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Growing deeper, extending further: Sydney Tooth

From September 2021, Dr Sydney Tooth will take up a full time position of Lecturer in New Testament and Greek. Having grown up in Texas, she started her undergraduate degree at Baylor University before falling in love with Scotland and transferring to the University of St Andrews, where she studied Theology and Biblical Studies. She then spent a year in Aberdeen as a Relay Worker with UCCF.  After Relay, she moved down to Edinburgh for her Master’s and then PhD degrees in Biblical Studies at the University of Edinburgh. For the past two years, she has been an Adjunct Lecturer of New Testament at the Faith Mission Bible College in Edinburgh.

‍Her speciality is in the Pauline epistles, with her doctoral research focused on 1 and 2 Thessalonians, two letters which she says are relatively overlooked within Pauline scholarship. A key argument in the debate over the authorship of 2 Thessalonians has been its supposedly differing eschatology when compared to 1 Thessalonians. In her work she compares the two letters and shows how, while both letters have different emphases, their eschatological accounts are compatible and, indeed, they very closely match eschatology found in other parts of the New Testament such as the gospels and Revelation. Sydney says “Eschatology is so often taught poorly or ignored completely, but for Paul it was a key conviction and motivating truth: our Lord is coming back!”

‍Off the back of her PhD research, she has become interested in early Christian eschatology and particularly the influence the book of Daniel had on the formation of several apocalyptic sections of the New Testament. She is also researching the role of the various spiritual forces in Paul's letters.

‍For the past few years, along with her husband, she has led the youth group at her church, Chalmers Church in Edinburgh and mentored several of the girls. She also has occasionally spoken at Christian Union events across Scotland.

‍When asked about what she is looking forward to at Oak Hill, Sydney said “The church and the academy are often pitted against each other, but this doesn’t need to be the case, nor should it be, and I value how Oak Hill brings the two together. Academic study of the New Testament can provide such rich insight into these books, allowing us to more clearly understand and communicate the glorious message of the gospel. I am particularly excited to dig into the Greek text with students. I have experienced so many moments of clarity after wrestling with the text in its original language, and I’m looking forward to introducing students to that same joy. I greatly value Oak Hill’s emphasis on combining theological rigour with spiritual formation and am excited to be part of equipping students for a lifetime of faithful ministry.”

‍Sydney is married to Doug and they have a new-born daughter, Sophie. Her interests include travelling, baking, reading novels, and playing the piano.


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