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Gary M. Burge

Adjunct Professor of New Testament


Bachelor of Arts, University of California, 1974
Master of Divinity, Fuller Theological Seminary, 1978
Doctor of Philosophy, King’s College, Aberdeen University, Scotland, 1983


Gary joined the seminary faculty in the fall of 2017 after completing 25 years as professor of New Testament at Wheaton College and Graduate School. His interests center on the gospels (particularly the Gospel of John), the historical Jesus, and the contextual and cultural background of the first century Judea as a framework for interpretation. He has also taught graduate seminars on the integration of psychology and theology as well as the integration of theology and the politics of the Middle East.

Gary is ordained in the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. and is a frequent speaker at conferences, retreats and churches. For over 15 years while at Wheaton he was on the teaching staff of Willow Creek Community Church (S. Barrington, IL). He also leads faculty development workshops at colleges and seminaries based on his 2015 book, Mapping Your Academic Career. He is also deeply invested in the Middle East and its churches from Iraq to Egypt and travels there annually. He has organized pastors’ conferences, taught at seminaries, and been a frequent conference speaker in settings from Iraq to Egypt. He is often called on to interpret the Israel-Palestine conflict at American churches and denominational settings.

"My goal as a speaker, teacher and scholar is to help us realize how knowing the unique world of the Middle East and ancient Judaism can shape how we read the Bible today. This is particularly true of the gospels. Jesus' cultural reflexes were different than ours and unless we understand him in his world, we risk misrepresenting his story. In addition, knowing the context of the Middle East (and its churches) will also transform our understanding of modern issues that persist in that part of the world."

Courses Taught

Taste and See: A Study Tour of Biblical Lands

Areas of Expertise

New Testament

Speaking Topics

What are the parables of Jesus and how do they work?

How can I be confident in the historicity of the gospel story?

The New Testament and women in leadership

How Jesus upended ancient notions of clean and unclean

Jesus, gratitude, and the secret of happiness

The three promises of the sermon on the mount

Do you really believe in the church?

The Holy Land as a platform for spiritual formation

How Jesus reinterpreted the festivals of Judaism

Ecclesiastes as a guide to aging in America

Using the Psalms in spiritual formation

What I’ve learned from the Arabic-speaking church

The background of the conflict between Israel and Palestine

Using the Bible and theology in the Israel/Palestine conflict



Featured Publications

The New Testament in Antiquity. Second Edition, with G. Green, (Zondervan, 2009, 2020)

Life Questions Every Student Asks: Faithful Responses to Common Issues, edited with D. Lauber (IVP 2020)

The New Testament in Seven Sentences (IVP, 2019)

Mapping Your Academic Career: The Three Cohorts of a College Professor’s Life (IVP, 2015)

A Week in the Life of a Roman Centurion (IVP, 2015)

Theology Questions Everyone Asks. Christian Faith in Plain Language, edited with D. Lauber (IVP, 2014)

Interpreting the Gospel of John. A Guidebook for Students. Second Edition (Baker Academic, 2013)

Whose Land? Whose Promise? What Christians Are Not Being Told About Israel and the Palestinians. Second Edition (Pilgrim Press/Paternoster, 2003, 2013)

Jesus and the Festivals of Judaism (Zondervan, 2012)

Jesus and the Land (Baker Academic and SPCK, 2010)

Commentary on the Gospel of John. The NIV Application Commentary (Zondervan, 2000)