SBTS Professor Jarvis Williams Talks Books

On My Shelf helps you get to know various writers through a behind-the-scenes glimpse into their lives as readers.

I asked Jarvis Williams—associate professor of New Testament interpretation at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary—about what’s on his nightstand, books that have shaped his understanding of racial justice, what books every evangelical should read, and more.

What’s on your nightstand right now? 

Because of my ministry as a New Testament scholar and specialization in soteriology in Second temple Judaism and Paul, most of my reading is discipline specific. Since I’m currently writing two books on Galatians, right now several volumes are on my shelf. A few are: Francis Watson’s Paul and the Hermeneutics of Faith; A. Andrew Das’s Paul and the Stories of Israel; and David Lincicum’s Paul and the Early Jewish Encounter with Deuteronomy

What are some books you regularly re-read and why?

I primarily re-read ancient primary sources (Josephus, etc.). Primary sources are the most important sources for my work as a Christian NT scholar. I don’t waste time re-reading a lot of books that simply reproduce what other people say about the primary sources or the biblical text. I re-read books that rigorously interact with the primary material (e.g. exegetically strong commentaries that analyze the Bible in its ancient historical context are constant re-reads for me).

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SOURCE: The Gospel Coalition
Matt Smethurst