Theologian. Born and raised in Germany. Lived, worked and learned in South Africa (1987–1998), England (2001–2009) Fiji (1998–2001; and again from 2010 to mid-2021), and now Papua New Guinea (since October 2021). Worked as a lecturer at the University of Natal [Pietermaritzburg, South Africa] (later: University of KwaZulu-Natal); University of the North [Mankweng, South Africa] (later: University of Limpopo); Eastern Region Ministry Course and Cambridge Theological Federation [Cambridge, UK]; Professor of Biblical Literature and Languages, Pacific Theological College [Suva, Fji]. In October 2021, I moved to Papua New Guinea to work as a theological educator for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Papua New Guinea: first at the rural Senior-Flierl-Seminary, Logaweng, Finschhafen (18 months), and since April 2023 at the urban Martin-Luther-Seminary, Lae.


Studied theology in Germany (Wuppertal, Bochum, Heidelberg, 1984–1987) and South Africa (Pietermaritzburg, 1989–1998). BA(Hons), MA and PhD, University of KwaZulu-Natal.

Other Publications

Edited books

  • Nokise, Feleterika, and Holger Szesnat, eds. 2015. Oceanic Voyages in Theology and Theological Education: Reflections and Reminiscences in Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Pacific Theological College. Suva, Fiji Islands: Pacific Theological College. (iv+168pp.) https://archive.org/details/oceanicvoyagesptc

Coursebooks (distance education) and other teaching tools

  • Document and Referencing Style Guide for the Pacific Theological College. (2012–; annual updates since then). (42 pp.) http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/3p2t-8d47

  • Study skills for theology (Foundation degree course, Cambridge Theological Federation, UK, 2009).

  • Introduction to the Bible (Bachelor degree course, Pacific Theological College, Fiji, 2008; second ed. 2012).

Electronic books (self-published)

Journal articles (peer reviewed)

  • Interpreting the Third Version of the Story of Entrusted Money: Revisiting Richard Rohrbaugh’s Chiastic Reading. Biblische Notizen 188 (2021), 101–118.

  • Eusebius of Caesarea’s or Emesa’s Theophania? Evidence from the Lemmata in Vaticanus Graecus 1611. Vigiliae Christianae 73.5 (2019), 507–515.

  • The Non-Canonical Version of the Story of Entrusted Money in Nicetas of Heraclea’s Catena in Lucam: Revisiting Text and Manuscripts. Neotestamentica 53.1 (2019), 149–174. https://doi.org/10.17613/dy14-fr52

  • “Some Witnesses Have …”: The Representation of the New Testament Text in English Bible Versions. TC: A Journal of Biblical Textual Criticism 12 (2007), 1-18. (http://purl.org/TC)

  • Philo and Female Homoeroticism: Philo’s Use of ΓΥΝΑΝΔΡΟΣ and Recent Work on Tribades. Journal for the Study of Judaism 30.2 (1999) 140-147. http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/ksty-ec67

  • ‘Pretty Boys’ in Philo’s De Vita Contemplativa. Studia Philonica Annual 10 (1998) 87-107. http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/vq9f-mq84

  • ‘Mostly Aged Virgins’: Philo and the Presence of the Therapeutrides at Lake Mareotis. Neotestamentica 32 (1998) 191-201. http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/n15c-p397

  • Human Sexuality, History, and Culture: Some Methodological Problems of Studying ‘Sexuality’ in the New Testament and its World. Scriptura 62 (1997) 335-361. https://doi.org/10.7833/62-0-626

  • The Concept of Class and the Social-Scientific Interpretation of the New Testament: Some Observations on the Analysis of Pauline Christianity in the Context of the Society of the Early Roman Principate. Nederduitse Gereformeerde Teologiese Tydskrif 38 (1997) 70-84. http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/zaxk-2340

  • In Fear of Androgyny: Theological Reflections on Masculinity and Sexism, Male Homosexuality and Homophobia, Romans 1:24-27 and Hermeneutics (A Response to Alexander Venter). Journal of Theology for Southern Africa 93 (1995) 32-50. http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/hcyp-fr20

  • Greek ‘Homosexuality’: Whither the Debate? Akroterion 39 (1994) 46-63. [co-author; with Michael Lambert] https://doi.org/10.7445/39-2-521

  • What Did the ΣΚΗΝΟΠΟΙΟΣ Paul Produce? Neotestamentica 27 (1993) 391-402. http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/gxef-7527

Journal articles and book chapters (not peer-reviewed)

  • Bible Study on Economic Justice: Luke 19:11–28. Pacific Journal of Theology Series II, 56 (2016 [2017]), 19–29. http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M67G04

  • Gender-based Violence and Ephesians 5: Reflections on the Ethics, Hermeneutics and Didactics of a Community Bible Study in Suva, Fiji. In Oceanic Voyages in Theology and Theological Education: Reflections and Reminiscences in Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Pacific Theological College, edited by Feleterika Nokise and Holger Szesnat, 133-168. Suva, Fiji Islands: Pacific Theological College (2015). http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6BQ3M

  • A Church-State Covenant on the Environment? Pacific Journal of Theology 44 (2010) 30-56.

  • Who Knows? Wikipedia, Teaching and Research. SBL Forum 4 (9). http://www.sbl-site.org/Article.aspx?ArticleId=603

  • Representing ‘the Text’ in Pacific Bible Translations. Pacific Journal of Theology 26 (2001) 21-54.

  • [Three encyclopaedia entries on St Paul; Josephus Flavius; and Philo of Alexandria.] In: Haggerty, G E (ed) 2000. Gay Histories and Cultures: An Encyclopedia. New York: Garland. https://archive.org/details/encyclopediaofga00ghag

  • Der Inselstaat ist tief gespalten. Der Überblick: Zeitschrift für Ökumenische Begegnung und Internationale Zusammenarbeit 36 (3/2000): 80-85. [co-author; with Manfred Ernst] http://www.der-ueberblick.de/ueberblick.archiv/one.ueberblick.article/ueberblickbf66.html?entry=page.200003.080

  • The Essentialist – Social Constructionist Debate and Biblical Research. In: De Gruchy, S & Germond, P (eds) 1997. Aliens in the Household of God: Homosexuality and Christian Faith in South Africa. Cape Town: David Philip. 270-94.

Dissertations / theses

  • New Testament exegesis and sociology: a critique of Gerd Theissen’s ‘Sociology of early Palestinian Christianity’. BA(Hons) dissertation. University of Natal. Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. (November 1989). Internal examiner: Prof. J.A. Draper (University of Natal). 61pp.

  • The Apostle Paul and His Community in Corinth: A Study in Selected Issues of Socio-Economic Context and Practice. MA thesis, University of Natal (January 1992). Internal examiner: Prof. J.A. Draper (University of Natal); external examiner: Prof. C.A. Wanamaker (University of Cape Town). 294pp.

  • Sexual Desire, ‘Deviant Behaviour’, and Moral Discourse in the Writings of Paul and Philo: An Historical-Exegetical Study of the Moral Problematisation of Sexual Desire and Behaviour in First-Century Hellenistic Judaism and Christianity, With Special Reference to the Work of Michel Foucault. PhD dissertation, University of Natal (August 1998). Supervisor and internal examiner: Prof. J.A. Draper (University of Natal); external examiners: Prof. L.W. Countryman (CDSP, Berkeley, USA), Prof. S.E. Fowl (Loyola College in Maryland, Baltimore, USA). 364pp.

Blog Posts


    • Several articles (in progress) on the topic of The Story of Entrusted Money in the Gospels according to Matthew, Luke, and the non-canonical ‘Gospel Written in Hebrew Characters’.

    • Article (in progress): Leserlenkung and Troubling Gaps in the Story of the Workers in the Vineyard.

    • Article (in progress): Plagiarism and Theological Education.


    • New Testament Society of South Africa

    • Society of Biblical Literature

    Holger Szesnat

    Profile picture of Holger Szesnat


    Active 3 months ago