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Current research students and projects

Mr Blaise Brankatelli


Ms Rebekah Carere (PhD Candidate) 

Topic

Trump's Bible: Biblical hermeneutics in the Trump Era

Description

This project examines the use of the Bible during the Trump Era, placing the Trump Bible into a tradition of other political bibles. The research considers the historical development of political bibles, other recent US Presidential Bibles, and how the Trump Bible differs from what came before it. Donald Trump and the people who surround him have constructed a narrative based in biblicisms and biblical imagery, creating a new norm for the Bible’s use in American politics. This work attempts to unravel the biblical hermeneutics of the Trump Era and investigates the impact those hermeneutics have on the concept of religion and its relation to the American state.


Mr Mack Griffith (PhD Candidate) 

Topic

Beyond Defense: Creating a Methodology for Transgender Biblical Interpretation

Description

This thesis will answer the question, ‘What makes a biblical text suitable for meaningful transgender readings and how does one assess a text for suitability for transgender readings?’ The goal of this project is to develop a methodology for transgender biblical readings through the creation of a framework for analyzing biblical texts for potential transgender readings. After first analyzing both existing trans readings of biblical texts as well as my own readings for elements that parallel elements of transgender experience, Mr Griffith will evaluate the readings according to the strength of the parallels, the preservation of the biblical text, the impact of the message, the potential for harm to the trans community, and the potential for erasure of other minorities. These finding will be compiled into a framework which one can use to evaluate the suitability of a text for a transgender reading that can both educate and empower.

Miss Veronica Humby (PhD Candidate) 

Topic

“The Lord’s Prayer: A Complete Prayer, A Summary of Scriptural Prayer or A Structure for Future Worship?”

Description

This project examines the Jewishness of the Lord’s Prayer (Matt 6:9-13; Mark 11:1-4), by exploring its references to the Old Testament, links to Israel’s history, and similarities to Jewish worship.  Additionally, this research explores the complex and multifaceted nature of the Lord’s Prayer, by analysing its interpretations (especially of Messianic fulfilment) within its social and historical settings.  The research therefore presents the Lord’s Prayer as both a summary of Jewish prayer and a complete prayer for recitation.


Mr Jerome Ituah (PhD Candidate)

Topic

The Desperation of Elijah (1 Kings 19): A Model for Resolving Traumatic and Post-Traumatic Problems 

Description

This project applies psychological trauma theories and the historical-critical method to investigate the sequence of events in 1 Kings 19 exegetically. The research first resolves a text-critical issue in 1 Kings 19:3, upholding the Septuagint translation of the Hebrew term וירא as ‘and he was afraid’ against the Masoretic Text, 'and he saw’. The research then investigates how that fear leads the figure presented in the text into trauma. The post-traumatic effects are only resolved when Elijah encounters the divine on Mount Horeb. Consequently, this project proposes Elijah as a model for individuals undergoing traumatic and post-traumatic experiences.  


Mr Brandon Massey (PhD Candidate)

Topic

"The Birth and Death of the PreMarkan Passion Narrative"

Description

Attempted reconstruction of a preMarkan passion narrative was among the hallmarks of critical Gospel scholarship in the twentieth century. This thesis investigates the origins of the preMarkan passion narrative hypothesis and demonstrates that the existence of such a source is based upon a form-critical conception of Jesus tradition. Although our understanding of Jesus tradition has developed over the last century, the existence of a preMarkan passion narrative remains an "assured result" of Gospel scholarship. An examination of the history of the preMarkan passion narrative hypothesis and a thorough inspection of its foundations finds the hypothesis lacking and one that scholars should abandon as they re-imagine the development of the Jesus tradition.


Mrs Jessica Norman (PhD Candidate)

Topic

What is the contribution of Paul’s relational epistemology to the anthropological and Christological argument in 2 Corinthians 3:7-5:21?

Description

This project will undertake a full exegetical and epistemological review of Paul’s anthropological and Christological argument in 2 Corinthians 3:7-5:21. I will seek to offer a framework to understand what the contribution is of Paul’s relational epistemology to the anthropological and Christological dualisms in this section of the text. Paul demonstrates a functional understanding of the person as embedded and embodied to their surroundings, and fundamentally; to the death and resurrection of Jesus. My argument will propose a framework to engage with the anthropological and Christological strands in Paul’s argument and how the dualisms in this section of 2 Corinthians are key to understanding this in entirety.


Mr Ryan Smith

Topic

Lectio difficile nimis: "A Reading Too Difficult" – The Inconsistent Text-Critical Evaluation of the Pre-Mortem Spearing of Jesus at Matt 27:49b and the Biases Behind It 

Description

Generally speaking, a textual-variant reading that enjoys the support of Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus, is clearly the more difficult reading, and presents no clear reasons for being rejected from an intrinsic standpoint would stand an excellent chance of being regarded by many scholars as the earliest attainable form of the text. However, despite fulfilling all the above criteria, the reading containing the pre-mortem spearing of Jesus at Matt 27:49b has been regarded by only a handful of scholars as such. In this project I expose the inconsistent applications of accepted criteria for making text-critical decisions and propose a better way to understand the nature and development of the early text of the New Testament. 


Mr Luckmore Siyafa


Mr Jeremy H. White (PhD Candidate)

Topic

The Leadership of Nehemiah: Unification of Biblical Studies and Leadership Studies Critical Analysis and New Models

Description

This pioneering project desires to find a partnership between biblical studies and the relatively new discipline of leadership studies so that both fields can benefit from each other. Biblical leadership requires use of empirically tested leadership theory to validate and analyse leadership within the text in order to better understand actions and events in the Bible while also providing accurate examples of leadership that can be modeled in modern leadership situations. Likewise, leadership studies can benefit from the inclusion of biblical leadership in order to further enhance the understanding of leadership altogether.

The example of Nehemiah is used in order to show the potential of partnership between the two disciplines and the fruit that can be produced through analyzing biblical leaders in order to draw accurate conclusions on leadership. This project includes a detailed analysis of the context of Yehud during the Second Temple period, an explanation and overview of leadership studies, an innovative commentary focusing on leadership in the text of Nehemiah, and an analysis of leadership styles portrayed in Nehemiah using leadership theory.