Douglas E. Oakman

Professor of New Testament

Douglas Oakman

Office Location:Hauge Administration Building - Room 227-F

Status:On Sabbatical

Curriculum Vitae: View my CV

  • Professional
  • Biography
  • Personal

Additional Titles/Roles

  • Small Groups Leader for Campus Ministry


  • Ph.D., Bible, New Testament, Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley , CA, 1986
  • M.Div., Christ Seminary - Seminex, St. Louis, MO, 1979
  • B.A. with Honors, Religion, University of Iowa, 1975

Areas of Emphasis or Expertise

  • Hebrew Bible
  • New Testament
  • History of the Bible
  • Historical Jesus
  • Social Scientific Criticism


  • Jesus, Debt, and the Lord's Prayer: First-Century Debt and Jesus' Intentions, (Cascade Books, 2014) : View Book
  • The Political Aims of Jesus: Peasant Politics in Herodian Galilee, (Fortress Press, 2012) : View Book
  • Jesus and the Peasants (Matrix: The Bible in Mediterranean Context), (Wipf & Stock, 2008) : View Book
  • Palestine in the Time of Jesus: Social Structures and Social Conflicts with co-author K. C. Hanson, (Fortress Press, 1998) : View Book
  • Jesus and the Economic Questions of His Day, (The Edwin Mellen Press, 1986) : View Book

Selected Presentations

  • Edgar Goodspeed Endowed Lecture, Two Kingdoms, One Table: Jesus in Political Perspective, Denison University, Granville, OH (March 2014)
  • Lutheran Studies Conference, Two Kingdoms, One Table: Jesus in Political Perspective, Pacific Lutheran University (2012)
  • Lutheran Studies Conference, What Has God to Do With Caesar? Lutheran Perspectives on Political Life, Pacific Lutheran University (2012)


  • Who's Who in America, 2010, 2015
  • K. T. Tang Excellence Award for Research, 2007
  • PLU Faculty Excellence Award for Outstanding Achievements in Teaching, Scholarship, and Service - 1993
  • Burlington Northern Faculty Excellence Award, 1993
  • Phi Beta Kappa, 1975


The Reverend Doctor Douglas E. Oakman
Professor of Religion, New Testament

Douglas E. Oakman is Professor of Religion at Pacific Lutheran University where he has served on the faculty since 1988. Prior to that he taught at Santa Clara University, the University of San Francisco, and San Francisco Theological Seminary. Oakman was Chair of the Department of Religion from 1996-2003, and served as Dean of the Division of Humanities in the College of Arts and Sciences from 2004-2010.

Oakman is a graduate of the University of Iowa (B.A. in 1975 with honors in Religion) and Christ Seminary-Seminex (M.Div. 1979), and received his Ph.D. in New Testament from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA (1986). He is author of five books: Jesus and the Economic Questions of His Day (Edwin Mellen, 1986); with K. C. Hanson the award-winning Palestine in the Time of Jesus: Social Structures and Social Conflicts (Fortress Press, 1998; second edition 2008); Jesus and the Peasants (Cascade Books, 2008); The Political Aims of Jesus: Peasant Politics in Herodian Galilee (Fortress Press, 2012); and Jesus, Debt, and the Lord’s Prayer (Cascade Books, 2014). He has published numerous articles applying the social sciences to biblical studies, such as: “Was the Galilean Economy Oppressive or Prosperous? Socio-Archaeology and Dimensions of Exploitation in First-Century Palestine” (2014); “Execrating? or Execrable Peasants!” (2013); “The Shape of Power and Political-Economy in Herodian Galilee,” Liberating Biblical Study: Scholarship, Art, and Action in Honor of the Center and Library for the Bible and Social Justice” (2011); “The Perennial Relevance of St. Paul”; and “The Radical Jesus: You Cannot Serve God and Mammon” (2004). During the 1990s, Oakman participated in archaeological excavations at Jotapata and Cana in Galilee.
Oakman was born and reared in Iowa. He is an ordained minister on the roster of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and served during the 1980s as an Associate Pastor in West Oakland, CA. He is a connoisseur of classical jazz, long-time railfan, and Ham radio operator with callsign AD7AV. He resides in Tacoma, WA with wife Deborah.


  • Ham radio
  • Railroad history and operations
  • Building computers


Chair of Religion 1996-2003
Dean of Humanities 2004-2010