Michael R. Cosby

Author, Scholar, Speaker

Book cover for Storyteller from Kalo Chorio.

The Storyteller from Kalo Chorio

Dafnis Panagides, a mesmerizing storyteller, enticed people into his narrative world, leaving them to decipher fact from fiction. A lovably frustrating free spirit, he conformed to no one’s expectations but his own. He said, “I am unpredictable, spontaneous, and incorrigible.” No apology. He grew up in rural Cyprus, fought against British colonial rule of the island, was a member of the first Cypriot parliament, finished all but his Ph.D. dissertation in horticulture, traveled widely, became the father of environmentalism in Cyprus, and was a tireless advocate for the rights of foreign workers. Generous to a fault, always a prankster, Dafnis developed innovative solutions to societal and environmental problems. An ecumenically minded Orthodox Christian, he accepted those who held different beliefs and worked for peace between Greek and Turkish Cypriots. This book captures the complexity of a man who admitted, “I am no saint,” and invites other flawed people to ponder how they can make a positive impact on society.
Published in Grantham, PA, by Stony Run Publishing, 2022

Book cover: Creation of History.

Creation of History: The Transformation of Barnabas from Peacemaker to Warrior Saint 

In this groundbreaking study, Michael Cosby uncovers the unknown history of the transformation of the apostle Barnabas from a peacemaker to a warrior saint. Modern Cypriot beliefs about Barnabas diverge significantly from the New Testament depiction of the man as a leader involved in creative solutions to ethnic conflicts in the early church. Over the centuries, he morphed into a symbol of Greek Cypriot nationalism, bequeathing his power to the archbishop in Nicosia. This modern, mythical St. Barnabas resulted from a complicated blend of religious and political maneuvering at key points in the history of Cyprus. Orthodox clergy made a consensus builder complicit in the ongoing strife between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. Cosby’s thought-provoking book challenges readers to ponder their own beliefs to sort through what is history and what is legend. 

Published in  Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2021. 

Book cover: Interpreting Biblical Literature.

Interpreting Biblical Literature: An Introduction to Biblical Studies

“This book is a gift to students and teachers! With an accessible style and engaging wit, Cosby provides a sure-footed guide to those embarking on the journey into critical study of the biblical literature…. I highly recommend its adoption.”

Brad E. Kelle, Associate Professor of Old Testament, Point Loma Nazarene University

Published in Grantham, PA: Stony Run Publishing, 2009.

Book cover: Apostle on the Edge.

Apostle on the Edge: An Inductive Approach to Paul

Author and teacher Michael R. Cosby provides a masterful guide to Paul’s Letters, helping students relate them to their own cultural setting and figure out for themselves what they mean. Irreverent, entertaining, engaging, and fun, yet grounded in sound theology, Cosby’s textbook, full of pictures, questions, and insights, is certain to be a most popular educational tool.

Published in Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2009. 

Book cover: Portraits of Jesus.

Portraits of Jesus: an Inductive Approach to the Gospels

"Bravo!  A book that communicates the excitement of studying scripture by putting students in touch with the Bible itself! Cosby offers exegesis in disguise, serious academic scholarship decked in the familiar robes of collegial Bible study. He provides valuable information as he takes us through Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, but always steps back to let us discover the best insights for ourselves. The result is an engaging introduction to the Gospels that is at once dependable and delightful, perceptive and potentially life-changing. A lively and lucid guide to the distinctive witnesses of the four Gospels and to the person of Jesus Christ that they reveal.”

—Mark Allan Powell, Leatherman Professor of New Testament, Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Author of Jesus as a Figure in History

Published in Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1999.

Book cover: The Rhetorical Composition and Function of Hebrews 11.

The Rhetorical Composition and Function of Hebrews 11 in Light of Example Lists in Antiquity

“Michael Cosby has made an important contribution to the study of the New Testament in light of ancient rhetoric. He has provided a detailed analysis of one of the most eloquent and powerful chapters in the Bible and has demonstrated the effectiveness with which the author of Hebrews uses a wide variety of rhetorical techniques. He has discussed the impact of those techniques in the Hellenistic world, where most people would hear rather than read the work and where the average reader would speak the words out loud. His arguments are supported by ample references to Greek and Latin rhetorical handbooks, and he has made an illuminating comparison of the chapter with example lists in ancient literature. 

“Cosby has the gift of writing with attractive clarity about the subject. He has shown the relevance of the study of rhetoric for a theological understanding of Hebrews 11 and for the task of translating it into other languages.”

Arthur W. Wainwright, Professor of New Testament, Candler School of Theology, Emory University

Published in Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1988.

book cover: Sex in the Bible.

Sex in the Bible: An Introduction to what the Scriptures teach us about Sexuality

What does the Bible say about divorce, adultery, premarital sex, and homosexuality? For answers to these questions, turn to Sex in the Bible. This modern perspective on sexuality in biblical times… illuminates the meaning of certain biblical passages that speak of sex by explaining the underlying reasons their authors had for writing them; and it even illustrates how beliefs on divorce change and progress within the Bible itself. Sex in the Bible also presents surprising and sometimes shocking revelations about some strange sounding biblical statements—like the law in Deuteronomy that prescribes insoluble marriage between an rapist and his victim!
Published in Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1984. 

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