Lee’s Simmons Conducts Research In England For New Book

Monday, August 20, 2018 - by Olivia Webb, Lee University
Dr. Bill Simmons
Dr. Bill Simmons

Dr. Bill Simmons, professor of New Testament and Greek studies at Lee University, was contracted by InterVarsity Press to author a book titled “Pentecostal Themes in the New Testament.” Dr. Simmons received a six-week summer research grant at Tyndale House, a research center for Evangelical scholars in Cambridge, England, to conduct research for his new book. 

While in England, Dr. Simmons had the chance to converse with scholars from Asia, Europe, Africa, and Australia. 

According to Dr. Simmons, his new book will look at the person and work of the Holy Spirit in each New Testament book. Topics like the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, charismatic gifts, and revelation, among others, will have specific focus. Through these studies of the Holy Spirit, Dr. Simmons hopes this book will provide Pentecostals and Charismatics with a “go to source” for understanding the Holy Spirit in each book of the New Testament, as well as contributing to the spiritual formation of the reader. 

"My goal is to provide sound biblical exegesis together with an emphasis on spiritual formation,” said Dr. Simmons. 

The emphasis on personal spiritual growth is supplemented with a focus on personal discipleship. Dr. Simmons’ book accomplishes this by including two distinct sections in each chapter. The first being “Pause for Prayer,” where a key verse from the chapter is highlighted to prepare the reader spiritually to receive the core message of the book being studied. The second section is “What does it mean for me?,” which connects the claims of the text to the reader at that moment.  

“There are two major factors that inspired the book,” said Dr. Simmons. “One is the state of global Pentecostalism and the other being the state of the modern biblical interpretation in the West.” 

Despite the exegetical and theological material, Dr. Simmons wrote “Pentecostal Themes in the New Testament” in non-technical terms to encourage easy reading by the non-specialist. 

“Pentecostal interpretation does not objectify the Scripture as an ancient artifact to be dissected and analyzed,” said Dr. Simmons. “Rather, the Word is alive and exacts a more powerful interpretive affect upon us than we upon the Word (Heb 4:12). This means that the Scriptures are to be studied devotionally (2 Tim 3:16?17). They were not given just to be mastered by human reason, but to be obeyed by godly servants (James 1:22, 2:17).” 

Dr. Simmons has been a member of Lee's faculty since 1986, teaching a wide variety of courses in the School of Religion. These have included Romans and Galatians, First and Second Corinthians, Prison Epistles, New Testament Greek, Luke-Acts, and many others. 

Dr. Simmons’ book is scheduled to be released by summer 2019.

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