Dr. Osvaldo Padilla is today's Friday Faculty Feature. He is professor of divinity at Beeson, teaching New Testament. He is married to Kristen Padilla, and they have a son, Philip.
Where are you from?
I was born in the Dominican Republic and came to Florida with my family when I was 13. That was a strange experience, especially because the school systems were so different.
Why did you become a New Testament professor?
I felt a call from the Lord to minister his Word when I was around 19, a year after becoming a Christian, and I loved to study the Scriptures. As time went on and I received more theological education, I wanted to dig deeper into the New Testament. This led to a M.A. in New Testament and eventually to a Ph.D. So to make a long story short, I find great joy in studying God’s Word in an academic setting but at the same time thinking about how it applies to life.
What do you enjoy about being in the classroom?
I enjoy the interaction between the students and teacher and the times when the Holy Spirit clearly moves in the classroom and we all feel the presence of the Lord in a strong way.
What are some of the most important lessons you hope students will learn from you?
I hope they learn to come to the Bible with reverence and humility, understanding that not any one of us has a perfect understanding of Scripture. Also, I want them to learn they must study the primary sources and, as far as possible, to learn from people of different cultures and languages. Finally, I want them to learn to read the Bible as two testaments but one Bible centered around Jesus Christ.
What is a fun fact people may not know about you?
I am an ardent San Francisco 49ers fan.
What project(s) are you currently working on?
I am almost finished with a commentary on the Pastoral Epistles. I also have begun writing a book on the incarnation as part of Jesus’ vicarious work for us. Finally, I am co-editing a book on reading the New Testament from different ethnic perspectives.
The students are not just numbers, but they are real people in which we want to invest. It is truly a community not just a drive-thru education.