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Matthew J. Thomas, DPhil

Associate Professor of Biblical Studies | Theology Department Chair


  • DPhil, University of Oxford
  • MCS, Regent College
  • BA, Pepperdine University

Research Interests

  • Pauline theology
  • Patristics (particularly Ante-Nicene)
  • Early Christian interpretation of Scripture

Courses Taught

  • Prophets
  • Wisdom Literature
  • Pentateuch and Histories
  • Christianity from Christ to Constantine
  • Introduction to Sacred Scripture
  • The Gospels
  • Pauline Literature
  • Acts, Catholic Epistles and Revelation
  • Josephus Seminar
  • Introductory / Intermediate Greek

Recent Publications

From the Professor

I am originally from the East Bay, and am grateful for the opportunity to serve here in Berkeley at the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology. My primary teaching areas at DSPT are in Old and New Testaments, patristics and biblical languages.

In 2016 I completed at D.Phil in Theology (New Testament and Patristics) at the University of Oxford, which was published as Paul's 'Works of the Law' in the Perspective of Second Century Reception (Mohr Siebeck, 2018; IVP Academic, 2020). This project sprang from my own desire to understand more precisely Paul's teachings regarding faith, works and justification within his original context. Methodologically, the study is driven by the conviction — perhaps best articulated by my own hero C.S. Lewis in "Fern-Seed and Elephants" — that early readers who shared the same culture, language and historical context with the authors in question can be of great help for interpretation to later readers who lack such advantages. Practically speaking, this means breaking down some of the barriers that have arisen between disciplines (such as between NT and Patristics), allowing each to enrich and shed light on the other rather than simply studying them in isolation.

Prior to graduate studies, I worked as a coordinator of after-school programs for inner-city youth in East Oakland, and this ministry context continues to provide much of the inspiration for my own research and writing. My wife Leeanne and I both did masters studies at Regent College in Vancouver (where we met in a Hebrew class), and we now have four children — Camille, Raphael, Michael and Agnes — who are also aspiring theologians.

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