2019 Walls Lecture/Dr. Spina’s Last Lecture and Retirement Reception

Discovering Jesus' Personal Bible: The Greatest Archaeological Find Ever

Tuesday, May 14, 2019 

  • Retirement Reception for Dr. Spina | 3–5 p.m.
  • Lecture | 7 p.m.

Upper Gwinn Commons, SPU campus

Free and wheelchair accessible
No registration necessary

About Dr. Frank Spina

Frank Anthony Spina, PhD, has been professor of Old Testament at Seattle Pacific University since 1973. In his early career, Dr. Spina published in the area of the history of Israel, building on research first presented in his doctoral dissertation, “The Concept of Social Rage in Israel and the Ancient Near East.” More recently, Dr. Spina has published in the area of biblical theology, concentrating on theological readings of Old Testament narratives. In 2008, he gave the Winifred Weter Faculty Award lecture, “Multiplying Divisions: A Figural Reading of the Story of the Levite’s Concubine (Judges 19–21).”

A frequent speaker in churches in the Pacific Northwest and at other venues around the country, Dr. Spina gave the Wilson R. King lectures at Greenville College and the Wayne and Darlene McCown lectures at Roberts Wesleyan University. He has also lectured at Walla Walla College, Spring Arbor College, the University of Portland, Warner Pacific College, George Fox College, Western Evangelical Seminary, and Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. He is the author of The Faith of the Outsider: Exclusion and Inclusion in the Biblical Story (Eerdmans, 2005).

Dr. Spina is an Episcopal priest, serving as associate priest at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in Bellevue, Washington.

About the Reception

Dr. Frank Spina is retiring after 46 years of teaching at Seattle Pacific. Please join us from 3 to 5 p.m. to honor Dr. Spina’s tenure at SPU, and to congratulate him on his retirement. 

The School of Theology is collecting tributes for Dr. Spina from students, alumni, and colleagues past and present. To submit a tribute, please email theology@spu.edu. If you are an alumnus or current student, please include your year of graduation. Tributes received by 5 p.m. on April 30 will be collected into a book that will be presented to Dr. Spina at the reception.

About the Lecture

This lecture’s title sounds like a sensationalized claim about a stunning archaeological find. It is nothing of the sort. In fact, we have had Jesus’ personal Bible longer than we have had the New Testament. Christians refer to this Bible as the Old Testament. This Bible was the only one Jesus ever read, the only one Jesus recognized as God’s word, and the only one Jesus insisted testified throughout to himself.

This Bible was also accepted as authoritative by Jesus’ disciples, the crowds that Jesus addressed, and every New Testament author, who claimed that everything Jesus said and did was “according to the Scriptures.”

Given this reality, how did the view of the Old Testament become so negative in the Christian imagination? What explains Christians’ neglect and sometime denigration of Jesus’ Bible — apart from a handful of favorite stories, some Psalms, and the famous Christological texts?

The 2019 Walls Lecture will attempt to address that question by pointing out the weakness of the allegations against the Old Testament and simultaneously emphasizing how the Church might benefit by regarding it as Jesus and the New Testament authors did.

About Paul T. Walls

Paul T. Walls spent 31 years on SPU’s Board of Trustees and was known for his integrity and financial acumen. A successful career in real estate cultivated his ability to help manage the growth of Seattle Pacific from a college into a university. So too did his life of strong and active service to the Free Methodist Church at both local and national levels.

Before his death in 1998, Paul and his wife, Vera, established an educational foundation to help students realize a seminary education that provides the intellectual and spiritual leadership to stimulate and strengthen the denomination into the future.

“If someone were going to invent a story designed to make a people look good and therefore deserving of divine election, the result would never have been the Old Testament depiction of Israel .... Just as Israel did not deserve to be divinely elected, the world did not deserve to receive the benefits of God’s grace either; but in both cases God’s limitless and amazing grace was operative.”
Frank Spina, PhD,
Professor of Old Testament and Biblical Theology
The Faith of the Outsider, pp. 7–8