James A. Waddell is Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies at the Ecumenical Theological Seminary in Detroit, Michigan.

With nearly 25 years of experience as a Lutheran pastor, Waddell serves in parish ministry in an urban setting. His congregation is in the planning phase of a large community garden in Ypsilanti Township, with the expectation that this effort will empower lower-income families in the surrounding neighborhood to achieve some measure of food independence. He holds a Ph.D. in Second Temple Judaism and Christian Origins from the University of Michigan, and has taught Biblical Studies, Classics, Religious Studies, and Liturgical Theology at several institutions, including the University of Michigan and Ecumenical Theological Seminary. He has published a number of books and peer-reviewed articles, has delivered numerous papers at professional conferences, and is an active member of the Society of Biblical Literature.

He is the author of The Messiah: A Comparative Study of the Enochic Son of Man and the Pauline Kyrios (T&T Clark, 2011). His teaching highlights early Jewish and early church views of wealth, economic exploitation and oppression of the poor, and justice in biblical and extra-biblical sources, and postmodern/post-colonial appropriation of biblical ethics regarding wealth, poverty, justice, and liberation. His research focuses on first- and second-century developments of early christology, as well as social and ideological intersections of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.