James W. Voelz

Dr. James (Jim) Voelz was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wis., and has been a lifelong member of the LCMS. He attended parochial grade school and public high school in Milwaukee, and prepared for the office of the ministry through the educational “system” of the LCMS, including two of her colleges and Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. After seminary, he studied for a year with Martin H. Franzmann at Westfield House in Cambridge, England, after which he commenced formal doctoral studies at the University of Cambridge, writing his dissertation, entitled “The Use of the Present and Aorist Imperatives and Prohibitions in the New Testament,” under Geoffrey Lampe, Regius Professor of Divinity in the university.

Dr. Voelz was called to the faculty of Concordia Theological Seminary (then) in Springfield, Ill., in 1975 and moved with that institution to Fort Wayne, Ind., in 1976. He taught at CTS for 14 years, through 1989. He also served as assistant pastor at Zion Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne, during this time, a position he held from 1984-88. In 1989 he was called to the faculty of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, as associate professor of exegetical theology, being elevated to full professor in 1993. He has also served Concordia Seminary as dean of the graduate school (1996-2002) and dean of the faculty (2006-2010). In addition, he has served since 2009 as an adjunct faculty member of Kenrick Seminary, the Roman Catholic diocesan seminary in the St. Louis area, and since 2005 he has been coordinator of the Institute of Theology at his local congregation, St. Paul’s Lutheran, Des Peres, Mo.

Dr. Voelz has been engaged in both the scholarly world and the wider church for well over three decades. He has been thoroughly involved with the North American-centered Society of Biblical Literature since 1977, serving on steering committees of various subgroups (e.g., Literary Aspects of the Gospels and Acts, Mark), and presenting papers regularly on a wide range of topics (generally in the area of hermeneutics [theory of interpretation] and gospel studies). In 1984 he was invited to membership in Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas, the international NT society, and has regularly presented papers in both the hermeneutics and NT Greek grammar seminars there, each of which he has also co-chaired in turn since 1991. In the wider church, he served on the LCMS Commission on Theology and Church Relations (CTCR) from 1991-2000, represented the president’s office in inter-church talks with the Freie evangelische lutherische synode in Sued-Afrika (FELSISA) in 1994, and been a member of several other study groups and commissions. He has made dozens of presentations at district and circuit pastors/church workers conferences, generally on the topics listed below. He has written two books and dozens of articles (for a selection, see also below). Currently, he is finishing the manuscript for the commentary on the Gospel of Mark in the Concordia Commentary series.

Dr. Voelz has been involved in sports throughout his life, beginning with tennis and basketball, and continuing with soccer and golf. He has coached these four sports at Concordia Seminary (soccer and basketball also at CTS-Fort Wayne), and was inducted into the sports hall of fame at Concordia University Wisconsin in 2003 for his contributions as both a player and a coach. He is also an avid devotee of contract bridge, and with colleague Jeff Kloha has directed the Concordia Wine Society since 2001. He has been married to his wife, Judy, since 1977. They have one son, Jonathan, who is involved in golf professionally.


  • Chair and Professor of Exegetical Theology


  • A.A., Concordia College, Milwaukee, Wis.
  • B.A., Concordia Senior College, Fort Wayne, Ind.
  • M.Div., Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Mo.
  • Ph.D., Cambridge University, Cambridge, England

Post-Doctoral Study 

  • University of Basel, Switzerland (Prof. Bo Reicke), 1982-83
  • University of Oxford, England (Prof. G. B. Caird), 1983

Contact Information:

Concordia Seminary
801 Seminary Pl.
St. Louis, MO 63105
Office phone: 314-505-7138
Email: voelzj@csl.edu

Scholarly Engagement:    

  • Society of NT Studies (SNTS) (member)
  • Greek of the NT Group (co-chair)
  • Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) (member)
  • Mark Group—SBL (steering committee)


  • Fundamental Greek Grammar, Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, 1986, 2003, 2007, 2011.
  • What Does This Mean? Principles of Biblical Interpretation in the Post-Modern World, Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, 1995, 1997.


  • “The Language of the New Testament.” Pp. 893-977 in Aufstieg und Niedergang der roemischen Welt, II, 25.2. Wolfgang Haase, ed. Berlin: DeGruyter, 1984.
  • Present and Aorist Verbal Aspect: A New Proposal.” Neotestamentica 27 (1993): 153-64.
  • “Reading Scripture as Lutherans in the Post-Modern Era.” Lutheran Quarterly 15 (2000): 309-34.
  • “External Entailment as a Category of Linguistic Analysis.” Pp. 223-30 in Biblical Greek Language and Lexicography. Bernard A. Taylor, et. al., eds. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2004.
  • “The Greek of Codex Vaticanus in the Second Gospel and Marcan Greek.” Novum Testamentum 47 (2005): 209-49.
  • “The Greek of the New Testament and its Place within the Context of Hellenistic Greek.” Pp. 177-196 in Greek: A Language in Evolution. Essays in Honour of Antonios N. Jannaris. Chrys C. Caragounis, ed. Hildesheim, Germany: Georg Olms, 2010.


Conference Topics

  • “Basic Principles for Biblical Interpretation” (lay)
  • “Reading and Interpreting Scriptures in the Post-Modern Era”
  • “Biblical Studies: Where We Were, Are, and Will Be”
  • “The Holy Spirit and Biblical Interpretation”
  • “Biblical Eschatology and the Kingdom of God”
  • “Preaching and Teaching the Gospel of Matthew”
  • “Preaching and Teaching the Gospel of Mark”
  • “Preaching and Teaching the Gospel of Luke”
  • “Parables”
  • “Issues in 1 Corinthians”
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