Michael William Holmes, Ph.D.

Biblical manuscript authority Michael Holmes, Ph. D., joined Museum of the Bible in 2014 to lead the museum’s research arm, the Scholars Initiative. A professor and scholar of early Christian writings, Holmes has spent more than three decades in higher education teaching and researching New Testament and other early Christian texts.

As executive director of the Scholars Initiative, Holmes oversees a team of researchers and student scholars at more than 60 universities, advancing groundbreaking discoveries on artifacts from the Museum Collection, one of the world’s largest private collections of rare biblical texts and artifacts. Under Holmes’ leadership, items from the collection are made accessible for study to undergraduate and graduate students teamed with acclaimed biblical experts and scholar-mentors. Preliminary studies of undocumented papyri from the Museum Collection have already revealed some of the earliest-known Scriptures, the world’s oldest Jewish book of prayers and early sections of rare Greek classics.


Quick Facts: Dr. Michael Holmes
  • Executive Director: Scholars Initiative, research arm of Museum of the Bible

  • University Professor: University Professor of Biblical Studies & Early Christianity, Bethel University

  • Expert: New Testament textual criticism, early Christian writings and historical Bible translation

  • Past Scholarship: Chairman of the Department of Biblical and Theological Studies, Bethel University; visiting scholar, Luther Northwestern Theological Seminary; instructor in New Testament, Princeton Theological Seminary; teaching fellow, Princeton Theological Seminary

  • Speaker: frequent speaker at churches, universities and seminaries around the country

  • Author: 11 books on biblical and early Christian writings and more than 50 selected articles and chapters in journals and scholarly publications


After earning a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of California at Santa Barbara, Holmes earned his master’s in New Testament from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Illinois) and a doctoral degree from Princeton Theological Seminary.  

Since 1982, Holmes has taught at Bethel University and will remain University Professor of Biblical Studies and Early Christianity while serving with Museum of the Bible. He previously was chair of Bethel’s Department of Biblical and Theological Studies from 2001 to 2010 and also taught at Princeton Theological Seminary as an instructor in New Testament.

Holmes is the author of 11 books on biblical and early Christian writings and has published more than 50 articles and chapters in academic journals and scholarly publications. Frequently tapped as a speaker on the New Testament, Holmes has lectured in Canada, England, Germany, France and Belgium in addition to numerous churches, universities and seminaries around the country.

In 1995, Holmes was awarded a Society of Biblical Literature Research and Publication Grant for the International Greek New Testament John Project. He currently serves as a member on the board of directors for the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts.