Osvaldo Vena

Faculty Emeritus

Born in Azul, Argentina, on October 29, 1950, he attended the Buenos Aires Bible Institute of the Christian and Missionary Alliance from where he graduated in 1975 with a Th.B. He came to the U.S.A. in August of 1976 to attend Bethel Theological Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he obtained an M.Div. in 1980. During his time at Bethel he served as a minister in an independent Hispanic congregation in Minneapolis.

In 1980, he entered Princeton Theological Seminary, from where he graduated in 1981 with a Th.M. Back in Argentina he was ordained in 1985 by the Reformed Church and was appointed to serve in two different congregations of the Presbyterian Church, first as interim minister and later as senior pastor. From 1983 to 1989 he completed his Th.D. in ISEDET (Instituto Superior de Estudios Teológicos) in Buenos Aires. Invited by the Church of Scotland, he spent nine months in New College, University of Edinburgh, doing post-doctoral research.

From Scotland, he came to the U.S.A. where he served as an interim minister in a UCC congregation in Joliet, Illinois and as a bilingual teacher in two different school districts in the Chicago area. He was called in 1995 to Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary as an Assistant Professor of New Testament Interpretation and director of the then Center of Hispanic Ministries. He was promoted to Associate Professor in June of 2000 and granted tenure in October of 2001. In May of 2010 he was promoted to the rank of Full Professor. Upon retirement, on January 2020, he was granted the status of Emeritus Professor of New Testament Interpretation.

His teaching career spans from elementary education to graduate school. He has taught as an adjunct professor at McCormick Theological Seminary, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC), Northern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Brite Divinity School. He gives seminars and workshops on a variety of biblical subjects and teaches regularly at churches, including his own, First United Methodist Church of Downers Grove, where he leads a regular Sunday School class for adults.

Apart from many articles and essays, written both in English and Spanish, he has published nine books: The Parousia and Its Rereadings. The Development of the Eschatological Consciousness in the Writings of the New Testament (Peter Lang, 2001), Apocalipsis (Revelation) (Augsburg Fortress, 2008), Evangelio de Marcos: Comentario para Exegesis y Traducción (Mark: A Commentary for Exegesis and Translation) (United Bible Societies, 2008), Jesus, Disciple of the Kingdom. Mark’s Christology for a Community in Crisis (Pickwick Publications, 2014), Roya. Novela y Cuentos (Roya. Novella and Short Stories)( Editorial Dunken, 2018), Antifaz Negro. El impacto de lo religioso en la vida de un niño (Antifaz Negro. The Impact of the Religious in the Life of a Child) (JuanUno1 Publishing House, 2020), Postcards from Egypt. Reimagining Jesus in the Gospel of Mark (Resource Publications, 2020), Latinx Perspectives on the New Testament, co-edited with Leticia A. Guardiola-Sáenz (Lexington Books/Fortress Academic, 2022), and El Corán Azul (The Blue Quran), a novel (Amazon books, 2022).

In December of 2006 he released his first music CD, Still a Dream, with original music and lyrics based on the poetry of Arab and Jewish children. In October of 2010 he released a second CD, Beyond the Gate, this time with lyrics inspired by the poetry of Arab, Jewish, and Argentine children.

He is married, and has two sons ages 39 and 36.