Williams, Travis B

Professor of Religion

Email: trwilliams@tusculum.edu

Direct Line: 423-636-7300 ext. 5272
Campus Phone: Ext. 5272
Campus Mail: P.O. Box 5052
Office: Garland Library 129
Department: College of Civic and Liberal Arts
Campus or Site Location: Greeneville

Dr. Travis B. Williams is a professor of religion, specializing in the ancient Jewish and Christian traditions. He teaches introductory courses about the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, along with a variety of upper-level modules on subjects related to Jesus and the Gospels, the apostle Paul and the Dead Sea Scrolls. In all of these courses, his aim is to help students become critical, but empathetic, evaluators of the thoughts, ideas and belief systems generated by the texts of ancient Judaism and early Christianity. That enables them to actively participate in, and meaningfully contribute to, their world – whether that be in the field of academia, in a congregational setting or in other pursuits.

Outside the classroom, Dr. Williams travels nationally and internationally speaking at academic conferences, local churches and other community organizations. Some of the topics on which he regularly lectures include persecution in early Christianity, the text and canon of Scripture in light of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the historical Jesus in memory and oral tradition. For a number of years, he has also helped coordinate Tusculum’s Theologian-in-Residence program, a lecture series designed to stimulate local pastors and laity through theological discussion. He has also served as the lecturer for the four-part series three times.

During his time at Tusculum, Dr. Williams has engaged in an extensive research agenda. His areas of specialty include the Catholic Epistles of the New Testament and the Dead Sea Scrolls. The letter of 1 Peter has been a particular focus of his research. Over the past few years, he has published extensively on this epistle, including numerous articles and essays, as well as two major monographs (“Persecution in 1 Peter: Differentiating and Contextualizing Early Christian Suffering.” NovTSup 145. Leiden: Brill, 2012; and “Good Works in 1 Peter: Negotiating Social Conflict and Christian Identity in the Greco-Roman World.” WUNT 337. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2014). He has also co-authored (with David G. Horrell) a major commentary on 1 Peter (“1 Peter: A Critical and Exegetical Commentary.“ ICC. 2 vols. London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2023).

In the area of the Dead Sea Scrolls, much of Dr. Williams’ research focuses the intersection between the Scrolls and ancient media culture. He has written a monograph that seeks to chart a new methodological course in scholarship by employing memory theory as a way to direct historical study (“History and Memory in the Dead Sea Scrolls: Remembering the Teacher of Righteousness.” Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019), and he recently completed editing (with Chris Keith and Loren T. Stuckenbruck) a volume that considers how the Scrolls inform modern perspectives on cultural forms of oral and written communication (“The Dead Sea Scrolls and Ancient Media Culture.” STDJ 144. Leiden: Brill, 2023).

To view samples of Dr. Williams’ published work, visit http://tusculum.academia.edu/TravisWilliams

  • D., Theology, with concentration in New Testament (University of Exeter)
  • M., Academic Ministry, with concentration in New Testament (Dallas Theological Seminary)
  • A., Biblical Studies (Tennessee Temple University)