Jeff W. Childers

Carmichael-Walling Professor of NT and Early Christianity

B.A., Abilene Christian University
M.A., Abilene Christian University
M.Div., Abilene Christian University
M.St., University of Oxford
D.Phil, University of Oxford


ACU Box 29424
Abilene, TX 79699

Research Interests: Patristics, Eastern Christianity, Church History, Biblical Text, New Testament Textual Criticism, Manuscript Studies.

Personal Interests: Spending time with family and staying active with my church; being outdoors; fishing; traveling abroad; cooking and eating.

Courses Taught: History of Christianity I: Ancient–Medieval, Explorations in the Christian East, Christian Mission in Global Contexts, New Testament Textual Criticism, Readings in Christian Spirituality, Syriac, Story of Christian Spirituality, Colloquium on J.R.R. Tolkien.

Some Publications:

  • “Hermeneutics and Magic: A Unique Syriac Biblical Manuscript as an Oracle of Interpretation,” in My Lots are in Thy Hands: Sortilege and its Practitioners in Late Antiquity, 2015.
  • The Gospels According to the Syriac Peshitta Version with English Translation, 2012-2014.
  • “Constructing the Syriac Chrysostom: The Transformation of a Greek Orator into a Native Syriac Speaker,” in Syriac in its Multi-Cultural Context, 2014.
  • “A Broken Mind: The Path to Knowledge in Liber Graduum,” in ‘Breaking the Mind:’ New Perspectives on the Syriac Liber Graduum, 2014.
  • The Syriac Version of John Chrysostom’s Commentary on John. I. Mêmrê 1–43. Text and translation, 2013.
  • “The Georgian New Testament,” In The Text of the New Testament: Essays on the Status Quaestionis, 2012.
  • “The Bible in the Languages of the East: Georgian,” in New Cambridge History of the Bible, vol. 4, From c.600 to c.1450, 2012
  • Virtuous Reading: Aphrahat’s Approach to Scripture, 2009.
  • “When Worlds Collide: Clashing Spiritual Styles in Church,” in Good Shepherds: More Guidance for the Gentle Art of Pastoring, 2007.
  • Transmission and Reception: New Testament Text-Critical and Exegetical Studies, 2006.
  • “Moving to the Rhythms of Christian Life: Baptism for Children Raised in the Church,” in Like a Shepherd Lead Us: Guidance for the Gentle Art of Pastoring, 2006
  • “A Reluctant Bride: Finding a Life for Damaris of Athens (Acts 17:34),” in Renewing Tradition: Studies in Texts and Contexts, 2006.
  • Unveiling Glory: Visions of Christ’s Transforming Presence, 2003.
  • “Reading the Bible with Old Friends: The Value of Patristic Bible Interpretations for Ministry,” Restoration Quarterly 45, 2003
  • The Crux of the Matter: Crisis, Tradition, and the Future of Churches of Christ, 2001.
  • Two articles in "Along the Way: Conversations about Children and Faith" published by ACU Press: "Baptism and Children: Finding Good Instincts" and "Baptism and Children: Finding Good Practices".

Ministry Interests: Weekly Huddle leader for HS students; speaking in lectureships and seminars; equipping youth for baptism and discipleship; helping leaders negotiate different spirituality styles; leading volunteer construction campaigns; connecting the Gospel and Tolkien.

I grew up in Bakersfield, California, and through various circumstances ended up doing Graduate work at the University of Oxford and then settling in Abilene, Texas, to teach at ACU. Along the way I have ministered in churches and consider my academic work of teaching and research to be an expression of my ministry calling. Despite the rumors, I did not undergo the rigors of doctoral work at Merton College in Oxford only because J.R.R. Tolkien was at Merton; still, my interest in Tolkien is fairly obvious. Consequently, though my wife actually prefers gardening, she tolerates my Tolkien obsession and my three kids (two young ladies and a lad) became well-acquainted with The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings long before the recent films came out.


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