“Jack Levison studies, meditates, prays, and writes of the place of the Holy Spirit in our lives with more skill and understanding than anyone I know,” writes Eugene Peterson, author of The Message. Jack holds the W. J. A. Power Chair of Old Testament Interpretation and Biblical Hebrew at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University.
Raised in a small tract house in Levittown, New York, Jack left to attend Wheaton College, where his Greek professor regaled him with stories of Cambridge University. At Christ’s College, Cambridge, Jack received the Fitzpatrick Prize for theology and was awarded a College Scholarship. When he returned from England to pursue doctoral studies at Duke University, Jack fell in love with a divinity student, Priscilla Pope, alongside of whom he now works at SMU.
Jack is an internationally recognized scholar, whose books have received wide acclaim. Scot McKnight, author of The Jesus Creed, characterized Filled with the Spirit as “the benchmark and starting point for all future studies of the Spirit.” Walter Brueggemann hailed it as “inspired.” Eugene Peterson called Fresh Air: the Holy Spirit for an Inspired Life “a rare and remarkable achievement.” Phyllis Tickle calls him “a brilliant and spirited theologian,” and N. T. Wright notes that Jack’s “account of the holy spirit–and what the spirit can do for whole churches, not just individuals!–is mature, seasoned, challenging, and wise.”
Jack has received many fellowships and grants from the National Humanities Center, the Lilly Fellows Program, the Louisville Institute, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the Rotary Foundation, the International Catacomb Society, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He recently directed, with Jörg Frey, an interdisciplinary, international research project on The Historical Roots of the Holy Spirit and is founding editor of a scholarly book series, Ekstasis: Religious Experience from Antiquity to the Middle Ages.
Jack’s books and teaching have a global reach. He has lectured around the States, as well as in Belgium, Canada, England, Germany, and Scotland. He has been an Honorary Visiting Lecturer at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, and a Von Humboldt Fellow at Ludwig Maximilians Universität in Munich, Germany. Several of his books have been translated into Spanish, Korean, and German.
Alongside his scholarship, Jack publishes in the public square. He is a featured blogger for the Huffington Post and has his own column on Patheos. He has contributed as well to parade.com, beliefnet.com, and relevant.com. Jack is interested in getting at the truth, but he is equally passionate about communicating truth in relevant and compelling ways.
Currently Jack is preparing the Annual Holy Spirit Lecture, which he’ll give on October 5th at Duquesne University. He also hopes to help people understand the reality and meaning of pain, so he directs an unprecedented project that pairs palliative medicine experts with scholars of the ancient world. He is writing the first English commentary on a formidable and influential ancient twist on the story of Adam and Eve, called the Greek Life of Adam and Eve. And he is on the verge of completing his next book with Paraclete Press on Jesus and the Holy Spirit; this book should be out by Pentecost, 2018.
Jack lives in Dallas, Texas, with his wife, Priscilla, and their companionable dog, Maggie. Their daughter Chloe graduates from SMU this year, and their son Jeremy has just completed his sophomore year at SMU.
Jack Levison Interviewed at The Christian Post
Jack Levison, author and noted theologian, recently spoke with The Christian Post about his new book, Fresh Air: The Holy Spirit for an Inspired Life, sharing what he has gleaned in his 20 years of studying Scripture, and how he believes Christians can rediscover the true meaning and purpose of the Holy Spirit for their lives. Read at The Christian Post >>
Jack Levison talks with KUOW’s Jeremy Richards
In Jolo, West Virginia, there are members of a small Christian church who handle live, poisonous snakes. The snake handlers believe the snakes can’t hurt them, because they’re protected by something called “the spirit.” The notion of the spirit goes back to some of the earliest documented religions, and Jack Levison believes the spirit acts in similar ways even today. Jack is a professor of New Testament at Seattle Pacific University. His latest book is called “Filled With the Spirit.” Today, he shares two other books that describe how the spirit acts in people’s lives, and he explains how even nonbelievers can connect with the notion of spirit. Jack Levison talks with KUOW’s Jeremy Richards. Listen on KUOW >>
Jack Levison talks with KUOW’s Dave Beck
Seattle Pacific Science Center presents Discovering the Dead Sea Scrolls, an exhibition featuring four scrolls never before seen by the public and another making its first appearance outside Israel. Regarded by many as one of the greatest archeological discoveries of the 20th century, these scrolls predate Christianity. Until their discovery, the oldest Hebrew biblical manuscript known to scholars was written in 895 C.E. The biblical Dead Sea scrolls are more than 1,000 years older, having been transcribed or copied between 250 B.C.E. and 68 C.E., written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. On the show, Seattle Pacific University professor Jack Levison talks with Dave Beck about the history of the scrolls and their significance in today’s world. Listen on KUOW >>