Prof Holger Szesnat

Holger Szesnat

Holger Szesnat

Dr. Szesnat serves as the Academic Dean of the College, as Professor of Biblical Literature and Languages, and as 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. In July 2012, he was additionally appointed 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 I (2013, in progress)
  • BD: Academic Skills II (2013, in progress)
  • BD: Introduction to Exegesis (2013, in progress)
  • BD: Synoptic Gospels and Acts (2013, 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 12 November 2015.