Curriculum Vitae

Woolsey Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies

Department of Religious Studies
Yale University
Box 208287
New Haven, Connecticut 06520-8287


Born Aliceville, Alabama, 8 January 1932. Married Martha Evelina Fowler 10 June 1954 (died 1996). Three daughters: Suzanne (Yale ‘79), Edith (Yale ‘82), Ellen (Swarthmore ‘85). Married Judith Colton 18 March 2000.


Yale University, M.A. 1964, Ph.D. 1965 (Religious Studies: New Testament)
University of Tübingen, 1956-57 (Fulbright)
Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, B.D. 1956
University of Alabama, B.S. 1953 (Physics)

Teaching Positions

Williams College, Croghan Bicentennial Visiting Professor in Biblical and Early Christian Studies, Spring 2005.
Emory University, McDonald Visiting Distinguished Professor in the Study of the Person and Teachings of Jesus, Fall 2004.
Yale University, Associate Professor of Religious Studies 1969-73; Professor 1973—; Woolsey Professor 1984—, emeritus 1999—; Chairman of Department 1972-75; Acting Chairman 1978-79, 1982-83. Director, Division of the Humanities, 1988-91.
Indiana University, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies 1966-68; Associate Professor 1968-69.
Dartmouth College, Instructor in Religion 1964-65.

Other Professional Positions and Activities

Interviewee on the PBS television series “The Kingdom of David: The Saga of the
Israelites,” produced for Oregon Public Television, 2003.

Consultant and interviewee for the documentary film, Le Mystère Paul, by the Parisian film maker Abraham Ségal, 2000.

Consultant and interviewee for the PBS television series, “From Jesus to Christ,” produced by Front Line, WGBH Boston ( 1998.

Presbyterian member of the Yale Religious Ministry, 1965-66.

Presbyterian University Pastor to colleges in Memphis, Tennessee, 1957-61.

Memberships and Other Professional Activities

General Editor, HarperCollins Study Bible (Society of Biblical Literature), 1989-93.

General Editor, Library of Early Christianity, Westminster Press, 1982-87.

Associate Editor, Harper’s Bible Commentary (Society of Biblical Literature), 1985-88.

Editorial Board, Biblical Interpretation, 1992–2004.

Editorial Board, New Testament Studies, 1979-82.

Director, NEH Summer Seminar for Secondary School Teachers, 1985.

Director, NEH Summer Seminar for College Teachers, 1977, 1979.

Editor, Sources for Biblical Study, Society of Biblical Literature, 1975-79.

Editorial Board, SBL Monograph Series, 1973-75.

American Academy of Religion (Board of Directors, 1974-77).

Society of Biblical Literature (President, 1985).

Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas (President, 2004-5)

Society for Values in Higher Education (inactive).

Phi Beta Kappa.

Honors and Awards

Member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, elected 2004.

William Clyde DeVane Medal for Teaching (Phi Beta Kappa) 2004.

Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy, elected 1992.

Theol. dr., h.c., University of Uppsala, 1990.

The Origins of Christian Morality named “best new book” in philosophy and religion by the Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division of the American Association of Publishers, 1993.

American Academy of Religion Award for Excellence (for The First Urban Christians), 1986.

Biblical Archaeology Review Award for Best Book on the New Testament (for The First Urban Christians), 1984.

John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship, 1979-80.

National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for Study and Research, 1975-76.

NEH Summer Stipend, 1971.

Kent Fellowship, 1962-64.

Danforth Campus Ministry Grant, 1961-62.

Fulbright Fellowship, 1956-57.

Major Lectures

The Nils Alstrup Dahl Lecture, University of Oslo, 2003.

Haskell Lectures, Oberlin College, 1994.

Speaker’s Lecturer, Oxford University, 1989-91.

Wickenden Lectures, Miami University of Ohio, 9-10 March 1987.

Otts Lectures, Davidson College, 29 September 1986.

Rauschenbusch Lectures, Colgate Rochester Divinity School, 11-13 March 1986.

Westervelt Lectures, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, 4-6 February 1986.

Herbert May Memorial Lecture, Oberlin College, 25 April 1983.

Tate-Willson Lectures, Southern Methodist University, 9-11 March 1982.


Books authored

Christ is the Question. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2006.

In Search of the Early Christians: Selected Essays. Ed. Allen R. Hilton & H. Gregory Snyder. New Haven and London: Yale, 2002. Pp. xxx, 314.

The Origins of Christian Morality: The First Two Centuries. New Haven and London: Yale, 1993. Pp. x+304. Spanish edition, Barcelona: Ariel, 1994. Portugese edition, São Paulo: Paulus, 1997.

The Moral World of the First Christians. Library of Early Christianity. Philadelphia: Westminster, 1986. Pp. 182. Spanish edition, Bilbao: Desclée de Brouwer, 1992. Portuguese edition, São Paulo: Paulus, 1996.

The First Urban Christians: The Social World of the Apostle Paul. New Haven and London: Yale, 1983. Pp. xii+299. Spanish edition, Salamanca: Sigueme, 1989. Japanese edition, Tokyo: Jordan Press, 1989. Italian edition, Bologna: Mulino, 1992. Portuguese edition, São Paulo: Edições Paulinas, 1992; Korean edition, Seoul: Publishing House of the Presbyterian Church of Korea, 1992. German edition, Munich: Chr. Kaiser, 1993. 2nd ed. 2003, with new Introduction.

The Prophet-King: Moses Traditions and the Johannine Christology. Supplements to Novum Testamentum 14. Leiden: Brill, 1967. Pp.xv+356.

Go From Your Father’s House: A College Student’s Introduction to the Christian Faith. Richmond: John Knox, 1964. Pp. 356.

Books Edited

(joint editor with John T. Fitzgerald) The Writings of St. Paul.  A Norton Critical Edition; 2d, revised and expanded edition.  New York: Norton, forthcoming (2006?)

(joint editor with Abraham J. Malherbe) The Future of Christology: Essays in Honor of Leander E. Keck. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1993. Pp. xxi, 265.

(joint editor with David L. Balch and Everett Ferguson) Greeks, Romans, and Christians: Essays in Honor of Abraham J. Malherbe. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1990. Pp. 400.

Zur Soziologie des Urchristentums. Theologische Bücherei, Historische Theologie, 62. Munich: Kaiser, 1979. Pp. 312.

(joint author, editor, and translator with Robert L. Wilken) Jews and Christians in Antioch in the First Four Centuries of the Common Era. Sources for Biblical Study 13. Missoula, MT: Scholars Press, 1978. Pp. 127.

(joint editor with Jacob Jervell) God’s Christ and His People: Essays Presented to Nils Alstrup Dahl. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, 1977. Pp. 295.

(joint editor and translator with Fred O. Francis) Conflict at Colossae: A Problem in the Interpretation of Early Christianity Illustrated by Selected Modern Studies. Sources for Biblical Study 4. Missoula, MT: Scholars Press, 1973; 2nd ed. 1975. Pp. viii + 222.

The Writings of St. Paul. A Norton Critical Edition. New York: Norton, 1972. Pp. xv + 454.

Articles in Scholarly Journals and Symposia

“Social and ecclesial life of the earliest Christians,” in The Cambridge History of Christianity, vol. 1: Origins to Constantine, ed. Margaret M. Mitchell and Frances M. Young. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006.  Pp. 145–73.

“Literalism, Common Sense, and the Price of Dogs,” The Yale Review 94/1 (January 2006) 1–15.

“ Why Study the New Testament?” New Testament Studies 51 (2005) 155-70. (Presidential paper given at the Annual Meeting of SNTS held in Barcelona, 3-7 Aug 2004.)

“Christianity: A Religion between Two Cultures,” Revista Catalana de Teologia 29 (2004) 235–38.

“ Inventing the Christ: multicultural process and poetry among the first Christians,” Studia Theologica 58 (2004) 77–96. [The Nils Alstrup Dahl Lecture, University of Oslo, 2003]

“ A Nazi New Testament Professor Reads His Bible: The Strange Case of Gerhard Kittel,” in Hindy Najman and Judith H. Newman (eds.), The Idea of Biblical Interpretation: Essays in Honor of James L. Kugel. Leiden & Boston: Brill, 2004. Pp.513-44.

“ The Restless Curiosity of Nils Alstrup Dahl,” Religious Studies Review 29/3 (July 2003) 247-50. Norwegian trans. published in Norsk Teologisk Tidsskrift 105 (2004) 4-11.

“ Assisting the Word by Making (Up) History: Luke’s Project and Ours,” Interpretation 57 (2003) 151-62.

“ The Irony of Grace,” in D. C. Marks, ed., The Shaping of a Theological Mind: Theological Context and Methodology. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2002. Pp. 45-57.

(with Martha F. Meeks) “Vision of God and Scripture Interpretation in a Fifth-Century Mosaic.” In Charles A. Bobertz and David Brakke, eds., Reading in Christian Communities: Essays on Interpretation in the Early Church in Honor of Rowan A. Greer. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2002. Pp. 124-46. [Reprinted in In Search of the Early Christians, see above.]

“ Apocalyptic Discourse and Strategies of Goodness,” Journal of Religion 80 (2000) 461-75.

“ Christian Beginnings and Christian Ethics: The Hermeneutical Challenge,” Bulletin ET 9 (1998) 171-80.

“ The ‘Haustafeln’ and American Slavery: A Hermeneutical Challenge.” In Eugene H. Lovering, Jr., and Jerry L. Sumney, eds., Theology and Ethics in Paul and His Interpreters: Essays in Honor of Victor Paul Furnish. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1996. Pp. 234-53.

“ The Ethics of the Fourth Evangelist.” In R. Alan Culpepper and C. Clifton Black, eds., Exploring the Gospel of John: In Honor of D. Moody Smith. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1996. Pp. 317-26.

“ The Temporary Reign of the Son: 1 Cor 15:23-28.” In Tord Fornberg and David Hellholm, eds., Texts and Contexts: Biblical Texts in Their Textual and Situational Contexts: Essays in Honor of Lars Hartman. Oslo, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Boston: Scandinavian University Press, 1995. Pp. 801-11.

“ Asking Back to Jesus’ Identity.” In Martinus C. De Boer, ed., From Jesus to John: Essays on Jesus and New Testament Christology in Honour of Marinus de Jonge. Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1993. Pp. 38-50. (Published also in Dutch translation in H. E. Wevers, et al., eds., Jezus’ visie op Zichzelf: in discussie met de Jonge’s Christologie. Nijkerk: Callenbach, 1991. Pp. 48-64.)

“‘ To Walk Worthily of the Lord’: Moral Formation in the Pauline School Exemplified by the Letter to the Colossians.” In Eleonore Stump and Thomas P. Flint, eds., Hermes and Athena: Biblical Exegesis and Philosophical Theology. University of Notre Dame Studies in the Philosophy of Religion, 7. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1993. Pp. 37-58.

“ Il cristianesimo [to A.D. 235].” In Storia di Roma II.3. Torino: Einaudi, 1992. Pp. 283-319.

“ The Social World of the New Testament.” The Oxford Study Bible. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992. Pp. 79*-89*.

“ The Man from Heaven in Paul’s Letter to the Philippians.” In Birger A. Pearson et al., eds, The Future of Early Christianity: Essays in Honor of Helmut Koester. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1991. Pp. 329-36.

“ On Trusting an Unpredictable God: A Hermeneutical Meditation on Romans 9-11.” In John T. Carroll, Charles H. Cosgrove, and E.Elizabeth Johnson, eds., Faith and History: Essays in Honor of Paul W. Meyer. Atlanta: Scholars, 1991. Pp. 105-24. An abridged Swedish translation in Svensk Exegetisk Årsbok 56 (1991) 101-117.

“ Equal to God.” In Robert T. Fortna and Beverly R. Gaventa, eds., The Conversation Continues: Studies in Paul and John in Honor of J. Louis Martyn. Nashville: Abingdon, 1990. Pp. 309-22.

“ The Circle of Reference in Pauline Morality.” In Balch, Ferguson, and Meeks [see above] 1990. Pp. 305-17.

“ The Polyphonic Ethics of the Apostle Paul.” Annual of the Society of Christian Ethics 1988, 17-29.

“ Judgment and the Brother: Romans 14:1-15:13.” In Gerald F. Hawthorne, ed., Tradition and Interpretation in the New Testament. Essays in Honor of E. Earle Ellis. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, Tübingen: Mohr (Siebeck), 1987. Pp. 290-300.

“ Studying the Bible as Memory and Imagination.” In Raymond B. Williams, ed., The Bible and the Liberal Arts. Papers from a Conference October 16-17, 1986. Crawfordsville, IN: Wabash College, [1987].

“ St. Paul of the Cities.” In Peter S. Hawkins, ed., Civitas: Religious Interpretations of the City. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1986. Pp. 15-23.

“ A Hermeneutics of Social Embodiment.” In George W. E. Nickelsburg and George W. MacRae, eds., Christians among Jews and Gentiles: Essays in Honor of Krister Stendahl on His Sixty-fifth Birthday. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1986. Pp. 176-86.

“ Understanding Early Christian Ethics,” JBL 105 (1986) 3-11.

“ Die Rolle des paulinischen Christentums bei der Entstehung einer rationalen ethischen Religion.” In Wolfgang Schluchter, ed., Max Webers Sicht des antiken Christentums: Interpretation und Kritik. Frankfurt a.M.: Suhrkamp, 1985. Pp. 363-85.

“ Breaking Away: Three New Testament Pictures of Christianity’s Separation from the Jewish Communities.” In Jacob Neusner and Ernest S. Frerichs, eds., “To See Ourselves as Others See Us”: Christians, Jews, “Others” in Late Antiquity. Chico, CA: Scholars Press, 1985. Pp. 93-115.

“ Social Functions of Apocalyptic Language in Pauline Christianity.” In David Hellholm, ed., Apocalypticism in the Mediterranean World and the Near East. Proceedings of the International Colloquium on Apocalypticism, Uppsala, August 12-17, 1979. Tübingen: Mohr (Siebeck), 1983. Pp. 687-705.

“‘ And Rose Up to Play’: Midrash and Paraenesis in 1 Corinthians 10:1-22,” Journal for the Study of the New Testament 16 (1982) 64-78.

“ The Social Context of Pauline Theology,” Interpretation 3 (1982) 266-77.

“‘ Since then you would have to go out of the world’: Group Boundaries in Pauline Christianity.” In Thomas J. Ryan, ed., Critical History and Biblical Faith: New Testament Perspectives. Villanova, PA: College Theology Society, 1978. Pp. 4-29.

” Hypomnemata from an Untamed Skeptic: A Response to George Kennedy.” In William O. Walker, Jr., ed., The Relationships Among the Gospels: An Interdisciplinary Dialogue. Trinity University Monograph Series in Religion 5. San Antonio: Trinity, 1978. Pp. 157-73.

“ The Unity of Humankind in Colossians and Ephesians.” In Meeks and Jervell, eds., God’s Christ and His People (see above). Pp. 209-21.

“ The Divine Agent and His Counterfeit in Philo and the Fourth Gospel.” In Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, ed., Aspects of Religious Propaganda in Judaism and Early Christianity. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1976. Pp. 43-67.

“ Jews and Christians in Antioch.” In George W. MacRae, ed., Society of Biblical Literature 1976 Seminar Papers. Missoula, MT: Scholars, 1976. Pp. 33-65.

“ Moses, in the NT.” In The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible. Supplementary Volume. New York and Nashville: Abingdon, 1976. Pp. 605-607.

“‘ Am I a Jew?’—Johannine Christianity and Judaism.” In Jacob Neusner, ed., Christianity, Judaism, and other Greco-Roman Cults: Studies for Morton Smith at Sixty. Studies in Judaism in Late Antiquity 12. Leiden: Brill, 1975. Vol. 1, pp. 163-86.

“ The Image of the Androgyne: Some Uses of a Symbol in Earliest Christianity,” History of Religions 13 (1974) 165-208.

“ The Man from Heaven in Johannine Sectarianism,” JBL 91 (1972) 44-72.

“ Moses as God and King.” In Jacob Neusner, ed., Religions in Antiquity: Essays in Memory of Erwin Ramsdell Goodenough. Studies in the History of Religions 14. Leiden: Brill, 1968. Pp. 354-71.

“ Galilee and Judea in the Fourth Gospel,” JBL 85 (1966) 159-69.

Popular Articles

“ The Big Exam.” In Crossing by Faith: Sermons on the Journey from Youth to Adulthood, edited by David L. Bartlett, Claudia A. Highbaugh, and Stephen Butler Murray. St. Louis: Chalice, 2003. Pp. 45–52.

“ The Puzzle of Christian Beginnings,” Sunstone 16:4 (March 1993) 14-19.

“ Imagining the Early Christians: Some Problems in an Introductory Course in the New Testament,” Perspectives in Religious Studies 2/1 (1975) 3-12.

“ The Christian Proteus.” In The Writings of St. Paul [see above]. Pp. 435-44.

“ Paul as Heretic: A Study of Opposition to the Apostle in Galatia,” Enquiry 3 (Sept.-Nov. 1970) 21-48.

“ True Spirituality: A Study of Opposition to Paul in Corinth,” Enquiry 3 (March-May 1971) 21-50.


In the Journal of Biblical Literature, Journal of Roman Studies, Gnomon, Interpretation, Religious Studies Review, American Historical Review, Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Heythrop Journal, Jewish Quarterly Review, Association for Jewish Studies Newsletter, Union Seminary Quarterly Review, and Theology Today.


For main publications, see Major Publications