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Faculty Profile - Jon Laansma

Jon Laansma, Ph.D.

Gerald F. Hawthorne Professor of New Testament Greek and Exegesis; Classical Languages Section Coordinator

On Faculty since 2003
630.752.5769
Wyngarden 218


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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.

University of Aberdeen
Ph.D., New Testament, 1995

Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary
M.Div., 1989

Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary
B.R.E., 1984

  • New Testament exegesis and theology
  • Hermeneutics
  • Koine Greek
  • I Corinthians
  • Hebrews
  • Paul's letters to Timothy and Titus
  • The Old Testament in the New Testament
  • Society of Biblical Literature
  • Institute of Biblical Research
  • Evangelical Theological Society

Dr. Laansma's research interests are exegesis and theology of the Greek New Testament, Hebrews, I Corinthians, Paul's letters to Timothy and Titus, the Old Testament in the New Testament, and recent discussions in  hermeneutics as they bear on these fields.

  • Greek Grammar I & II (GREK 101-102)
  • Greek (201 - Summer)
  • New Testament Literature (BITH 213)
  • Advanced Koine Reading (GREK 334; 489; BITH 505)
  • New Testament Criticism (BITH 452)
  • Hermeneutics (BITH 524)
  • New Testament Hermeneutics (BITH 531)
  • Exegesis of Hebrews (BITH/GREK 451; BITH 646)
  • Exegesis of Paul's Letters to Timothy and Titus (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)
  • Exegesis of 1 Corinthians (BITH 646)

"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.

 "Mysticism," in Dictionary of New Testament Backgrounds, eds. Craig A. Evans and Stanley E. Porter (Intervarsity Press, 2000), 725-737.

Introduction and the study notes for the Letters to Timothy and Titus in the New Living Translation Study Bible (Tyndale House Publishers, 2008).

"Cosmology of Hebrews." In Cosmology and New Testament Theology. Library of New Testament Studies 355. Edited by Jonathan T. Pennington & Sean McDonaough (T&T Clark, 2008), 125-143.

"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).

"Hebrews and the Mission of the Earliest Church," in New Testament Theology in Light of the Church's Mission. Essays in Honor of I. Howard Marshall. Edited by Jon Laansma, Grant Osborne, Ray Van Neste (Paternoster, 2011).

Hebrews Yesterday, Today, and Future: An Illustrative Survey, Diagnosis, Prescription. Christology, Hermeneutics, and Hebrews. Profiles from the History of Interpretation. Edited by Jon Laansma and Daniel Treier (T&T Clark, 2012).

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).

"The Living and Active Word of God: A Theological Reading of Hebrews," in Caleb T. Friedeman, ed., Listen, Understand, Obey. Essays on Hebrews in Honor of Gareth Lee Cockerill (Eugene, Oregon: Pickwick (Wipf and Stock), 2017), 54-74.

"Lord's Day (in the NT)," in The Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception. Eds Dale Allison et al. (DeGruyter, submitted and forthcoming).