With a rich seventy-five year history of publishing titles and textbooks that have facilitated broader conversations taking place in the academy and the church, IVP Academic will soon offer another vantage point of the academic publishing process with a new podcast called Behind the Books. The first episode releases May 2.

The first season of Behind the Books will feature Scot McKnightLynn H. Cohick, and Nijay K. Gupta, the three volume editors of the second edition of the Dictionary of Paul and His Letters. After the deep focus on this foundational Pauline dictionary, Behind the Books will transition to IVP Academic hosts Jon Boyd, associate publisher and academic editorial director, and Alexandra Horn, academic marketing manager. 

Horn said, “While it’s easy to judge a book by its cover, the pursuit of Behind the Books is to take the posture of curious learners and storytellers, while demystifying aspects of our industry that are oft observed as behind-closed-doors or only accessible to the few. Behind every book are many people, from authors to editors, contributors, designers, etc. This podcast seeks to see the human and humanity behind and within the publishing process, exploring the journeys and faith that brought us to this vocation.”

Boyd said, “Getting to talk with authors and other certified book nerds (that is, my IVP colleagues) is just about my favorite thing in the workday, so when Alexandra Horn pitched this idea, I was immediately all in. 

For the first eleven episodes of Behind the Books McKnight, Cohick, and Gupta will interview contributors to DPL2, IVP’s shorthand for the Dictionary of Paul and His Letters, second edition; share insights from the writing and editing process; and look back to how the first edition of DPL started thirty years ago.  

McKnight said, “When the door into the studies of today’s Pauline scholars is opened for all of us to enter, we learn why they write what they do. On the Behind the Books podcast you will hear firsthand accounts by the authors of why they chose to become scholars, how their faith impacts their writings, and why their writings can impact the church and the Christian life. Rarely do we get such personal and inside information about authors and their understanding of the apostle Paul.”

A one-of-a-kind reference, DPL2 is a thoroughly revised and updated version of the acclaimed 1993 publication. Since that groundbreaking volume was published, developments in Pauline studies have continued at a rapid pace, with diverse new scholars entering the conversation, new ideas and methods gaining attention, and fresh expressions of old topics shaping the present discussion. Classic topics such as Christology, justification, hermeneutics, and book studies of individual epistles receive careful treatment by specialists in the field.

Gupta said, “Most people experience DPL2 as words on pages, but what makes it fun for me as an editor is that the contributors are real people with fascinating stories and passions. Behind the Books offers a precious glimpse into scholars at work and play—the people, planning, and efforts behind the books we cherish!”

The featured DPL2 scholars for the first season of Behind the Books are

May 2: An introduction to Behind the Books with hosts and DPL2 editors Scot McKnight, Lynn H. Cohick, Nijay K. Gupta

May 9: Michael Gorman, Raymond E. Brown Professor of Biblical Studies and Theology at St. Mary's Seminary and University

May 16: Jeannine Brown, professor of New Testament at Bethel Seminary

May 23: Helen Rhee, professor of church history at Westmont College

May 30: Chris Hoklotubbe, assistant professor of religion at Cornell College

June 6: Amy Peeler, Kenneth T. Wessner Chair of Biblical Studies at Wheaton College

June 13: Louise Gosbell, principal of Mary Andrews College

June 20: Dennis Edwards, associate professor of New Testament, vice president for church relations, and dean of North Park Seminary

June 27: Lucy Peppiatt, principal of Westminster Theological Centre                                 

July 4: Mike Bird, academic dean and lecturer in New Testament at Ridley College

July 11: Dan Reid, developmental editor for IVP’s award-winning New Testament dictionaries

New episodes of Behind the Books will release every Thursday.

Boyd said, “The publishing process from beginning to end is more fascinating—and complicated!—than even most avid readers would expect, so we relish the chance to usher you backstage, so to speak. We’re going to make it both fun and educational.”

Check out the trailer for Behind the Books here: Behind the Books Podcast - InterVarsity Press (ivpress.com).