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Jennifer G. Bird
Growing up in Roanoke, Virginia, former Associate Professor of Religion Jennifer G. Bird has recently relocated to Portland, OR. She is currently working on her second book, Permission Granted, and speaking and teaching on matters related to gender, sexuality and power within the texts of the bible, especially from the letters of the New Testament. Her first book, Abuse, Power and Fearful Obedience: Reconsidering 1 Peter’s Commands to Wives, was recently assigned at Harvard Divinity School.

Her undergraduate degree is a BS in Mathematics, with an Education Minor, from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (1994). After two years training with an international para-church organization, Young Life, and a cross-country "happiness move" to Portland, OR, she found herself applying to seminary in order to study biblical languages and look into what the bible says about women. With an MDiv from Princeton Theological Seminary (2001), she began PhD work in New Testament and Early Christianity and finished that degree from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee (2007).

She grew up in a family that was active in a United Methodist Church congregation, was a summer youth leader during college, had two internships during seminary at Presbyterian churches in New York City, and a one-year part-time position at First Presbyterian Church, Waco, Texas. Throughout her ten years in Nashville, Tennessee and Greensboro, North Carolina, she sought out opportunities to teach classes crafted for local churches.

Her post-baccalaureate teaching experience began in her final year at Princeton Theological Seminary, and included TA positions or full teaching responsibilities for Koine Greek throughout PhD coursework and writing. Her most recent full-time position was for six years at Greensboro College in Greensboro, North Carolina. While writing and speaking on both coasts, Jennifer is an adjunct professor for Portland Community College and University of Portland.

Entries by Jennifer G. Bird

On SCOTUS, the Bible, and "Love Wins!" Language

(14) Comments | Posted July 5, 2015 | 2:47 PM

As a hetero woman, who has never (ever) dreamt of a wedding day, I was still profoundly moved and delighted by the second SCOTUS ruling on June 26th. From my perspective it signaled a basic acknowledgement that committed, loving relationships take on many forms within the human race, and that...

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On Indiana's RFRA, Discrimination and Sex

(1) Comments | Posted March 31, 2015 | 9:09 PM

A few thoughts keep rolling around in my mind as I listen to updates regarding the passage of SB101 in Indiana last week. They tend to circulate like this:

1) What kind of discrimination was it intended to allow, if not against members of the LGBTQ community? To rephrase: what...

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Fifty Shades of Things People Don't Want to Face (But Should)

(16) Comments | Posted February 18, 2015 | 3:22 PM

I was initially not going to go anywhere near the Fifty Shades of Grey frenzy. But a dear friend, who is also a survivor of domestic violence (DV), asked me to consider it on behalf of women DV survivors. So I read the first book and watched the movie over...

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What's the Harm? The Ongoing Effects of Biblical Ideas

(0) Comments | Posted February 8, 2015 | 10:18 PM


In light of the conversations sparked by President Obama's remarks last week at the annual National Prayer Breakfast, I find that I keep wanting people to stop and take a look at some passages that are in the Bible. It is not sufficient...

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What Does the Bible Say about Enjoying Our Sexuality?

(6) Comments | Posted January 6, 2015 | 9:18 AM

Big props to Allan Edwards for being so open and honest about how he handles his sexual desires for men on this week's Morning Edition Sunday on NPR, and to Rachel Martin for asking questions that many people who affirm LGBTQ folks within the Church would...

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Why Religious People Should Pay Attention to 'The Interview' Debacle

(0) Comments | Posted December 29, 2014 | 11:49 PM

I've wondered whether Seth Rogan, as Aaron Rapoport, made a jab at the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, precisely to see how the world would react. They had to know that it was somewhat risky to depict the assassination of a standing leader, even though it is "just a comedy."...

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Biblical Marriage: I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means

(135) Comments | Posted October 22, 2014 | 8:50 AM

In light of the recent resignations of two North Carolina magistrates, explained by their religious convictions that same-sex marriage is a sin or desecrates the "holy institution established by God Himself," I would like to offer a few points of clarification to the overall discourse.

First, the kinds of...

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Three Reasons Why Evolution Will Never Convince a Creationist

(16) Comments | Posted February 6, 2014 | 7:49 AM

Hearing about the exchange last night between Bill Nye, "The Science Guy," and Ken Ham the founder of the Creation Museum in Kentucky, I could not help but be somewhat disappointed by the whole situation. The reporting of it on NPR confirmed the worst fears of someone who...

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Let's Talk About Sex, Duck Dynasty Style

(3) Comments | Posted December 31, 2013 | 12:38 PM

"It seems like, to me, a vagina -- as a man -- would be more desirable than a man's anus." - Phil Robertson, of Duck Dynasty

Now, on one hand, Phil Robertson is just plain easy pickings for critique. At the same time, I find it quite helpful...

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So We Are a Christian Nation?

(81) Comments | Posted January 29, 2013 | 10:00 AM

I joined the millions who deeply and genuinely celebrated the second inauguration of President Barack H. Obama last Monday. There were many components of his speech that I resonated with and was thrilled to hear President Obama proclaim. Thus, this editorial is not about the person holding the office of...

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More Damage From Overvaluing Virginity

(28) Comments | Posted July 24, 2012 | 7:00 AM

I read Emily Timbol's July 14 editorial, "The Damage of Overvaluing Virginity," eager to see which points she would raise in the conversation. Two in particular were appreciated: 1) How God most likely does not want people panicking about impending consummation in the days prior to their wedding...

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How Amendment One Distorts the Bible

(922) Comments | Posted May 10, 2012 | 11:33 AM

Many people have been surprised to see me, a professor of biblical studies, at "Vote Against" forums and rallies. I am referring to voting against Amendment One, the unfortunately overreaching amendment to North Carolina's state constitution, the one that was voted in this week by a margin of ~20 percent....

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