McAfee to Hold Inaugural New Testament Lecture Series on Nov. 17


ATLANTA — Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology will hold the Inaugural Peter Rhea and Ellen Jones New Testament Lectures on Nov. 17 in Day Hall. The inaugural speaker, James D. G. Dunn, is a renowned New Testament scholar and will give two lectures, at 9 a.m. and 10:45 a.m., titled “A New Perspective on Jesus” and “The New Perspective on Paul.”

“The Jones lectures will give students the opportunity to meet, hear and converse with some of the finest New Testament scholars in the world. They will see that scholarship is a living, dynamic process, and by meeting the authors of books they are studying they too can be challenged to aspire for excellence,” said Dr. Alan Culpepper, dean of McAfee School of Theology.  “Dr. Dunn is an ideal inaugural lecturer, as his work exemplifies this challenge to excellence.”

Dunn, professor emeritus at Durham University, is one of the most respected voices in New Testament scholarship today. His recent major books on Jesus, Paul and early Christianity are redefining an understanding of Jesus and the early church. Dunn is a leading British New Testament scholar broadly in the liberal Protestant tradition. He is especially associated with the “New Perspective on Paul” and is credited with coining this phrase during his 1982 Manson Memorial Lecture.

In 2002, Dunn served as president of the Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas, the leading international body for New Testament study. Only three other British scholars had been named president in the preceding 25 years. He has published numerous books and articles over the years, most recently Christianity in the Making: Vol. 2, Beginning from Jerusalem (2008) and The Living Word (Second Edition) (2009).

Dunn received an M.A. and B.D. from the University of Glasgow and a Ph.D. and D.D. from the University of Cambridge.

The Jones Lectures in New Testament Studies were established last year in order to enable theology students to hear the finest New Testament scholars in the world in the course of their studies at McAfee. The lecture series was made possible by a gift from the Rev. Peter Rhea Jones and his wife, Ellen. Jones is professor of New Testament and preaching at McAfee.  He served as pastor of First Baptist Church in Decatur for 21 years before joining the McAfee faculty. 

About the James and Carolyn McAfee School of Theology
The McAfee School of Theology was established in 1996. Located in Atlanta on Mercer’s Cecil B. Day Graduate and Professional Campus, the School of Theology offers programs leading to the degrees Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry. The School of Theology also offers several joint programs: an M.Div.-Master of Business Administration, an M.Div.-Master of Science in Counseling and an M.Div.-Master of Arts in Church Music through the Townsend-McAfee Institute for Graduate Church Music Studies, a collaborative program between the School of Theology and the Townsend School of Music in Macon. For more information, visit

About Mercer University
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University enrolls more than 8,000 students in 11 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies – on major campuses in Macon, Atlanta and Savannah and at three regional academic centers across the state. Mercer is affiliated with two teaching hospitals — Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah and the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon, and has educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta. The University operates an academic press and a performing arts center in Macon and an engineering research center in Warner Robins. Mercer is the only private university in Georgia to field an NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit
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