Prof Holger Szesnat

Holger Szesnat

Holger Szesnat

Dr Szesnat serves the College as Professor of Biblical Literature and Languages, as well Head of the Department of Biblical Studies.

At PTC: September 1998 – August 2001, and again since January 2010.

Born and raised in Germany, Holger took up theological studies there (1984-1987) before moving to South Africa (1987-1998), where he completed postgraduate work in New Testament Studies. He taught at a number of South African universities before taking up an offer to work at PTC (1998-2001), where he taught New Testament in 1998-1999, and then directed the PTC Education by Extension programme (2000-2001). He left PTC in September 2001 for family reasons and taught Biblical Studies at the Eastern Region Ministry Course, based in Cambridge, UK (2001-2009). While in the UK, he also served part-time as an Affiliated Lecturer at the Divinity Faculty of the University of Cambridge (2001-2009), and as an external examiner for a Certificate programme in theology for ministry at the University of Oxford (2005-2009). He returned to PTC in January 2010 to teach New Testament Studies. From July 2012 till April 2016, he additionally served as the Academic Dean of the College.

Contact & Other Websites

Educational Qualifications

  • B.A. (Hons.) (Biblical Studies) (with distinction), 1990, University of Natal
  • M.A. (Theological Studies; focus: Biblical Studies) (with distinction), 1992, University of Natal
  • Ph.D. (Theological Studies; focus: Biblical Studies), 1999, University of Natal

[The University of Natal (South Africa) subsequently merged with other institutions to form the University of KwaZulu-Natal.]

Research & Teaching Interests

Research interests include (in no particular order):

  • Biblical hermeneutics
  • Methodology of Biblical interpretation
  • Community Bible Study for Social Transformation
  • Paul
  • The parables of Jesus
  • John’s Apocalypse
  • Social and cultural aspects of antiquity and the present, including issues of sexuality and gender
  • The use of computers for the study of theology
  • Christian anarchism

Recent publications (since 2000)

This list does not include short book reviews. A complete list dating back to 1993 may be found at Holger Szesnat’s page:

  • “Gender-Based Violence and Ephesians 5: Reflections on the Ethics, Hermeneutics and Didactics of a Community Bible Study in Suva, Fiji.” In Oceanic Voyages in Theology and Theological Education: Reflections and Reminiscences in Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Pacific Theological College, edited by Feleterika Nokise and Holger Szesnat, 133-168. Suva, Fiji Islands: Pacific Theological College (2015).
  • “A Church-State Covenant on the Environment?” Pacific Journal of Theology 44 (2010) 30-56; corrected reprint in issue 46 (2011).
  • “‘Some Witnesses Have …’: The Representation of the New Testament Text in English Bible Versions.” TC: A Journal of Biblical Textual Criticism 12 (2007).
  • “Who Knows? Wikipedia, Teaching and Research.” SBL Forum 4.9 (2006).
  • “‘Silently Farting in the Face of the Empire’: Review of Paul and the Imperial Roman Order, ed. Richard A. Horsley, Harrisburg, Pa: Trinity Press International, 2004.” Political Theology 7, no. 1 (2006): 101-08.
  • “Review of Contemporary Biblical Hermeneutics: An Introduction by Manfred Oeming.” Neotestamentica 40.2 (2006), 431-434.
  • “Review of Worlds of Memory and Wisdom: Encounters of Jews and African Christians, ed. Jean Halpérin & Hans Ucko.” Theology 109.851 (2006), 375-376.
  • “Representing ‘the Text’ in Pacific Bible Translations.” Pacific Journal of Theology 26 (2001) 21-54.
  • [Ernst, M. & Szesnat, H.] “Der Inselstaat ist tief gespalten.” Der Überblick: Zeitschrift für Ökumenische Begegnung und Internationale Zusammenarbeit 36.3 (2000), 80-85.

Courses Written for PTCEE

  • BD: Introduction to the Bible (2008)
  • BD: Academic Skills II (in progress)

Courses Taught at PTC (since 2010)

  • Greek Reading (every year since 2011)
  • Greek I & II (BD) (every year since 2010)
  • Biblical Hermeneutics and Interpretation I & II (2014, 2015)
  • Social Analysis (BD, 15%)
  • Paul (MTh) (2014)
  • Synoptic Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles (BD) (2013)
  • Biblical Interpretation (MTh) (2013) (shared course: 50%)
  • Biblical Hermeneutics (MTh) (2013) (shared course: 50%)
  • Community Bible Study for Social Transformation (UgCert) (2013) (shared course: 50%)
  • Didactics of Biblical Studies (MTh) (2013) (shared course: 50%)
  • Leadership & Management: Biblical Foundations (Women’s Programme) (2012)
  • Hebrew I & II (BD) (2012)
  • Academic Skills I & II (BD) (2012)
  • Academic Skills (MTh) (2012)
  • Research Skills (MTh) (2012)
  • Interpreting the Scriptures (MTh) (2012)
  • Introduction to Exegesis (BD) (2012)
  • Hebrew I (BD) (2011)
  • Pauline Literature (BD) (2011)
  • Interpreting the Scriptures (MTh) (2011)
  • Birth and Passion Narratives (MTh) (2011)
  • Hebrew Prophets (MTh) (2011)
  • Amos and the Prophets (BD) (2011)
  • Luke-Acts / Gospels (BD) (2010)
  • Social Analysis (BD) (2010) (shared course: 50%)
  • Exegesis, Context, Text (MTh) (2010) (shared course: 50%)
  • The Sermon on the Mount (MTh) (2010)
  • Johannine Literature (BD) (2010)
  • Paul’s Metaphors for Ministry (MTh) (2010)
  • Sociology of Religion (MTh) (2010) (shared course: 20%)
Last updated 22 April 2016.