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Adams named first Ray-Rechtzigel Professor of Biblical Studies

Endowed chair supports teaching, geographic field studies, biblical archaeology

Dr. David L. AdamsThe Board of Regents for Concordia Seminary, St. Louis recently named Dr. David Adams the W.G. Ray and Louis J. Rechtzigel Professor of Biblical Studies, a new endowed chair position established to support scholarship in both the Old Testament and the New Testament.

Adams, a professor of Exegetical Theology, is the first occupant of the W.G. Ray and Louis J. Rechtzigel Endowed Chair of Biblical Studies. He will be formally installed during the 184th academic year Opening Service, which is set for 10 a.m. CDT Friday, Aug. 26.

Thomas and Linda Ray of Barnhart, Mo., established the Ray-Rechtzigel Chair to better prepare Concordia Seminary’s graduates and the church to “share the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ with those who do not hold fast to Him in faith and to manage and utilize the blessings of God,” according to endowment documents. In addition to teaching, the chair supports the occupant’s field studies in the areas of historical geography of the Bible and biblical archaeology.

“It is a privilege and a delight to know Tom and Linda Ray and their family,” said Seminary President Dr. Thomas J. Egger. “The Ray-Rechtzigel Chair, named to honor their grandfathers, will be a tremendous blessing to Concordia Seminary. After all, our mission is forming pastors, deaconesses, missionaries and scholars who are deeply grounded in God’s Word. I am inspired by Tom and Linda and their evident joy in being able to share the resources that God has blessed them with to serve Christ’s mission in this way.”

Adams was selected as the first Ray-Rechtzigel Professor of Biblical Studies because of his status as a senior professor of biblical studies and his extensive experience on archaeological expeditions in Israel. A faculty member since 2000, his areas of interest and expertise include biblical theology, ancient Near Eastern culture and religion, biblical archaeology and government activity as it relates to religion.

As the former director of the Concordia Center for Archaeology, Adams has excavated at Qarqur in Syria and was engaged for several years as a member of the excavation staff at Khirbet Qeiyafa in Israel, a site of critical importance in the debate over the rise of the monarchy in Judah as well as the location of the battle between David and Goliath in 1 Samuel 17.

Adams holds a Doctor of Philosophy from Cambridge University in Cambridge, England, and a Master of Divinity and Master of Sacred Theology from Concordia Seminary. Before coming to the Seminary in 2000, Adams served in parish ministry, was director of the pre-seminary program at Concordia University, Ann Arbor, Mich., and was executive director of the LCMS Office of Government Information in Washington, D.C. Because of his archaeological work, he was invited to be a significant contributor to the Old Testament portion of the ESV Archaeology Study Bible, published in 2018 by CrossWay. Among his current projects is a book examining the concept of the presence of God in the Bible in comparison to Israel’s ancient Near Eastern neighbors and its significance for biblical theology.

“It is a tremendous honor to be chosen to serve the Seminary and the church as the occupant of the Ray-Rechtzigel Chair,” said Adams. “I especially look forward to having the opportunity to create resources that will help students, pastors and lay Christians understand the impact that archaeology and the study of historical geography have on our understanding of the Tanakh, and how they can enrich our interpretation and teaching of the Word of God.”

The Ray-Rechtzigel Chair is one of 13 endowed professorships currently at the Seminary.

About Concordia Seminary

Concordia Seminary, St. Louis provides Gospel-centered graduate-level theological education for pastors, missionaries, deaconesses, scholars and other leaders in the name of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS). To learn more, visit csl.edu.