A Living Bible”: Alumnus Fr. Aaron Warwick Reflects on Dr. Nicolae Roddy

Author: 
Fr. Aaron Warwick, Alumnus, '09

Father Aaron Warwick's reflections about Dr. Nicolae G. Roddy, Alumnus, ’89, M.A., were originally published in the 2014 Annual Report, "The Far Reach of St. Vladimir's Seminary." Dr. Roddy is the Associate Professor of the Hebrew Bible in the Department of Theology at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.  

A “living Bible”…that’s how I think of Dr. Nicolae Roddy. Initially, he was my professor at Creighton University, but he now has become my mentor and friend as well. 

As a naïve teenager, I left home for college in 1999 with a general idea of how my life would unfold. Much to my surprise, it turned out quite differently, and one important person who helped me navigate the detours was Dr. Roddy.  

During my first semester at Creighton, Dr. Roddy taught a required course entitled “Christianity in Context.” He was the first Orthodox Christian I’d ever met, and his “orthodox” perspective and approach intrigued me. I first attended an Orthodox Christian parish with him, and with his help, established an OCF (Orthodox Christian Fellowship) chapter at Creighton.Dr. Roddy in the field at Bethsaida, with Fr. Aaron Warwick (R)Dr. Roddy in the field at Bethsaida, with Fr. Aaron Warwick (R)   

I took another course offered by Dr. Roddy, this time on the Old Testament, which really challenged my thinking. I, with other students, struggled re-reading through texts that seemed so different now than from when we had heard them in Sunday School. I appreciated Dr. Roddy’s willingness to stick around after class to help us students. His care for students and love of the Bible helped him to dialogue with us and transmit his wisdom to us—as very few professors were able to do. Most importantly, he was able to integrate his deep knowledge of biblical texts into 21st-century living. 

Our relationship grew over 15 years, and in 2012, Dr. Roddy came to speak at my parish about the Bible and archaeology. Spurred on by that retreat, some parishioners and I accompanied him on an archaeological dig this past summer to Bethsaida. What I noted most was that although Dr. Roddy is an esteemed scholar and archaeologist, he continues to learn and to assimilate his education into his daily life.  

In Dr. Roddy I see someone who humbles himself before God, realizes and embraces his unworthiness, and yet, thankful for God’s mercy, strives to show the world the likeness of God to which we all are called. He has imparted to me not just knowledge of biblical texts, but has provided me with an example of a living witness of biblical tradition, a “living Bible” in action.  

Listen to an interview with Dr. Roddy, as he talks about the Hebrew Bible, and his archeological excavations in Galilee, on Ancient Faith Radio’s “Search the Scriptures.” 

By the Reverend Aaron Warwick, Alumnus, ’09; Rector of St. Mary Orthodox Christian Church, Wichita, KS