Dean Jan Love has announced the appointment of Roger S. Nam as professor of Hebrew Bible and Joel B. Kemp as assistant professor of Hebrew Bible, beginning in fall 2020. These are the first hires of a successful cluster search Candler undertook this year in the area of biblical studies.

Roger S. NamRoger Nam currently serves as dean and professor of biblical studies at Portland Seminary at George Fox University in Oregon. A financial analyst before turning his attention to biblical studies, Nam focuses his research on the economies of the ancient Near East and the book of Ezra-Nehemiah, applying traditional historical-critical methods within social-scientific frameworks. He has also served as a pastor in Seoul, Korea.

His first book, Portrayals of Exchange in the Book of Kings (Brill, 2012), examines the social structures that undergird the economy of ancient Israel. He is presently completing The Theology of the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah (Cambridge University Press) as well as a technical commentary on Ezra-Nehemiah for the Old Testament Library (Westminster John Knox). He is coediting The Oxford Handbook for Wealth and Poverty in the Biblical World (Oxford University Press), and co-chairs the steering committee for Economics in the Biblical World for the Society of Biblical Literature’s annual meetings. He is a contributor to Working Preacher, a frequent collaborator with the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning, and a popular speaker at churches, conferences and universities.

Joel B. KempJoel Kemp is assistant professor of theology at the University of Scranton. He holds a PhD in Hebrew Bible from Boston College, an MDiv from Andover Newton Theological School, and a JD from Harvard Law School. His research interests in biblical studies include the Old Testament, especially the latter prophets, biblical law, and the history of Judah and identity development. His additional scholarly pursuits include African-American appropriations of Scripture, the relationship between race, religion, and law within American society, and the use of the Bible in popular culture. He worked as both an attorney and a minister before pursuing graduate theological studies.

His forthcoming book, Ezekiel, Law, and Redefining Judahite Identity (Mohr Siebeck), investigates how the book of Ezekiel uses legal elements to advocate for the reconfiguration of a Judahite identity under Neo-Babylonian dominance. Other research interests include analyzing how prophetic texts and Second Temple texts were a resource to define and fortify a community, and examining the reception history of certain biblical texts in African-American contexts, informing discussions of racial identity, social justice, and political/legal equality in contemporary American discourse.

Candler will officially welcome Nam and Kemp to the faculty at Fall Convocation in August.