iOS app Android app

Paul N. Anderson
Paul N. Anderson is Professor of Biblical and Quaker Studies at George Fox University, where he has served since 1989. He received his BA and MDiv from Malone University and the Earlham School of Religion, and his PhD is from the University of Glasgow. Author of over 200 published essays, his books on the Gospel of John and Jesus include The Christology of the Fourth Gospel, The Fourth Gospel and the Quest for Jesus, The Riddles of the Fourth Gospel, and Following Jesus: The Heart of Faith and Practice. As a co-founder of John, Jesus, and History Project in the Society of Biblical Literature, Paul is a co-editor of its volumes, and he is the New Testament editor of the Biblical Interpretation Series (E.J. Brill) and former editor of the Evangelical Friend and Quaker Religious Thought. His current projects include the spirituality of Jesus with HarperOne and an introduction to the New Testament with Abingdon.

Entries by Paul N. Anderson

"Ethiopian Lives Matter--The Social Conscience of The Saint John's Bible III"

(0) Comments | Posted January 14, 2016 | 5:14 PM

Do people share a common humanity, and if so, what is its character? Whereas Genesis 1:1-2:4a calls for setting aside time for worship, renewal, and relationships on a weekly basis, the next two chapters address our shared humanity. Despite being created in the divine image, humans are also fallen. And...

Read Post

The Social Conscience of the Saint John's Bible II-- On Syrian Refugees and the Reversals of Christmas

(2) Comments | Posted December 21, 2015 | 1:30 PM

Pleasant images of nativity scenes adorn hearth and home during Christmas and Advent seasons, but when we stop and take a closer look, our perspectives often change. Upon a closer look, that momentous sojourn in the Levant was more difficult than we might have thought. An unwed pregnant teenager; a...

Read Post

The Outpouring of the Spirit

(0) Comments | Posted September 29, 2015 | 4:52 PM

As Jesus followers gathered on Pentecost Sunday, 50 days after the Sabbath following his crucifixion, they were startled by rushing winds and tongues of fire. Travelers had come to Jerusalem from all parts of the known world, but an even more amazing thing happened. Despite representing diverse language groups, people...

Read Post

"The Healing of the World"

(0) Comments | Posted September 28, 2015 | 4:17 PM

Jesus proclaimed "The Kingdom of God is at hand!" He delivered the inwardly afflicted and healed the sick. In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus heals lepers, the lame, the blind, and those suffering from other ailments, furthering God's redemptive work in the world.

Those touched by the healing hand...

Read Post

"The Feeding of the Multitudes"

(0) Comments | Posted September 25, 2015 | 3:01 AM

The only miracle of Jesus in all four Gospels is the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes, and Mark and Matthew even include the feeding of the 4,000 as well as the feeding of the 5,000. While Jesus multiplies the loaves and the fishes, his disciples are charged with distributing...

Read Post

"The Rock Of The Church"

(0) Comments | Posted September 24, 2015 | 3:23 AM

Peter's confession in the Gospels marks the turning point in Jesus' ministry. In Mark and Matthew, the setting is Caesarea Philippi--the headwaters of the Jordan River, where a cave descends deep into the earth. On this site at the base of Mount Hermon, conquering foreign armies erected shrines to their...

Read Post

The Creation of the Cosmos

(1) Comments | Posted September 23, 2015 | 1:11 PM

As the frontispiece of Volume 1 of The Saint John's Bible, Donald Jackson's beautiful painting of Creation sets the stage for the entire seven-volume set. God is the Ground and Source of our being, and at the end of each creative work, God said, "That's good." Striking against...

Read Post

Commandments of Love

(0) Comments | Posted September 23, 2015 | 1:36 AM

The Ten Commandments, given to Moses by God for the children of Israel to follow, are not primarily religious. Their concern is largely social, rooted in love, and all of them are relational in their thrust. Four Commandments address the human-divine relationship; six of them address human-to-human relationships.


Read Post

'7 Days of Illumination -- The Mission of Pope Francis and The Saint John's Bible'

(0) Comments | Posted September 23, 2015 | 12:56 AM

In an era where "cultured despisers of religion" -- a term used by Friedrich Schleiermacher two centuries ago, critiquing the prevailing ethos of Europe during his day -- fail to note the power and feeling of authentic faith and practice, the mission of Pope Francis to America comes at a...

Read Post

"God's Promises to Abraham...and the World"

(1) Comments | Posted September 22, 2015 | 6:49 PM

God makes several promises to Abraham in Genesis 12-17; these also involve Sarah, extending further to the world. The opening promise in Genesis 12:1-3 involves leaving the familiarity of home and traveling to an unknown land to be shown later. That must have taken courage!

Another promise follows in...

Read Post

"The Social Conscience of the Saint John's Bible I -- the Invitation to Forgive, Today and Always"

(4) Comments | Posted September 15, 2015 | 11:55 AM

The Bible is not a safe book. It confronts, disturbs and challenges as well as being comforting, instructive and convicting. As arguably the most impactful book in human history, the reason is that it continues to speak to contemporary audiences -- sometimes in ways that sometimes surprise us -- today...

Read Post

On Finding Jesus... and Divorcing Mary Magdalene

(186) Comments | Posted April 6, 2015 | 4:37 PM

The last of the six CNN episodes on Finding Jesus: Faith. Fact. Forgery deals with Mary Magdalene and her relationship with Jesus. Like the other episodes and the book by David Gibson and Michael McKinley on which the series is based, glimpses of Jesus are garnered through the lenses of...

Read Post

The Quest for the True Cross of Jesus

(6) Comments | Posted March 31, 2015 | 1:17 PM

This fifth episode of CNN's Finding Jesus special focuses on the Byzantine era, three centuries after the ministry of Jesus, when Helena, the mother of Constantine, traveled to Palestine to find "the true cross of Jesus," as well as other artifacts that might be valued as relics. Before Constantine became...

Read Post

On Bone Boxes and the Brother of Jesus

(3) Comments | Posted March 24, 2015 | 3:13 PM

As with the other episodes of the CNN special on Finding Jesus, "The Secret Brother of Jesus" builds an understanding of Jesus and his ministry on the basis of recent archaeological finds and known historical facts. In this case, an ossuary (a bone box) discovered in Jerusalem several decades ago...

Read Post

Judas -- Traitor or Hero?

(3) Comments | Posted March 17, 2015 | 1:31 PM

The third episode of the CNN special, Finding Jesus: Fact, Faith and Forgery, focuses on the role of Judas among the twelve disciples, featuring the second-century Gospel of Judas. Translated from the Coptic in 2006, this recently discovered Gnostic gospel potentially sheds new light on the role of Judas among...

Read Post

Finding John the Baptist (And Jesus too)

(9) Comments | Posted March 10, 2015 | 9:54 AM

In the second episode of Finding Jesus, the CNN special based on the new book by David Gibson and Michael McKinley, the focus is on John the Baptist. That being the case, this episode might be termed: Finding John the Baptist (okay, and Jesus too). And, within the quest for...

Read Post

I Didn't Know Jesus Was Lost

(43) Comments | Posted March 3, 2015 | 11:12 AM

In looking forward to the CNN special this evening, "Finding Jesus: Faith, Fact, Forgery," I found myself musing: "I didn't know Jesus was lost..." Of course, this cable-television special builds upon David Gibson's and Michael McKinley's new book by that title, and rather than being a special on what biblical...

Read Post

Will Noah Sink or Swim? The Buoyancy of the Latest Bible Film

(14) Comments | Posted March 28, 2014 | 2:49 PM

With the Son of God movie having come out a month or so ago, I've been wondering how Darren Aronofsky's epic film, Noah, would do on the silver screen, and also at the box office. For sure, how could a film starring Russell Crowe as Noah, the savior of animals...

Read Post

Will Son of God Change the World?

(61) Comments | Posted February 28, 2014 | 4:49 PM

The revision of the History Channel's five-episode film, The Bible, premiers this weekend as Son of God -- the movie. Featuring the Portuguese actor, Diogo Morgado, as a winsome and empathic Jesus, producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey can be commended in their endeavor to create a compelling narrative for...

Read Post