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Lane C. McGaughy

George H. Atkinson Professor Emeritus of Religious and Ethical Studies, 1981-2007; Chair, Classical Studies Program, 1998-2005; Senior Research Fellow, Center for Ancient Studies and Archaeology, 2009-present

Headshot of Lane C. McGaughy

Contact Information

Salem Campus

900 State Street
Salem  Oregon  97301


Professor McGaughy came to Salem in 1981 as the first holder of the George H. Atkinson Chair of Religious and Ethical Studies. Before, he and his late mentor, Robert Funk, had helped to establish the Religious Studies Department at the University of Montana. In addition, they founded Scholars Press, and Prof. McGaughy served as one of its first editors.

At Willamette University, Prof. McGaughy became a driving force in the establishment of the Classical Studies Program (founded in 1998) and chaired it for many years. The author of a book on Hellenistic Greek grammar and the co-author (with Bob Funk) of a New Testament Greek textbook, Prof. McGaughy taught elementary ancient Greek and classes on Herodotus, Greek biography, Hellenistic Greek literature, and Hellenistic mystery religions for the Classical Studies Program and received the United Methodist Distinguished Teaching Award.

Prof. McGaughy was also instrumental in the founding of the Willamette Journal of the Liberal Arts (1983), the Salem Chapter of the Archaeological Institute of America (chartered in 1995), and, as an ordained United Methodist minister himself, in the establishment of a non-denominational theological seminary in Salem, the Northwest House of Theological Studies (1998). In Santa Rosa, CA, he and Bob Funk started the Westar Institute and the associated Polebridge Press. Furthermore, Prof. McGaughy has served as President and Executive Secretary both of the Pacific Northwest Region of the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature.

Professor McGaughy retired from Willamette University after 25 years of service in May 2007. After serving as Director of the new Center of Ancient Studies and Archaeology (est. 2007) at Willamette University from 2007-2009, he is now the Center's first Senior Research Fellow. In addition, he continues to be the editor of Polebridge Press and to serve on the Board of Directors of the Westar Institute and the Northwest House of Theological Studies.


  • A.B., Ohio Wesleyan University
  • B.D., Drew Theological Seminary
  • M.A., Ph.D., Vanderbilt University

Select Publications

Toward a descriptive analysis of [einai] as a linking verb in New Testament Greek. Missoula, Mont.: Society of Biblical Literature for the Linguistics Seminar, 1972 (SBL Dissertation Series, 6).

"The Fear of Yahweh and the Mission of Judaism: A Postexilic Maxim and its Early History, Christian Expansion in the Parable of the Talents. Journal of Biblical Literature 94.2 (1975) 235-45.

A Beginning-Intermediate Grammar of Hellenistic Greek: Workbook. Missoula, Mont.: Scholars Press, 1976.

"Amadeus and the Prodigal Son," Willamette Journal of the Liberal Arts 4.2 (1989) 1-11.

"Jesus' Parables and the Fiction of the Kingdom," The Fourth R 3-4 (1990) 8-11.

"A Short History of Parable Interpretation," Forum. A Journal of the Foundations and Facets of Western Culture 8.3-4 (1992) 229-45.

"The Kimball School and Methodist Theological Education in the Northwest," Willamette Journal of the Liberal Arts 7 (1992) 113-23.

"Words Before Deeds," Forum. A Journal of the Foundations and Facets of Western Culture 1.2 (1998) 387-98.

"Infancy Narratives and Hellenistic Lives," Forum. A Journal of the Foundations and Facets of Western Culture 2.1 (1999) 25-39.

"The Search for the Historical Jesus: Why Start with the Sayings?" in: Roy W. Hoover, ed. Profiles of Jesus, Santa Rosa: Polebridge Press, 2002, 117-27.

(with A. J. Dewey, R. W. Hoover, D. D. Schmidt), transl. and comm., The Authentic Letters of Paul: A New Reading of Paul's Rhetoric and Meaning. Salem, Ore.: Polebridge Press, 2010.

Willamette University

Classical Studies

Willamette University
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.
503-370-6077 voice
503-370-6944 fax