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Gary D. Collier

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Founder and Director of IABC.

PhD, Graduate Theological Foundation, through Oxford University, Christ Church
Dissertation Supervisor:  Professor Donald A. Hagner

Studied also at other schools:

BA (Freed-Hardeman College and David Lipscomb University;
MDiv (Harding Graduate School of Religion);
ThM (Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena,

Additional studies:  Four years at Iliff School of Theology (Denver, CO). Two years special studies at The Ancient Biblical Manuscript Center and also The Institute for Antiquity and Christianity, Claremont, CA.

Formal graduate and post-graduate attention to biblical studies (including the fields of OT and intertestamental literature), but especially NT text and translation, with an interest in ancient midrash, intertextuality, and Philo of Alexandria.  Teachers include (among others) Ralph P. Martin, Robert Guelich, James A. Sanders, James M. Robinson, and especially Donald A. Hagner.

Taught biblical languages at Fuller Theological Seminary and the Iliff School of Theology (for a combined nine years), and biblical languages and literature at Martin University (Indianapolis, IN, for another seven years).   Voluntarily withdrew from college teaching for a more stimulating environment of The Coffee with Paul Classroom: An Institute for the Art of Biblical Conversation. This includes a unique sister project:  the Greek New Testament Translation Team (GNT3) in which a varied team is translating through the New Testament as a means of Bible study. These are both currently active and thriving.

My research and publishing follow a sustained interest in “bringing the word to life.”

  • In 1993, my first book appeared, The Forgotten Treasure: Reading the Bible Like Jesus, asking the question: “When Christians read the Bible, do they look more like Jesus or the Pharisees?”
  • In 2012, I published what I consider to be a foundation of good and productive Bible study: Scripture, Canon, & Inspiration: Faith in Pursuit of Conversation. This book either attracts or repels, calling readers to reexamine what they mean by a “high view of the scriptures,” and introducing the idea of “canon” as an attempt to have a conversation with God.
  • In 2015, I began fleshing out what I mean by “conversation.” First came two volumes (for small groups) that attempt to demonstrate what “conversational Bible study” is all about. Titled, Unrelenting Faith, these books of hope in the face of opposition and distress are highly readable volumes growing out of my detailed studies of 1Thessalonians, and all tested in numerous live groups. At the same time, I and the IABC study group, produced our first group project: Engaging Paul in 1Corinthians, a collection of articles on 1Corinthians in honor of a senior member of our group.
  • In 2017, I published “I,Paulos”:  Shades of Conversation in 1Thessalonians, a thoroughly revised and updated (much more readable) version of my dissertation, asking: is it possible to find the “real Paul” in his writings? This book is a new kind of commentary, laying a theoretical bedrock for a conversational approach to reading any NT document.

Am I easy to work with as a study partner, teacher, mentor, and guide?  That depends on who you ask. However, the more pertinent question is Would you like to be part of a stimulating study group for biblical studies and Greek text?  If you like engaging another in a challenging manor, and if you want to grow in understanding, then I am very open to exploring with you how we might become study partners. I am quite open to receiving email inquiries about such things.

My wife, Lanette, and I live happily in rural Indiana in a modest home, with friendly neighbors, with lots of trees and squirrels and birds (. . . and moles).  We are next door to the The Institute for the Art of Biblical Conversation–an institute for advanced biblical-text studies. Like the 250,000 miles of Roman highways in Paul’s day, allowing him to connect with whomever he pleased, the endless “miles” of internet accessibility puts us at the heart of “where the world lives.” And so we have LIVE conversations every day (literally) with Bible study partners from all over the world.  And without any hesitation, this is the most rewarding work I have ever done.  I commend my study partners to you as among the brightest and most energetic of any I have found anywhere in any school, church, or other organization.

My research interests include the following:

In Process Now:

(Book): CWP Translation of the New Testament: 1Thessalonians, Galatians, 1Corinthians, Philippians

(Book): Divorce and the Christ-Community: A New Portrait (Revised edition)

(Article): “What’s the Story? Midrash and Intertextuality in Biblical Studies,” Theodidktoi, A Journal for Biblical Studies.


2018—–Getting in Touch with the Scriptures:  What the Bible Wants to Tell You About Itself.  (An Introductory Handbook for the Term “Scripture.”) The Dialogē Press: 2018.

2017—–“I Paulos: Shades of Conversation in 1Thessalonians. The Dialogē Press: 2017.

2015—–Unrelenting Faith. Volume 1: The Divine Secret. 1Thessalonians, Conversations 1-8. Conversations over Coffee with the Apostle Paul. CWP Press, 2015. (with Journal)

2015—–Unrelenting Faith. Volume 2: Rising above Struggle, Walking in Hope. 1Thessalonians, Conversations 9-20. Conversations over Coffee with the Apostle Paul. CWP Press, 2015. (with Journal)

2015—–Engaging Paul in 1Corinthians: A Celebratory Volume in Honor of John and Diana Eoff, Edited by Gary D. Collier and Brian Casey. CWP Press, 2015.

2012—–Scripture, Canon, & Inspiration: Faith in Pursuit of Conversation. CWP Press, 2012.

2004—–Standing Under Scripture: An Exercise in Contextual Hermeneutics (with some thoughts on Women in Ministry). CWP Press, 2004. (E-book)

1993—–The Forgotten Treasure: Reading the Bible Like Jesus. Howard Publishers, 1993.


1995—–“Rethinking Jesus on Divorce.” Restoration Quarterly 37:2 (1995) 80-96.

1994—–“‘That We Might Not Crave Evil’: The Structure and Argument of 1Corinthians 10:1-13.” Journal for the Study of the New Testament 55 (1994):55-75.

1990—–“Bringing the Word to Life: Biblical Hermeneutics in Churches of Christ.” Christian Studies 11:1 (October, 1990): 18-40.

1983—–“The Problem of Deuteronomy: In Search of a Perspective.” Restoration Quarterly 26:4 (1983): 215-33.

Book Reviews:

1980—–James G. D. Dunn. “Unity and Diversity in the New Testament,” in Restoration Quarterly 23:2 (1980): 121-126.

2013—–James P. Ware (ed), Synopsis of the Pauline Letters in Greek and English (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2010) in Stone-Campbell Journal.

2014—–Bruce W. Longenecker and Todd D. Still. Thinking Through Paul: A Survey of His Life, Letters, and Theology. Zondervan, 2014 in in Stone-Campbell Journal.

2014—–Andrew E. Arterbury, W. H. Bellinger Jr., and Derek S. Dodson. Engaging the Christian Scriptures: An Introduction to the Bible. Baker, 2014 in Stone-Campbell Journal.