Paul Anderson, PhD

Professor of Biblical and Quaker Studies

Teaching and research interests

  • Gospel of John
  • Jesus and spirituality
  • Quaker studies
Paul Anderson

Paul Anderson has been teaching in the School of Theology since January 1989. A student of D. Elton Trueblood in seminary, Anderson became fascinated with the Gospel of John, and in addressing the tensions in John’s Christology in his doctoral work, found himself applying cognitive-critical analysis to the history and development of Gospel traditions. That provided an interdisciplinary approach to some of the Johannine riddles that have perplexed scholars for several centuries now

Professor Anderson was a founding member of the John, Jesus, and History Project (SBL since 2002) and has coedited four of its volumes: Vol. 1, Critical Appraisals of Critical Views (2007), Vol. 2, Aspects of Historicity in the Fourth Gospel (2009), Vol. 3, Glimpses of Jesus through the Johannine Lens (2016), and Communities in Dispute (2014).

His own book on the subject, The Fourth Gospel and the Quest for Jesus, argues for a more nuanced view, arguing also a new paradigm for understanding John’s composition, relations to other traditions, and likely contributions to the quest for Jesus. His approach to John's "dialogical autonomy" builds upon his new paradigm for seeing John as an independent Jesus tradition, alongside the others (“a Bi-Optic Hypothesis").

Anderson's new contextual introduction to the New Testament (From Crisis to Christ) builds bridges between original contexts of biblical writings and today's contexts, and his book on Following Jesus poses a dynamic view of radical discipleship.

The author of more than 200 published essays, he is editor of three book series: Biblical Interpretation (E.J. Brill), the Johannine Monograph Series, and Quakers and the Disciplines (FAHE).

In addition to teaching at George Fox, Anderson has served as a visiting associate professor at Yale Divinity School, a visiting scholar at Princeton Theological Seminary, a DAAD professor at the University of Mainz, and a Fulbright Specialist at the Radboud University of Nijmegen. He also serves as extraordinary professor of religion at North-West University of Potchefstroom, South Africa. 

Academic Background

PhD, Glasgow University
MDiv, Earlham School of Religion
Graduate studies, Trinity Lutheran Seminary and Portland State University
BA, Malone University