John Vonder Bruegge Assistant Professor of Religion; Co-director of the Honors Program
Ph.D., Yale University
Th.M., Harvard Divinity School
M.Div., Covenant Theological Seminary
B.S., University of Missouri
Dr. Vonder Bruegge's teaching interests include early Christian history and literature, the New Testament and archaeology, Johannine literature, and Josephus and ancient Judaism. In addition to being a full-time faculty member in the Religion Department, he also serves as a Co-Director of Northwestern's Honors Program and leads the Honors Summer Study Abroad program in Greece. He earned a doctorate at Yale University; a Master of Divinity degree from Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri; and a Master of Theology degree from Harvard University.
Prior to joining Northwestern’s faculty, he served as a research assistant at Harvard and Yale and as a teaching fellow and lecturer at Yale Divinity School. Vonder Bruegge participated in an archaeological excavation in Turkey, and he studied archaeology in Israel and Greece. He is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature and the American Academy of Religion.
- Elementary Biblical Greek and Culture
This course will focus on learning the basics of koine Greek grammar and vocabulary as well as the cultural backgrounds of the New Testament writings. Readings and translation will focus on the Gospel and Letters of John. The New Testament writings will be examined in light of their social-historical and literary settings within Hellenistic Judaism and the broader Greco-Roman world.Note: The Greek program is offered at Northwestern College primarily aspreparation for those students who plan to continue their education throughseminary training. The ancient Greek taught here prepares students forbiblical study in that language. (4 credits, alternate years, consult department)
- Intermediate Biblical Greek and Culture
This course is designed to facilitate the acquisition and retention of Greekgrammatical, exegetical, and interpretive skills through the reading ofancient Greek texts. Primary focus will be on the Gospel of Mark and itscontext. Prerequisite: GRE102LA. (1 credit; alternate years, consult department)
- Intermediate Biblical Greek and Culture
This course is designed to facilitate the acquisition and retention of Greekgrammatical, exegetical, and interpretive skills through the reading ofancient Greek texts. Primary focus will be on the Letters of Paul andselections from other Greco-Roman authors. Students will also be introducedto the sub-discipline of Textual Criticism. Prerequisite: GRE201. (1 credit; alternate years, consult department)
- Christian Story I: Biblical Tradition
This course presents an overview of and orientation to the Bible, focusingon its content, character, role in the Christian faith, and covenant themesof creation, fall, redemption, and new creation. This course begins thedevelopment of theological thinking for academic study in the liberal artsand equips students for the task of integrating faith and learning in theiracademic work. Students should complete this course by the end of theirsecond semester. (4 credits) Note: Does not count toward a religion major or minor.
- Topics in New Testament Studies
A study of a single book or larger section of the New Testament or a current area of critical inquiry concerning the New Testament. Possible topics include the Synoptic Gospels, the Book of Acts, the Johannine Literature, the Epistolary Literature, the Apocalypse.Prerequisite: REL110 and sophomore class standing.(2 credits)
Mapping Galilee in Josephus, Luke, and John: Critical Geography and the Construction of an Ancient Space (AJEC 93; Brill, 2016).
“The Quest for the Geographical Luke: How Luke’s narrative construction of Palestine makes him a better geographer than you might think,” SBL Annual Meeting 2015 (Atlanta, GA), Gospel of Luke Section.
“‘From Infancy Inured to War’: Josephus’ geographical excursus on Galilee (War 3.35-44) in light of Soja’s ‘Thirdspace’,” SBL Annual Meeting 2015 (Atlanta, GA), Space, Place, and Lived Experience in Antiquity Section.
“Luke Never Consulted the Map in the Back of Your Bible, Part II: Implications of Edward Said’s ‘imaginative geography’ for the portrayal of 1st c. Palestine in the book of Acts,” SBL Central States Regional Meeting 2013 (St. Louis, MO), New Testament Narrative Literature Section.
Response to Ellen B. Aitken, “The Body of Jesus Outside the Eternal City: Mapping and Ritual Space in the Epistle to the Hebrews,” SBL Annual Meeting 2012 (Chicago, IL), Hebrews Section.
“Luke Never Consulted the Map in the Back of Your Bible: Conzelmann, Said, and an Outsider’s View of Galilee,” SBL Central States Regional Meeting 2012 (St. Louis, MO), New Testament Narrative Literature Section.
“Luke’s ‘Imaginative Geography’: Revisiting Edward Said’s Orientalism and its implications for Luke’s Galilee,” SBL Annual Meeting 2008 (San Diego, CA), Reading, Theory, and Bible Unit.
“‘Mapping’ Galilee: reconciling spatial theory with a historical discipline,” SBL Upper Midwest Regional Meeting 2005 (St. Paul, MN), Jesus in Galilee Section.
“Geography Bending in the Fourth Gospel,” SBL New England Regional Meeting 2004 (Cambridge, MA), New Testament, Early Christians, and Gnostics Section.
“Re-grounding John’s Galilee,” SBL International Meeting 2003 (Cambridge, UK), Archaeology Program Unit.
“The ‘God-Fearer’ Inscriptions of Aphrodisias: New Light on Theories Come of Age,” SBL Annual Meeting 2000 (Nashville, TN), Papyrology and Early Christian Backgrounds Consultation.
Lecturer in New Testament Greek, Yale Divinity School
Graduate Teaching Center Consultant, Yale University
Research Assistant, Yale University
Research Assistant, Harvard University
Tiberias Archaeological Excavations, Tiberias, Israel
Sardis Archaeological Expedition, Salihli, Turkey
Society of Biblical Literature
American Academy of Religion
Teaching Excellence Award, Northwestern College, 2009
Yale University Dissertation Fellowship, 2003-04
Yale University Fellowship, 1998-2002
John Perry Miller Fund Award, Yale University, 2001
Robert G. Rayburn Homiletics Award, Covenant Theological Seminary, 1994
Curators’ Scholarship, University of Missouri, 1987-91
Missouri Higher Education (Brightflight) Scholarship, 1987-91