About Jack

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What You Need to Know

Jack holds the W. J. A. Power Chair of Old Testament Interpretation and Biblical Hebrew at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University. He is the author and editor of many books, including A Boundless God, which was selected as a 2021 Christianity Today book award winner. In the past year, he has co-edited The Pursuit of Life, a book on palliative care, published a massive commentary on the ancient Greek Life of Adam and Eve, and prepared for publication a small, travel-sized book, titled Seven Secrets of the Spirit-filled Life (out on May 9th).

Raised in a tract house in Levittown, New York, Jack left to attend Wheaton College, where his Greek professor, Jerry Hawthorne, urged him to pursue an MA at Christ’s College, Cambridge University, which he did.

When he returned from England to pursue doctoral studies at Duke University, Jack fell in love with a divinity student, Priscilla Pope, whose office is now just down the hall from him at SMU. Priscilla is Research Professor of Practical Theology at SMU.

Though he is regarded worldwide as a scholar, Jack is keen, too, to write for a wide array of audiences. With essays in the Huffington Post, parade.com, relevant.com, and beliefnet.com, and widely-read books such as Fresh Air and Forty Days with the Holy Spirit, Jack’s writing and speaking appeal to a wide swath of readers.

In the course of his career, Jack has received the Fitzpatrick Prize for theology at Cambridge University, as well as grants from the National Humanities Center, the Lilly Fellows Program, the Louisville Institute, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the Rotary Foundation, the International Catacomb Society, Oxford Brookes University, the Sam Taylor Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

What else do you need to know? Jack and Priscilla have a daughter who lives in Chicago and a son who lives in Dallas. They have a cat, Weeone, who can generally be found on a lap somewhere. And they live in a dorm. Jack celebrated his 65th birthday in a residential commons on the SMU campus, where he and Priscilla have the privilege of serving as faculty-in-residence. They live with purpose and joy–and occasionally nights without much sleep–in Boaz Commons, alongside 200 bright and lively SMU undergraduates.

Christianity Today 2021 Book Award Winner:

A Boundless God

Who knew that a word study could read like an adventure story—welcome to the world of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament. As Jack Levison guides us through the various uses of the word in the Hebrew Scriptures, he offers insight into the refreshment, the surprise, the danger, and the boundlessness of the Spirit of God. Reading this book instantly enhanced my own appreciation for how the New Testament speaks of the Holy Spirit not in a vacuum but in continuity with the Old Testament witness. This is an exciting, illuminating read from beginning to end. —Peter Gosnell, professor of religion, Muskingum University