Professor of Biblical Literature and Languages at the Pacific Theological College, Suva, Republic of Fiji. Born and raised in Germany. Lived, worked and learned in South Africa (1987–1998), England (2001–2009) and Fiji (1998–2001 and again since 2010).


Studied theology in Germany (Wuppertal, Bochum, Heidelberg, 1984–1987) and South Africa (Pietermaritzburg, 1989–1998). BA(Hons), MA and PhD, University of KwaZulu-Natal.

Other Publications

Edited books

  • Nokise, Feleterika, and Holger Szesnat, eds. 2015. Oceanic Voyages in Theology and Theological Education: Reflections and Reminiscences in Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Pacific Theological College. Suva, Fiji Islands: Pacific Theological College. (iv+168pp.)

Coursebooks (distance education) and other teaching tools

  • Document and Referencing Style Guide for the Pacific Theological College. (2012–; annual updates since then). (42 pp.) http://ptc.ac.fj/?page_id=591

  • Study skills for theology (Foundation degree course, Cambridge Theological Federation, UK, 2009).

  • Introduction to the Bible (Bachelor degree course, Pacific Theological College, Fiji, 2008).

Electronic books (self-published)

Journal articles (peer reviewed)

  • “Some Witnesses Have …”: The Representation of the New Testament Text in English Bible Versions. TC: A Journal of Biblical Textual Criticism 12 (2007), 1-18. (http://purl.org/TC)

  • Philo and Female Homoeroticism: Philo’s Use of ΓΥΝΑΝΔΡΟΣ and Recent Work on Tribades. Journal for the Study of Judaism 30.2 (1999) 140-147. https://doi.org/10.1163/157006399X00028

  • ‘Pretty Boys’ in Philo’s De Vita Contemplativa. Studia Philonica Annual 10 (1998) 87-107.

  • ‘Mostly Aged Virgins’: Philo and the Presence of the Therapeutrides at Lake Mareotis. Neotestamentica 32 (1998) 191-201. http://hdl.handle.net/10520/AJA2548356_421

  • Human Sexuality, History, and Culture: Some Methodological Problems of Studying ‘Sexuality’ in the New Testament and its World. Scriptura 62 (1997) 335-361. http://scriptura.journals.ac.za/pub/article/view/626

  • The Concept of Class and the Social-Scientific Interpretation of the New Testament: Some Observations on the Analysis of Pauline Christianity in the Context of the Society of the Early Roman Principate. Nederduitse Gereformeerde Teologiese Tydskrif 38 (1997) 70-84.

  • In Fear of Androgyny: Theological Reflections on Masculinity and Sexism, Male Homosexuality and Homophobia, Romans 1:24-27 and Hermeneutics (A Response to Alexander Venter). Journal of Theology for Southern Africa 93 (1995) 32-50.

  • Greek ‘Homosexuality’: Whither the Debate? Akroterion 39 (1994) 46-63. [co-author; with Michael Lambert] http://akroterion.journals.ac.za/pub/article/view/521

  • What Did the ΣΚΗΝΟΠΟΙΟΣ Paul Produce? Neotestamentica 27 (1993) 391-402.

Journal articles and book chapters (not peer-reviewed)

  • Gender-based Violence and Ephesians 5: Reflections on the Ethics, Hermeneutics and Didactics of a Community Bible Study in Suva, Fiji. In Oceanic Voyages in Theology and Theological Education: Reflections and Reminiscences in Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Pacific Theological College, edited by Feleterika Nokise and Holger Szesnat, 133-168. Suva, Fiji Islands: Pacific Theological College (2015). http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6BQ3M

  • A Church-State Covenant on the Environment? Pacific Journal of Theology 44 (2010) 30-56.

  • Who Knows? Wikipedia, Teaching and Research. SBL Forum 4 (9). http://www.sbl-site.org/Article.aspx?ArticleId=603

  • Representing ‘the Text’ in Pacific Bible Translations. Pacific Journal of Theology 26 (2001) 21-54.

  • [Three encyclopaedia entries on St Paul; Josephus Flavius; and Philo of Alexandria.] In: Haggerty, G E (ed) 2000. Gay Histories and Cultures: An Encyclopedia. New York: Garland.

  • Der Inselstaat ist tief gespalten. Der Überblick: Zeitschrift für Ökumenische Begegnung und Internationale Zusammenarbeit 36 (3/2000): 80-85. [co-author; with Manfred Ernst] http://www.der-ueberblick.de/ueberblick.archiv/one.ueberblick.article/ueberblickbf66.html?entry=page.200003.080

  • The Essentialist – Social Constructionist Debate and Biblical Research. In: De Gruchy, S & Germond, P (eds) 1997. Aliens in the Household of God: Homosexuality and Christian Faith in South Africa. Cape Town: David Philip. 270-94.

Dissertations / theses

  • New Testament exegesis and sociology: a critique of Gerd Theissen’s ‘Sociology of early Palestinian Christianity’. BA(Hons) dissertation. University of Natal. Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. (November 1989). Internal examiner: Prof. J.A. Draper (University of Natal). 61pp.

  • The Apostle Paul and His Community in Corinth: A Study in Selected Issues of Socio-Economic Context and Practice. MA thesis, University of Natal (January 1992). Internal examiner: Prof. J.A. Draper (University of Natal); external examiner: Prof. C.A. Wanamaker (University of Cape Town). 294pp.

  • Sexual Desire, ‘Deviant Behaviour’, and Moral Discourse in the Writings of Paul and Philo: An Historical-Exegetical Study of the Moral Problematisation of Sexual Desire and Behaviour in First-Century Hellenistic Judaism and Christianity, With Special Reference to the Work of Michel Foucault. PhD dissertation, University of Natal (August 1998). Supervisor and internal examiner: Prof. J.A. Draper (University of Natal); external examiners: Prof. L.W. Countryman (CDSP, Berkeley, USA), Prof. S.E. Fowl (Loyola College in Maryland, Baltimore, USA). 364pp.


  • Several articles (in progress) on the topic of The Story of Entrusted Money in the Gospels according to Matthew, Luke, and the non-canonical ‘Gospel Written in Hebrew Characters’.

  • Article (in progress): Leserlenkung and Troubling Gaps in the Story of the Workers in the Vineyard.

  • Article (in progress): Plagiarism and Theological Education.


  • New Testament Society of South Africa

  • Society of Biblical Literature

Holger Szesnat

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