DepartmentsOffice of the Provost
Talbot School of Theology
Biola AffiliationsFaculty



  • Post-Doctoral Study, University of Tübingen, Germany
  • Ph.D., University of Aberdeen
  • M.Div., Talbot Theological Seminary
  • B.A., Biola College


Clinton E. Arnold enjoys teaching, speaking and writing on various aspects of the New Testament. He has had a special interest in the historical and cultural setting of the letters of Paul and the Book of Acts. He is the former Dean of Talbot (2012-2022) and the past President of the Evangelical Theological Society (2011). He serves on the translation oversight committee for the English Standard Version (ESV). Arnold is the editor of the four-volume Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary for which he wrote commentaries on “Acts," "Ephesians” and “Colossians.” He is also the general editor of the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament for which he has written the volume on “Ephesians.” He has recently completed the commentary on Colossians for the Word Biblical Commentary series. His other books include: How We Got the Bible (Zondervan); Ephesians: Power and Magic (Cambridge/Baker/Wipf & Stock); Powers of Darkness: Principalities and Powers in Paul's Letters (InterVarsity Press); The Colossian Syncretism (Mohr Siebeck/Baker/Wipf & Stock); and 3 Crucial Questions About Spiritual Warfare (Baker). Arnold has published in Christianity Today and was a regular columnist for Discipleship Journal. His research articles have appeared in such journals as New Testament Studies, Novum Testamentum, Journal for the Study of the New Testament and the Journal of Psychology and Theology. Arnold is married to his wife, Barbara, and they have three adult sons and three grandchildren.


  • Church Project Orange County, Whittier, CA
  • Society of Biblical Literature (Member)
  • Institute for Biblical Research (Member)
  • Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas (International Society for New Testament Studies, (Member)
  • Tyndale Fellowship for Biblical and Theological Research, Cambridge, England (Member)
  • Evangelical Theological Society (Member)



  • Colossians. Word Biblical Commentary. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, forthcoming.
  • Short Answers to Big Questions about God, the Bible, and Christianity. With Jeff Arnold. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2015.
  • Ephesians. Zondervan Exegetical Commentary Series. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2010.
  • How We Got the Bible. A Visual Journey. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, May 2008.
  • Acts. Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary. Vol. 5. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2007.
  • Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Philemon. Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary. Vol. 9. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2007.
  • 3 Crucial Questions About Spiritual Warfare. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1997.
  • The Colossian Syncretism. The Interface Between Christianity and Folk Belief at Colossae. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2/77. Tübingen: J.C.B. Mohr (Paul Siebeck), 1995 (also published by Wipf & Stock).
  • Powers of Darkness: Principalities and Powers in Paul's Letters. Downer's Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1992.
  • Ephesians: Power and Magic. The Concept of Power in Ephesians in Light of its Historical Setting. Society for New Testament Studies Monograph Series 63. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989.

Journal Articles and Book Chapter

  • “Jesus is the Messiah and Yet So Much More: Jesus as Revealed in the Poetic Praise of Colossians 1:15-20,” in Upholding God’s Word: Reaching God’s Chosen. A Festschrift in Honor of Dr. Mitchell L. Glaser. Eds. Jim Melnick, Zhava Glaser, Gregory Hagg, Alan Shore, and Robert Walters. New York: KIFM Publications, 2022, 75-80.
  • “Initiation, Vision, and Spiritual Power: The Hellenistic Dimensions of the Problem at Colossae.” In The First Urban Churches: Volume 5: The Lycus Valley. Eds. James R. Harrison and Lawrence L. Welborn. Writings from the Greco-Roman World Supplement Series. Atlanta: SBL Press, 2019, 173-86.
  • “The Role of Biblical Exegesis within the Christian College Curriculum.” In Where Wisdom May Be Found: The Eternal Purpose of Christian Higher Education. Ed. Edward P. Meadors. Eugene, Oregon: Pickwick Publications, 2019, 28-42.
  • “Do We Really Need to Reconstruct the Background of Colossians to Understand the Letter?” In God’s Glory Revealed in Christ. Essarys on Biblical Theology in Honor of Thomas R. Schreiner. Eds. Denny Burk, James M. Hamilton Jr., and Brian Vickers. Nashville: B&H Academic, 2019, 171-83.
  • “Living in Connection to the Resurrected Christ: Discipleship in Colossians and Ephesians.” In Following Jesus Christ: The New Testament Message of Discipleship for Today. A Volume in Honor of Michael J. Wilkins. Eds. John K. Goodrich and Mark L. Strauss. Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2019, 141-57.
  • “Sceva, Solomon, and Shamanism. The Jewish Roots of the Problem at Colossae” (ETS Presidential address, November 2011). Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 55.2 (2012), 7-26.
  • “The Kingdom, Miracles, Satan, and Demons.” In The Kingdom of God. Eds. Christopher W. Morgan and Robert A. Peterson. Theology in Community Series 4. Wheaton, Ill.: 2012. 153-78.
  • Clinton E. Arnold and Mark Strauss, “Reading the Bible in Translation,” in Read the Bible for Life. Your Guide to Understanding and Living God’s Word Ed. George H. Guthrie. Nashville: B&H Publishing, 2011, 49-62.
  • “ ‘I Am Astonished That You Are So Quickly Turning Away!’ (Gal 1:6): Paul and Anatolian Folk Belief.” New Testament Studies 51.3 (2005) 429-449.
  • “Early Church Catechesis and New Christians Classes in Contemporary Evangelicalism.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 47.1 (2004) 39-54.


Areas of Expertise for Media Interviews

  • Bible
  • Biblical Languages
  • Folk Belief and Animism in Biblical Context
  • Gnosticism
  • Modern Bible Translations
  • New Testament
  • Original Bible Manuscripts
  • Spirits, Angels, and the Supernatural
  • Spiritual Warfare
  • The Bible in Graeco-Roman Context
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