Students at commencement

Meet the Faculty

Michael J. Chan

Michael J. Chan

Assistant Professor of Old Testament

Biography

Michael Chan joined the Luther Seminary Bible Division in July 2013. Prior to this appointment, he spent a year at the University of Helsinki, Finland and in many of the world’s greatest museums (the Louvre, the Hermitage, the British Museum, and the Pergamon Museum) doing research for his dissertation (“The City on a Hill:  Tradition-Historical Study of the Wealth of Nations Tradition”). Chan did his Ph.D. work under the supervision of Dr. Brent Strawn at Emory University in Atlanta.

What excites Chan most is the opportunity to teach students who feel called to read Scripture on behalf of the church and the world. “I remember my doctor father (Brent Strawn) drawing attention to the fact that, in Deuteronomy’s vision of kingship, Israel’s rulers must be diligent students of Torah (Deut 17:18-19). It was thought that a Torah-fluent king would ultimately a better king. The same is true of church leaders: Scripture-fluent leaders are ultimately better leaders. As one called to teach Scripture, there is nothing more fulfilling than helping the church’s leaders grow as creative, humble, and critically-informed readers of the Bible.”

Chan has taught and ministered in many settings, congregational and academic. He served as youth pastor at Grace Lutheran Church (Kingman, AZ) and Van Nuys Korean United Methodist Church (Van Nuys, CA). He and his wife were also responsible for a campus ministry at Pacific Lutheran University (Tacoma, WA). In college, he served as a chaplain in Glacier National Park as part of A Christian Ministry in the National Parks. Chan has also taught numerous courses at Emory University, the University of Helsinki, and North Central University.

In addition to teaching, Chan has also published articles, essays, reference entries, and reviews in journals such as the Journal of Biblical Literature, Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissensschaft, Jewish Quarterly Review, Catholic Biblical Quarterly, etc. His most recent publications include, “Joseph and Jehoiachin: On the Edge of Exodus,” Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft (2013, in press), “Ira Regis: Comedic Inflections of Royal Rage in Jewish Court Tales,” Jewish Quarterly Review 103:1 (2013): 1-25, and “A Biblical Lexicon of Happiness,” in The Bible and the Pursuit of Happiness: What the Old and New Testaments Teach Us about the Good Life (ed. Brent A. Strawn; New York: Oxford University Press, 2012), 323-370. Currently, Chan is co-editing with Brent Strawn a volume of Terence Fretheim’s essays: God, World, and Suffering: Collected Essays of Terence Fretheim (Siphrut: Literature and Theology of the Hebrew Scriptures; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, forthcoming).

Chan has received several academic awards, including a CIMO Fellowship from the University of Helsinki (2012) and The David R. Blumenthal Award in Jewish Studies and the Humanities (2011). He belongs to the Society of Biblical Literature and the Society for Pentecostal Studies. He is also on the SBL’s Bible Odyssey Board, a project funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Courses

CD 1630 01DEATH AND RESURRECTION Spring Semester 2015-2016

This course is a semester long meditation on death and its death, namely resurrection. Topics related to final things -- judgment, death, new creation, and resurrection -- are considered in light of biblical, systematic, liturgical, art-historical, and philosophical resources. Particular emphasis is placed on the role of the Bible and systematic theology in the construction of a Christian theology of death, dying, and resurrection. Emphasis is placed on the material's usefulness to the ministry of the church, including but not limited to the ministry of the sacraments, the preaching of the Gospel, care for the dying and catechesis.

SG 0702 50SCRIPTURE AND ITS WITNESSES - II Spring Semester 2015-2016

An inquiry into the Old and New Testaments as Christian scripture and the Bible's multiple ways of presenting the nature of God and God's commitments to the world and its peoples. Students develop a nuanced outlook of the Bible as a whole as they gain experience identifying how several theological ideas receive different expression in the scriptures at different times in the history of Israel and the church. Small discussion groups provide weekly opportunities to interpret several books from the Old and New Testaments in greater depth while attending to those books' connections to other parts of scripture. Students consider how they lead others in making sense of the Bible in light of their current realities and for the sake of exploring and articulating their Christian faith. The course brings students' cultural contexts into conversation with the Bible and emphasizes how understanding the Bible requires them to engage other biblical interpreters as essential conversation partners. Prerequisite: SG0701 Scripture and Its Witnesses I (or OT1110 or NT1210-NT1213)

SY 1601 50VOCATIONAL FORMATION - ONLINE Spring Semester 2015-2016

This course is designed for students participating in a year of service either domestically or internationally. The focus is vocational formation, including questions of faith, commitments to service, identity, and interpersonal relationships. Students will be challenged to think about the significance of their experience in light of thier longer term vocational interests. Students will reflect critically on assumptions about God, communities, and neighbor. They engage in ongoing self assessment within a learning community throughout the year, with required readings and monthly meetings in an online cohort throughout the year. The cohort will include other students involved in a year of service and a faculty member. Students will develop a learning portfolio that identifies key aspects of their experience and reflects on how these experiences relate to their long term vocational interests. This course fulfills the Learning Leader I (SG0601) requirement. Full course for full year participation.

OT 1120 01LIONS AND EUNUCHS AND KINGS-DANIEL January Term 2015-2016

This course is an exegetical, theological, and literary study of the book of Daniel. Questions related to gender analysis, history, post-colonialism, empire, and apocalypticism are also given priority. The course contains a biblical language component as well in that students will gain rudimentary competency in biblical Aramaic. FULFILLS PROPHETS OT2110-20 TWO TRACKS AVAILABLE: HEBREW AND NON-HEBREW

SG 0701 50SCRIPTURE AND ITS WITNESSES - I Fall Semester 2015-2016

An inquiry into the Old and New Testaments as Christian scripture and the Bible's multiple ways of presenting the nature of God and God's commitments to the world and its peoples. Students develop a nuanced outlook of the Bible as a whole as they gain experience identifying how several theological ideas receive different expression in the scriptures at different times in the history of Israel and the church. Small discussion groups provide weekly opportunities to interpret several books from the Old and New Testaments in greater depth while attending to those books' connections to other parts of scripture. Students consider how they lead others in making sense of the Bible in light of their current realities and for the sake of exploring and articulating their Christian faith. The course brings students' cultural contexts into conversation with the Bible and emphasizes how understanding the Bible requires them to engage other biblical interpreters as essential conversation partners. FULFILLS OT1110 OR NT1210-13

SY 1601 50VOCATIONAL FORMATION - ONLINE Fall Semester 2015-2016

This course is designed for students participating in a year of service either domestically or internationally. The focus is vocational formation, including questions of faith, commitments to service, identity, and interpersonal relationships. Students will be challenged to think about the significance of their experience in light of thier longer term vocational interests. Students will reflect critically on assumptions about God, communities, and neighbor. They engage in ongoing self assessment within a learning community throughout the year, with required readings and monthly meetings in an online cohort throughout the year. The cohort will include other students involved in a year of service and a faculty member. Students will develop a learning portfolio that identifies key aspects of their experience and reflects on how these experiences relate to their long term vocational interests. This course fulfills the Learning Leader I (SG0601) requirement. Full course for full year participation.

CL 4597 97 RSGUIDED READING AND RESEARCH Summer Term 2014-2015

Guided reading course for qualified students under the personal supervision of a member of the division. Consult faculty within the division.

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