Dr. Robert Scott Nash
Columbus Roberts Professor of New Testament
- B.A., Centre College
- M.Div., Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
- Ph.D., Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Teaching at Mercer, for me, can be summed up in two words: curiosity and commitment. I’ve always been curious, especially about why life is the way it is and how it came to be this way.
This curiosity compels me to ask questions and seek answers about the crucial issues that give life meaning. Mercer provides an arena for doing this and zealously protects the freedom we all need to pursue our quest for understanding. Commitment, for me, primarily means being faithful to my sense of calling as a Christian minister. As a teaching minister, this means being committed to my students, to my colleagues in the department, to the goals of the College of Liberal Arts, and to the mission of the university. At Mercer I have found encouragement and respect for living out this commitment in a context of faith and learning.
At Mercer I teach a variety of courses, including an introductory course and advanced courses in the New Testament, which is my primary area of expertise. My special interest is in the historical context of early Christianity, especially as it relates to the Apostle Paul. I’m curious about how and why the church developed as it did. I also teach Hellenistic Greek, the language in which the New Testament was written. I also teach a course on Death and Dying, a course that deals as much with living as with dying.
One special course I teach, Archaeology and Religion, takes place in Greece. Since 1990 I have traveled to Greece almost every summer to participate in archaeological excavation work in association with the Ohio State Excavations at Isthmia, a project sponsored by the American School of Classical Studies in Athens. Since 1998 I have taken groups of Mercer students with me to learn about archaeology and how it can inform our study of early Christianity. In 2009, I began offering the Greece program as a part of Mercer on Mission. We work with local organizations to try to help the Roma (Gypsy) communities near Ancient Corinth. Most recently, we have shifted our focus from education to health issues. We have done extensive health surveys and water testing. We are trying to work with local officials to address the problems faced by the Roma.
Above all, as a professor, I hope to engender in students a healthy curiosity that leads them to ask questions and seek answers. I also hope that they will find their own callings and commit their lives to fulfilling it.