Darian Lockett, professor of biblical and theological studies at Biola’s Talbot School of Theology, recently published a new book focusing on the “Catholic Epistles,” titled Letters from the Pillar Apostles. His work centers on the correct understanding of the seven letters in the bible and their placement in the New Testament canon.

This work has allowed for the delightful intersection between two enduring research interests: canonical biblical theology and the Catholic Epistles,” said Lockett.

The beginnings of the book started when Lockett was pursuing his Ph.D. at St. Mary’s College, University of St. Andrews in Scotland. During his time there, Lockett's desire was to explore the possibility of the Catholic Epistles being read as a collection.

Lockett noted the Catholic Epistles, which include James 1, 2, Peter 1, 2, 3, John and Jude have not received careful attention like the Gospels and Pauline letters have by the church and biblical scholars. The lack of academic work on these letters motivated Lockett to write Letters from the Pillar Apostles. His hope is that the book would encourage further research and focus on the Catholic Epistles. He also desires that the letters would be read as a collection rather than individually.

The book provides insight on internal and external evidence as to how the letters correlate with one another.

“I was fascinated to find several catchwords drawing the individual compositions together. Several of these connections were linked contiguous texts by means of a repeated key word or concept,” said Lockett.

His book focuses on the evidence of themes that bring together these letters into a collection.

“The love command is a strong and comprehensive theme woven through all seven letters,” said Lockett.

Letters from the Pillar Apostles has received positive comments from biblical scholars including Thomas R. Schreiner from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Karl-Wilhelm Niebuhr from Friedrich Schiller University Jena, A.K.M. Adam from University of Oxford, and others.

“In this important monograph, Darian Lockett illuminates the case for canonical interpretation on several fronts: by proposing a promising approach to thinking through the idea of canon; by articulating a case for treating the Catholic Epistles as a distinct, early letter collection; and by highlighting fascinating connections among the letters themselves,” said Adam.

Lockett hopes his book will be utilized by seminary professors and pastors. In addition, he hopes it would stand alongside other works that have also incorporated the approach of using historical and theological methodologies.

“I hope this book might provide at least one way forward in reconnecting the historical concerns of biblical studies and the theological concerns of systematic theology,” said Lockett.

Published in December 2016, Letters from the Pillar Apostles is available for purchase at various places including Target, Amazon, and Wipf and Stock Publishers. Lockett is currently working on a commentary and another book that are expected to be published in 2019 and 2020.

Written by Clavel Candelaria, iBiola Reporter. For more information, contact Jenna Loumagne, manager of media relations, at (562) 777-4061 or jenna.loumagne@biola.edu.