Dorothy Jean Weaver
Office Phone: (540) 432-4276
Main Campus, Harrisonburg
Office Location: SB 231
Professor of New Testament
“As a disciple of Jesus Christ and a scholar of the New Testament my calling is to live deeply with the Scriptures and to open them faithfully for the people of God as God’s “good news” spoken through human beings into the human context. As a teacher of the New Testament my calling is to pass on to others not only deep love and profound respect for the Scriptures but also solid linguistic and exegetical tools for reading and interpreting the Scriptures faithfully within the life of the church."
To live life at the call of God is to encounter ongoing surprises, unexpected delights, and God’s robust sense of humor. Dorothy Jean Weaver always knew that she would grow up to be a teacher. But she could never have imagined the life she now lives.
Years ago Dorothy Jean discovered, unexpectedly, a deep passion for studying the New Testament and a life vocation of opening the Scriptures for and with others in the seminary classroom and beyond. This calling eventually drew Dorothy Jean into New Testament Studies at Union Theological Seminary in Virginia, where she earned a PhD in 1987.
Since 1984 Dorothy Jean has been teaching New Testament at EMS. Her courses include Elementary Greek, Greek Readings, New Testament: Text in Context, and book studies across the New Testament canon. She anchors inter-disciplinary courses, “Women and Men in Scripture and Church” and “Creation Care in Scripture and Church.” In the academic world she has served as Co-Chair of the Society of Biblical Literature Matthew Section. And she has published The Irony of Power: The Politics of God within Matthew’s Narrative (Pickwick, 2017), Matthew’s Missionary Discourse: A Literary Critical Analysis (Sheffield, 1990; Bloomsbury, 2015), and numerous academic essays.
But there were still more surprises. Following a sabbatical at Tantur Ecumenical Institute, across the valley from Bethlehem, Dorothy Jean discovered a sturdy new sense of vocation, namely to introduce North American Christians to Israel/Palestine through study tours and work groups. Since 1998 Dorothy Jean has led or co-led 18 tours and counting through EMS (“Places, People, & Prayers” and “Jerusalem Seminar”) and Virginia Mennonite Missions (“Nazareth/Bethlehem Work Group”). And Dorothy Jean has taught and/or lectured in Beirut, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Cairo, and Debre Zeit, Ethiopia.
“It’s been the ride of a lifetime,” Dorothy Jean notes. “I could never have planned such a life on my own. The call of God is simply astonishing. And God’s sense of humor never ceases to amaze.”
- PhD, Union Presbyterian Seminary, Richmond, VA, 1987.
- Exchange Fellowship: University of Berne, Switzerland, 1981-82.
- M.Div, Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Elkhart, IN, 1977.
- B.A., Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, VA, 1972.
- Year Abroad: Philipps University, Marburg, Germany, 1971-72.
- The Irony of Power: The Politics of God within Matthew’s Narrative. Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2017.
- Matthew’s Missionary Discourse: A Literary-Critical Analysis. Reprint of Sheffield Academic Press, 1990. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2015.
- “My Journey to JIBS: An Autobiographical Reflection,” The Journal of Inductive Biblical Studies 3/1:78-89. http://place.asburyseminary.edu/jibs/vol3/iss1/7.
- “Inheriting the Earth: Towards a Geotheology of Matthew’s Narrative,” The Journal of Inductive Biblical Studies 2/1:6-29. DOI: 10.7252/JOURNAL.01.2015S.02.
- “‘What Is that to Us? See to It Yourself.’ (Mt 27:4): Making Atonement and the Matthean Portrait of the Jewish Chief Priests,” HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies, 70 (1), 2014, Art. #2703, 8 pages. http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts. v. 70il.2703.
- “The Hard Sayings of Jesus in Real World Context: Reading Matthew 5:38-48 within the Occupied Palestinian Territories” in Matthew: Texts @ Contexts, pp. 231-253. Nicole Wilkinson Duran and James P. Grimshaw, eds. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2013.
- “Breasts and Womb, New Testament” in Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception 4, col. 456-458. Hans-Josef Klauck, Volker Leppin, Bernard McGinn, Choon-Leong Seow, Hermann Spieckermann, Barry Dov Walfish, and Erick Ziolkowski, eds. Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter, 2012.
- “‘Suffering Violence’ and the Kingdom of Heaven (Mt 11:12): A Matthean Manual for Life in a Time of War,” HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies, 67 (1), 2011, Art. #1011, 12 pages. DOI: 10.4102/hts.v67i1.1011.
- “‘Wherever This Good News Is Proclaimed’: Women and God in the Gospel of Matthew,” Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology 64:4 (October 2010):390-401.
- “‘That They May All Be One’: Diversity and Unity within the Ministry of Jesus,” Vision: A Journal for Church and Theology 11:1 (Spring 2010):13-21.
- “‘They Did to Him Whatever They Pleased’: The Exercise of Political Power within Matthew’s Narrative,” HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies 65(1), Art. #319, 13 pp. DOI: 10.4102/hts.v65i1.319.
- “Hands On: A Faith to Handle, Taste, and Touch” (June 24, 1995) at www.webofcreation.org under “Worship”/“Resources”/“Sample Sermons.”
- “Living Faithfully in the Cosmos: Environmental Reflections for Disciples of Christ” (October 20, 2006) at www.webofcreation.org under “Worship”/“Resources”/“Sample Sermons.”
- “Hazmats or Good Gifts,” Christian Reflection: A Series in Faith and Ethics 21 (2006:37-43.
- “Reading the Bible Again for the First Time,” in Telling Our Stories: Personal Accounts of Engagement with Scripture, pp. 198-206. Ray Gingerich and Earl Zimmerman, eds. Telford, PA: Cascadia Publishing House, 2006.
- “‘Thus You Will Know Them by Their Fruits’: The Roman Characters of the Gospel of Matthew,” in The Gospel of Matthew in its Roman Imperial Context, pp. 107-127. John Riches and David C. Sim, eds. London: T & T Clark International, 2005.
- “Justice and Reconciliation in Muslim-Christian Encounter: Perspectives from Israel/Palestine,” in Anabaptists Meeting Muslims: A Calling for Presence in the Way of Christ, pp. 246-255. James R. Krabill, David W. Shenk, and Linford Stutzman, eds. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 2005.
- “Resistance and nonresistance: New Testament perspectives on confronting the powers,” HTS (Hervormde Teologiese Studies 61:1 & 2 (March & June, 2005): 619-638.
- “As Sheep in the Midst of Wolves: Mission and Peace in the Gospel of Matthew,” in Beautiful upon the Mountains: Biblical Essays on Mission, Peace, and the Reign of God, pp. 123-143. Mary H. Schertz and Ivan Friesen, eds. Elkhart, IN: Institute of Mennonite Studies / Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 2003.
- “Beware of Burning Bushes: A Biblical-Theological Foundation for the Ministry of Political Advocacy,” in Reclaiming the Old Testament: Essays in Honour of Waldemar Janzen, pp. 186-197. Gordon Zerbe, ed. Winnipeg, MB: CMBC Publications, 2001.
- Bread for the Enemy: A Peace & Justice Lectionary.Orville, OH: Mennonite Church Peace & Justice Committee, 2001.
- “The New Testament and the Environment: Toward a Christology for the Cosmos,” in Creation and the Environment: An Anabaptist Perspective on a Sustainable World, pp. 122-138. Calvin Redekop, ed. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000.
- “Power and Powerlessness: Matthew’s Use of Irony in the Portrayal of Political Leaders,” in Treasures New and Old: Recent Contributions to Matthean Studies, pp. 179-196. David R. Bauer and Mark Allan Powell, eds. Atlanta, GA: Scholars Press, 1996.
- “Transforming Nonresistance: From Lex Talionis to ‘Do Not Resist the Evil One,’” in The Love of Enemy and Nonretaliation in the New Testament, pp. 32-71. Willard M. Swartley, ed. Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1992.
- “Biblical Perspectives,” in Bioethics and the Beginning of Life: An Anabaptist Perspective, pp. 15-30. Roman J. Miller and Beryl H. Brubaker, eds. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1990.
- Matthew’s Missionary Discourse: A Literary Critical Analysis. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1990.
Scholarly Presentations and Abstracts
- “Power and Powerlessness: A God’s-Eye View from the Gospel of Matthew” for the Continuing Education program at Tantur Ecumenical Institute for Theological Studies, Jerusalem, Israel, October 8/9, 2010: (1) “‘They did to Him Whatever They Pleased’: The Exercise of Political Power within Matthew’s Narrative”; (2) “Transforming Nonresistance: From Lex Talionis to ‘Do Not Resist the Evil One’”
- “‘They Did to Him Whatever They Pleased’: The Exercise of Political Power within Matthew’s Narrative,” presented to the Matthew Section at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, Boston, MA, November 21-25, 2008.
- “‘Suffering Violence’ and the Kingdom of Heaven [Mt. 11:12]: A Matthean Manual for Life in a Time of War,” presented to the Matthew Section at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, Washington, D.C., November 17-21, 2006.
- “‘Thus You Will Know Them By Their Fruits’: The Roman Characters of the Gospel of Matthew,” presented to the Matthew Section at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, Atlanta, GA, November 22-25, 2003.
- Resistance and Nonresistance: New Testament Perspectives on Confronting the Powers," presented at Tantur Ecumenical Institute, Jerusalem, Israel, March 13, 2003.
- “Salvation, Atonement, and Earthkeeping: Towards a Christology for the Cosmos,” presented at the “Creation Summit: Shaping An Anabaptist Theology for Living,” sponsored by the Mennonite Environmental Task Force and held at Wonderland Camp and Conference Center, Camp Lake, WI, February 24-26, 1995.
- “On Imitating God and Outwitting Satan: Biblical Perspectives on Forgiveness and the Community of Faith,” presented at the the conference on “Mennonite Voices in Dialogue: Women Doing Theology” held at Bluffton College, Bluffton, OH, June 23-25, 1994.
- “Rewriting the Messianic Script: Matthew’s Account of the Birth of Jesus,” presented to the Synoptic Gospels Section at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, Washington, DC, November 20-23, 1993.
- “AIDS in the Congregation: Biblical Perspectives,” presented at the Church Leaders Conference on “AIDS in the Congregation,” Bluffton College, Bluffton, OH, October 18-19, 1993.
- “Power and Powerlessness: Matthew’s Use of Irony in the Portrayal of Political Leaders,” presented to the Matthew Group at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, San Francisco, CA, November 21-24, 1992.
Church, Community and Professional Service
- Serve on Editorial Board, The Journal for Inductive Biblical Studies, 2014—.
- Serve on Advisory Board, Friends of Sabeel, North America, 1999—.
- Sing with the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival Chorus, 1993—.
- Sing with the Shenandoah Valley Choral Society, 1984—.
- Led EMS cross-cultural tour (“Jerusalem/Bethlehem Seminar”) to Israel/Palestine, May 2015. Co-led EMS cross-cultural tours (“Places, People, & Prayers”) to Israel/Palestine, May 2017, 2013, 2011, 2009, 2007, 2005, 2000, 1998.
- Co-led Nazareth/Bethlehem Work Groups for Virginia Mennonite Missions, May 2016, 2014, 2012, 2010, 2008, 2006, 2004.
- Created and taught a Sunday School series (“Stories from the Real World: A Study of the Gospel of Matthew”) for the Shalom Sunday School class at Park View Mennonite Church, Harrisonburg, VA, November, 2014 & March, 2015.
- Created and taught a Sunday School series (“Would the Read Adam and Eve Please Stand Up?”) for Community Mennonite Church, Harrisonburg, VA, November 30, 2014-February 22, 2015.
- Preached a sermon (“This Is a Day of New Beginnings: Windows on the 2004 Reformed/Anabaptist Day of Reconciliation”) at Springs Mennonite Church, Springs, PA, October 26, 2014.
- Served on a panel to discuss Zionism Unsettled: A Congregational Study Guide (Israel/Palestine Mission Network, PCUSA, 2014) at a meeting of the Sabeel DC Metro chapter of Friends of Sabeel North America, Rockville United Church, Rockville, MD, April 12, 2014.
- Led a workshop (“Food, Fornication, and Freedom: A New Testament Case Study/Simulation on Discernment”) for the School for Leadership Training, Eastern Mennonite Seminary, Harrisonburg, VA, Tuesday, January 21, 2014.
- Preached a sermon (“Discerning the Good News in the Real World: Subversive God-Learnings from a 3-M Perspective”) in the Chapel Gathering at Eastern Mennonite Seminary, Harrisonburg, VA, Thursday, November 14, 2013.
- Presented a Bible study seminar (“The Year of Living Dangerously (Luke 4:14-30): A Lukan Case Study on the Church’s Call to the Ministry of Welcome”) at the MCUSA General Assembly in Phoenix, AZ, Friday, July 5, 2013.
- Made a seminar presentation (“Biblical Perspectives Undergirding the Kairos Palestine Document: A Bible Study for the Phoenix 2013 Learning Experience on Kairos Palestine” and “Matthew 5:38-48: A Bible Study for the Phoenix 2013 Learning Experience on Kairos Palestine”) at the MCUSA General Assembly in Phoenix, AZ, Thursday, July 4, 2013.
- Presented a personal story (“‘Is This Your First War?’: On the Ground Learnings from Israel/Palestine”) and a Bible study (“Herod, the Child, and a God’s-Eye View of Power: An Advent Meditation on Matthew 2:1-23”) at the Church of the Reformation, Washington, DC, for a gathering of Sabeel DC Metro, Saturday, December 1, 2012.
- Presented a personal story (“I Always Knew That I Would Be a Teacher”) for the Women’s Bible Study series on “Intersection of Faith and Art” at Park View Mennonite Church, Wednesday, November 7, 2012.
- Presented a chapel (“Where Did Jesus Walk? A Day in Ancient Nazareth,” with original texts and original photos from Israel/Palestine) at Eastern Mennonite Elementary School, Harrisonburg, VA, October 24, 2012.
- Presented a Bible study (“Matthew 2:1-23: A Biblical Case Study on Palestinian Liberation Theology”) at the FOSNA (Friends of Sabeel North America) Leadership Retreat, Portland, OR, August 8-11, 2012.
- Presented reflections (“Contributions to God’s Reconciling Mission in the World: A Perspective from a Mennonite Higher Education Vantage Point”) at the Mennonite Higher Education Faculty Conference, Goshen/Elkhart, IN, August 1-3, 2012.
- Presented a sabbatical chapel (“Nada Te Turbe: Finding Shepherd and Shelter in a Shattered Sabbatical”) at Eastern Mennonite Seminary, Harrisonburg, VA, November 3, 2011.
- Presented a Bible study (“Women and God in the Gospel of Matthew: A God’s-Eye View of Jesus’ Burial and Resurrection”) for a women’s gathering sponsored by Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center, Jerusalem, Israel, and held at the (Russian Orthodox) Pilgrim Residence, Bethlehem, Palestine, October 12, 2010.
- Served as Visiting Scholar and Lecturer at Tantur Ecumenical Institute for Theological Studies, Jerusalem, Israel, September 2010—January 2011.
- Served as Volunteer in the Damascus Summer Encounter program of the Middle East Fellowship, July/August, 2010.
- Served as Visiting Professor (“New Testament: Text in Context”) at the Meserete Kristos College, Debre Zeit, Ethiopia, June/July, 2010.
- Presented a Bible study (“So You Shall Be Perfect, As Your Heavenly Father Is Perfect”) at the Virginia Mennonite Conference Assembly, held at Eastern Mennonite School, Harrisonburg, VA, July 23-25, 2009.
- Presented a workshop (“Seeing Power As God Sees It: A Matthean Case Study on the Upside-Down Kingdom”) at the 15th Assembly of the Mennonite World Conference, held in Asuncion, Paraguay, July 14-19, 2009.
- Presented a workshop (“Resistance and Nonresistance: New Testament Perspectives on Confronting the Powers”) at the Mennonite Church USA General Assembly, held at Columbus, OH, June 30-July 5, 2009.
- Presented a paper (“Middle East Soundings: Mennonite Sojourn, Musical Sustenance”) for the conference “Sound in the Lands: Mennonite Music across Borders,” held at Conrad Grebel University College, University of Waterloo, CA, June 4-8, 2009.
- Presented a Bible study (“New Testament Perspectives on Mission: A Trinitarian Journey through the New Testament Writings”) for “Mission Alive 2008,” a Church of the Brethren missions conference held at the Bridgewater Church of the Brethren, Bridgewater, VA, April 4-6, 2008.
- Preached the Sunday sermon (“Living Faithfully in the Cosmos: Environmental Reflections for Disciples of Christ”) for the Fall Association Meeting of Laurelville Mennonite Church Center, Mt. Pleasant, PA, October 20-22, 2006.
- Taught a five-session course (“The World behind the Headlines: Perspectives on the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict”) at the Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community, Harrisonburg, VA for the James Madison University Lifelong Learning Institute, September 15, 22, 29, October 6, 13, 2006.
- Served as Visiting Professor (Greek Exegesis, New Testament Christology) at the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo (ETSC), Cairo, Egypt, September, 2002-January, 2003.
- Co-led an emergency delegation to Bethlehem (“A Solidarity of Eyes, Ears, Hands and Feet with the People of Christmas Lutheran Church, Bethlehem”), endorsed by Eastern Mennonite University and Virginia Mennonite Conference, May 23-June 3, 2002.
- Participated in a Christian Peacemaker Teams Delegation to Hebron, Palestine, July/August 2001.
- Served as Visiting Professor (Life of Jesus course for tour guiding students) at the International Center of Bethlehem (ICB), Bethlehem, Palestine, September-December, 2000.
- Served on Mission Support Team for Shirley Roth (Executive Director, Nazareth Village), Virginia Mennonite Missions, 2005-2010.
- Served on Steering Committee, Christian Peacemaker Teams, 1999-2002.
- Served on Peace and Justice Committee, Mennonite Church, 1999-2002.
- Served as Visiting Professor (“The Passion Narrative in the Gospel of Matthew”) at the Near East School of Theology (NEST), Beirut, Lebanon, September, 1995-January, 1996.
- Served on the Faith and Life Commission, Virginia Mennonite Conference, 1993-2000.
- Served on the Committee on Biblical Studies and Biblical Peace Theology, Institute of Mennonite Studies, 1986-1998.
- Served on the Faith and Life Committee, Mennonite World Conference, 1987-1990.
- Anabaptist Mennonite Scholars Network
- Society of Biblical Literature
Member, SBL Matthew Section
Longterm Former Member, SBL Matthew Section Steering Committee
Co-Chair, SBL Matthew Section, 2004—2009
Professional Conferences Attended
- Society of Biblical Literature, Annual Meeting, San Antonio, TX, November 18-22, 2016
- EMS Academic Committee, 2016/17
- EMU Faculty Status Committee, 2011/12-2016/17
- EMS Creation Care Committee, 2011/12-2016/17
- EMS Liaison for Green Seminary Initiative, 2007/08—
- EMS Fellowship Committee, 2011/12, 2013/14, 2015/16
- EMU Creation Care Council Executive Committee, 2009/10-2013/14
- EMU University Lectureship Committee, 2009/10