Efraín Agosto is the Professor of New Testament Studies at New York Theological Seminary. Formerly, he taught at Hartford Seminary (1995-2011). He completed studies at Columbia University (B.A., 1977), Gordon-Conwell Seminary (M.Div., 1982) and Boston University (Ph.D., 1996). He is the author of two books: Servant Leadership: Jesus and Paul (Chalice Press, 2005) and Corintios (Fortress Press, 2008), a Spanish-language commentary on 1-2 Corinthians, in addition to numerous articles and book chapters, mostly in Pauline studies.

Efraín is a Puerto Rican New Yorker, who currently resides with his wife Olga in West Hartford, Connecticut. They have two adult children, and are members of the United Church of Christ.

Posts By This Author

On Scripture: Pressing On Toward Higher Goals

by Efraín Agosto 03-13-2013
Atop a mountain, Pavel Ilyukhin / Shutterstock.com

Atop a mountain, Pavel Ilyukhin / Shutterstock.com

I have often wondered about the trajectories my life has taken. I was raised a Latino Pentecostal in New York City but educated in a liberal arts tradition at Columbia University in Manhattan. I was exposed to evangelical and then liberal Protestant traditions in seminary and graduate school. My theological views have changed over the years. I have moved from Pentecostal to Baptist to Congregational (United Church of Christ) church traditions. 

Yet at each step of the way, I have been able to build on the solid foundations of the past in moving to new understandings for the new circumstances in my life. These life transitions never started from “scratch.” Some of these same tensions might have motivated Paul in considering, at least rhetorically, his past a “loss” in comparison to a new way of living and being in Philippians 3:4b-14.


In these days, what are the sources of such life-altering “new knowledge?” There are many places for us to turn. Though I grew up without guns, I was surrounded by plenty of gun violence in my inner city neighborhoods in the Bronx and Brooklyn. In the aftermath of the tragic losses of our children and educators in Newtown, Conn., I wonder if we have gained any new knowledge. Apparently, we live in a country that values the freedom to own guns, even overly powerful ones like assault rifles. “Second Amendment rights” are invoked as if our founders could predict the kinds of weapons that would be available to regular Americans today, even with the “militia” (local police forces) that we also have available to us.