David M. Rhoads

Emeritus Professor of New Testament

Headshot of Dave Rhoads



  • 1959-63 – Gettysburg College. Gettysburg, PA (B.A.)
  • 1963-65 – Oxford University. Oxford, England (M.A.)
  • 1965-66 – Gettysburg Lutheran Seminary. Gettysburg, PA (B.D.)
  • 1966-68, 70-73 – Duke University. Durham, NC (Ph.D.)


  • 5/68 – North Carolina Synod (LCA), ELCA pastor.

Professional Experience

  • 1988-2010. Professor of New Testament, Lutheran School of Theology. Chicago, IL
  • 1973-88. Professor of Religion, Carthage College. Kenosha, WI
  • 1968-70. Pastor, St John Lutheran Church. Asheboro, NC

Professional Organizations

  • Catholic Biblical Association
  • Chicago Society for Biblical Research
  • Society of Biblical Literature
  • Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas
  • The Context Group
  • ACTS New Testament Discipline Group

Awards and Grants

  • Teacher of the Year, Carthage College (1974-75)
  • Lily Faculty Fellows Award (for sabbatical leave, 2004)
  • Fortress Press Teacher of the Year Award for Innovative Teaching in a Graduate Setting (2004)
  • Distinguished Alumnus Award, Gettysburg Lutheran Theological Seminary (2005)
  • Honorary Doctor of Divinity, Carthage College (2009)

Invited Lectures

  • Hein-Fry Lectures, 2010. “Teaching the Bible in the Parish: Recovering the Bible as Oral Performances in Community”
  • Krost Symposium, Texas Lutheran Univeristy, 2014. “Responses to Global Climate Change.”
  • Narrativité, oralité et performance, Colloque international du RRENAB, University of Montreal, 2014. “From Narrative Reading to Narrative Performance: A Paradigm Shift.”

Dedicated Volumes

  • “Faith and Earthkeeping: A Tribute to the Environmental Ministry of David Rhoads” Currents in Theology  and Mission Volume 37/2, 2010.  
  • “Changing the Landscape of New Testament Studies: Essays in Honor of David M. Rhoads” Currents in Theology and Mission Volume 37/4, 2010. 
  • Mark as Story: Retrospect and Prospect edited by Kelly Iverson and Christopher Skinner (Society of Biblical Literature, 2011)

Publications (Books): From the earliest

  • Israel in Revolution: 6-74 C.E. A Political History Based on the Writings of Josephus (Fortress, 1976)
  • Mark as Story: An Introduction to the Narrative of a Gospel With Donald Michie (Fortress, 1982)
  • Epiphany: Interpreting the Lessons of the Church Year  (Fortress, 1993) 
  • The Challenge of Diversity: The Witness of Paul and the Gospels (Fortress, 1996)
  • Mark as Story: An Introduction to the Narrative of a Gospel (revised edition) with Joanna Dewey and Donald Michie (Fortress, spring, 1999)
  • Edited with Kari Syreeni Characterization in the Gospels: Rethinking Narrative Criticism (Sheffield Academic Press, 1999)
  • Reading Mark, Engaging the Gospel (Fortress, 2004)
  • The Green Congregation Training Manual revised edition (Web of Creation Publication, 2005)
  • An Environmental Guide for Churches, their Buildings and Grounds co-edited with David Glover (Web of Creation Publication)
  • Editor From Every People and Nation: The Book of Revelation in Intercultural Perspective (Fortress, 2005)
  • Editor, Earth and Word: Classic Sermons on Saving the Planet (Continuum, 2007)
  • Edited with David Esterline and Jae Won Lee. Luke-Acts and Empire: Essays in Honor of Robert Brawley (Wipf and Stock, 2010)
  • Written and edited with Norman Habel and Paul Santmire, The Season of Creation: A Preaching Commentary (Fortress Press, 2011).
  • Mark as Story: An Introduction to the Narrative of a Gospel (Third Edition) with Donald Michie and Joanna Dewey (Fortress Press, 2012)

Publications (Articles, Chapters): From the most recent

  • “From Church Property to Earth Community: Ethical Action for the Land” Journal of Lutheran Ethics (February, 2015).
  • “Performance Criticism: A Paradigm Shift in New Testament Studies,” with Joanna Dewey, in From Text to Performance, edited by Kelly Iverson (Wipf and Stock Press, 2014).
  • “Biblical Performance Criticism: What it is and How it Works,” Catholic Theology and Thought 72 (2013) 78-107. 
  • “Forward” in Imprints, Voiceprints, & Footprints of Memory: Collected Essays of Werner H. Kelber (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2013) xiii-xvi.
  • “A Lutheran Theology of Creation: Foundations for a New Reformation,” Seminary Ridge Journal (Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, Autumn, 2012) 1-49.
  • “Mark as Story Reflections” with Joanna Dewey and Donald Michie in Mark as Story: Retrospect and Prospect, edited by Kelly Iverson and Christopher Skinner  (Society of Biblical Literature, 2011) 261-282. 
  • “Narrative Criticism of the New Testament,” in Method and Meaning: Essays on New Testament Interpretation in Honor of Harold Attridge, Edited by Andrew McGowan and Kent Richards (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2011) 107-124.
  • “Recovering the Bible as Oral Performances in Community,” in Teaching the Bible in the Parish (and Beyond). Hein-Fry Lectures for 2010 (Minneapolis: Lutheran University Press, 2011). 
  • With Sandy Roberts. “Justification by Grace: Shame and Acceptance in a County Jail” in The Shame Factor: How Shame Shapes Society, Robert Jewett, editor (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock) 86-102. Also presented at a conference with the same name in Lincoln, Nebraska, October 1-2, 2010. 
  • “Stewardship of Creation,” Clergy Journal  2010 (85/5) 3-5.
    “The Art of Translating for Performance,” in Finding a Woman’s Place: Essays in Honor of Carolyn Osiek edited by David Balch and  Jason Lamoreaux (Wipf and Stock, 2010).
    With Barbara Rossing, “A Beloved Community: Christian Mission in an Ecological Age” in Mission after Christendom: Emergent Themes in Contemporary Mission (Louisville, KY, Westminster John Knox Press, 2010) 128-143.
    “Performance Events in Early Christianity: New Testament Writings in an Oral Context,” in The Interface of Orality and Literacy: Speaking, Seeing, Writing in the Shaping of New Genres, Annette Weissenreider and Robert B. Coote (Mohr Siebeck, 2010) 166-193.
  • “Biblical Performance Criticism: Performance as Research” in Oral Tradition in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam edited by Werner Kelber and Paula Sanders (Oral Tradition, 25/1) at http://journal.oraltradition.org/issues/25i/rhoads.
  • “What is Performance Criticism?” in The Bible in Ancient and Modern Media: Story and Performance edited by Holly Hearon and Philip Ruge-Jones (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2009) 83-100. 
  • “The Political Jesus: Can There Be Any Other?” in Mission with the Marginalized: Life and Witness of Rev. Dr. Prasanna K. Samuel Edited by Samuel Meshack (Tiruvalla: Christava Sahitya Samithi, 2007)
  • “Performance Criticism: An Emerging Discipline in Second Testament Studies” (Part One and Part Two) Biblical Theology Bulletin 2006. 
  • “Children of Abraham, Children of God: Metaphorical Kinship in Paul’s Letter to the Galatians” Currents in Theology and Mission (August, 2004)
  • “Who Will Speak for the Sparrow? Eco-Justice Criticism and the New Testament” in Literary Encounters with the Reign of God: Festschrift for Robert Tannehill (T & T Clark, 2003)
  • “Narrative Criticism: Practices and Prospects” in Characterization in the Gospels, Sheffield, 1999)
  • “The Letter of James:  Friend of God” Currents in Theology and Mission (1998)
  • “From Domination to Mutuality in THE PIANO and the Gospel of Mark” with Sandra Roberts in Theology and Film (Blackwells, 1997)
  • “Reading the New Testament in an Environmental Age” Currents in Theology and Mission (1997).
  • “The Story of Mark” The Bible Today (1996).
  • “Mission in the Gospel of Mark” Currents in Theology and Mission (1995)
  • “Network for Mission: The Social System of the Jesus Movement in the Gospel of Mark” in Rise and Decline of the Roman World,Part II: Principate 26.2 (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1995) 1692-1729.
  • “The Syro-Phoenician Woman: A Narrative-Critical Study” Journal of the American Academy of Religion  (1994)
  • “Losing Life in the Face of Death: Mark’s Standards of Judgment” Interpretation (1993)
  • “The Zealots,” The Anchor Bible Dictionary (Doubleday, 1992)
  • “…And With a Good Novel in the Other Hand: Why Pastors Should Read Literature” Word and World (1992)
  • “The Gospel of Matthew: Two Ways–Hypocrisy or Righteousness” Currents in Theology and Mission (1992)
  • “Performing the Gospel of Mark” in Body and Bible ed by R. Krondorfer (Trinity Press International, 1992)
  • “Social Criticism: Crossing Boundaries” in Mark and Method ed. by Janice Capel Anderson and Stephen Moore (Fortress, 1992)
  • “The Role of the Church in the Care of the Earth” Currents in Theology and Mission (1991)
  • “The Gospel of Mark and Human Vocation” Entree (1991)
  • “Diversity in the Bible” Dialogue (1985).
  • “Narrative Criticism of the Gospel of Mark” Journal of the American Academy of Religion (1982)


  • Editor, Biblical Performance Criticism Series for Wipf and Stock (2008 to present), Ten Volumes.
    Director, with Peter Perry and James Maxey, Biblical Performance Criticism website at www.biblicalperformancecriticism.org.

LSTC Community (1988 to 2010)

  • Chair of the Biblical Division (1992 to 1999, 2003-2004, 2010)
  • Chair of the New Testament Search Committee (1992-93, and 1997 to 1999)
  • Chair of the Personnel Committee (2004 to 2008)
  • Director: Environmental Ministry Emphasis and Biblical Studies Emphasis (1999-2010)
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