Michael Eschelbach, PhD


College of Arts and Sciences

Professor Theology and Philosophy

Dr. Eschelbach teaches classes in New Testament studies, the History of Biblical Interpretation, Biblical Perspectives on Gender, the Philosophy of Religion and World Religions. Among his research interests are biblical interpretation and male/female relationships. Dr. Eschelbach has been a member of Concordia’s faculty since 2000.


  • PhD, Westminster Theological Seminary; Philadelphia, Penn.
  • MDiv, Concordia Theological Seminary; Fort Wayne, Ind.
  • BS, Eastern Michigan University; Ypsilanti, Mich.

Academic and Professional Highlights


  • December, 2012 And the Storms Came: A Collection of Correspondence from the Distressed. Eugene: Wipf & Stock, 2012.
  • “Why Apologize? Engaging challenges to the fait for educators in Lutheran ministries,” Lutheran Education Association eMonograph series, Summer 2009.
  • “Election in Ephesians 1: Individual or Corporate?” Testamentum Imperium, Spring 2009.
  • “Hagios in Pauline Letters: The Extrinsic Source of Christian Holiness,” Testamentum Imperium, Spring 2009.
  • “Mark 10: 32-45: Case of Mistaken Identity,” Concordia Pulpit Resources, Fall 2008.
  • “Philippians 2: 5-11: How Could You Stoop So Low?” Concordia Pulpit Resources, Fall 2008.
  • Introduction, Study Notes for the New Testament, 2007.
  • Marriage and the Counsel of God, 2007.
  • Called to be God’s People: An Introduction to the Old Testament,” 2006.
  • Has Joab Foiled David? A Literary Study of the Importance of Joab’s Character in Relation to David, 2005.
  • “Song of Songs: Increasing Appreciation of and Restraint in Matters of Love,” Andrews University Seminary Studies, Fall 2004.
  • “Classroom Environment – A Winnable War,” Teachers Interaction, Fall 2004.
  • James & Jude", LifeLight, Enrichment Magazine/Study Guide, (Concordia Publishing House). Summer 2001.
  • “The Proper Care and Feeding of Catechumens,” Lutheran Education Journal, Summer 2001.
  • Essays, “Alcohol,” “Capital Punishment,” “Celibacy,” “Sabbath,” The Everyday Study Bible, 1996.
  • Review, “Songs of Songs by Cheryl Exum,” JETS, June 2007.
  • Review, “Inspiration and Incarnation: Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testment by Peter Enns,” JETS, December 2005.
  • Analysis, New Testament’s meaning and use of “nomos” and offered comprehensive recommendations for its translation in the “God’s Word to the Nations Bible” translation

Download Publications Available from Dr. Eschelbach

Biblical Commentary and Studies

Has Joab Foiled David? A Literary Study of the Importance of Joab’s Character in Relation to David
 Was David a good man ruined by the negative influence of the evil villain, Joab, or was David himself the villain, who wrongfully cast his dark shadow over Joab?  A careful reading of text to examine the depth and complexity of David’s character through considering Joab as his foil. 
Available: From publisher only. www.peterlang.com

James and Jude
Part of the in-depth LifeLight Bible study series including the following topics: trials and temptations; listening and responding; faith in action; taming the tongue; conflict; patience; dealing with scoffers.

Materials include student leaflets, historical background and current articles that relate to the lesson. Intended for personal and group in-depth study of Scripture.

Called to be God’s People

An introduction to the Old Testament written from a Lutheran perspective, this book presents the Scripture’s message of Law and Gospel, and focuses on the messianic prophecies that point to Jesus as the fulfillment of God’s promises to Israel. 

The Lutheran Study Bible

The study notes for Malachi and Philippians provided by Rev. Dr. Eschelbach.

Weekly Communications

Word Without Walls
A weekly email devotional that contains a brief meditation on Scripture and the Christian life, along with a question and answer to a New Testament passage. 

Availability: To join in this correspondence, please email Dr. Eschelbach.

Pastoral Counseling

And the Storms Came: A Collection of Correspondence from the Distressed
A collection of letters between a pastor and people of all ages and circumstances who are struggling with big questions in life—free will, the truth of the Bible, and finding peace.

Subjects are presented in a straight-forward manner, with a focus on breaking down misconceptions and fallacies that have crept into people’s thoughts about the Bible, to reveal the intent and meaning of Scripture. This text combats difficult issues that apply to both Christians and non-Christians alike.

Marriage and the Counsel of God
A product of more than thirty years of marital counseling, this book uses Luther’s Small Catechism as an outline and relies heavily on biblical texts to address the many and various aspects of relationships.

The book includes both preliminary material and a workbook to help prepare, focus, and reflect on this study. Material is suitable for individual study, youth groups, college classrooms, and adult studies.


Upcoming Publications

Apocalypse How? A Method for Understanding the Revelation of St. John by Way of Translation (Expected Fall 2013)
Not a commentary, but rather a translation of the Book of Revelations, providing the Greek text for reference; the author’s translation as the original reader would have seen it; the author’s translation as the original reader would have understood it; and notes for further explanation. 

Will be available through the author only.

Questions and Answers to New Testament Texts
(Tentative title, Expected Fall 2014)

A collection of New Testament questions—from the simple to complex, from the ordinary to profound—gathered from college students over the course of a decade, with responses to each inquiry.  The text is comprehensive, and arranged by New Testament book, chapter and verse. 

Want to Learn More?

  • Unless otherwise noted, all books are available on Amazon.com.
  • For more information on upcoming projects and books, contact Dr. Eschelbach.


  • “Swimming Upstream: How to Advocate for the Adversarial,” Apologetics Seminar, Bethel Lutheran Church; Clearwater, Fla., March 2009.
  • “Marriage Matters: Weddings, Wars, and Winning Ways,” Imperial Nebraska Annual Conference; Imperial, Neb., October 2008.
  • “Mystery in the Water and Identity in the Body and Blood,” LCMS National Youth Gathering; Orlando, Fla., August 2007.
  • “Sexual Brokenness: ‘Ships Passing in the Night? Biblical Means of Navigating Divorce and Re-marriage’” The Cranach Institute; Fort Wayne, Ind., September 2006.
  • “Marriage Matters: From Bride of Christ to Bride of Frankenstein?” Central Illinois District Pastor’s Conference; Springfield, Ill., October 2005.
  • “Media as Motivation,” Lutheran Education Association Convocation’ Indianapolis, Ind., April 5, 2005.
  • “The Gospel as ‘Counter Intelligence,’” Concordia University System Theologians Conference; Dallas, Texas, March 5, 2005
  • “The Matrix: How to use media and art to make theology live in the hearts and minds of young people,” Northern Illinois District LCMS Youth Conference; Lisle, Ill., Nov. 7-9, 2004.
  • “Wine, Women and Song” (a radical explanation for the conflict and a simple way forward in issues of fellowship, gender issues, and worship), Lutheran Student Fellowship Seminar, University of Minnesota; Minneapolis, Minn., Oct. 25, 2003.
  • “The Matrix: Media as the Pulse of Religious Thinking and Invitation to Dialog,” In His Face National Youth Gathering; Dallas, Texas, July 29-31, 2003.
  • “An Inspired Approach to Catechism and Confirmation,” SELC District Pastor’s Conference; Alsip, Ill., Feb. 4, 2003.
  • “Wine, Women, Song; a Study of 1 Corinthians 10,11,” Concordia Deaconess Conference’ April 16, 2002.
  • “Not On My Watch! An Inspired Approach to Catechism/ Confirmation Instruction,” Lutheran Education Association National Convocation; Minneapolis, Minn., April 18-20, 2002.
  • “Predestination, Who does the Choosing?” National Youth Congress Gathering; St. Charles Ill., March 16, 2002.
  • “Marriage Matters; Biblical Perspectives that Make All the Difference in Marriage Relationships,” Northern Illinois District Pastor’s Conference, October 2001.
  • “I Can’t Hear Myself Preach for the Snoring,” (a study of hermeneutics which yields captivating engagement through public speaking, including preaching), Institute for Church Studies, Northern Illinois District LCMS; September 2001.
  • “Has David Foiled Joab? A Literary Study of the Importance of Joab’s Character in Relation to David,” Arts & Sciences Research and Faculty Development Series, Concordia University Chicago; River Forest, March 15, 2001.
  • “Linguistic Approaches to Understanding the Controlling Ideas in 1 Peter,” Concordia Theological Seminary Symposium, January 2000.
  • “Biblical Catechesis: How to Convey God’s Word in a Meaningful and Reasonable Way,” presented at several workshops to clergy and educators in Taiwan and provided as a one week intensive course for credit, China Lutheran Seminary: Hsinchu, Taiwan, 1993.
  • “An Interpreter’s Approach to Research and Meaningful Translation of Biblical Words & Concepts,” Interpreter’s Training Institute, Concordia Theological Seminary, 1985.