Sunday, August 30, 2020


Listen to Matt Bates’s hour-long interview with me on theological issues related to Caesar and the Sacrament. Click link below to access the OnScript podcast. 

Here is Matt’s short evaluation of my book:

OnScript’s Review: When we recover the first-century context for Christian baptism, we discover its explosive sociopolitical power. Those who were baptized were rejecting Rome’s empire built on coercive violence, instead pledging a sacrament (oath) of allegiance to a cruciform king. Caesar and the Sacrament is a must read for those investigating salvation in early Christianity. –Matthew W. Bates, author of Gospel Allegiance.

You can find the podcast at:

Thursday, August 13, 2020


A Master of Divinity (MDiv) is a “professional” degree offered by a seminary that prepares one for a career in ministry or admission into a seminary DMin program. The DMin is awarded after completing the required course work and writing of a ministry-oriented dissertation. Seminary programs are usually accredited by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS).

A Masters of Arts (MA) is an “academic” graduate degree offered by a college or university that prepares one for a career in a related field or admission into an American university PhD program. Such degrees are approved by regional accrediting agencies.

Students with a seminary MDiv in hand who wish to enter a university PhD program will likely be asked to earn an “academic” MA from an accredited college/university prior to being considered for admission.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020


What is the difference between a Seminary and a Divinity School?

A seminary is a graduate school representing a particular denomination and/or theological persuasion that trains students for ministry-related careers. The MDiv is the primary degree.

A Divinity school is a graduate school linked to a university. Just as Harvard University has a Law School and a Medical School, so it has a Divinity School that trains students for ministry-related careers. The MDiv is the primary degree. 

Because Divinity schools are related to research universities, they have access to additional resources such as libraries and religion professors. Divinity schools, unlike seminaries, are usually open to a variety of theological perspectives.

Saturday, August 08, 2020


What is the difference between a university and a seminary PhD in Religious Studies? The former prepares a person to teach at a college or university. It is a research-driven degree. 

Universities that offer PhDs are ranked according to the quality of their programs and placed into one of three tiers. For example, Harvard and Rice are top tier schools. Fordham and University of Dallas are second tier. Youngstown State University and Regent University are third tier. A PhD graduate from Regent will not likely land a teaching job at the University of Chicago. But a Harvard grad may teach at Regent.

Seminaries are professional schools that prepare graduates for ministry. Most seminaries offer practical doctorates (DMin) to help pastors hone the skills of their craft. Early on, however, a few seminaries such as Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (KY) and Union Theological Seminary (NY) began to offer academic doctorates (PhDs) for those wishing to be scholar-pastors or to teach at a seminary or a Christian college.* Other seminaries soon followed. Seminary PhD degrees usually take 3 years to complete.

In the wider world of academia, seminary PhD programs in biblical studies are not as respected, rightly or wrongly, as their university counterparts because they are creedal. Some seminary dissertations are more “topic-oriented” than “thesis-oriented” and fail to plumb the depths of primary source materials. Whereas, students in a PhD program at Yale or UT Austin must become familiar with everything that has ever been written on the limited scope of their thesis. These programs usually take 5-6 years to complete.

Seminaries accept the majority of the applicants into their PhD programs. This is the not the case at top-tier universities. Some Religion departments accept fewer than 2-4 new students per year into their program. The competition is brutal. 

Universities in the top two tiers usually offer PhD students stipends starting around $20,000 per year. Seminary PhD students rarely receive stipends, but they may find employment as adjuncts.

Which is better—a University or Seminary PhD? That’s a difficult question. Each has a niche in education. It’s like comparing apples and oranges. Both are fruit, but are unique in other ways.  A better question may be, “Which program is best for you?” That depends on your interests, career goals, and abilities. Do you wish to devote your life’s energy to historical research and scholarly publications? If so, you may want to pursue a university PhD.  If you are more interested in teaching or ministering  to Christians, then a seminary PhD may fit the bill.

*Graduation from a select few Ivy League seminaries, such as Princeton Theological Seminary, might open door to a faculty position at a university.

Friday, June 19, 2020


As a divided America entered the third year of its bloodiest war, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation on July 1, 1863. He decreed “that all persons held as slaves" within the rebellious states "are, and henceforward shall be free.”

Word of the proclamation spread far and wide, but many did not become aware of their freedom for nearly two years! On June 19, 1865 General Gordon Granger marched into Galveston, Texas, the remotest of the former slave states, and read the Federal order that all slaves in Texas were liberated. Celebrations followed with singing, dancing, and jubilations. The date became an annual, albeit, unofficial holiday, for many Americans of color.

Juneteenth is an opportunity to acknowledge the horrors of slavery and to proclaim and protect liberty for all throughout our land.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020


Congratulations to my son Daniel Streett for successfully defending his PhD Thesis this morning — Durham University (UK)!! His readers/examiners were Loren Stuckenbruck (U of Munich) and David Janzen (U of Durham). His thesis supervisors were Drs. Jan Dochhorn and John Barclay.

Heavenly Holidays: The Reception of the Jewish Festivals in Jubilees, Philo of Alexandria, and Pseudo-Philo 

STREETT, DANIEL,RYAN (2020) Heavenly Holidays: The Reception of the Jewish Festivals in Jubilees, Philo of Alexandria, and Pseudo-Philo. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.
Full text not available from this repository.
Author-imposed embargo until 29 May 2023.


In this thesis, I examine the reception of the Jewish festivals in the Book of Jubilees, the works of Philo of Alexandria, and the Liber Antiquitatum Biblicarum (Pseudo-Philo). I argue that each text attempts to flesh out in its own way the meaning of the Jewish festivals for its audience and historical situation. Specifically, I identify three main strategies these authors employ in presenting the significance of the festivals. First, there is an attempt to naturalize the festivals, i.e. to portray them as intrinsic to the created order. Second, these authors transcendentalize the festivals, i.e. they present the meaning of the festivals as being tied to heavenly events. Third, these works festalize the Scriptures. That is, they present scriptural episodes (often from the patriarchal period) as having taken place on the date of a certain festival and, in some cases, as having included observance of that festival. I also note a few occasions on which these authors employ a fourth strategy, eschatologizing the festivals, i.e. finding in their motifs and history a preview of Israel’s future redemption.

Chapter One introduces these strategies and locates them in the context of debates concerning the nature of law in the Hellenistic Era. Chapters Two and Three address festal material in Jubilees, while Chapter Four engages the festal ideology in the writings of Philo of Alexandria, and Chapter 5 addresses the Liber Antiquitatum Biblicarum. Finally, my conclusion (Chapter 6) offers some brief reflections on the similarities and differences among these three authors and suggests a taxonomy of festal ideology to aid further research. 
Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Festivals, Judaism, Philo of Alexandria, Pseudo-Philo, Book of Jubilees
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Theology and Religion, Department of
Thesis Date:2020
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:01 Jun 2020 12:00

Daniel also holds degrees from Criswell College (BA), Yale University Divinity School (MA), and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (PhD).


I will be recording a podcast with John Morehead this afternoon on my book SUBVERSIVE MEALS. I am not sure when it will be put online, but you can eventually access it at:

We will be discussing the importance of the Lord’s Supper as a real meal in the age of Covid 19 and Black Lives Matter. Should be interesting and stimulating.

Saturday, June 06, 2020

Wisdom and Age

I wish growing older naturally led to more wisdom. Unfortunately, it does not. The adage, “There is no fool like an old fool” still holds true. Many foolish older people, however, were foolish younger people. They lacked discernment and common sense then as well as now.

Gaining wisdom is a lifelong endeavor. It comes only after thoughtful contemplation, studying history, reading and considering positions and opinions different than your own, walking in other people’s shoes, admitting that your presuppositions may be wrong, being able make adjustments in your thinking, placing ego aside in light of new evidence, treating all people with respect because they are made in God’s image.

Most people are not willing to expend the necessary energy to obtain wisdom.

Humility is the fertile soil where wisdom is cultivated and grown. I am afraid many of us have a lot more hoeing to do.