After receiving his B.A., Dr. Young departed Tulsa for Israel. At the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, he pursued graduate studies in early Christianity and ancient Judaism. During this time he lectured at the Jerusalem University College, served as Research Assistant to Dr. David Flusser, and earned two degrees, an M.A. and Ph.D. both from the Hebrew University. He was a lecturer in Comparative Religions at the Hebrew University for two years. His doctoral dissertation was published by Paulist Press under the title, Jesus and His Jewish Parables. Dr. Young is one of the founding scholars of the Jerusalem School of Synoptic Studies working closely on Gospel research with Prof. David Flusser, Dr. Robert L. Lindsey and Prof. Shmuel Safrai. He has contributed to scholarly journals and spoken at many academic, church, interfaith and civic gatherings.
In 1987 Dr. Young returned to Oklahoma to fill a teaching post at ORU. He regularly teaches classes on the parables of Jesus, the Jewish Background of the Gospels, Jewish Apocalyptic Literature, Rabbinic Literature, and the theology of the Apostle Paul. Dr. Young has prepared Christian leaders and pastors for effective ministry and many of his former students are working on Ph.D. degrees at Jewish academic institutions.
In addition to teaching full-time and speaking at seminars and conferences around the world, Dr. Young has maintained a strong commitment to research and writing. The Gospel Research Foundation facilitates his work as an author and teacher. His books include, The Jewish Background to the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus and His Jewish Parables, Jesus the Jewish Theologian, Paul the Jewish Theologian, and The Parables: Jewish Tradition and Christian Interpretation. His books situate the readers in the authentic setting of the first century where they can explore the original Jewish environment for the beginnings of Christian faith. He is especially recognized for his scholarly contribution to the comparative study of the Gospel and rabbinic parables.
As a internationally recognized authority on the life and teaching of Jesus, Dr. Young has had a remarkable impact. His work has challenged audiences to return Jesus to his own culture, time and people, to the distant and foreign world of late Second Temple Period Judaism, and to have the courage to listen to his teachings afresh. Having broad appeal, Dr. Young's seminars attract both Catholics and mainline Protestants, evangelicals and Charismatics, those who are aiming for academic careers as well as those who are preparing for ministry in the church. Lay people discover a fresh perspective.
Whether through writing, teaching or public speaking, Dr. Young’s message always enlightens, stimulates and stretches his audiences. Active in interfaith dialogue, he has worked to build bridges of understanding between the Jewish and Christian communities of faith. His passion is studying and teaching the Jesus presented in the Synoptic Gospels against the rich and diverse backdrop of ancient Judaism. For such a task, having lived, studied and taught in Jerusalem for ten years, Dr. Young is uniquely qualified.