The Rev Dr Peter O’Brien

Peter O’Brien is a previous Vice Principal of Moore College and is recognised as a leading New Testament scholar. Peter has engaged in ongoing cross-cultural ministry in Sydney. An accomplished author, he has extensive experience in pastoral and Bible teaching ministry in Australia, India, Singapore, England and the United States.


Publications

Books

Introductory Thanksgivings in the Letters of Paul (Supplement to Novum Testamentum, 49), (Leiden: E.J. Brill,  1977).

Colossians, Philemon (Word Biblical Commentary, 44) (Waco, Texas: Word, 1982)

Joint Editor, God Who is Rich in Mercy: Studies presented in honour of D.B.Knox (Sydney: Anzea, 1986)

Understanding the Basic Themes of Colossians, Philemon (Quick Reference Bible Topics) (Dallas: Word, 1991).

Commentary on Philippians (New International Greek Testament Commentary) (Exeter: Paternoster/Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1991).

Consumed by Passion.  Paul and the Dynamic of the Gospel (Homebush West, NSW: Lancer, 1993).  The Annual Moore College Lectures for 1992.  (Published as Gospel and Mission in the Writings of Paul [Grand Rapids: Baker, 1995]).

Editor God’s Mission and Ours: The challenge of telling the nations (Adelaide: Openbook, 1999).

The Letter to the Ephesians (Pillar New Testament Commentary) (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans/Leicester: Apollos, 1999). Translated into Chinese 2009. Translated into French 2013, and Indonesian 2013.

P. Bolt and M. Thompson, eds., The Gospel to the Nations: Perspectives on Paul’s Mission. In honour of Peter T. O’Brien (Leicester/Downers Grove: Apollos/Intervarsity, 2000).

Co-author with Andreas J. Köstenberger, Salvation to the Ends of the Earth: A biblical theology of mission (New Studies in Biblical Theology, 11) (Leicester/Downers Grove: Apollos/Intervarsity, 2001).

Joint editor with D. A. Carson and Mark A. Seifrid, Justification and Variegated Nomism: A Fresh Appraisal of Paul and Second Temple Judaism. Vol. 1. The Complexities of Second Temple Judaism (WUNT 2:140; Tübingen/Grand Rapids: Mohr Siebeck/Baker, 2001). Christianity Today 2002 Book Award Winner.

Joint editor with D. A. Carson and Mark A. Seifrid, Justification and Variegated Nomism: A Fresh Appraisal of Paul and Second Temple Judaism. Vol. 2: The Paradoxes of Paul (WUNT 2:181; Tübingen/Grand Rapids: Mohr Siebeck/Baker, 2004).

The Letter to the Hebrews (Pillar New Testament Commentary)  (Grand Rapids/Nottingham: Eerdmans/Apollos, 2010). Translated into Chinese, 2013 both simple and classical scripts. Translated into Italian 2014.

God has spoken in his Son: A biblical theology of Hebrews (New Studies in Biblical Theology, 39) (London/Downers Grove: Apollos/InterVarsity, 2016).  

Articles

‘Prayer in Luke-Acts’, Tyndale Bulletin 24 (Cambridge, 1973), 111-127.

‘Colossians 1:20 and the Reconciliation of All Things’, Reformed Theological Review 33 (Melbourne, 1974), 45-53.

‘Innovation and Change in Indian Theological Education’, Journal of Christian Education 50 (Sydney, 1974), 29-34.

‘Thanksgiving and the Gospel in Paul’, New Testament Studies 21 (1974-75), 144-155.

‘The Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20.  A Missionary Mandate or Not?’ Reformed Theological Review 35 (1976), 66-78.

‘The Fellowship Theme in Philippians’, Reformed Theological Review 37 (1978), 9-18.

‘Ephesians 1: An Unusual Introduction to a New Testament Letter’, NTS 25 (1978-79), 504-516.

‘I Corinthians’, Malayalam Bible Commentary.  Edited E. C. John, Kerala: Theological Literature Committee, 1979, Pages 997-1013

‘Thanksgiving within the Structure of Pauline Theology’, Pauline Studies (for F.F. Bruce) (Exeter: Paternoster, 1980), 50-66.

‘Principalities and Powers and their Relationship to the Structures’, Reformed Theological Review 40 (1981), 1-10.

‘Christ and the Spirit’, Agenda for a Biblical Church 2, Sydney: AIO, 1981, 113-117.

‘Divorce and Remarriage’, Agenda for a Biblical Church 2, Sydney: AIO, 1981, 175-184.

‘Principalities and Powers: Opponents of the Church’, Biblical Interpretation and the Church, ed. D.A. Carson (Exeter: Paternoster, 1984), 110-150. (Reprinted in Evangelical Review of Theology 16 (1992), 353-384.)

‘The Importance of the Gospel in Philippians’ God Who is Rich in Mercy. Studies presented in honour of D.B.Knox, ed. P.T. O’Brien and D.G. Peterson (Sydney: Anzea, 1986), 213-233.

‘The Church as a Heavenly and Eschatological Entity’, The Church in the Bible and the World, ed. D.A. Carson (Exeter: Paternoster, 1987), 88-119, 307-311.

‘Romans 8:26, 27.  A Revolutionary Approach to Prayer?’ Reformed Theological Review 46 (1987), 65-73.

‘Divine Provision for our Needs.  Assurances from Philippians 4’, Reformed Theological Review 50 (1991), 21-29.

‘Justification in Paul and Some Crucial Issues of the Last Two Decades’, in Right with God: Justification in the Bible and the World, ed. D.A. Carson (Carlisle: Paternoster, 1992), 69-95, 263-268.

‘Paul’s Missionary Calling within the Purposes of God’, in In the Fullness of Time. Biblical Studies in Honour of Archbishop Donald Robinson, ed. D. Peterson and J. Pryor (Homebush West, NSW: Lancer, 1992), 131-148.

‘The Gospel and Godly Models in Philippians’, in Worship, Theology and Ministry in the Early Church.  Essays in Honor of Professor Ralph P. Martin, ed. Michael J. Wilkins and Terence Paige (JSNT Supplement Series, 87) (Sheffield: Academic Press, 1992), 273-284.

‘Benediction, Blessing, Doxology, Thanksgiving’; ‘Caesar’s Household, Imperial Household’; ‘Church’; ‘Colossians, Letter to the’; ‘Fellowship, Communion, Sharing’; ‘Firstborn’; ‘Letters, Letter Forms’; ‘Mystery’; ‘Mysticism’; in Dictionary of Paul and His Letters, ed. Gerald F. Hawthorne, Ralph P. Martin, and Daniel G. Reid (Downers Grove, IL./Leicester, England: InterVarsity Press, 1993).

‘Colossians, The Letter of Paul to the’, in The Oxford Companion to the Bible, ed. Bruce M. Metzger and Michael D. Coggan (New York/Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993).

‘Colossians’, in New Bible Commentary, revised edition, ed. D.R.W. Wood and others (Leicester: IVP, 1994).

‘Philemon’, in New Bible Commentary, revised edition, ed. D.R.W. Wood and others (Leicester: IVP, 1994).

‘Divine Analysis and Comprehensive Solution.  Some Priorities from Ephesians 2’, Reformed Theological Review 53 (1994), 130-142.

‘Contemporary challenges to the doctrine of justification by faith’, in Justification and Christian Assurance, Explorations 10 (1996), 1-25.

‘The New Testament and Psalms: An Inclusive Version’, Churchman 111 (1997), 58-61.

‘Mission, Witness and the Coming of the Spirit’, Bulletin for Biblical Research 9 (1999), 203-214.

‘Was Paul a Covenantal Nomist?’, in Justification and Variegated Nomism: A Fresh Appraisal of Paul and Second Temple Judaism. Vol. 2: The Paradoxes of Paul, ed. by D. A. Carson, Peter T. O’Brien and Mark A. Seifrid (WUNT 2:181; Tübingen/Grand Rapids: Mohr Siebeck/Baker, 2004), 249-296.

‘Was Paul Converted?’, in Justification and Variegated Nomism: A Fresh Appraisal of Paul and Second Temple Judaism. Vol. 2: The Paradoxes of Paul, ed. by D. A. Carson, Peter T. O’Brien and Mark A. Seifrid (WUNT 2:181; Tübingen/Grand Rapids: Mohr Siebeck/Baker, 2004), 361-391.

‘The Summing Up of All Things (Ephesians 1:10)’, in The New Testament in Its First Century Setting: Essays on Context and Background in Honour of B. W. Winter on His 65th Birthday, ed. by P. J. Williams, A. D. Clarke, P. M. Head and D. Instone-Brewer (Grand Rapids/Cambridge: Eerdmans, 2004), 206-219.

‘God as the Speaking God: “Theology” in the Letter to the Hebrews ’, in Understanding the Times: New Testament Studies in the 21st Century: Essays in Honor of D. A. Carson on the Occasion of His 65th Birthday, ed. by A. J. Köstenberger and R. W. Yarbrough (Wheaton, IL.: Crossway, 2011), 196-216.

‘The new covenant and its perfect mediator’, in The Perfect Saviour: Key themes in Hebrews, ed. by J. Griffiths (Nottingham: Inter-Varsity, 2012), 13-33.


Current Research

Into a biblical theology of Letter to the Hebrews for publication in the New Studies in Biblical Theology series, edited by D. A. Carson (to be published by Inter-Varsity Press, Nottingham, UK).

Previous Experience
  • Ordained deacon (1961) and priest (1962) in Anglican Church of Australia, Diocese of Sydney
  • Professor of New Testament and Academic Dean, Union Biblical Seminary, Yavatmal, India (1964-73)
  • Head of Department of New Testament, Moore College (1974–2001)
  • Vice Principal, Moore College (1985-2000)
  • Senior Research Fellow in New Testament, Moore College (1996-2009)
  • Recognised Teacher in Divinity, the Board of Studies in Divinity, University of Sydney (1976-91)
  • Visiting Professor of New Testament, Trinity Theological College, Singapore (1993)
  • Visiting Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, IL., USA (1994-2008)
  • Vice-President of the Church Missionary Society of Australia
  • Academic Qualifications
  • Th.L. Honours 1 (Australian College of Theology)
  • B.D. Honours (University of London, 1961) 
  • Moore College Diploma Honours (1961)
  • Ph.D. (University of Manchester, 1971)
  • Th.D. (honoris causa) (Australian College of Theology, 2002)
  • D.D. (honoris causa) (Westminster Theological Seminary, 2014)
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