Students at commencement

Meet the Faculty

Craig R. Koester

Craig R. Koester

Vice President of Academic Affairs, Professor and Asher O. and Carrie Nasby Chair of New Testament

  • Ph.D. (Union Theological Seminary)
  • Ordained (ELCA)
  • M.Div. (Luther Theological Seminary)


Craig Koester received a B.A. from Saint Olaf College, an M.Div. from Luther Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. from Union Theological Seminary in New York. He served as a parish pastor for several years in Princeton, Minnesota, and joined the faculty of Luther Seminary in 1986. He was appointed to the Asher O. and Carrie Nasby chair of New Testament Studies in 2012.

 An innovative teacher, Dr. Koester is known for his “Genesis to Revelation” course, which uses visuals, music, and drama to take people through the sweep of the biblical story in ten days. His other courses include John’s Gospel and Epistles, and the book of Revelation. Because of the high level of public interest in Revelation, he developed a course that explores the background and content of Revelation, as well as its impact on western culture. Entitled Apocalypse: Controversies and Meaning in Western History, it was released on DVD through the GreatCourses.

 As a scholar, Dr. Koester has contributed to discussions of Scripture in the academy and the church. His books include landmark commentaries on Hebrews (2001) and Revelation (2013 forthcoming) for the Anchor Yale Commentary series. In Johannine studies, he is known for his Symbolism in the Fourth Gospel (2nd edition, 2003), The Word of Life: A Theology of John’s Gospel (2008), and numerous articles. His book Revelation and the End of All Things (2001) is a popular resource among seminary and college students, and is widely used in congregations.

 Dr. Koester is has led and organized seminars for the Society of Biblical Literature and Society for New Testament Studies. He has served as associate editor of the journals New Testament Studies and The Catholic Biblical Quarterly, and regularly presents his work at international gatherings of scholars. He was a scholar in residence at the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton, New Jersey in 1992-93 and 2007.

 In the church, Dr. Koester speaks at theological conferences, synod gatherings, pastors’ workshops, and congregations. He is one of the designers of the Narrative Lectionary, which enables congregations to move through major sections of both Old and New Testaments from September through May each year. At the international level, he is involved in the work of the Lutheran World Federation on the interpretation of Scripture, and presented papers at the conferences in Nairobi, Kenya (2011) and Eisenach, Germany (2013).

Featured Work

Revelation: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary

Revelation: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary

Yale University Press (2014)

Revelation: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary


NT 3275 01THE BOOK OF REVELATION Summer Term 2015-2016

This course explores Revelation’s vivid portrayal of God’s conflict with evil, its witness to the Lamb, and its vision of new creation. Attention is given to the controversies surrounding the interpretation of the book, as well as its profound impact on Christian worship, art, and music. Students will become familiar with perspectives on the book that range from the scholarly to the sensationalistic types that appear on the internet and in popular literature. The course considers all major passages in Revelation and explores ways of teaching Revelation in contemporary contexts. POST SESSION WORK REQUIRED.

NT 4227 01GENESIS TO REVELATION January Term 2015-2016

This course follows the sweep of the Biblical story from the dawn of creation to the New Jerusalem. Narrative portions of the Bible give the course its basic structure, with major poetic and prophetic texts, New Testament epistles, and apocalyptic writings woven in along the way. Students encounter key parts of virtually every Biblical book from the beginning of Genesis to the end of Revelation. The class is designed so that participants experience the Scriptures, as words on the page are transformed into sight and sound through readings, music, drama, and large screen photographs. During course, class members create their own study Bibles and design materials for teaching the Biblical story in creative ways.

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