Dr. John Terveen

John Terveen
Dr. John Terveen B.S., M.Div., Ph.D.
  • MABS Program Director
  • Professor New Testament and Greek



B.S.- University of South Dakota; M.Div.- Sioux Falls Seminary; Ph.D.- University of Edinburgh

Favorite Quote

“Lord Jesus, you are my righteousness, I am your sin. You took on you what was mine; yet set upon me what was yours. You became what you were not, that I might become what I was not.” -Martin Luther (prayer from “Letters of Spiritual Counsel”)

Where I come from

I was raised in a solidly Christian family in a small mid-west farming community. The Bible occupied a central place in our lives together, whether at home, in relationships, in church, or in the wider world. For me as a child, to love and trust Jesus and know Him more and more through the Word of God was a life-affirming step of faith that powerfully influenced the rest of my life.

Why I teach at Multnomah

I regard it as an incredible privilege to be able to walk with students in and out through the stories of God’s redemptive history recounted in the Bible. What a joy to read Scripture – often in its original languages – together and learn to hear afresh the truths as taught through the Holy Spirit! I thank God for the opportunity to show students how to read the Word for all its worth – holistically, historically, and with ears of faith to hear and obey. That my students then go out throughout the world and share this gospel of the Kingly reign of God in Christ as witnessed to in Scripture is a wonderful kingdom outcome from which I take the greatest joy!

Education and research

During my Ph.D. studies at the University of Edinburgh (Scotland), I was compelled by the significance of historical studies into Jesus’ life and teachings. In my doctoral work that drove me to look carefully into the references of Jesus’ earthly life in the Epistle to the Hebrews. At Multnomah that interest has now drawn me to work with students intensely on the many strands of Jesus research – ancient and modern – in the gospels, especially looking at the impact of understanding first century Judaism for better comprehending the gospel portrayal of Jesus’ life and teachings.

Favorite Scripture

“I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.” (Acts 20:24)

Family information

God has blessed me with a wonderful spouse since 1976, Laura, with whom I have shared a rich life journey of faith and work. Matthew, our grown son, is an engineer in the Portland area. God took our daughter Rachel home to heaven in 1999, a loss that has deeply colored our faith and life. Our daughters Anna and Olivia are in elementary school and remain a daily joy and parenting challenge.

‘Non-ministry’ life activities

Though often call a “good walk ruined,” golf remains a real personal outlet for me, one that my son and daughters have also adopted. I also confess a love for reading good quality fantasy and science-fiction literature, especially the classic writers in this genre. I can also be found watching my daughters playing competitive soccer and cheering them on.