Faculty Profile

Rob Wall

Robert W. Wall

Paul T. Walls Professor Emeritus of Scripture and Wesleyan Studies

Email: rwall@spu.edu

Education: BA, Valparaiso University, 1969; ThM, Dallas Theological Seminary, 1973; ThD, Dallas Theological Seminary, 1979; additional graduate study at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University. At SPU 1978-2021.

Robert Wall’s books and articles — whether aimed at other scholars or clergy — originate in the ferment of the university classroom and in conversation with his students and colleagues. In both his published research and classroom teaching, Dr. Wall approaches the Bible as a sacred text — a “production of the Holy Spirit” — and in a manner that forms a clearer understanding of God for the people of God.

The Reverend Dr. Wall is a Seattle native, an avid sportsman (CrossFitter, hiker, rower, and grandpa), and a dedicated Seattle sports fan. He is an elder of the Free Methodist Church who enjoys an active ecumenical ministry of preaching and teaching adult Bible studies in congregations of various faith traditions.


Studies in Canonical Criticism

T&T Clark - Bloomsbury, 2020

Wesleyan One Volume Commentary

Abingdon Press, 2020

The Marks of Scripture: Rethinking the Nature of the Bible, with Daniel Castelo

Baker, 2019

A Compact Guide to the Whole Bible: Learning to Read Scripture’s Story, with David Nienhuis

Baker Academic Press, 2015

This compact introduction to the Bible prepares students to begin reading the biblical text as Christian Scripture.

Why the Church? (Reframing New Testament Theology)

Abingdon Press, 2015

“Given the way many in the West have read the New Testament in the last century, the church might be regarded as an afterthought at best. But at the worst, it can be viewed as an unnecessary, perhaps even problematic, institutionalization of genuine faith especially in our post-denominational context. These perspectives fly in the face of the robust ecclesiological concerns and commitments of the New Testament documents when read as witnesses from, to, and for congregations of God’s people. Why the church? Because this peculiar fellowship of saints, whose loving communion is with the risen One, has been appointed by the triune God as God's herald.”

Reading the Epistles of James, Peter, John, & Jude as Scripture: The Shaping & Shape of a Canonical Collection, with David Nienhuis

Eerdmans, 2013

Through a detailed examination of the historical shaping and final canonical shape of seven oft-neglected New Testament letters — James, 1 & 2 Peter, 1-2-3 John, and Jude — Reading the Epistles of James, Peter, John & Jude as Scripture introduces readers to the historical, literary, and theological integrity of this indispensable apostolic witness. It is the only treatment of the Catholic Epistles that approaches them as an intentionally designed and theologically coherent canonical collection.

1 & 2 Timothy and Titus

Eerdmans, 2012

This theological commentary powerfully demonstrates the ongoing relevance and authority of the Pastoral Epistles for the church today. This innovative yet reverent volume will help revive the interest of students, pastors, and other Christian leaders in the Pastoral Epistles.

Called to Lead: Paul's Letters to Timothy for a New Day, with Anthony B. Robinson

Eerdmans, 2012

Featuring both exegetical study and dynamic contemporary exposition, each chapter of Called to Lead first interprets the text of 1 and 2 Timothy as Scripture and then engages 1 and 2 Timothy for today's church leaders. The book covers many vexing issues faced by church leaders then and now — such issues as the use of money, leadership succession, pastoral authority, and the role of Scripture. Through it all, Called to Lead shows how Timothy remains a text of great value for the church today.

For a taste of this important book, read “Preachers of Least Resistance” (PDF), a brand-new chapter, on 2 Timothy 3:1-9, not included in the book.

The Catholic Epistles & Apostolic Tradition (with Niebuhr, Karl-Wilhelm)

Eerdmans, 2011

Called to Be Church: The Book of Acts for a New Day (with Robinson, Anthony B.)

Eerdmans, 2006

The Acts of the Apostles: The New Interpreter’s Bible Commentary

Abingdon Press, 2002

Community of the Wise: The Letter of James

Trinity Press, 1997

Commentary on Colossians & Philemon, IVP New Testament Commentary

InterVarsity Press, 1993

The New Testament as Canon: A Reader in Canonical Criticism (with Lemcio, Eugene)

Academic Press, 1992

"A New Testament theology of the church, then, must be the yield of an interpretive strategy that seeks to relate the parts together as an interdependent whole; only then can the biblical theologian create a dynamic portrait of how the whole New Testament defines the church, which we argue is a truer and more useful portrait than merely describing the sum of the definitions found within the New Testament letters."

Revelation (New International Biblical Commentary)

Hendrickson, 1991

"At the very center of Revelation the good interpreter will always find the simple (not simplistic!) gospel of God. In this way, any interpretation worthy of the gospel will bear witness to the slain, yet exalted, Lamb through whom the salvation of God breaks into and radically transforms those who depend upon his dependable work; it will celebrate the triumph of God's kingdom, which is already realized in the Lamb's shed blood and which will be fully realized at its return."

Selected Publications

  • “The Acts of the Apostles” (pp. 3–370) and “The Epistolary Literature of the NT” (pp. 373–410), in New Interpreter’s Bible, Volume 10 (L. E. Keck, ed., Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2002).
  • “The Rule of Faith in Theological Hermeneutics” (pp. 88-107) and “Canonical Context and Canonical Conversations” (pp. 165–182), in Between Two Horizons: Spanning New Testament Studies and Systematic Theology  (J. B. Green and M. Turner, eds., Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1999).

View Dr. Wall's CV (PDF) or Digital Commons author profile for more information and additional publications.

Personal Links

Dr. Wall's Amazon profile

Rob Wall

Why I Taught at SPU

Rob Wall, Paul T. Walls Professor Emeritus of Scripture and Wesleyan Studies

“I taught because I was called and gifted by God to do so; I enjoyed cultivating in my students the skills necessary to read Scripture well and with deep passion.”

Rob Wall on translating scripture

Translating Scripture

Professor Rob Wall speaks at the annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature in November 2011 in San Francisco about his translation work on the Common English Bible.

Walls Lecture

A Wesleyan Reading of Romans 7

Listen to a podcast of the May 2, 2012 Paul T. Walls Lecture in Wesleyan Theology with Paul T. Walls Professor of Scripture and Wesleyan Studies Rob Wall, along with a response by the Rev. Tony Robinson.

Listen to "Sinister Kid" by the Black Keys.