Seminary student, faculty publish multiple articles during 2005

by Megan E. Richard

During 2005 MB Biblical Seminary faculty members wrote pieces that contribute to the ongoing faith dialogue of the Evangelical/Anabaptist Church. In a rare instance, a student had two pieces published.

Ryan Schellenberg, a December 2005 MBBS-Fresno graduate in New Testament, will have the article “Seeing the World Whole: Intertextuality and the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21-22),” published in the journal Perspectives in Religious Studies in 2007. According to Professor John E. Toews, “It is unusual for a Master of Arts or Master of Divinity level student to have a paper published,” in a theological journal. “Ryan’s paper was one of the best I have read from a Seminary student and therefore, I encouraged him to submit it for publication.” The piece explores the imagery of the New Jerusalem in the final chapters of the book of Revelation. Schellenberg wrote it for a class called The Book of Revelation taught by Toews in the fall of 2004.

Another article published by the Saskatchewan native, entitled “Phinehas and the Pharisees: Identity and Tolerance in Biblical Perspective,” was a collaborative piece with Tim Geddert, who is Professor of New Testament at the Seminary’s Fresno, California campus. In early 2005, Geddert was asked to write on the topic of identity and tolerance from a biblical perspective for Mennonitsches Jahrbuch, a German publication. Geddert brought Schellenberg into the process as his teaching assistant. “Ryan’s contribution was so extensive and of such quality that I asked if he could work with me to prepare an English article on the topic,” Geddert recalls. The English version of the article was published in the Fall 2005 issue of Direction, a Mennonite Brethren journal that seeks to equip the church.

“Ryan brings a nuanced and sophisticated reading of texts to the practice of biblical interpretation,” says Toews. Schellenberg’s strategy of interpretation is explained further by Geddert, who says, “Ryan combines two things that are often inappropriately separated in Biblical studies. These are careful attention to historical and cultural data relevant to textual interpretation; and creative and perceptive analysis of the shape of the biblical narratives themselves. This melding of historical and literary methodologies lends credibility and persuasiveness to his interpretations.”

Emeriti professors, who have retired from their formal role at the Seminary, continue to contribute to theological discourse. Allen Guenther and Elmer Martens, both Professor Emeriti of Old Testament, published this past year. Guenther’s article “A Typology of Israelite Marriage: Kinship, Socio-Economic, and Religious Factors,” appeared in the Journal of the Study of the Old Testament (June 2005) and Martens' piece “Moving from Scripture to Doctrine” was featured in the Bulletin for Biblical Research (Spring 2005).

Current faculty members have also been active in publishing articles in the last year. Pierre Gilbert, who teaches at the Seminary’s campus at the Winnipeg Center for Ministry Studies, recently concluded a six part series in the MB Herald on “The violence of God: Investigations in the book of Isaiah.” Bruce Guenther, Associate Professor of Church History at the Seminary’s ACTS campus in Langley, BC, published “The Enduring Problem of Christ and Culture,” in Direction (Fall 2005). Other works by Guenther were put into print including, “Pentecostal Theological Education: A Case Study of Western Bible College (1925-1950),” in Pentecostal Christianity in Canada, ed. Michael, eight articles for the Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan: A Living Legacy, ed. David A. Gauthier (Regina: Canadian Plains Research Center, 2005) and “’I Want to Become a More Efficient Worker for the Lord’: Mennonite Bible Schools in the Central Fraser Valley, 1930-1960,” in First Nations and First Settlers in the Central Fraser Valley: 1890-1960, eds. Harvey Neufeldt, Ruth Derksen Siemens and Robert Martens (Kitchener: Pandora Press, 2005), 206-228.

According to Seminary President Jim Holm, “The mission of the seminary goes far beyond classroom teaching and mentoring students. Our mission extends to the wider Mennonite Brethren community and to the church in general. Our faculty members write for the individual believer who seeks to follow Christ in discipleship, and for the community of believers who seek insight and instruction for the life we live together.”

Posted: January 09, 2006