Persecution and Cosmic Conflict
The Biblical-Theological Reading of Genesis in Galatians

Forward by Thomas R. Schreiner
Wipf & Stock, 2024.

“But just as then the child born as a result of the flesh persecuted the one born as a result of the Spirit, so also now” (Gal 4:29 CSB).

Why do God’s people suffer? In Galatians, Paul makes an argument from persecution for the authenticity of his gospel. Persecution demonstrates that Paul and the Galatians belong to God and have believed in the divinely revealed gospel. While Paul does not offer an explicit theodicy in Galatians, his argument from persecution requires an implicit one. Paul’s theodicy can primarily be understood through his interpretation of earlier Scripture, especially the story of Isaac and Ishmael in Genesis.

In Persecution and Cosmic Conflict, Joshua Caleb Hutchens examines the theme of persecution in Galatians and Paul’s theological context in earlier Scriptures and early Judaism. Hutchens argues that Paul sees persecution as a manifestation of the cosmic conflict between God in Christ and the present evil age. Paul argues for this by appealing to earlier Scripture in Genesis. Hutchens offers a biblical-theological reading of Genesis that makes sense of Paul’s usage of the book in Galatians.

“Joshua Hutchens offers a comprehensive reading of the Galatians’ suffering and persecution within the context of God’s invasion of the present evil age. Second-Temple Jewish literature and the apostle’s appeals to Isaiah and Genesis—especially Ishmael’s persecution of Isaac—provide the necessary backdrop. Ultimately Paul faults a false gospel. Heeding mother Sarah, the Galatians must cast out teachers pretending to be ‘friends.’ For Hutchens’ Paul, suffering is to be expected in this cosmic conflict.”

—A. Andrew Das, distinguished chair and professor of religious studies, Elmhurst University

“Joshua Hutchens contributes to the ongoing conversation of ‘apocalyptic’ in Galatians with this book on ‘cosmic conflict’ and ‘persecution’ in the letter. If his thesis—that the Galatians’ suffering for Christ provides evidence that God is at war with the present evil age—is correct, then this book offers a pastoral word of encouragement and hope to many brothers and sisters in Christ who suffer for their faith in the crucified and risen Lord. Readers will learn from Hutchens’s contribution even when they go in different exegetical directions.”

—Jarvis J. Williams, professor of New Testament interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary


Wipf & Stock

The Bible Guidebook

The Gospel Life Guidebook Series
Gospel Life Press, 2022.

When you set out on a new adventure, it’s essential to pack a guidebook that will help you along your way.

In The Bible Guidebook, biblical scholar and missionary Dr. Joshua Caleb Hutchens helps you to set out on the journey of studying the Bible. The Bible Guidebook introduces you to this book we call the Bible and helps you learn how to study it for yourself. He also gives you the basic historical and theological information you need to make sense of God’s word including information about ancient world history, each book of the Bible, and special topics like the tabernacle and the apocrypha.

Whether you are starting out on the journey yourself or guiding others along the way, The Bible Guidebook is the resource you need to understand the basics in a simple yet challenging way.

The Bible Guidebook is an amazingly comprehensive guide to the history, interpretation, theology, and message of the Bible. It is enormously helpful to have brief summaries of the basic message of the entire Bible. I am grateful to Joshua Hutchens for this useful resource, and I pray that it will be used on the mission field and in churches around the world.”

—Thomas R. Schreiner, James Buchanan Harrison professor of New Testament interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

“The Bible Guidebook provides an excellent introduction to the world of Christian Scripture for the global church. Part hermeneutics textbook and part Bible survey, this accessible book invites Christians everywhere to hear God’s word in all its life-transforming and church-building power. This resource is a ready tool for those on the front lines to make much of Christ to the ends of the earth.”

—Andrew M. King, assistant professor of biblical studies, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary


Gospel Life Press


“Reforming Theological Education: Past Lessons for Africa Today.” Kērussōmen: A Journal of Theology for the African Church 5.1 (2019): 79–98.

“How to protect your mission trip from abusers.” The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (, April 23, 2018. (Download PDF)

“Christian Worship in Hebrews 12:28 as Ethical and Exclusive.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 59.3 (2016): 507–22.

Book Reviews

Review of John Anthony Dunne, Persecution and Participation in Galatians. The Southern Baptist Journal of Theology 22.4 (2018): 131–3.

Review of William A. Dyrness and Oscar García-Johnson, Theology without Borders: An Introduction to Global Conversation. Journal of Global Christianity 3.1 (2017): 104–6. (Available in English, Chinese, and Farsi)

Editorial Work

Theological Review Editor (New Testament). The Grace and Truth Study Bible. Edited by R. Albert Mohler Jr. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2021.