Steven J. Kraftchick

Professor Emeritus in the Practice of New Testament Interpretation
Steven J. Kraftchick
    • PhD, Emory University, 1985
    • MDiv, Abilene Christian University, 1978
    • BS, University of Florida, 1973

    Dr. Steven J. Kraftchick taught courses in New Testament interpretation, directed the Advanced and General Studies programs, and was involved with Candler’s digital learning initiative until his retirement in 2020. He was also a faculty member in the New Testament Course of Study in Emory’s Graduate Division of Religion. Kraftchick came to Candler in 1983, and previously taught at Princeton Theological Seminary, Oberlin College and The School of Theology at Sewanee: The University of the South.

    Kraftchick’s research and writing focus on Pauline thought and language theory, particularly metaphor theology and its role in theological thinking. His textual work is in the Pauline epistles, the parables of Jesus and the history of New Testament interpretation, particularly the ways in which we seek a meaningful and relevant reading of biblical materials. Kraftchick has authored/edited three books, has contributed to and reviewed dozens more, and has presented papers around the world. He is currently working on a project that explores the intersection of theology and technology, especially as it relates to conceptions of the "techno-human" found in the philosophies of trans - and posthumanism.

    A participant in major theological conversations through the Society of Biblical Literature and the Society for New Testament Studies, Kraftchick was deeply involved in the life of the academy, participating in committees and initiatives at Candler and Emory, primarily centered on issues of innovation in higher education. 

    He was an Emory Distinguished Teaching Scholar, an honor that recognizes a commitment to “creating and maintaining a dynamic classroom environment” as well as pedagogical leadership at Emory and has received Emory’s Graduate Teaching Award and Candler’s Master Teacher Award.

    Selected Publications

    • Faculty Publication
    • Faculty Publication
    • Faculty Publication


    Jude and 2 Peter: Abingdon New Testament Commentaries, Abingdon Press, 2002

    Co-editor,Biblical Theology: Problems and Perspectives: In Honor of J. Christiaan Beker, Abingdon Press, 1995

    Co-editor,The Messiah, Fortress Press, 1992

    Chapters and Articles

    “Complements to the Notion of Human Resilience: Paul’s First Letter to the Thessalonians as a Test Case,” in Biblical and Theological Visions of Resilience, Routledge, 2019

    “From Lamech to Bezalel: Biblical Reflections on the Polyvalence of Technology," in Christian Perspectives on Transhumanism and the Church, Palgrave, 2018

    "Who is a Monster, When?" in Frankenstein: How a Monster Became an Icon, Pegasus Books, 2018

    "Plac'd on this Isthmus of a Middle State: Reflections on Psalm 8 and Human Becoming," in Word and World, vol. 35, no. 2, Luther Seminary, April 01, 2015

    "Resurrection," The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Theology, Oxford University Press, 2015

    "Bodies, Selves, and Human Identity: A Conversation Between Transhumanism and the Apostle Paul," in Theology Today, vol. 72, no. 1, Sage, February 27, 2015

    "Reborn to a Living Hope: A Christology of 1 Peter," in Reading 1-2 Peter and Jude: A Resource for Students, SBL Resources in Biblical Studies, Scholars Press, January 01, 2014

    "Recast, Reclaim, or Reject: Myth and Validity," in Myth and Scripture: Contemporary Perspectives on Religion, Language, and Imagination, SBL Resources in Biblical Studies, Scholars Press, January 01, 2014

    "Myth," in The Cambridge Dictionary of Christian Theology, Cambridge University Press, 2014

    "Self-Presentation and Community Construction in Philippians," in Scripture and Traditions: Essays on Early Judaism and Christianity in Honor of Carl R. Holladay, Brill, December 31, 2008

    Selected Awards

    Admitted to the Society for New Testament Studies, 2018

    Master Teacher Award, Candler School of Theology, 2018

    Exemplary Teacher of the Year Award, UMC General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, 2018

    Harry and Ada Lamon Distinguished Lecturer, Embry-Riddle University

    Presidential Fellow, Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry, Emory University, 2015-2016

    Senior Scholar, Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry, Emory University

    Distinguished Teaching Scholar, Emory University

    Graduate Teaching Award, Emory University

    J.W. Roberts Greek Award, Abilene Christian University

    Ford Foundation Scholar, University of Florida

    Phi Beta Kappa, University of Florida

    "The 100th Anniversary of Karl Barth's Epistle to the Romans" – Panel on Barth’s Commentary on Romans, Candler School of Theology, February 21, 2019

    “Religious & Scientific Perspectives on the Future of Life” - 2018 LAMP Symposium Summative Remarks, 2018

    "Frankenstein, Artificial Intelligence and Transhumanism: Where Are We Now and Where are We Headed?" - Harry and Ada Lamon Distinguished Speakers Series, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, March 28, 2018

    "Religious and Scientific Perspectives: Complementary or Contradictory?" - LAMP Symposium: Religious and Scientific Perspectives on the Future of Life, March 15, 2018

    "Mind the Gap" - Service of Word, Cannon Chapel, April 23, 2015

    "Now We See in a Mirror Indirectly: Embodied Selves in a Hyper-Technical Age" - Prophetic Voices Centennial Academic Conference, Cannon Chapel, March 19, 2015

    A Thrill of Hope: The Christmas Story

    Selected Courses

    Exegesis of Romans

    History of Biblical Interpretation

    Images of Death in the New Testament

    Imago Dei: From Genesis to Posthumanism

    Interpretation of the New Testament

    Introduction to the New Testament

    Introduction to the New Testament Part II


    New Testament Theology

    Parables of Jesus

    Preaching about Death: New Testament Themes and Perspectives


    Scripture, Theology and Practice Seminar