REVIEW: Biblical Hebrew Vocabulary by Conceptual Categories: A Student’s Guide to Nouns in the Old Testament (Zondervan, 2017)

In short, although I have often been frustrated with learning new languages, the common-sense, practical approach of the book has brought me back into active conversation with an essential dimension of the scriptures. It is well-organized and thoughtfully prepared, and I look forward to its continued use. I highly recommend it for students of Hebrew, as well as for students engaged in more generalized study of the Jewish and Christian traditions.

A Lifetime of Biblical Greek: An Interview with SFTS Professor Emeritus Polly Coote

As I’ve been making my way through my academic program, one constant endeavor has been biblical Greek. This semester I enjoyed the instruction of Dr. Polly Coote, a veteran Greek teacher from San Francisco Theological Seminary. In the time that I have studied with her, I have experienced her as warm and engaging, having a wealth of practical insight… Read more »

River: A Jesus Poem by John Mabry

blogger’s note: I didn’t write this, John Mabry did. I came across it while reading his recent book “Jesus Stories.”

5 Signs it’s Time to Leave Your Church

Are you wondering if your church is completely dysfunctional or just a tad quirky? Struggling with your place in the congregation or denomination? Do you think it might be time to go somewhere else but you’re not sure? Here are five signs that it might be time for you to move on. 1. You can no… Read more »

A Recommendation: My Favorite Course so Far

There are great classes offered every semester at the GTU. One of the best by far is Constructive Theology, offered by Dr. Jennifer Davidson from ABSW. The American Baptist Seminary of the West is located near Cal, across the street from People’s Park—it’s the big red-brick complex that looks like Hogwarts’ downtown campus.   Constructive Theology stands… Read more »

What a Pacific Coast SBL Conference is Like

Recently it was my privilege to present a short paper at the Pacific Coast regional meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, which took place not far from Disneyland, at the campus of Hope International University. I was exceedingly nervous, and felt underprepared in a room filled with researchers, professional educators, and other intensely-interested specialists…. Read more »

dragonfly winner

‘The Apocalyptic Gospel’ Wins Royal Dragonfly Book Award

‘The Apocalyptic Gospel’ Wins Coveted Royal Dragonfly Book Award CHANDLER, AZ (November, 2016) – The judges of the 2016 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards contest, which recognizes excellence in all genres of literature have spoken, and The Apocalyptic Gospel: Mystery, Revelation, and Common Sense by Justin Mark Staller, won 1st place in the Religion & Spirituality… Read more »

A Virtual Book Launch for “The Apocalyptic Gospel”

This Wednesday we celebrated the publication of The Apocalyptic Gospel at the Pacific School of Religion. We scheduled our event for the middle of the week at the beginning of the semester, and I’m so grateful for everyone who carved time out of their schedules to attend. For my friends and family and colleagues who wanted to be there… Read more »

Barbara Essex

Praise for the Apocalyptic Gospel from Rev. Barbara Essex

    Based on my long-term relationship with the Apocalypse and research conducted at UC Berkeley and the Graduate Theological Union, I’ve written a short commentary on Revelation called “The Apocalyptic Gospel: Mystery, Revelation, and Common Sense.” It discusses these issues and more at  greater length, with thorough reference to a wide array of academic and religious authorities. I… Read more »

The Apocalyptic Gospel: Download Free Sample

Now available for preview and download, you can sample the first chapter of “The Apocalyptic Gospel” from Apocryphile Press for free!

  • What is “The Apocalyptic Gospel?”

    What exactly is the Apocalyptic Gospel? Dr. David L. Barr, professor of religion at Wright State University, has recently argued that—although the Apocalypse is radically different from the gospels in style—it should nevertheless be connected to the substance of Jesus’ life and death:   “…It is Jesus who dominates the entire story. At this constitutional level… Read more »

  • 3 Things I Learned Teaching for the First Time

    At the start of the semester I received a last-minute inquiry regarding my interest in interviewing for a part-time, short-term position at the Pacific School of Religion, one of the member schools at the Graduate Theological Union. The course attracted more enrollees than expected, creating an opening for a teaching assistant.  Like a good doctoral student I… Read more »

  • Early Adopters: Claim Your Reward

    It’s hard to describe how enormously gratifying it is to hold a print copy of (what I hope is just) my first book.   But it’s true: The Apocalyptic Gospel: Mystery, Revelation, and Common Sense is now available for purchase (though we are still preparing the Kindle edition).   There are a lot of people… Read more »

  • Out of Critical Care: A Chance for Reflection

    I got out of Critical Care this Tuesday with a couple good anecdotes and a refreshed perspective.

  • Coming Full Circle: The Gungor Show

    For my birthday last month my friend and patron Norman took me to see Gungor.   The experience was surreal.   The show itself was—in the words of Mike the Science Guy—consciously “weird” (although I think what he meant was “post-modern”). Before the show I was chatting it up with the gentleman behind the bar,… Read more »

  • So its Called “My Seminary Blog” But…

    I call this My Seminary Blog, but there is one thing I should make clear: I’m not a seminarian. More precisely, I’m a doctoral student, studying Christian Spirituality at the Graduate Theological Union, which is (among other things) a consortium of seminaries and centers for religious study.     So technically I’m not a seminarian,… Read more »

  • 5 Reasons I Went Catholic

    When an old friend heard that I was in the process of converting to Catholicism (sorry: “entering into full communion with the Catholic Church”) he was baffled.   He asked “Because it’s easier?”   Most people who heard about my new direction responded positively, if with some surprise. A few of my conservative friends were… Read more »

  • “The Whole World Will Perish—Yes it Will, Yes it Will!”

    Today my crazy neighbor reminded me of why I do what I do.   I don’t know his name or his diagnosis but he knows me, somehow; perhaps he has seen me in the back row at church. Once as we passed on the street he looked at me and snarled, “I know you! You’re nothing… Read more »

  • My Five-Point Facebook Policy

    Everyone uses Facebook differently. For your reference, here is my personal policy. Of course, it’s constantly open to revision if it’s not working. So leave me note if you spot something that needs improvement.

  • The Worst Case of Writer’s Block

    I’m suffering right now from excruciating writer’s block. I have a million things I should be working on, and several that I actually want to be working on, but I can’t seem to focus. Something is wrong. It isn’t time yet. I don’t feel ready. Or is this just typical procrastination nonsense? I’m afraid of something…. Read more »

  • What is This Place?

    This is my blog. Obviously. If you’re reading this, you’re poking around before I’ve got this thing up and running for real. This is sort of my creative outlet while I’m working on… everything. Which is a tall order and big project, so give me a little time and hopefully we can turn this into a… Read more »