Professor of New Testament Studies
Office: Alexander Hall
Education: BA, Seattle Pacific University, 1990; MDiv, Duke University Divinity School, 1996; PhD, University of Aberdeen, Scotland. At SPU 1999-2001, and since 2004.
David Nienhuis has been connected with SPU in a variety of ways throughout the years. He received his undergraduate degree in 1990, after which he worked as an SPU staff member until 1993. Following the completion of his master of divinity studies at Duke University Divinity School, he returned to SPU as an adjunct faculty member (1998–2001). After earning his doctorate at the University of Aberdeen, he assumed a full-time teaching post in 2004.
Dr. Nienhuis’s research interests lie at the intersection of several theological sub-disciplines – biblical studies, church history, doctrine, and Christian formation – that meet in a set of questions under the broad rubric of “canon” studies: What is the purpose of the Christian biblical canon? What factors occasioned its ancient emergence and construction? Does its final literary shape bear any hermeneutical significance?
Dr. Nienhuis teaches University Foundations courses and upper-division undergraduate courses in both New Testament and Christian Reconciliation, along with several Bible courses for Seattle Pacific Seminary. He is married to a 1993 SPU alumna, and they have two school-age children.
A Concise Guide to Reading the New Testament: A Canonical Introduction
Baker Academic, 2018
The New Testament came together, and comes to us, not as a randomly sorted set of individual books but as a definitely shaped and ordered whole. This concise, theological introduction to the New Testament sheds light on the interpretive significance of the canon's structure and sequence and articulates how the final shape of the canon is formative for Christian discipleship. Providing an essential overview often missing from New Testament books and courses, this book will serve as an accessible supplement to any New Testament or Bible introduction textbook.
A Compact Guide to the Whole Bible: Learning to Read Scripture’s Story, with Rob Wall
Baker Academic Press, 2015
This compact, one-semester introduction to the Bible prepares students to begin reading the biblical text as Christian Scripture, focusing on the meaning of Scripture for the church. The editors and contributors—experienced teachers with expertise in different parts of the Bible—orient students to the whole of Scripture so that they may read the biblical text for themselves. The book first explains what Christians believe about Scripture and gives a bird's-eye survey of the whole biblical story. Chapters then introduce the story, arrangement, style, and key ideas of each division of the Old and New Testament, helping readers see how the books of the Bible make a coherent whole.
Reading the Epistles of James, Peter, John, & Jude as Scripture: The Shaping & Shape of a Canonical Collection, with Robert W. Wall
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 these seven letters as an intentionally designed and theologically coherent canonical collection.
Not By Paul Alone: The Formation of the Catholic Epistle Collection and the Christian Canon
Baylor University Press, 2007
"This book makes a brilliant and original and (to my mind) convincing contribution to the current attempt to rethink the relationship between text and community, Scripture, and church" –Francis Watson
"This book proposes that the letter of James was written with the nascent apostolic letter collection in view, in order that it might forge together a discrete collection of non-Pauline letters, one shaped according to a particular logic of apostolic authority (that is, 'not by Paul alone') in order to perform a particular function in the larger Christian canon (the correction of Paulinist misreadings of the whole apostolic message)." (5)
Please view Dr. Nienhuis’ CV (PDF) for a list of publications.