I trained as a biblical scholar under Vernon K. Robbins at Emory University and use his sociorhetorical interpretive analytic to perform my biblical interpretations. In that role, I am one of the associate editors of the Emory Studies in Early Christianity book series (SBL Press).

As a teacher, I am a generalist who offers a wide selection of courses at my institution. I am the only biblical scholar in my department, so I offer the courses on biblical (and other sacred) texts as well as in the history of Judaism and Christianity: Sacred Texts, New Testament & Christian Origins, Women & Scripture, Desert Mothers & Fathers, Judaism, and Christianity. I also offer a range of other courses, such as: What Is Religion?,  American Religion, Death & Dying, and Apocalypse to Zombie.


Ph.D.    Emory University, New Testament & Early Christianity, 2007

M.A.      University of Chicago, Religious Studies, 1998

B.A.      Muhlenberg College, Religion/German, 1995




  • Vernon K. Robbins, Robert H. von Thaden Jr., & Bart B. Bruehler, eds. Foundations for Sociorhetorical Exploration: A Rhetoric of Religious Antiquity Reader. Rhetoric of Religious Antiquity 4. Atlanta: SBL Press, 2016.

  • Sex, Christ, and Embodied Cognition: Paul’s Wisdom for Corinth. Emory Studies in Early Christianity 16. Blandford Forum, Dorset, UK: Deo Publishing, 2012. Repr. Atlanta: SBL Press, 2017.


  • “Response to ‘Mental Images, Embodied Experience, and Textual Rhetoric’ Panel.” Conversations with the Biblical World: A Peer-Reviewed Journal of Studies of the Archeology, Culture, History, and Literature of the Bible and the Ancient Near East 39 (2019): 224-230.

  • “Procreation, Children, and Family.” Pages 539-56 in The Handbook of New Testament, Gender, and Sexuality. Edited by Benjamin H. Dunning. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019.

  • “Apocalyptic America: Buying the End Time.” Pages 405-37 in Apocalypses in Context: Apocalyptic Currents Throughout History. Edited by Kelly J. Murphy and Justin P. Jeffcoat Schedtler. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2016.

  • “Digging Down and Reaching Out: A Story of Biblical Scholarship in the Twenty-First Century.” Expositions: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities 9 (2015): 106-113.

  • “Pauline Rhetorical Invention: Seeing 1 Corinthians 6:12-7:7 through Conceptual Integration Theory.” Pages 99-119 in Cognitive Linguistic Explorations in Biblical Studies. Edited by Bonnie G. Howe and Joel B. Green. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2014.

  • “The Power of Pictures: Sex and Embodied Temples.” Conversations with the Biblical World: Proceedings of the Eastern Great Lakes Biblical Society & Midwest Region Society of Biblical Literature 32 (2012): 109-126.

  • “Guiding Socio-Rhetorical Commentary with Conceptual Integration Theory (Blending Theory).” Conversations with the Biblical World: Proceedings of the Eastern Great Lakes Biblical Society & Midwest Region Society of Biblical Literature 31 (2011): 184-203.

  • “Bad Children, Children as Bad: Problematic Children from Proverbs to Acts of Thomas and Beyond.” Proceedings: Eastern Great Lakes and Midwestern Biblical Societies 28 (2008): 67-75.

  • “Glorify God in Your Body: The Redemptive Role of the Body in Early Christian Ascetic Literature.” Cistercian Studies Quarterly 38 (2003): 191-209.

Encyclopedia/Dictionary Entry

Blog Posts


    I am currently working on a commentary on Galatians for the Rhetoric of Religious Antiquity commentary series (SBL Press) with the working title of Exploring Galatians: Jewish God, Pagan Bodies.


    • Society of Biblical Literature

    • Sheffield Institute for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies (External Member)

    • Catholic Biblical Association of America

    • Eastern Great Lakes Biblical Society

    • North American Patristics Society

    • North American Society for the Study of Christian Apocryphal Literature

    Robert von Thaden, Jr.

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