Wednesday, August 8, 2018
Dr. Joshua Coutts is excited to “dive deeply” into the New Testament with Providence Theological Seminary students. Recently hired to bolster the Seminary’s Department of Bible & Theology, Dr. Coutts will begin teaching at the Otterburne, MB campus in early September.
“To borrow a phrase from C.S. Lewis,” says Dr. Coutts, “’All the leaves of the New Testament are rustling’ with the rumour that the world is far more than it appears, and since the coming of Jesus it will never be the same.” He says his classes will aim to grapple with the “historical, literary and theological questions” of New Testament documents, and do so in a way that honours the intentions of the authors.
Formerly an instructor at Regent College (Vancouver, BC), Edinburgh Theological Seminary (Edinburgh, Scotland), Cornhill Training School (Glasgow, Scotland) and Prairie College (Three Hills, AB), Dr. Coutts points out some of the questions that intrigue him.
“How on earth did 1st century monotheistic Jews come to worship a Galilean craftsman as God? How did the odd little sect that grew up around him eclipse the mighty Roman Empire? What must the God who chooses to act in such ways in history be like?”
He adds: “Not only are these questions fascinating to me, but the answers also have huge implications for how I regard and live in the world.”
Dr. Coutts’ previous scholarship has examined the New Testament authors’ understanding of Jesus in light of their own experiences and readings of the Old Testament. His book, The Divine Name in the Gospel of John: Significance and Impetus (Mohr Siebeck, 2017), argues that the divine name acquired its significance through the Gospel writer’s interpretation of Isaiah.
“More recently,” he says, “I have been working on the use of Scripture in the 1st century conflict over Jesus, discipleship in John’s Gospel and worship in the book of Revelation.”
Away from the classroom Dr. Coutts enjoys the outdoors, reading and sports. He’ll be moving to Manitoba with his wife Mary later this month.