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Biblical scholars to speak at from Old, New Testament perspectives

September 11th, 2017

Bethel College welcomes two biblical scholars to campus at the end of the month, to speak from both Old and New Testament perspectives.

Thomas R. Yoder Neufeld will be at Bethel Oct. 25–26 and Safwat Marzouk Oct. 29–30. Each will give an evening lecture and a convocation presentation on campus.

All lectures are in Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center and are free and open to the public.

Yoder Neufeld, professor emeritus of religious studies (New Testament) at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario, will speak Oct. 25 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 26 at 11 a.m.

Yoder Neufeld’s Oct. 25 lecture is titled “Anabaptists, the Bible and Violence” and his Oct. 26 presentation is “Romans 12: Paul’s Sermon on the Mount?”

That afternoon, he will meet with two sections of the senior capstone course Basic Issues of Faith and Life to continue the discussion of the Sermon on the Mount, one of this year’s BIFL common texts (in the Gospels of Mark and Matthew).

Yoder Neufeld taught at Conrad Grebel for nearly 30 years, beginning in 1983 until he retired in 2012. He has a Th.D. from Harvard Divinity School. His research areas are Jesus, Paul, and peace and the Bible.

He has also been a hospital and prison chaplain (Winnipeg, Manitoba) and a pastor (Thompson, Manitoba). He preaches, teaches and leads music in his home congregation, First Mennonite Church, Waterloo, and has served the wider church on committees of both Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite World Conference.

He is the author of Killing Enmity: Violence and the New Testament (Baker Academic, 2011), Recovering Jesus: The Witness of the New Testament (Brazos, 2007) and the Believers Church Bible Commentary on Ephesians (Herald Press, 2002).

His presentations are part of the occasional Bible Lecture Series that have been given at Bethel College since 1914.

Since 1951, the series has been endowed by the Hartzler Foundation, established by Dr. and Mrs. John Ellsworth Hartzler. J.E. Hartzler was president of Bethel College from 1920–21 and was himself a Bible Lecturer in 1961. The lectures relate to subjects of general biblical, historical, theological and philosophical interest.

Marzouk, assistant professor of Old Testament at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Elkhart, Indiana, will speak as part of the Staley Lecture Series, Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. and Oct. 30 at 11 a.m.

On Thursday evening, Marzouk will present “The Nations Marching to the Mount of Zion: A Postcolonial Reading Beyond Imperialism and Universalism.”

This is a paper Marzouk will give in November at the annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature.

“This lecture will be a fantastic opportunity to engage with current scholarship,” said Peter Goerzen, Bethel campus pastor.

Marzouk’s second lecture – appropriate to the Halloween season, Goerzen noted – is “Thinking Theologically about the Character of the Monsters in the Bible.” The topic is related to Marzouk’s dissertation work, recently published as Egypt as a Monster in the Book of Ezekiel (Mohr Siebeck, 2015).

Marzouk has a Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary. He has taught at AMBS since 2011 and is an ordained minister with the Presbyterian Synod of the Nile, Egypt.

The Staley Distinguished Scholar Lecture Series was established in 1969, named for its benefactors, Dr. and Mrs. Thomas F. Staley of New York, who set it up to honor their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Staley and Mr. and Mrs. H.H. Haynes. Bethel College has been hosting Staley Lectures periodically since 1972.

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2015–16 analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States, and is the highest-ranked Kansas college in the Washington Monthly annual college guide for 2015–16. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information,

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About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.