Ancient Languages - Greek, Latin, Hebrew
Associate Professor of Ancient Languages and New Testament
On Faculty since 2003
Office: Wyngarten 218
Ph.D., New Testament, University of Aberdeen, 1995
M.Div., Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary, 1989
B.R.E., Grand Rapids Baptist College, 1984
About Jon Laansma
I grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the seventh child of nine. The privilege of spending my life in the Scriptures has been shared since 1984 with my wife Lisa, and since 1995 with our daughter. Lisa and I lived in Aberdeen, Scotland, from 1990 to 1994. Since 1996 Wheaton has been home.
Beyond family, I particularly enjoy reading, traveling, the outdoors, University of Michigan football, Red Wings hockey, and Tigers baseball. The church in which I was born, baptized, married, and ordained is Highland Hills Baptist Church, Grand Rapids. We now fellowship at College Church in Wheaton where I co-teach a Greek Exegesis Sunday School class and have served as an elder. Opportunities for teaching and other ministry have brought us to locations in Africa, Europe, and Australia. Before joining the faculty of Wheaton College I spent seven memorable years teaching at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago.
My research interests include Paul's letters to Timothy and Titus, Hebrews, 1 Corinthians, Greek, the relation of science and faith, and what it means to read and live wisely and faithfully.
Knowledge of the original languages is neither a necessary nor a sufficient cause of good biblical interpretation, but it is a very important contributory cause. "In so far as we love the Gospel, to that extent let us study the ancient tongues." Yet Martin Luther, to whom that line has been attributed, certainly had no narrow view of the reading of Scripture. On a piece of paper found near him at the time of his death Luther had written, "No one can understand Virgil's Georgics unless he has been a farmer for five years. No one can understand Cicero's letters unless he has busied himself in the affairs of a great empire for twenty-five years. No one can presume to have indulged in Holy Scriptures sufficiently unless he were in charge of all the churches for one hundred years with the prophets Elijah and Elisha, John the Baptist, Christ, and the Apostles. Do not seize hold of this divine Aeneid, but adore its tracks with humility. We are beggars, this is true." For many of us who have found so much enjoyment in the exegesis of the Scriptures in the original languages our interest was not first of all linguistic but antecedently one of love for our Savior and his Word. This has been and remains fundamentally an act of worship.
- Greek Grammar I & II (GREK 101-102)
- New Testament Literature (BITH 213)
- Advanced Koine Reading (GREK 334)
- New Testament Criticism (BITH 452)
- Hermeneutics (BITH 524)
- Exegesis of Hebrews (BITH/GREK 451; BITH 646)
- Exegesis of the Pastoral Epistles (BITH/GREK 451; BITH 646)
- Introduction to New Testament Exegesis (BITH 528)
- Principles of Interpretation (BITH 564)
- Exegesis of 2 Corinthians (BITH 646)
- Exegesis of Matthew (BITH 646)
- Advanced Greek Syntax (Independent Studies)
- Greek Reading (Independent Studies)
- Greek Gospels (Independent Studies)
- Greek Composition (Independent Studies)
Membership in Professional Societies
- Society of Biblical Literature
- Institute of Biblical Research
- Evangelical Theological Society
Dr. Laansma's research interests are biblical Greek and New Testament exegesis, Hebrews, the Pastoral Epistles, the Old Testament in the New Testament, New Testament history and theology, and recent discussions in linguistics and hermeneutics as they bear on these fields.
Books authored and edited
With Randy Gauthier. Handy Guide to Mastering Difficult and Irregular Verbs of the Greek New Testament. (Kregel, forthcoming).
Hebrews. (Wipf and Stock, forthcoming).
With Daniel Treirer, eds. Christology, Hermeneutics, and Hebrews. Profiles from the History of Interpretation. (T&T Clark, 2012).
With Grant Osborne and Ray Van Neste, eds. New Testament Theology in Light of the Church's Mission. Essays in Honour of I. Howard Marshall. (Paternoster/Wipf and Stock, 2011)
2 Timothy and Titus, NLT Commentary Series (Tyndale House Publishers, 2009).
"I Will Give You Rest" The Rest Motif in the New Testament with Special Reference to Mt 11 and Heb 3-4, WUNT 2/98 (J.C.B. Mohr [Paul Siebeck]), 1997; repr. Wipf and Stock, 2015).
Articles and chapters
“Lord’s Day (in the NT),” in The Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception. Eds Dale Allison et al. (De Gruyter, forthcoming).
“Heaven in the General Epistles,” in Heaven, vol 6 of Crossway’s Theology in Community series, edited by Robert Peterson and Chris Morgan (Crossway, 2014).
“Hebrews Yesterday, Today, and Future: An Illustrative Survey, Diagnosis, Prescription,” in Christology, Hermeneutics, and Hebrews. Profiles from the History of Interpretation. Edited by Jon Laansma and Daniel Treier (T&T Clark, 2012).
“Hebrews and the Mission of the Earliest Church,” in New Testament Theology in Light of the Church’s Mission. Essays in Honour of I. Howard Marshall. Edited by Jon Laansma, Grant Osborne, Ray Van Neste (Paternoster, 2011).
“Hidden Stories in Hebrews: Cosmology and Theology” (chapter). In A Cloud of Witnesses: The Theology of Hebrews in its Ancient Context. Library of New Testament Studies. Edited by Richard Bauckham and Nathan MacDonald (T&T Clark/Continuum, 2008).
“Cosmology of Hebrews.” In Cosmology and New Testament Theology. Library of New Testament Studies 355. Edited by Jonathan T. Pennington & Sean McDonough (T&T Clark, 2008), 125-143.
“Hebrews,” in the Dictionary of the Theological Interpretation of Scripture (Baker, 2005). Repr. in Keven J. Vanhoozer, gen, ed., Theological Interpretation of the New Testament (Baker, 2008).
Introduction and the study notes for the Letters to Timothy and Titus in the New Living Translation Study Bible (Tyndale House Publishers, 2008).
“Rest (Work),” in New Dictionary of Biblical Theology, eds. Desmond Alexander and Brian Rosner (InterVarsity Press, 2000), 727-732.
“Mysticism,” in Dictionary of New Testament Backgrounds, eds. Craig A. Evans and Stanley E. Porter (InterVarsity Press, 2000), 725-737.
“Peace,” in Dictionary of the Later New Testament and Its Developments, eds. Ralph Martin and Peter H. Davids (InterVarsity Press, 1997), 893-900.
“Lord’s Day,” in Dictionary of the Later New Testament and Its Developments, eds. Ralph Martin and Peter H. Davids (InterVarsity Press, 1997), 679-686.