Mark Strauss Appointed University Professor

June 13, 2014 | 10:24 a.m.

It is my privilege to announce the appointment of Dr. Mark L. Strauss to the position of University Professor of New Testament at Bethel Seminary of Bethel University. Mark joined the faculty of Bethel Seminary San Diego in 1994 after teaching stints at San Diego Christian College and Talbot School of Theology of Biola University. Mark’s Ph.D. in New Testament was earned at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. Little did we know when he joined our faculty that his influence would be world-renowned. His influence on Bible translation, hermeneutics, and generations of students is exceptionally strong.

Although the competition was strong, the selection committee that worked with me (Wayne Roosa  -CAS, Carla Dahl – CAPS/GS, and David Howard - Seminary)  felt that there were elements of Mark’s work that set him apart. First is his work with the New International Version Committee on Bible Translation. As vice-chair he has a vital role in one of the most widely used English translations in history. Second, his work at making the words of Scripture accessible to scholars, students, and the general public is exceptional. His work on various commentaries, books such as How to Read the Bible in Changing Times, and Four Portraits, One Jesus, and his teaching in various churches, classrooms, camps, and conferences make Scripture come alive for people. In addition to his teaching across North America, Mark has taught in Australia, Thailand, Uganda, and Malawi. In all settings, he is regarded highly as an amazing communicator! Third, he has the ability to tackle the issues of the day in ways that bring Scripture to bear helping people to think through challenging concerns. Whether it is the Da Vinci Code, the role of women, or gendered language in Bible translation, he has been masterful in addressing the issues. Fourth, his teaching, leadership, and influence at Bethel Seminary and beyond are top-tier. He is one of the most highly respected and visible faculty members in any part of Bethel.

Mark has been endorsed by internal and external colleagues. Scott Duvall, professor of New Testament at Ouachita Baptist University describes Four Portraits, One Jesus as “simply the best textbook available for undergrads and beginning grad students in this field of study.” George Howard Guthrie, Benjamin W. Perry professor of Bible at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee, describes Mark as a “unique blend of New Testament scholar, communicator, mentor to his students, and leader.” Tremper Longman III, Robert H. Gundry professor of Biblical Students at Westmont College and president of the Institute of Biblical Research says, “He does top quality academic work and also has the ability to communicate with scholars as well as pastors and even with laypeople. He is well known nationally and even internationally…He enhances Bethel’s reputation through his teaching, preaching, and writing.”

Glen Scorgie, professor of theology and Mark’s colleague at Bethel Seminary San Diego states, “Mark Strauss’s greatest gifts and contributions…lie in the sphere of biblical scholarship. He has consistently demonstrated his ability to make important truths accessible to a broad, thoughtful audience….the fields of scholarship in which he has emerged as a leading national and international voice are those of biblical hermeneutics and Bible translation. His latest book, How to Read the Bible in Changing Times, is an accessible but substantive invitation to evangelicals to immerse their imaginations in the biblical text and focus on the heart of God revealed therein. This is a serious call to the contemporary church that resonates beautifully with the ethos and distinctive spirituality of our Bethel and BGC heritage.” Other references come from colleagues and church leaders. All affirm Mark’s influence and leadership.

A review of Mark’s vita shows 11 book-length publications, 29 articles (mostly in peer-reviewed publications), multiple video teaching presentations (including participation in Lee Strobel's The Case for Christ), 20 book reviews, 26 major invited presentations, and several key editorial or steering committee roles. Among the most significant of these roles are: General Editor (New Testament), Teach the Text Commentary Series (Baker); Contributing Scholar & New Testament Editor, The Expanded Bible (Thomas Nelson); Associate Editor NIV Study Bible (Zondervan); Vice-Chair, Committee on Bible Translation for the New International Version; Steering Committee, Synoptic Gospels, ETS Study Group; Chair, Steering Committee, Luke-Acts, ETS Study Group; and Steering Committee, Evangelicals and Gender, ETS Study Group.

Mark’s influence on the fields of Bible translation, hermeneutics, and developing leaders for the church locally and globally puts him in rare company. In recognition of his exceptional influence on Bethel Seminary of Bethel University and in recognition of his widely acclaimed and distinguished scholarship, I am pleased to announce his appointment as our fifth University Professor.