Dr. Joshua Harper is an Assistant Professor in the Applied Linguistics department. A born scholar, Dr. Harper has explored music theory, biblical languages, and everything in between! He has long striven to combine this academic bent with his passion for ministry by teaching biblical studies with his organization, SIM—first at a seminary in Kenya and now at DIU. We are grateful for the scholarly enthusiasm, brilliant mind, and godly heart Dr. Harper brings to our school.
Dr. Harper says he has “long been interested in everything,” a truth evident in his academic history. His musical affinity, which he nowadays displays through piano serenades at DIU events, first led him to study music for his BA at the University of Texas at Austin. Then he pivoted his focus, earning two master’s degrees at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Old Testament and Biblical Studies. Finally, Joshua solidified his presence in biblical studies through his doctoral dissertation at Cambridge University, which discussed translation techniques in Greek translations of Habakkuk 3.
During his time at DIU, Dr. Harper has continued his biblical studies research. His recently published book, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, and Haggai: A Handbook on the Greek Text (Baylor UP, March 2023), builds on his dissertation work. Dr. Harper’s handbook guides readers through the grammatical, syntactic, and lexical trip-ups they may encounter when reading Habakkuk, Zephaniah, or Haggai in Greek. Previous literature has extensively covered exegesis and interpretation of these prophetic books but has rarely addressed problems with the Greek language. Dr. Harper fills an important gap with the release of his new work.
Another area of biblical studies Dr. Harper has taken an interest in is Hebrew poetry. He currently teaches a course on the subject at DIU, AL5329 Readings: Hebrew Poetry. It is one of his favorite courses to teach because it combines so many disciplines he enjoys: linguistics, exegesis, literature, translation, art, and so on. These disciplines, Joshua points out, are also areas where our school excels, making the Hebrew Poetry course an excellent sample of the heart of DIU.
Outside of class, Dr. Harper lends his expertise to the Psalms Layer by Layer project. This project aims to produce the first complete, high-quality translation resource for the perennially confusing psalms. As he delves into the psalms with his project teammates, Dr. Harper can bring his newest insights to class for his students! They savor the knowledge that their learning is on the cutting edge of Hebrew poetry research.
Dr. Harper’s scholarly passion for God’s word is an invaluable asset to DIU. Through it he helps prepare global leaders to partner with language communities in making God’s word available. We at Dallas International University look forward to seeing where Dr. Harper’s curiosity and love of the Bible take him next!
Learn more here about DIU and our focus on rigorous academics in the service of student formation.