top of page
(continued from here) author for his 2001 study on the history of capital punishment in Oregon (A Tortured History:  The Story of Capital Punishment in Oregon; Eugene OR:  OCDLA, 2001).  He has written twenty books in five fields (biblical studies; history of law; words and their origins; classical studies; education theory) and has studied several languages (list below). This web site reflects a portion of some of his work over the past several years. 
The first edition of this website,, was online from 2003-13. On that site, Dr Long posted 4300 essays on a wide variety of topics. His website began as an adjunct to his teaching as a law professor in 2003. He wanted to write brief essays clarifying legal issues and principles in cases he assigned to students. Due to the popularity of those essays, he decided to use the web format to write essays on an ever-wider range of topics, from words to trees to gems to historical issues to legal cases and their interpretation, to expositions of the Bible, to interpretations of classic literatures in several languages, to reviews of movies or social and cultural issues. Several of the essays also explored humorous themes. Some of those essays will appear on this site and will be noted when they appear. But the vast majority of what appears here is new. 
Several more books are scheduled to appear in the next few years, including Stairway to Heaven (on the Psalms of Ascent (120-134)), a book on the Biblical book of Jonah (Something Fishy: Re-reading the Book of Jonah), and a commentary on Confucius' Analects. Two other works due out in 2020 or 2021 are autobiographical or semi-autobiographical in nature. Ever since 1991, Dr Long has written autobiographies every 13 years. The first two, unpublished, were 39 and Lost in America  (1991) and 52 and Strangely Found:  An Autobiography Intellectual and Intimate (2004).  He will publish his 2017 autobiography, Like One Who Dreams:  An Autobiography at 65 in 2020 or 2021. But he has also authored a shorter work, arranged mostly chronologically, on the subject of learning. Called A Little Treatise on Learning: Gathering, Retaining, Recalling and Effectively Presenting Vast Amounts of Useful Knowledge, this work unlocks some keys to efficient and effective learning and presentation of what you have learned.
A thumbnail sketch of the course of his professional life, in reverse chronological order, follows and then, after that, a sketch of my formal education and significant non-remunerative activities over the years. I speak more of my publications or life in these various capacities in my autobiographies.
Professional Life:

2007-2020. Advisor for for-profit and not-for-profit businesses and foundations (Autism Research Institute, Finnup Foundation, Interactive Achievement, AgProgress), with special emphasis on clarifying mission, program review, fund-raising and conflict resolution. In two instances I helped create professional Boards of Directors for the organizations, drafting rules and helping in the selection of people who would be compatible with each other. Maintained work on death penalty by consulting and writing briefs in the Michael McDonnell case (2009; 4th Penalty Phase hearing); Dayton Leroy Rogers case (2015; 4th Penalty Phase hearing); Expert Witness in Dayton Leroy Rogers case (Clackamas County, 2015)  As a writing coach, I also wrote three books with former students or mentees in this period. The most significant intellectual development in those years was my study of Eastern (i.e., non Western European or Classical/Biblical) languages. A list is included below.

Winter 2014.  Visiting Professor, Willamette University College of Law, Salem OR. Taught a course on not-for-profit organizations.  


2003-2006.  Visiting Professor, Willamette University College of Law, Salem OR. Taught courses in Jurisprudence, Employment Law, Insurance, Article 2 Sales.


2000-2003. Litigation  Attorney, Stoel Rives LLP, Portland OR. Trial Practice Group.  Cases included contract claims against the federal government, complex civil litigation. Argued and secured reversal of a Washington County Circuit Court decision in State v. Wooden (OR App 2002), dealing with custody of a mixed-race child in dispute between maternal grandparents and father after mother’s death. Wrote clemency appeal and brief for Michael McDonnell (2002).

[I was a law student from 1996-1999]

1990-1996. Associate Professor and Professor of History and Government, Sterling College 

(Sterling KS). Taught survey course in World Civilizations as well as seminar courses on periods of Western history (classical, medieval, early modern, modern) as well as regions of the world (Africa, China, South Asia, Arab World).  In addition, during January interterms I led classes on specific subjects, such as Augustine's City of God or Memorization When Everyone Says it is Outdated.

1988-1989. Interim Pastor/Head of Staff (of 14), Westminster Presbyterian Church (Portland). I had all the duties of a pastor in a large urban congregation from weekly preaching and teaching to counseling individuals and couples, visiting the sick, and leading a large number of meetings.

1982-1988. Assistant Professor of Religion and Humanities, Reed College (Portland OR).  Taught in the basic year-long humanities course (Hum 110--reading and discussing classic works of the Western tradition, from Homer to Dante, in translation), and several courses in the history of religions, American religion, theories of religion and mythology. 

1985 (June- October). Senior Editorial Writer, The Oregonian (Portland OR). During a year-long sabbatical from Reed, I wrote editorials for the largest newspaper in Oregon. Seventy-six of mine were published during that period.

Significant Non-Remunerative Activity:

2004-2011. Participant, National Senior Spelling Bee, placing 2nd (twice) and 3rd 

(once). A CBS Evening News video about one aspect of this experience is on the

Home page. This participation fueled a long-dormant interest in words, their history and usage, reflected elsewhere on this website.

2001-2003. Chair, Famous Federal Cases Committee and Executive Committee Member, US District Court of Oregon Historical Society.  During that time I planned programs on “The District Court and the Death Penalty,” an 80-year retrospective of Pierce v. Society of Sisters,  “The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and Court” (with participants from the FISA Court and the US Department of Justice), and “Pledging Allegiance” (considering Newdow v. US Congress).  My book, which won an award, on the history of the Oregon death penalty (A Tortured History:  The Story of Capital Punishment in Oregon) came out in 2001.

1985-1990. Board of Trustees and Chair, Portland Community College (Portland). Ran for and was elected twice (1985, 1989) to this position. In that capacity I learned how to work closely with a closely-watched public board, to hire and work with a President, to deal with staff, three unions, student concerns, and to make sure sufficient funding was available. I chaired the successful effort in 1986 to increase PCC's tax base (permanent taxing authorization), an effort that kept the college in healthy financial conditions until the difficult days of 2000-2002.


Education and Early Life 

Birth-1967. Grew Up in Darien, CT, a suburb of New York City, and attended Darien Public Schools


1970. Graduated from Menlo-Atherton High School (CA), National Merit Scholar


1974. BA (Honors) in Religious Studies from Brown University (Providence RI). Thesis Topic was "The Concept of Messiah in the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs

1977. M Div (Summa cum Laude) Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (MA)


1975-1977. Greek Instructor (Koine) at Gordon-Conwell

1980-1981. DAAD (Deutscher akademischer Austauschdienst), University of  Tuebingen, West Germany (Prof Martin Hengel) and Oxford University (Prof A.N. Sherwin-White). The majority of time was spent in Tuebingen.


1982. Ph D Religious Studies, Brown University Providence RI.  Dissertation Topic was "The Trial of Paul in the Book of Acts: Literary, Historical and Theological Considerations"


Languages Studied and Year Began (Note:  All have not mastered with similar thoroughness)

English (Native)

Spanish (1964)

Latin (1966)

Classical Greek (1971)

Biblical Hebrew (1972)

French (1975)

German (1977)

Aramaic (1978)

Syriac (1979)

Turkish (2001)

Italian (2006)

Chinese (2010)

Sanskrit (2010)
Tibetan (2011)

Arabic (2013)

Russian (2014)

Ukrainian (2014)

Uzbek (2014)

Georgian (2014)

Newar (2015)

Persian/Farsi (2017)

Ugaritic (2019)



bottom of page