Geneva College
Byron Curtis View All Faculty
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Featured Audio:

"Strange Numbers in the Bible"

Dr. Byron Curtis presents a lecture in Skye Lounge at the request of the Math Club.

Professor of Biblical Studies

Dr. Byron G. Curtis is a Christian theologian, pastor, and professional scholar in missional engagement with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Holy Scriptures for the sake of the Academy, the Church, and the wider world. He specializes in Old Testament studies and biblical Hebrew. His research is internationally published, and focuses on late Old Testament prophecy, the Persian period in Palestine, and the history of biblical interpretation. He teaches in several biblical, historical, and theological fields, and is often called on to serve the wider Church as preacher, teacher, and theological consultant. He has lectured on three continents. Dr. Curtis is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), and has served on Geneva′s full-time faculty since 1991. He and his wife, Sue Ann, have two grown children, Nathan and Naomi, and one granddaughter, Psyche Ariel.


Disciplines and fields of instruction

  • Biblical Hebrew
  • Old Testament studies
  • Historical geography of the land of the Bible
  • Archaeology of the land of the Bible
  • Christian theology
  • History of Christianity

Degrees and credentials 

  • PhD in Hermeneutics and Biblical Interpretation,
  • Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, 2005
  • Doctoral studies in Hebrew Bible and Semitic languages (ABD), Duke University
  • MDiv, highest GPA in class, Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson MS, 1980
  • BA, Biblical Studies, Magna Cum Laude, Geneva College, 1976
  • Ordained, Presbyterian Church in America, 1985
  • Licensed, Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America, 1980


  • Visiting Professor of Bible, Jerusalem University College, Israel, Fall 2011
  • Frequent guest minister, teacher, and church conference speaker  
  • Frequent participation in national and international academic conferences
  • Consultant in the wider Church, in the Academy, and in mass media 
  • Occasional teaching in masters courses, seminaries, and graduate departments
  • Assoc./Assist. Pastor, Peace Presbyterian Church (PCA), Cary NC, 1985–1991
  • Instructor, Hebrew 201–202, Geneva College, 1982–83 
  • Instructor, Old Testament Survey, LaRoche College, Pittsburgh PA, 1981    
  • Associate Campus Minister, LaRoche College, w/the Coalition for Christian Outreach and the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North Hills, 1980–83
  • Wilderness adventure director, First Presbyterian Church Camp, Ligonier PA, 1978


  • Hebrew 101–102, Elementary Biblical Hebrew
  • Hebrew 201, Intermediate Biblical Hebrew
  • Hebrew 202, Hebrew Exegesis: Haggai–Zechariah 1–8
  • Hebrew 202, Hebrew Exegesis: Zechariah
  • Hebrew 202, Hebrew Exegesis: Malachi
  • Hebrew 491, Advanced Hebrew Reading
  • Hebrew 491, Psalms
  • Hebrew 491, Readings in Rabbinic Hebrew
  • Hebrew 491, Zechariah 9–14
  • Hebrew 491, Dead Sea Scrolls
  • Hebrew 451, Aramaic (new course, 2013)
  • Bible 112, Old Testament Survey
  • Bible 301, Old Testament Prophets
  • Bible 302, Wisdom Literature
  • Bible 303, Old Testament Studies (variable topics)
  • Bible 304, The Book of Psalms
  • Bible 306, The Book of Daniel
  • Bible 307, Judah′s Exile and Restoration
  • Bible 320, Special Topics in Theology
  • Bible 324, Introduction to the Reformed Tradition
  • Bible 325, Biblical Theology
  • Bible 341, Archaeology and Geography of Israel
    • This course, offered every other fall semester, culminates in a study tour of Israel, in which I share duties of on-site lecturing in historical geography and archaeology
  • Bible 350, History of the Christian Church
  • Bible 351, Church History I: Beginnings to 1500 AD (new course, 2012)
  • Bible 352, Church History II: 1500 AD to the Present (new course, 2013)

Selected independent studies (BIB 491) and honors projects

  • Redaction Criticism and the Book of the Twelve (2013)
  • History of Christianity in East Asia (2013)
  • African Church History
  • Corporate Judgment and the Individual
  • Biblical Theology: Geerhardus Vos
  • Biblical Theology: Meredith Kline
  • Historical Theology: Luther

Seminary and graduate courses taught

  • Judah′s Exile and Restoration. Jerusalem University College, Israel, Fall 2011
  • OT Introduction. Trinity School for Ministry, Ambridge, PA, Summer 2007
  • OT History and Theology. Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and the Coalition for Christian Outreach, Spring Institute
  • Biblical Theology: OT and NT. Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and the Coalition for Christian Outreach, Spring Institute

Selected courses and seminars for churches

  • The Holy Trinity: Christianity′s Most Precious Persuasion
  • The Gospel According to Zechariah (Zechariah 1–6)
  • Sages, Wise Guys, and Fools: Biblical Wisdom from Proverbs Job, & Ecclesiastes
  • Dangers and Dictators: The Book of Daniel—Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
  • The Uneasy Yoke: Christianity and Natural Science
  • Suffering and Hope: Biblical Perspectives on Pain and Human Sorrow
  • The Grace of Giving: Financial Aspects of Christian Ministry
  • The Protestant Reformation: Why It Still Matters
  • Pastoral Wisdom from the Sixteenth Century: Luther, Zwingli, and Calvin
  • Why Should I Pay Attention to these Old Poems?—The Psalms in Christian Worship         “Help!” and “Hallelujah!”—Three Thousand Years of Spiritual Song

Sabbatical projects, Jerusalem University College (JUC), Israel, Fall 2011

  • Conducted research in Jerusalem in early Jewish and Christian interpretations of the book of Zechariah, with extensive library work at École Biblique et Archaeologique Française de Jerusalem; Hebrew Union College library; and Jerusalem University College library
  • Taught both undergraduate and graduate levels of “Judah′s Exile and Restoration,” with on-site lectures at Tel Lachish. HIST 6/452, JUC
  • Took the graduate course, “Physical Settings of the Bible,” with Dr. Paul Wright, JUC
  • Did extensive archaeological and historical-geographical travel in Israel, the West Bank, Jordan, and Egypt, with Dr. Paul Wright, JUC
  • Audited lectures in archaeology from Dr. Gabriel Barkay, JUC


  • Up the Steep and Stony Road: The Book of Zechariah in Social Location Trajectory Analysis. Academia Biblica 25. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2006. [Revised doctoral dissertation]
  • Up the Steep and Stony Road: The Book of Zechariah in Social Location Trajectory Analysis. Ph.D. dissertation, Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia. Ann Arbor, MI: University Microforms. 2005. Advisor: Dr. Peter Enns

Book-length course syllabi

  • Old Testament Survey.  Geneva College, 2012. Co-authors: Dr. Barry Bandstra, Dr. Byron G. Curtis, Dr. Daniel Doriani, Dr. Dean R. Smith, and Dr. Jonathan Watt. For BIB 112, Geneva′s freshman-level core Bible course.
  • Old Testament Principles of Ministry: Student Manual. Geneva College, 1998.  Degree Completion Program, CMN 404
  • Old Testament Principles of Ministry: Instructor′s Manual. Geneva College, 1998.  Degree Completion Program, CMN 404

Current projects


  • Crown(s?), Throne(s?), and Messiah(s?) in Zechariah 6:9–15. Academic paper in textual criticism and the history of Bible translation. Forthcoming
  • Biblical Interpretation in the Septuagint version of Zechariah. Forthcoming
  • Obscurity, Obsolescence, and Adolescence: Weaknesses in the English Standard Version (ESV, 2001). Invited paper for the Session of Chapel Presbyterian Church (PCA), Beaver PA. June, 2013


  • Editor and contributor: Calvin and the Prophets of Israel: A Legacy in Exegesis. Forthcoming. Very little has been published by Old Testament scholars regarding John Calvin's seminal contributions in his commentaries on the Old Testament prophets, published between 1551 and 1565. What does Calvin have to say about Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and the Twelve? In this book, six co-authors and I seek to evaluate Calvin's contributions to our understanding of this portion of the OT canon.
  • Zechariah and the Christian Gospel: How to Preach a Strange Biblical Book. I am writing this book for pastors and Bible study leaders. I seek to show—clearly and simply—how this OT book can be preached and taught as Christian gospel. Part One gives the main points of Zechariah′s message, passage by passage. Part Two shows how Zechariah′s words show up in the words of Jesus and his Apostles as they proclaimed the gospel. Part Three shows the enduring relevance of Zechariah for Christian believers.
  • The Book of Zechariah: A History of Interpretation (tentative title). This long-term project traces the main lines of the interpretation and use of Zechariah from the Septuagint and inter-testamental writings, through the Dead Sea Scrolls, the New Testament, Patristic writers, Rabbinic sources, Medieval commentators, Reformation and Post-Reformation exegetes, historical critics, and recent commentators, down into the modern period.

Selected publications

  • The Mas′ot Triptych and the Date of Zechariah 9–14: Issues in the Latter Formation of the Book of the Twelve.” Pages 191–206 in Perspectives on the Formation of the Book of the Twelve. Edited by Rainer Albertz, James D. Nogalski, and Jakob Wöhrle. Series: Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 433. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2012.
  • Hosea 6:7 and Covenant-Breaking like/at Adam.” Pages 170-209 in The Law is Not of Faith: Essays on Works and Grace in the Mosaic Covenant. Edited by Bryan D. Estelle, John V. Fesko, and David VanDrunen. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R, 2009.
  • Early Christianity: Controversy over Christ.” Reformed Theological Journal 24 (November, 2008): 34–50.
  • Taking the Bus. The Geneva Review 3 (2005).
  • After the Exile: Haggai and History.” Pages 300–20 in Giving the Sense: Understanding and Using Old Testament Historical Texts. (Eugene Merrill Festschrift). Edited by David M. Howard and Michael A. Grisanti. Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2004.
  • The Zion-Daughter Oracles: Evidence on the Identity and Ideology of the Late Redactors of the Book of the Twelve.” Pages 166–84 in Reading and Hearing the Book of the Twelve. Edited by Marvin A. Sweeney and James D. Nogalski. SBL Symposium Series. Atlanta: Scholar′s Press, 2000.
  • Orthodoxy and the Enlightenment.” Semper Reformanda 6 (1998): 131-46.
  • Colossians 2:16 and the Supernumerary Sabbath.” Semper Reformanda 6 (1997): 35-42.
  • “Private Spirits” in the Westminster Confession of Faith §1.10 and in Catholic–Protestant Debate (1588–1652). Westminster Theological Journal 58 (1996): 257–66.
  • Smoke Signals and the Challenger Disaster. The Presbyterian Journal, March, 1987.
  • "John Calvin: Interpreter of the Prophets." Unio cum Christo, 2017.
  • "Theodicy on Steroids: Zechariah 14:7, Genesis 1:5, and the homilies of Basil the Great." Accepted for the annual meetings of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS). 2017.

Selected presentations

  • Abraham Kuyper and his Lectures on Calvinism (1898). Invited lecture and consultancy for Department of Engineering, Geneva College, May 29, 2013
  • H. Richard Niebuhr and his Christ and Culture (1951). Invited lecture and consultancy for Department of Engineering, Geneva College, May 26, 2013.
  • Crown(s?), Throne(s?), and Messiah(s?) in Zechariah 6:9–15. Evangelical Theological Society Annual Meeting, Milwaukee, WI, November, 2012.
  • The Mas′ot Triptych and the Redaction of the Book of the Twelve. Paper for the invitation-only conference, Perspectives on the Formation of the Book of the Twelve. University of Münster, Germany, January 2011
  • Calvin′s Haggai. Paper prepared for (but not given) The Calvin 500 Conference. Geneva, Switzerland, July 2009.
  • Hosea 6:7—A Janus Solution to a Crux Interpretum. Israelite Prophetic Literature Section. Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting, Boston, November 2008
  • Hosea 6:7 and the Republication Thesis: A Janus Solution to a Crux Interpretum. Evangelical Theological Society Annual Meeting, Providence, RI, 2008
  • “And Now a Word from Our Sponsor.” Alpha Chi Honor Society Induction Ceremony keynote address, Geneva College, November 5, 2008
  • The Unity of Zechariah: New Methods and New Arguments. Evangelical Theological Society Annual Meeting, San Diego, November 2007
  • Jean Cauvin: Qui Est-ce Qui? Faculty Paper, Geneva College, December 4, 2007
  • Cultivating the Intellectual Virtues. Alpha Chi Honor Society Induction Dinner lecture, Geneva College, October 10, 2007
  • Israelite Wisdom and the Quest for Knowledge: An Interdisciplinary Study in the Rise of Natural Science. Faculty Integration Paper, Geneva College, 2005
  • Invited Respondent to Dr. A. Joseph Everson on “The Canonical Location of Habakkuk.” Formation of the Book of the Twelve Seminar. Society of Biblical Literature, Annual Meeting, Toronto, November 2002
  • The Zion-Daughter Oracles: Evidence on the Identity and Ideology of the Late Redactors of the Book of the Twelve. Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting, 1998. The draft of this paper was chosen for publication in the SBL Seminar Papers for 1998
  • Orthodoxy and the Enlightenment. For “Minds and Souls: The Enlightenment and Christian Higher Education: Sesquicentennial Celebration Academic Conference,” Geneva College, 1997
  • Charismata as Hermeneutical Help? Evangelical Theological Society Annual Meeting, Chicago, 1994
  • Invited Respondent to Dr. Jörg Jeremias on the theology of Hosea and Amos Consultation on the Formation of the Book of the Twelve. Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting, Chicago, 1994
  • Social Location and Redaction History in the Haggai-Zechariah-Malachi Corpus. Israelite Prophetic Literature Section. Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, 1993
  • Eschatological Expectation and the Date Formulae in Haggai and Zechariah 1–8.  Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting, San Francisco, 1992
  • Reassessing Weber on Prophetic Charisma: Center and Periphery. Association of Christians Teaching Sociology Annual Meeting, Beaver Falls, PA, 1992
  • Invited Respondent to Dr. Russell Heddendorf on “Theology and Sociology.” Association of Christian Teaching Sociology, Beaver Falls, PA, 1992

Service to Geneva College

  • Chairman, President′s Commission on Geneva′s Reformed Identity, 2010–11
  • Editor and co-author of the commission′s White Paper,
  • “Educating in Wisdom to the Glory of God: Geneva′s Reformed Identity”
  • Faculty Policy and Development Committee
  • Faculty Personnel Committee
  • Publications Editorial Board
  • Graduate Education Committee
  • Many other committees
  • Faculty Advisor: L.I.F.E. (“Life Is For Everyone,” Pro-Life action group), 1990s
  • Led several bus trips to the annual “March For Life,” Washington, DC
  • Faculty Advisor: Institute of Collegiate Studies student forum, 2009–2011
  • Geneva Literary Society
  • The Chimes: Geneva′s Literary Magazine, occasional contributor
  • Composed anthems performed by the sixty-voice concert choir, The Genevans, and by the traveling vocal ensemble, New Song
  • Occasional work with campus choral groups and campus devotional groups

Awards and distinctions received

  • Who′s Who in America, 2008
  • Excellence in Scholarship Award, Geneva College, 2006–2007
  • Nominated for the Arlin G. Meyer Prize in the Humanities,
  • Lilly Fellows Program in the Humanities and the Arts, 2007
  • Excellence in Teaching Award, Geneva College, 1996–97
  • Faithful Service Award, Peace Presbyterian Church, Cary, NC, 1988

Affiliations and memberships in professional organizations

  • Board Member, Jerusalem University College, 2012–
  • Member, Association for the Sociology of Religion

  • Manuscript reviewer for the peer-reviewed journal, Sociology of Religion
  • Member, Evangelical Theological Society
  • Member, Society of Biblical Literature
  • Member, Eastern Carolina Presbytery, Presbyterian Church in America
  • Faculty Representative for Geneva, Christian Scholar′s Review
  • Faculty Representative for Geneva, Jerusalem University College
  • Occasional consultant, National Geographic magazine, 1990s
  • Consultant, “Mysteries of the Bible,” A&E Network, The History Channel, 1997–98
  • Co-chair of the Beaver Valley Evangelical Forum, 1990s
  • Board Member, Habitat for Humanity, Wake County, NC 1980s–1990
  • Old Testament Editor for, The Greystone Theological Review

Miscellaneous, hobbies, sports, personal information

  • Music. Piano: I perform classics and jazz
  • Hammered dulcimer: folk music of the British Isles and the Appalachians.
  • Voice: I′ve sung with many choral groups, and for some years sang tenor with  “The Village Singers” of the Tri-County Choral Institute, Sewickley, PA.
  • I also compose choral music, especially choral settings of the Psalms.   
  • My anthems have been performed by choirs in the US, Canada, and Europe.
  • Reading. I read voraciously, especially history, biography, poetry, and novels.
    • My favorite poets include George Herbert, John Donne, and Wendell Berry.
    • Favorite authors of fiction include J.R.R. Tolkien, Chaim Potok, and Marilynne Robinson.
  • Poetry. I read and recite poetry, and write some of my own. Some gets published.
  • Sports. Although I no longer lead white-water river trips and caving expeditions (yep, I used to do that), I continue to love bicycling—especially the downhill part.
  • Grandfather to a granddaughter. One of the greatest joys in life.