Dr. Byron has a desire to serve both the church and the academy, and, for him, Ashland Theological Seminary has been a wonderful consolidation of those two institutions. ATS is a place where freedom of thought and expression are grounded in commitment to God, and Dr. Byron’s teaching reflects this same emphasis. This appreciation for tension stems from his own Ph.D. studies when he began to realize that easy answers don’t exist, and the Bible, like life, is more complex than most of us will admit.
Though he is now a sought-after teacher and enjoys using that gift at churches and seminars outside of his seminary position, Dr. Byron didn’t always aspire to become a teacher. In fact, if you had told him as a high schooler that he would become a professor, he would have run as fast as possible in the opposite direction. He considers it a blessing that God doesn’t let us see our future too early in the game!
Dr. Byron is an experienced traveler, counting Europe and the Middle East among his favorite destinations. By their tenth wedding anniversary, he and his wife Lori had already lived in three states and three countries. Adding to his travels, Dr. Byron participates in Ashland Theological Seminary’s Tel-Gezer project, through which groups from ATS tour Israel and excavate ancient sites.
- Slavery Metaphors in Early Judaism and Pauline Christianity. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament; 2. Reihe 162. (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2003).
- Recent Research on Paul and Slavery (Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2008).
- Cain and Abel in Text and Tradition: Jewish and Christian Interpretations of the First Sibling Rivalry (Themes in Biblical Narrative 14; Leiden: Brill, 2011).
- 1 & 2 Thessalonian in the Story of God Bible Commentary Series (Zondervan, 2014).
- A Week in the Life of a Slave (InterVaristy Press, 2019).
- The Apostles’ Creed: A Commentary (Smyth & Helwys) Projected completion in 2020
- I (Still) Believe: Biblical Scholars share their stories with thoughts on faith and scholarship edited by John Byron and Joel M. Lohr (Zondervan, 2015).
Publications in Peer Reviewed Journals
- “Slave of Christ or Willing Servant? Paul’s Self-Description in 1 Corinthians 4.1–2 and 9.16–18,” Neotestamentica: 37.2 (2003): 1-20.
- “Noble Lineage as a Response to Enslavement in the Testament of Naphtali 1.9–12,” Journal of Jewish Studies: 55.1 (2004): 45-57.
- “Paul and the Background of Slavery: The STATUS QUAESTIOINIS in New Testament Scholarship,” Currents in Biblical Research: 3.1 (2004): 121-145.
- “Living in the Shadow of Cain: Echoes of a Developing Tradition in James 5.1-6,” Novum Testamentum: 48.3 (2006): 261-274.
- “Slaughter, Fratricide and Sacrilege: Cain and Abel Traditions in 1 John 3,” Biblica 88 (2007): 526-535. “Slaves and Freed Persons: Self-Made Success and Social Climbing in the Corinthian
- Congregation,” Jian Dao 29 (2008), 91-107.
- “Cain’s Rejected Offering: Interpretive Approaches to a Theological Problem,” Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha 18 (2008): 3-23.
- Childlessness and Ambiguity in the Ancient World,” Proceedings: Eastern Great Lakes Biblical Society & Midwest Region Society of Biblical Literature 30 (2010): 17-46.
- “Righteous Abel and the Cry for Vengeance,” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 73 (2011): 743-756. “Who Killed Cain? Interpretive Solutions to a Theological Problem,” Biblical Reception 3 (2014): 96-111. “The
- Legacy of Cain in Pop and Rock Music,” in Canadian American Theological Review 8 (2019): 55-66.
Contributions to Edited Volumes
- Three Entries in Teaching the Bible: Practical Strategies for Classroom Instruction. Resources for Biblical Study series edited by Mark Roncace and Patrick Gray (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2005), 336- 338; 356-358; 406-407.
- Four Articles (LOSE, LOST, vol. 3:700; SERVANT; SERVE, TO, vol. 5:192; SOW, SOWER vol. 5: 360- 61) in the New Interpreters Dictionary of the Bible (Abingdon Press, 2007).
- “The Epistle to Philemon: Paul’s strategy for forging the ties of kinship” pp. 205-216 in Jesus and Paul: Global Perspectives in Honor of James D.G. Dunn for his 70th Birthday. (LNTS; T & T Clark, 2009).
- “Cain and Abel in Second Temple Literature” pp. 331-51 in Craig A. Evans, Joel N. Lohr, and David L. Petersen (eds.), The Book of Genesis Composition and Reception (FIOTL; Brill, 2012).
- “Acts of Violence in the Book of Acts,” in L.T. Stuckenbruck (ed) Religiously Motivated Violence. (Themes in Biblical Narrative; Leiden: Brill, 2017) In Press.
- “Paul as Seer: Apocalyptic Thought in 1 Thessalonians,” pp. 327-45 in L.T. Stuckenbruck and Benjamin Reynolds (eds), A Companion to Jewish Apocalyptic Thought and the New Testament. (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2017).
- Two Articles (EXODUS and SLAVE, SLAVERY) in L.T. Stuckenbruck and Daniel M. Gurtner (eds), T&T Clark Companion to Second Temple Judaism. (T&T Clark, 2019).
- Three Entries (Mark 1:14-20; 21-28, 29-39) in Green, Long, Powery and Rigby (eds), Connections: A Lectionary Commentary for Preaching and Worship (Westminster John Knox, 2019) forthcoming.
- “Charles Kingsley Barrett: Historian by Nature, Theologian by Grace,” in Porter, Stanly (ed), Milestones in New Testament Scholarship (Kregel Press, 2019). forthcoming
- Two Articles (LETTER TO PHILEMON; THE RESTRAINER) in The Dictionary of Paul and His Letters 2nd Edition (Intervarsity Press) forthcoming.
Articles in Professional Publications
- “PAUL AND THE PYTHON GIRL (ACTS 16:16-19),” ASHLAND THEOLOGICAL JOURNAL, 41 (2009): 5-10.
- “PASTOR, WHEN’S THE LAST TIME YOU WROTE A LETTER? CHURCH LEADERS.COM (SEPTEMBER, 2012).
- “A TALE OF TWO SLAVES,” IN BIBLICAL ARCHAEOLOGY REVIEW (JULY/AUGUST, 2013): 24, 57.
- “A THEOLOGY OF WORK,” IN THE TABLE (SUMMER, 2013).
- “DID CAIN GET AWAY WITH MURDER?” BIBLICAL ARCHAEOLOGY REVIEW (MAY/JUNE 2014): 24, 68.
- “PAUL, JESUS AND THE ROLLING STONE,” BIBLICAL ARCHAEOLOGY REVIEW (SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER, 2015): 26, 62.
- “WHO SINNED FIRST – ADAM OR CAIN?” BIBLICAL ARCHAEOLOGY REVIEW (JULY/AUGUST, 2017), 16, 62.
- “PAUL, THE PYTHON GIRL, AND HUMAN TRAFFICKING” BIBLICAL ARCHAEOLOGY REVIEW (MAY/JUNE, 2019), 56, 66.
- Oxford Bibliographies Online – “Slavery in Biblical Literature” (2010).
- “Paul and Slavery” – Lexham Study Bible, Logos Bible Software (2011).
- “Rule of Faith” – Lexham Survey of Theology, Faithlife (2018).
- Lexham Greek-English Interlinear Septuagint (Judith and Sirach); Logos Software (2008). Common English Bible: English translation of Judith for the United Methodist Publishing House (2010).