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Scholarship with a Shepherd’s Heart

About the Conference

The Bible is the best-selling book of all time and its influence on Western culture beyond compare. But how did this group of ancient books written and then copied over millennia become the Bible we now know?

Join us for the Text & Canon Institute’s inaugural conference and learn from internationally known speakers about how the Bible has been copied, collected, and confessed as God’s sacred words.


  • When: February 21–22, 2020
  • Where: First Baptist Church Tempe
    4525 S McClintock Dr, Tempe, AZ 85282
  • Ticket prices: $30 online • $40 at the door

Online registration is closed. Please buy tickets at the door.

Plenary Speakers


Daniel B. Wallace

Dr. Dan Wallace is the Executive Director of the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (CSNTM) and Senior Research Professor of New Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary. He is a past president of the Evangelical Theological Society, a consultant for several Bible translations, and the author of numerous journal articles and books including Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics.


Peter J. Gentry

Dr. Peter Gentry is Donald L. Williams Professor of Old Testament Interpretation at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the author of many articles and books including Kingdom through Covenant and How to Read and Understand the Biblical Prophets. He is currently editing Ecclesiastes and Proverbs for the Göttingen Septuagint Series and is giving leadership to the Hexapla Institute.


Stephen Dempster

Dr. Stephen Dempster is Professor of Religious Studies at Crandall University in New Brunswick Canada where he has taught Old Testament and Hebrew Language for twenty-seven years. He is the author of Dominion and Dynasty: A Theology of the Hebrew Bible and is currently writing commentaries on Genesis, Micah, and Jeremiah. He is passionate about trying to connect Scripture with life in our postmodern world.

Breakout Speakers


Jeff Cate

Dr. Jeff Cate is Professor of New Testament at California Baptist University and has taught at Moi University in Kenya and Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. He has published numerous articles and presented widely on the textual history of the New Testament.


Darian Lockett

Dr. Darian Locket is Associate Professor of New Testament at Talbot School of Theology and the author of numerous books including An Introduction to the Catholic Epistles and Letters from the Pillar Apostles: The Formation of the Catholic Epistles as a Canonical Collection.

Anthony Ferguson

Anthony Ferguson

Dr. Anthony Ferguson is an adjunct faculty member at Gateway Seminary and California Baptist University. He completed his PhD on the Dead Sea Scrolls under the supervision of Russell Fuller at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.


Timothy N. Mitchell

Tim Mitchell is a PhD student at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom. He has published a number of articles and his current research focuses on writing and book culture in early Christianity as well as the textual history of the Gospel of Mark.

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About the Institute

The Phoenix Seminary Text & Canon Institute exists to encourage research and publication of scholarly work on the history of the canon and the text of the Bible.  Learn more →


Friday, Feb. 21

Arrive/Registration (6:00 pm)

Welcome (6:30 pm)

Plenary: Dr. Peter Gentry – Chaos Theory and the Text of the Old Testament


  • Dr. Jeff Cate – The Stories They Tell: A Look at Interesting Variants in the Transmission of the New Testament
  • Dr. Darian Lockett – The Catholic Epistles: What Do James, Peter, John, and Jude have in Common?
  • Dr. Anthony Ferguson – Listening to the Dead Sea Scrolls
  • Timothy N. Mitchell – Where Inspiration is Found: Putting the New Testament Autographs in Context

Dismiss (9:00 pm)

Saturday, Feb. 22

Coffee and pastries (8:30 am)

Opening remarks (9:00 am)

Plenary: Dr. Stephen Dempster – How the Bible Became the Bible


Plenary: Dr. Daniel B. Wallace – Is What We Have Now What They Wrote Then?

Panel discussion

Dismiss (12:00 pm)



Plenty of parking is available on site at First Baptist. Volunteer attendants will be present to help with parking. Please plan to arrive early.

Group Check-in

If you purchased tickets for another person or for a group, they do not need to be with you at check-in. Just make sure they check in under your name not theirs. They can pick their breakout speaker at check-in.

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