Dr. James DeYoung is the Professor of New Testament Language and Literature at Western Seminary. He was my primary reader for my thesis. He taught one of my first classes in the Th.M. program on contemporary issues in New Testament studies where we discussed the New Perspective on Paul, matters related to canonical and non-canonical Gospels, and canonization in general. Later he supervised my independent study on the Synoptic Problem. Since New Testament studies are my primary area of interest it would be an understatement to say that James was important to me as a professor.
I found James to be very helpful as a discussion partner and flexible in his own views. He held to Matthean Priority (or seemed to) when we began our study of the Synoptic Problem, but he was very open to Markan Priority while interacting with my various papers defending that position. I felt like I had the type of academic freedom necessary to feel with important topics like this one and the New Perspective, of which I am more receptive than James.
While working through my thesis he gave great feedback, pressed me where it was needed, and gave me wise words of caution when my critique of other’s views was a bit too harsh. I am thankful for his guidance as someone who has been around academics for a long time and as someone who has always connected his studies to the life of the church. James’ passion to do biblical studies so that it edifies and educated the church has rubbed off on me. I hope to be able to have a career with his longevity and productiveness.
See also: Honor to whom honor is due: Dr. Marc Cortez