About Me

Brown_PicI teach New Testament at Bethel Seminary. I’ve been a part of the faculty at Bethel University since 1995. My areas of interest include biblical hermeneutics, the Gospels and particularly Matthew studies, 1 Peter and issues of contextualization, and integrative work with colleagues in theology and the social sciences, both in the classroom and in collaborative writing.


Professor of New Testament – Bethel Seminary, San Diego, CA and St. Paul, MN; Director of Online Programs; Interim Co-Vice President and Dean, Bethel Seminary (with Dr. Justin Irving)

  • B.A., University of Wisconsin Eau Claire
  • M.Div., Bethel Seminary
  • Ph.D., Luther Seminary



Email to: j-brown@bethel.edu


2 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Dear Prof. Brown:

    I write to request your consideration to do a favor for me. I am prompted by having come upon your Scripture as Communication (Baker, 2007) which my local library ILL’ed for me as I was searching for books dealing with “communication” and “silence” for a still-unfocused project dealing with the church’s hesitance to say (or do) so much that seems necessary in living out the Gospel.

    Almost done with a first reading, it struck me that your book had much in common—though on a much more sophisticated level—with a project I am just finishing: LOOK—I AM WITH YOU: DEVOTIONS FOR THE COLLEGE YEAR.

    My purpose is to fill a gap in the arena of devotional resources available to college students. The current offerings contain seeminly haphazard collections of Scriptures, allowing the student-reader to dominate the “story” in ways that obscure the grand, heilsgeschictliche narrative of Scripture, with the result that what is attended to is a narrow spectrum of personal piety issues (“Do I read the Bible enough?” “Should I go to the party if alcohol is served?) while the broad and complex spectrum of college-specific issues are ignored.

    What you so clearly offer is a picture (pardon the over-simplification) of the biblical writer’s telling of a story that is a real story and cannot be fudged without being lost and the reader who brings her own story to the text in search of something, and they meet in hopes of understanding and learning from one another. I have (I hope) improved my manuscript by bringing to it the clearer picture of mutual communication you offer in your hermeneutic. Thank you. (Yes, this is a ghastly reduction of your work, but as I look, for example, the summary on p.69, you spell out so clearly what I hope can happen as a student reads the scripture, pericope by pericope in a disciplined way, with her own daily struggles in mind.

    My request to you: that I may include you in the short list of possible endorsers for my devotions book that the publisher will invite to provide a 25-75-word endorsement for the volume. If I can include your name, Wipf and Stock will send you the almost-final PDF of the manuscript and invite you to peruse it for your endorsement. If you find that it is a worthy ”conversation” (it is not a commentary) between a biblical author and a trying-to-be-faithful college student, I would thank you very much for an endorsement. If you are not interested, impressed, pleased, etc., I thank you for your time and patience with me.

    I will conclude with a brief summary of what I attempt in this set of readings.
    I have tried to offer an alternative that emphasizes three features:

    (a) Using specific biblical texts that seem to resonate with some aspects of the college experience. . . in this case Colossians (written to believers who aren’t quite sure that Christ is sufficient); Matthew (about the Teacher [how appropriate for a student!] and what he said and did); 1 Corinthians (to a community in chaos over pride, divisiveness, sex [sounds like some colleges I know of]; and 1 Peter (warning and pre-comforting the reader about life in the “real world” despite one’s best efforts to follow the rules).

    (b) . . . and emphasizing Christology–particular that of Colossians (the Christ who holds the cosmos together and is our primary epistemological source); Matthew (Jesus the Teacher); I Cor (the Christ on the cross, rendering our pride and achievements irrelevant); 1 Peter (Christ the obedient but alien exile).

    (c) And bringing in every college-specific feature of the student’s experience I could think of–leaving family, relating to others on campus, asking questions and taking tests, planning for the future, failures and triumphs, current events, institutional requirements, sex, food, money, time, You name it.

    I hope you might be willing to take a look at the almost-final product and offer an observation about how useful, appropriate, or brilliant the stuff is, or respond, “Thanks, but no thanks” or even just ignore them completely. In any case: Thank you for your Scripture as Communication; thank you for reading this request. And blessings in your ministry of teaching.

    Appreciatively, in Christ,

    Dale Goldsmith
    9101 Clint Ave.
    Amarillo, TX 79119

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