Mark Allan Powell to Give 2016 Smyth Lectures

Mark Allan Powell to Give 2016 Smyth Lectures

Decatur, GA—Internationally known scholar Dr. Mark Allan Powell, the Robert and Phyllis Leatherman Professor of New Testament at Trinity Lutheran Seminary will present the Smyth Lectures at Columbia Theological Seminary on October 11-13, 2016. Dr. Powell will deliver a series of three lectures offered free to the public each day in the Harrington Center Chapel on the seminary campus located at 701 S. Columbia Drive, Decatur, GA.

Update! The Smyth Lectures will be available on LIVESTREAM at

About the lectures, Dr. Powell states, “Continued studies into the historical figure of Jesus have brought surprising new insights into his take on politics and ethics. In three separate studies, we will consider a) the function of his Beatitudes as offering a new paradigm for justice in a culture that no longer trusts God; b) the specific instance of social injustice that prompted Jesus to re-think his own moral vision and priorities; and, c) the conflict Jesus experienced when he realized “doing God’s will” might mean not obeying the Bible. Together, the three talks will serve to highlight guiding principles for Christians struggling to be faithful to Jesus’ vision of justice and the reign of God in the 21st century.”

About Dr. Mark Allan Powell:

Dr. Powell is Professor of New Testament at Trinity Lutheran Seminary and an internationally known biblical scholar. He is editor of the HarperCollins Bible Dictionary and author of more than 30 books on the Bible and religion, including the widely used textbooks, Introducing the New Testament (Baker Academic) and Jesus as a Figure in History (Westminster John Knox). He has also written in the areas of spiritual formation (Loving Jesus), stewardship (Giving To God), and homiletics (What Do They Hear?: Bridging the Gap between Pulpit and Pew). An ecumenical, global scholar, Powell has served for many years on the Executive Committee of the Catholic Biblical Association, and he has taught at seminaries in Estonia, Russia, and Tanzania. Powell is New Testament Editor for the Society of Biblical Literature’s Bible Odyssey website and has served for fifteen years as Chair of the SBL Historical Jesus Section.

History of the Smyth Lectures:

The Smyth Lectures were established at Columbia Theological Seminary in 1911 by the bequest of the Rev. Thomas Smyth, pastor of Second Presbyterian Church in Charleston, SC. The aim was to establish “a course of lectures on the fundamental principles of the Christian faith.”  The Smyth Lectures are presented to the seminary community each year and are open to all ministers, lay people and members of the community who wish to attend.

Columbia Theological Seminary is “Cultivating faithful leaders for God’s changing world.” As an educational institution of the Presbyterian Church (USA), Columbia Seminary is a community of theological inquiry and formation for ministry in the service of the Church of Jesus Christ. Columbia offers six graduate degree programs and dozens of courses and events as a resource for church professionals and lay people through The Center for Lifelong Learning. For more information, please visit


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Michael Thompson
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