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Rev. John Boettcher

Assistant Professor of Sacred Scripture




B.A. (Physics) - University of California at Berkeley

M.Div. - Franciscan School of Theology

M.A. (Biblical Studies) - Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley

S.T.L. (Fundamental Theology) - Pontifical Gregorian University

S.T.D. (Dogmatic Theology ) - Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum

Academic Interests

Scripture; Pragmatics – praying, preaching, practicing; Spirituality – especially the classics; Use of technology to enhance organizing thought and research.

Download Curriculum Vitae

Fr. John grew up in the south Bay Area, with a strong interest in experimental science leading to a B.A. in Physics from U.C. Berkeley. After a major conversion experience the last year of college, he began work in Palo Alto in semiconductor research. He joined the parish of St. Francis in East Palo Alto and gradually got involved as lector, member of St. Vincent de Paul, choir director, and Director of Religious Education. One day while riding to work singing God’s praises, a question floated into his mind: “Where is your heart in all that you do?” The immediate answer came, “Back at St. Francis!” It wasn’t long until he heard the call to leave everything and begin seminary.

Since then Fr. John has enjoyed a great variety of ways of seeking and serving God. He went on a 3-month pilgrimage to Israel, Greece, the Balkan peninsula, Italy and France, living as St. Francis, begging for what to eat and where to sleep. Fr. John was in the Lake County Passion Play, an outdoor 90 minute presentation, for 12 years as the Christus. He served a year in the Holy Land, with 7 months in the Holy Sepulchre and 5 months at the site of the Visitation. He lived in a community of young adults doing youth retreats full-time for 5 years, seeing some 10,000 youth. Fr. John completed a doctorate on John’s Prologue in Patristic exegesis, living in Italy, Israel or the USA as needed. He has taught in Rome; Jerusalem; Canterbury, Connecticut; and Ohio. He is delighted with Scripture: to read, meditate on, pray, preach and teach it.

Fr. John is also involved in the following research and development work:

State-of-the-art electronic lexicon. Master list of Greek lemmas, variants of form, grouped by preposition + root, common lexeme, and semantic domain.

Greek vocabulary learning tool. Generates learning lists from NT book and chapter or frequency; tracks words already known. English and Italian.

Multilingual Patristics text analysis tool. Produces and displays original-modern language linked text, tracks segments of text, associates user-made structure and notes, tags with categories, groups by category and generates composite documents.

Scholarly research assistant. Integrates bibliography, e-texts, and notes, tracking by category and intended use, inserts footnotes into document, generates bibliography.

Text digitizing station. Designed, acquired and built state-of-the-art system to make digital images of books, with particular safeguards for old texts, at a cost of less than 15% of the cheapest commercial alternative, with far superior performance. Designed and built a custom dynamic book-holder and illumination system.

Conference/Workshop Presentations

“Revealing Imperatives in John.” Paper presented at the 76th International Meeting of the Catholic Biblical Association, Gonzaga University, Spokane, August 2013.

“Understanding Discourse with Relational Diagrams.” Paper presented at the the AAR/SBL/ASOR Upper Midwest Regional Meeting, St. Paul, MN, April 2013.

Selected Publications

Mystery of Salvation, co-authored with Dr. Paul Haffner (in progress)

Giurisato, Giorgio. “The Farewell Discourse (John 13–17): Text, Context and Intertext.” In Rediscovering John: Essays on the Fourth Gospel in Honour of Frédéric Manns, ed. L. Daniel Chrupcała, trans. R. John Boettcher. Milano: Edizioni Terra Santa, 2013. 423-530.

“Relational Diagrams in Text Analysis.” In Liber Annus 2006, Jerusalem: Studium Biblicum Franciscanum, 2007.

Di Fedanzola da Perugia, Giovanni. Descriptio Terrae Sanctae. Jerusalem: Franciscan Printing Press, 2003. Translation by  R. John Boettcher from medieval Latin (14th c.) into English.