Mikeal Parsons, Ph.D.

Mikeal Parsons, Ph.D.
Professor and Macon Chair in Religion
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Professor and Macon Chair in Religion

  • M.Div., Ph.D. Southern Seminary
  • B.A. Philosophy and Religion, Campbell University

I am a native of North Carolina and have taught in the area of New Testament at Baylor since 1986.

Academic Interests and Research

New Testament Gospels and Acts; ancient rhetoric and literary criticism.  Lead researcher, Contexticon of the New Testament Language.  Co-editor of Paideia Commentary on the New Testament from Baker Academic.  Working on a primer on ancient rhetoric and the New Testament.

Professional Awards and Activities

Member Society of Biblical Literature, President of the SBL-Southwest region in 2006;

National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion, President 2006;

Editor, Perspectives in Religious Studies; Series editor (with Charles Talbert) Paideia Commentaries on the New Testament.

Grants and Fellowships

Co-Project Director of a grant for graduate student teaching from the Wabash Center;

Co-Director of the Baptists' Bible grant from the Louisville Institute


Rethinking the Unity of Luke and Acts. Co-authored with Richard I. Pervo. Philadelphia: Fortress/Augsburg Press, 1993.

"Acts." Pp. 1-64 in Acts and Pauline Writings. Mercer Commentary on the Bible, Volume 7. Watson E. Mills, Richard F. Wilson, et al., editors. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1997.

With Heidi J. Hornik. Illuminating Luke: The Infancy Narrative in Italian Renaissance Painting. Valley Forge, PA: Trinity Press International, 2003.

With Martin Culy. Acts: A Handbook on the Greek Text of Acts. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2003.

With Dennis Smith et al. Synoptic Stories About Jesus. Storyteller's Companion to the Bible. Vol. 9. General Eds. Dennis Smith and Michael Williams. Abingdon Press, 2005.

With Heidi J. Hornik. Illuminating Luke: The Public Ministry of Christ in Italian Renaissance and Baroque Painting. Valley Forge, PA: T & T Clark International, 2005.

Body and Character in Luke and Acts: The Subversion of Physiognomy in Early Christianity. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2006.

Luke: Storyteller, Evangelist, Interpreter. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Press, 2007.

With Heidi J. Hornik. Illuminating Luke: The Passion and Resurrection Narratives in Italian Renaissance and Baroque Painting. Valley Forge, PA: T & T Clark International, November 2007.

The Acts of the Apostles. Paideia Commentary Series. Eds. Mikeal C. Parsons and Charles H. Talbert. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2008.

With Martin Culy and Josh Stigall. A Handbook on the Greek Text of Luke. Waco: Baylor University Press, 2010.

Body and Character in Luke and Acts: The Subversion of Physiognomy in Early Christianity. Reprint. Baylor University Press, 2011.

Luke:  Storyteller, Evangelist, Interpreter. Reprint. Baylor University Press, 2014.

Gospel of Luke. Paideia Commentaries on the New Testament. Baker Academic, 2015.

With Heidi J. Hornik. The Acts of the Apostles Across the Centuries. Oxford: Blackwell’s, 2016.

With Amos Yong and Sarah Melcher, eds. Disability and the Bible: A Commentary. Waco: Baylor University Press, 2017.

With Michael Martin. Ancient Rhetoric and the New Testament: A Primer. Waco: Baylor University Press, 2018.

With Elizabeth Struthers Malbon and Paul N. Anderson. Anatomies of the Gospels and Beyond. Brill, 2018.

With Richard Walsh, eds. A Temple Not Made with Hands: Essays in Honor of Naymond H. Keathley. Wipf & Stock, 2018.

Crawford Howell Toy: The Man, the Scholar, the Teacher. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 2019.

Selected Research Articles

"The Character of the Good Samaritan: A Christological Reading.” Festschrift for Elizabeth Struthers Malbon. Ed. Edwin K. Broadhead. Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press, forthcoming 2016.

"Empowering, Empire-ing or Engaging? Acts in the Discourse of Politics: A Response.” Reading Acts in the Discourses of Masculinity and Politics. Eds. Eric Barreto, Matthew Skinner, and Steve Walton. LNTS. New York: T & T Clark/Bloomsbury, 2016.

With Heather Gorman. “The Assumed Authorial Unity of Luke and Acts: A Review Essay,” Neotestamentica 46.1 (2012): 139-52.

With Heidi Hornik. “Pentecost and Trinity Sunday: Liturgical Art in Context,” Interpretation, 66.1 (2012): 55-66.

With Timothy Brookins and Peter Reynolds, “‘In Paul’s Defense’: The Contribution of Cramer’s Catena to the Early Reception of Paul in Acts.”  In Paul and the Heritage of Israel: Luke’s Narrative Claim upon Paul and Israel’s Legacy. Eds. Daniel Marguerat, David Moessner, Mikeal C. Parsons, and Michael Wolters. LNTS 452. New York: T & T Clark/Continuum, 2012.

"His Feet and Ankles Were Made Strong: Signs of Character in the Man Lame from Birth.” Pp. 151-64 in Disability Studies and Biblical Literature. Eds. Jeremy Schipper and Candida R. Moss. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.

With Heidi J. Hornik. “Philological and Performative Perspectives on Pentecost.” Pp. 137-153 in Reading Acts Today. Steve Walton, Scott Spencer, Tom Phillips, and Barry Matlock, editors. New York: T & T Clark, 2011.

"(Early) Baptist Identity and the Acts of the Apostles: Insights form the Baptists' Bible." Pp. 3-29 in The 'Plainly Revealed' Word of God? Baptist Hermeneutics in Theory and Practice. Simon Woodman and Helen Price, editors. Macon: Mercer University Press, 2011.

"Hearing Acts as a Sequel to a Multi-form Gospel: Historical and Hermeneutical Reflections on Acts, Luke, and the ΠΟΛΛΟΙ." in Rethinking the Reception and Unity of Luke and Acts. Andrew Gregory and Kavin Rowe, Editors. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2009.

"Exegesis By the Numbers": Numerology and the New Testament." Perspectives in Religious Studies, 35 (2008): 25-43.

With Heidi J. Hornik. "The Bible and Art," Pp. 299-322 in Blackwell's Companion to the Bible and Culture. Ed. John Sawyer. Oxford: Blackwell's, 2006.

"Luke Among Baptists." Perspectives in Religious Studies, 33:2 (2006), 137-54.

With Jason Whitlark. "The 'Seven' Last Words: A Numerical Motivation for the Insertion of Luke 23:34a," New Testament Studies, 52.2 (2006): 188-204.

"The Lame Man in Acts 3-4." Journal of Biblical Literature, 124 (2005): 295-312.

"Luke and the Progymnasmata: A Preliminary Investigation into the Preliminary Exercises." Pp. 43-63 in Contextualizing Acts: Lukan Narrative and Greco-Roman Discourse. Todd Penner and Caroline Vander Stichele, Eds. SBL Symposium Series Volume 20. Christopher Matthews, General Editor. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 2004.

"The Quest for the 'Rhetorical' Jesus." Pp. 30-44 in Lilies of the Field and Birds of the Air: Literary Encounters with the Reign of God. Essays in Honor of Robert Tannehill. Paul Kim and Sharon Ringe, Eds. Valley Forge: Trinity Press International, 2003.

With Heidi J. Hornik, "The Harrowing of Hell," Bible Review June (2003): 18-26, 50.

"Nothing Defiled AND Unclean: The Conjunction's Function in Acts 10:14," Perspectives in Religious Studies 27 (2000): 263-274. appeared in February 2002.

"'Short in Stature': Luke's Physical Description of Zacchaeus," New Testament Studies 47 (2001): 50-57.

"Isaiah 53 in Acts 8: A Reply to Morna Hooker." Pp. 104-119 in Isaiah 53 and Christian Origins. Eds. William Bellinger, Bruce Corley, and William Farmer. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1998.

"The Place of Jerusalem on the Lukan Landscape: An Exercise in Theological Cartography." Pp. 155-172 in Literary Studies in Luke-Acts. Eds. Richard P. Thompson and Thomas E. Phillips. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1998.

"The Prodigal's Elder Brother: The History and Ethics of Reading Luke 15:11-32," Festschrift for Dan O. Via, Jr. Pp. 147-174 in Perspectives in Religious Studies. 1996.

"Canonical Criticism." Pp. 255-94 in New Testament Criticism and Interpretation. Eds. David Alan Black and David S. Dockery. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1991.

"Christian Origins and Narrative Openings: The Sense of a Beginning in Acts 1-5," Review & Expositor 87 (1990), 403-422.

"Reading a Beginning/Beginning a Reading: Tracing Literary Theory on Narrative Beginnings." How Gospels Begin. Ed. Dennis Smith. Semeia, 52 (1990), 11-31.

"Sarkinos, Sarkikos in Codices F and G: A Text-Critical Note," New Testament Studies, 34 (1988), 151-55.

"The Text of Acts 1:2 Reconsidered," The Catholic Biblical Quarterly, 50 (1988), 58-71.

"A Christological Tendency in P75," Journal of Biblical Literature, 105 (1986), 463-79.

"The Critical Use of Rabbinic Literature in New Testament Studies," Perspectives in Religious Studies, 12 (1985), 85-102.

Current Ph.D. Students

Susan Benton

Eric Brewer

Christian Sanchez

Former Ph.D. Students

Daniel Glover

Marcus Jerkins 

John Duncan

Mandy Brobst-Renaud

Peter Reynolds

Cliff Barbarick

James McConnell

Keith Reich

Kenneth Bass

Brian Small

Kathy Maxwell

Chad Hartsock

Derek Hogan

Andrew Arterbury

William Shiell

Martin Culy

Vaughn Crowe Tipton

Norfleete Day

Mark Proctor

Dennis Horton

Ira Jolivet, Jr.

Craig L. Hall

David L. Matson

Roger L. Starner, Jr.

Duane Brooks

Courses Taught at Baylor
  • REL 1310 The Christian Scriptures
  • REL 3311 Jesus and the Gospels
  • REL 3314 Paul and His Writings
  • REL 5317 New Testament Greek
  • REL 5311 Contemporary Issues in New Testament Study
View Dr. Parsons' CV and Books.

Watch Dr. Parsons’ Centennial Lecture on “Our Bodies and the Body of Christ” at Lee University, Cleveland, TN, March, 2018.