Faculty Profiles

Karen Jobes, Ph.D. Wheaton College IL

Karen Jobes, Ph.D.

Professor of New Testament Greek and Greek Exegesis Emerita

On Faculty since 2005, Retired 2015

Watch out if someone asks you to teach adult Sunday School! I was firmly established in a career in computer science when I realized that I was enjoying preparing for and teaching my adult Sunday School class in Bible more than I was enjoying my job. The decision to leave my career in computer science for seminary and eventually for a doctoral program was not quickly or easily made, but was inevitable once the Lord developed in me a passion for teaching the Word of God to the next generation. I realized that if I did not heed his calling, I would reach old age with the regret of a misspent life.

Teaching biblical studies and ancient languages has not only satisfied that calling, but because biblical exegesis is a multi-disciplinary task, it affords the exciting opportunity to work with theology, hermeneutics, history, linguistics, philosophy, sociology, and more. And because God's word speaks to every generation, biblical studies and Greek are where the ancient and the modern worlds meet. Because I came into the academic study of the Bible through the Church, I believe biblical studies must always and ultimately serve the Lord's Church. As the old Scottish goes, "Greek, Hebrew, and Latin all have their proper place. But it is not at the head of the cross where Pilate put them, but at the foot of the cross in humble service to Christ."

Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia)
Ph.D. in Biblical Hermeneutics, 1995.
Published dissertation: The Alpha-Text of Esther: Its Character & Relationship to the Masoretic Text

Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia)
M.A.R. in Biblical Studies, 1989

Rutgers University
M.S. in Computer Science, 1979

Trenton State College (presently the College of New Jersey)
B.A. in Physics, 1974

  • GREK 101- Elementary Greek I
  • GREK 102– Elementary Greek II
  • GREK 33x– Advanced Koine Reading: Greek Old Testament
  • GREK 33x– Advanced Koine Reading: Jewish Hellenistic Texts
  • GREK 33x– Advanced Koine Reading: Apocrypha
  • GREK 494- Greek Senior Seminar
  • BITH 646- John's Gospel and Letters
  • BITH 646- Greek Exegesis: 1 Peter
  • BITH 646– Greek Exegesis: 1, 2, 3 John
  • BITH 646– Greek Exegesis: James
  • BITH 532- Greek Exegesis in the Septuagint
  • Evangelical Theological Society (ETS)
  • Institute for Biblical Research (IBR)
  • Society of Biblical Literature (SBL)
  • International Organization of Septuagint and Cognate Studies (IOSCS)

The New Testament emerged from the long, rich heritage of God's redemptive work through ancient Israel. The Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament, the Septuagint, was the version of Scripture produced by Jewish translators centuries before Jesus was born and is the version of the Old Testament used by New Testament writers as they wrote the gospel to a Greek-speaking world.

The Septuagint provides insight into how the translators understood the Hebrew Old Testament in the inter-testamental period and it provides a bridge between the Scripture of ancient Israel and the Christian gospel as it was proclaimed in the Graeco-Roman world. Understanding the complexities of its use by New Testament writers is an essential part of New Testament exegesis. Making Septuagint a focus of my research interests has allowed me to explore many topics of importance to biblical studies such as language, history, hermeneutics, theology, and principles of Bible translation.

"This I Know"­
IBR, November 2010

"Jesus the Master Vintner: John 2:11"­
Spring 2011

"Theological Education: Spiritual Nourishment or Junk Food"­
April 2011

Letters to the Church: A Survey of Hebrews and the General Epistles (Zondervan, 2011).

General Editor, Bringing the Bible to Life Series. Grand Rapids: Zondervan (2008–2010).

Translator, Codex Sinaiticus Esther for British Library

1 Peter. Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2005.

Jobes, Karen H. and Moises Silva. Invitation to the Septuagint. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2000.

Esther. The NIV Application Commentary. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1999.

The Alpha-Text of Esther: Its Character & Relationship to the Masoretic Text. Society of Biblical Literature Dissertation Series 153. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1996.

“The Septuagint as Scripture in the Early Church”, pp. 21–41 in The Sacred Text.
Edited by Michael Bird and Michael Pahl. Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press, 2010.

“‘He Bore Our Sins’: Apostolic Reflections on Isaiah 53”, pp. 92–105 in Ears to Hear and Eyes to See: Biblical and Theological Essays in Memory of J. Alan Groves. 
Edited by Peter Enns, Douglas Green, and Michael Kelley. Phillipsburg, NJ: P& R Publishing, 2010.

“The Minor Prophets in James, Peter, and Jude”, pp. 135-153 in The Minor Prophets in the New Testament.
Edited by Maarten J.J. Menken and Steve Moyise. Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 2009.

TranslationNew English Translation of the Septuagint: Esther 
(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007).

"When God Spoke Greek - The Place of the Greek Bible in Evangelical Scholarship," Bulletin of Biblical Research 
16 (2006): 219-236.

"The Septuagint Textual Tradition in 1 Peter," Pages 311-333 in Septuagint Research: Issues and Challenges in the Study of the Greek Jewish Scriptures.
Edited by Wolfgang Kraus and R. Glenn Wooden. Society of Biblical Literature Septuagint and Cognate Studies 53. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 2006.

“Got Milk? Septuagint Psalm 33 and the Interpretation of 1 Peter 2:1-3,” Westminster Theological Journal 
63 (2002): 1-14.

“Sophia Christology: The Way of Wisdom?” Pages 226-250 in The Way of Wisdom: Essays in Honor of Dr. Bruce K. Waltke on the Occasion of his Seventieth Birthday.
Edited by J. I. Packer and S. Soderlund. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2000.

"The Syntax of 1 Peter: Just How Good is the Greek?" Bulletin of Biblical Research
13/2 (Fall 2003): 159-173.

"How an Assassination Changed the Greek Texts of Esther." ZAW
(1998, 1): 75-78.

"'For Such a Time as This': A Defining Moment in Christian Ministry." 
Faith and Mission 14 (1996): 3-13.

"Jerusalem Our Mother: Metalepsis and Intertextuality in Galatians 4:21-31." Westminster Theological Journal 55
(1993): 299-320.

"The Use of Paronomasia in Hebrews 10:5-7." Trinity Journal 13