Dr. Tucker Ferda began his position as visiting assistant professor of New Testament in 2017 after serving as a lecturer since 2013. He earned his Ph.D. in New Testament from the University of Pittsburgh, where he also served as teaching fellow. In 2015, he was named one of only three Society of Biblical Literature Regional Scholars, an award which “recognizes and promotes outstanding entry-level scholars.” Dr. Ferda has expertise in a wide range of areas in biblical studies, including the Gospels, the life of Jesus, the Old Testament in the New, the history of biblical interpretation, Hellenistic Jewish literature, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and biblical theology. In addition to being a frequent presenter at regional and national SBL meetings, he contributes to Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception (de Gruyter) and has published several articles in top-tier biblical studies journals, including Journal of Biblical Literature, Journal of Theological Studies, Novum Testamentum, and Journal for the Study of Judaism, and elsewhere. His first book, Jesus and the Galilean Crisis, will be published this year by Bloomsbury T&T Clark in the Library of New Testament Studies series. He is currently working on a monograph-length study of the second advent hope in the New Testament and its reception history. He is a member and deacon at East Liberty Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh, and he frequently leads studies and provides pulpit supply in area churches.
When the time came for Tucker Ferda to leave his western-Montana home for college, he set his face eastward. “I enrolled at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota, with a plan to major in history and become a high-school history teacher,” Tucker says, “but thanks to the New Testament scholar who taught my required introduction to the Bible course, I fell in love with that field.” So Tucker added a second major—biblical and theological studies.
“My college professors were the total package—good scholars, good teachers, and good mentors,” Tucker notes. “They inspired me to become that same kind of professor”—and toward that end, after college he pursued master’s and doctoral degrees focusing on the New Testament.
Tucker received his Ph.D. in 2016 from the University of Pittsburgh, but he’d started teaching at PTS several years earlier, while he was still a doctoral student. First, as an adjunct professor, he taught summer Greek. Then, since his research focuses on the life of Jesus, the Gospels, and the reception history of the New Testament, he began offering a variety of courses in those areas as well. Now, as the Seminary’s new visiting assistant professor of New Testament, he’s continuing to offer such courses and more.
“I love teaching biblical studies because I get to share my passion for these endlessly fascinating texts that are theologically formative as well as historically interesting,” says Tucker. His classes aim to expose students to the breadth and richness of New Testament scholarship, while also “preparing them for how they will encounter the Bible in their individual contexts.” In other words, he’s intent on finding ways to bridge the academic study of the Bible with everyday devotional and practical aspects of reading and teaching Scripture.
Tucker’s first book, which investigates how New Testament texts and later readers dealt with the rejection of Jesus, will be published later this year in T&T Clark/Bloomsbury’s prestigious Library of New Testament Studies series. His next book projects include a historical and exegetical study of the Second Coming tradition—a topic he notes is largely ignored in the study of Christian origins—and another on biblical literacy in the contemporary world. “The latter is geared for a general audience and is a kind of cultural exegesis of the context in which we find ourselves today—a context in which the Bible no longer forms the basis of our common cultural language. How does (and how should) our society’s overall biblical illiteracy affect the reading, interpretation, and teaching of the Bible? This question and others like it are the sorts of questions I aim to address,” Tucker says.
Dr. Tucker Ferda gives his readers and his students strategies both for thinking critically about the Bible and for implementing academic learning in the circumstances and situations encountered in daily life. In other words, he is today that true scholar-teacher-mentor his professors inspired him to become.
“The Ending of Mark and the Faithfulness of God: An Apocalyptic Resolution to Mark 16:8.” Journal of Theological Interpretation (forthcoming 2019).
“‘How Can this Man Give Us Flesh to Eat?’: The Text of John 6:52 and its Intertext.” New Testament Studies (forthcoming 2019).
“Matthew 21:1-11.” Between Text and Sermon. Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology (forthcoming 2019).
Jesus, the Gospels, and the Galilean Crisis, Library of New Testament Studies 601 (London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2018)
“Jesus and the Law: The Form of His Activity and the Impact of Social Reputation.” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 80 (2018): 62-80.
“Reason to Weep: Isaiah 52 and the Subtext of Luke’s Triumphal Entry,” Journal of Theological Studies 66 (2015)
“Matthew’s Titulus and Psalm 2’s King on Mount Zion,” Journal of Biblical Literature 133 (2014)
“Naming the Messiah: A Contribution to the 4Q246 ‘Son of God’ Debate,” Dead Sea Discoveries 21 (2014)
“Jeremiah 7 and Flavius Josephus on the First Jewish War,” Journal for the Study of Judaism 44 (2013)
“‘Sealed’ with the Holy Spirit (Eph 1,13-14) and Circumcision,” Biblica 93 (2012)
“The Seventy Faces of Peter’s Confession: Matthew 16:16-17 in the History of Interpretation,” Biblical Interpretation 20 (2012)
“John the Baptist, Isaiah 40, and the Ingathering of the Exiles.” Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus 10 (2012)