The Holy Spirit and Christian Origins: Essays in Honor of James D. G. Dunn. Edited by Grahan N. Stanton, Bruce W. Longenecker, and Stephen C. Barton. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2004. Pp. 79-89.

"'Nothing Will Be Impossible With God': Mary as the Mother of Believers." Mary Mother of God. Edited by Carl E. Braaten and Robert W. Jenson. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2004. Pp. 19-35.

"What Ever Happened to Those Prophesying Daughters?" A Feminist Companion to the Acts of the Apostles. Edited by Amy-Jill Levine. London: T. & T. Clark, 2004. Pp. 49-60.

"The Cosmic Power of Sin in Paul's Letter to the Romans: Toward a Widescreen Edition." Interpretation 53 (2004) 229-40.

"‘Turning the World Upside Down': A Reflection on the Acts of the Apostles." Shaking Heaven and Earth: Essays in Honor of Walter Brueggemann and Charles B. Cousar. Eds. C. Yoder et al. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2005. Pp. 105-116.

"‘God Handed Them Over': Reading Romans 1:18-32 Apocalyptically." Australian Biblical Review 53 (2005) 42-53.

"Acts of the Apostles." The New Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible. Edited by Katharine Doob Sakenfeld. Nashville: Abingdon, 2006. Vol 1. Pp. 33-47.

"Interpreting the Death of Jesus Apocalyptically: Reconsidering Romans 8:32." Jesus and Paul Reconnected: Fresh Pathways into an Old Debate. Edited by Todd Still. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2007. Pp. 125-45.

"From Toxic Speech to the Redemption of Doxology in Romans." The Word Leaps the Gap: Essays on Scripture and Theology in Honor of Richard B. Hays. Edited by J. Ross Wagner, C. Kavin Rowe, and A. Katherine Grieb. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2008. Pp. 392-408.

"‘For the Glory of God': Theology and Experience in Paul's Letter to the Romans." Between Experience and Interpretation: Engaging the Writings of the New Testament. Edited by Mary F. Foskett and O. Wesley Allen Jr. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2008. Pp. 53-65.

"‘To Preach the Gospel': Romans 1,15 and the Purposes of Romans." The Letter to the Romans. BETL 226. Ed. Udo Schnelle. Leuven: Peeters, 2009. Pp. 179-95.

"On the Calling-Into-Being of Israel: Rom 9:6-29." Between Gospel and Election. WUNT 257. Edited by Florian Wilk and J. Ross Wagner. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck: 2010. Pp. 255-69.

"The Mission of God in Paul's Letter to the Romans." Paul as Missionary: Identity, Activity, Theology, and Practice. Edited by Trevor Burke and Brian S. Rosner. London: T&T Clark, 2011. Pp. 65-75.

"Reading for the Subject: The Paradox of Power in Romans 14:1-15:6." Journal of Theological Intepretation 5 (2011) 1-12.

"Paul and the Roman Believers." Blackwell Companion to Paul. Edited by Stephen Westerholm. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 2011. Pp. 93-107.

"‘Neither Height nor Depth': Discerning the Cosmology of Romans." Scottish Journal of Theology 64 (2011) 265-78.

"‘Neither Height nor Depth': Cosmos and Soteriology in Paul's Letter to the Romans." Apocalyptic and the Future of Theology. With and Beyond J. Louis Martyn. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2012. Pp. 183-99.

"‘For the Glory of God': Learning the Future of the Church from Paul." Calvin Today: Reformed Theology and the Future of the Church. Edited by Michael Welker, Michael Weinrich, and Ulrich Möller. London: T&T Clark, 2011. Pp. 6-14. (Also published as "‘Für die Herrlichkeit Gottes': Von Paulus über die Zukunft der Kirche lernen." Calvin Heute. Göttingen: Neukirchener, 2009. Pp. 7-18.)

"The Rhetoric of Violence and the God of Peace in Paul's Letter to the Romans." Paul, John, and Apocalyptic Eschatology: Studies in Honour of Martinus C. de Boer. Edited by Jans Krans et al. NovTSupp 149. Leiden: Brill, 2013. Pp. 61-75.


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