Greetings! My name is Benjamin Giffone; I’m a biblical and religious studies educator, an ordained minister, and a church musician. This website includes both my academic writings and my occasional thoughts on culture, biblical studies, worship & liturgy, sports, politics, and pretty much everything else. [I, not any organization or institution with which I am associated, am solely responsible for the content of this site.]
Email me at: benj [at] thinkhardthinkwell [dot] com.
I have served on the faculty of LCC International University in Klaipėda, Lithuania, since 2014. From 2017 to 2021 I served as the inaugural director of the new Center for Faith and Human Flourishing. I have also taught courses at other theological institutions, including the Evangelical Bible Institute (Lithuania), Zaporozhe Bible Seminary (Ukraine), and Baptist Theological Seminary (Singapore).
Family obligations called us back to the USA for the 2015-2017 school years (read here). During that time, I served as adjunct faculty in Eastern University’s Christian Studies Department, and taught several courses by Skype for LCC.
I also taught several courses for Cairn University’s School of Divinity between 2010 and 2012.
I previously hosted and produced an occasional podcast (Out of Exile) on a whole range of topics in biblical scholarship with my sister, Rebekah Devine. The Out of Exile feed now mainly exists to share my sermon and lecture audio.
I took undergraduate (2006) and master’s (2009) degrees in Biblical Studies from Cairn University (formerly Philadelphia Biblical University), with a brief stop at Westminster Theological Seminary along the way.
From 2011 through 2014, I completed a graduate program in Old Testament at Stellenbosch University under the supervision of Louis C. Jonker. I received the Master of Theology (MTh) degree (cum laude) in March 2012 for a thesis entitled, “From Time-Bound to Timeless: The Rhetoric of Lamentations and its Appropriation.” In January 2014, I successfully defended my PhD dissertation, “Sit at My Right Hand: The Chronicler’s Portrait of the Tribe of Benjamin in the Social Context of Yehud.”
I have been a research associate in the Department of Old and New Testament at Stellenbosch’s Faculty of Theology since 2014, and I continue to receive research funding from the South African Department of Higher Education and Training due to this affiliation. [There are no theological restrictions or other stipulations on my research as a result of this funding.]
A monograph based on my dissertation was published by Bloomsbury T&T Clark in the LHBOTS series in 2016 (paperback in 2018). For this monograph I was a recipient of the 2021 Manfred Lautenschlaeger Award for Theological Promise.
My articles have been published in international journals such as Vetus Testamentum, Scandinavian Journal of Old Testament, and European Journal of Theology. My main research interest continues to be the OT narrative literature. I am currently preparing a second monograph tentatively titled, Gathering and Fitting Unhewn Stones: Varying Conceptions of Centralization in Persian-Era Hebrew Literature. This project focuses on the portraits of Northern Israelite and Benjaminite cultic sites, in comparison to the laws of the Pentateuch pertaining to cultic centralization.
I have also written on the textual history of the OT and its implications for Christian theology, the NT’s use of the OT, and role of technology in the church and society.
I have served as a part-time music director at three different churches in PA, most recently at Lansdale Presbyterian Church from 2011 to 2014. I have preached in churches of various stripes (Presbyterian, Dutch Reformed, Mennonite, Pietist, Baptist, independent).
In 2018 I was ordained as a minister by the Heritage Presbytery of ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians. In addition to my ministry as a teacher of the scriptures at LCC, I serve part-time as pastorinis bendradarbis (pastoral associate) at the Klaipėda Free Christian Church.
I’m a native North Jerseyan, living and learning in Eastern Europe…Old Testament professor, ordained minister, occasional liturgist…husband to Corrie…father to Daniel and Elizabeth…eldest sibling to three….I enjoy reading about history and economics, and watching and playing most sports.
From 2008 to 2014, I played all manner of instruments with three moody, broody Italian brothers in a band called The No Longer.
Most importantly, I’m a sinner, loved by God for Jesus’s sake, learning to find my identity in Christ alone and to live by the Holy Spirit.