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New Testament and Christian Origins Research Team

This Research Team aims at understanding the dynamics of texts and identities and seeks to understand these dynamics in past and present.

The twenty-seven writings known as the New Testament were all written in the first or early second century. They became authoritative Scripture in a process that resulted in the first mention of this list in the year 367. Bisshop Athanasius of Alexandria lists these particular writings as authoritative, and does so in his 39th Easter Letter. This research group studies the writings of the New Testament in their historical, cultural, and religious contexts and focuses on the ways in which these and other writings functioned within the formation of Christianity as a world religion. How did Christianity-in-the-making relate to Judaism-in-the-making? How did it relate to its pagan contexts? We study the New Testament from a variety of perspectives, with historical, but also hermeneutical and contemporary questions in mind. From textual criticism to reception history, from theological exegesis to philology, we practice it all.

Research Team - New Testament and Christian Origins

  • Team

    Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte (Teamleader)
    Peter-Ben Smit
    Arie Zwiep
    Silvia Castelli
    Helene Wuhrer

    Michael Glowaysky (Booth University College)
    Bart Koet (TST)
    Jan Krans (PThU)
    Robert K. MacEwen (Tyndale Theological Seminary)
    Tom Marinello (Tyndale Theological Seminary)
    Annette Merz (PThU)
    Marco Rotman (CHE)
    Drake Williams III (ETF Leuven)

    PhD students
    Solomon Abebe
    Yimenu Adimass
    Aemare Ashebir
    Vincent van Altena
    Wilson Bento
    Filipe de Carvalho dos Santos
    Tessema Forsido
    Ed Gentry
    Willem van Klinken
    Inok Lee
    Ralf Lubs
    Tom Parker
    Elias Tranefeldt
    Jacobie Helena Visser
    Lucy Wambui Waweru
    William Wortman
    An-Ting Yi

  • Disciplines

    New Testament Studies, Greek Language, Early Christianity

  • Possible thesis and PhD topics

    • The Historical Jesus in Perspective
    • The Formation of the Synoptic Gospels
    • Research Method and the New Testament
    • Paul and the Spread of the Christ Movement
    • The Textual History of the Greek New Testament
    • Chapters in the Reception of Early Christian Writings
    • The Hermeneutics of Christian Scriptures
    • Gender (from feminist, queer and critical masculine perspectives)
    • Ritual in early Christianity
    • Food in early Christianity
    • Canonical criticism
  • Collaboration Senior and Junior Researchers

    Senior and junior researchers collaborate on a variety of topics in this group. The bi-weekly sessions of the Amsterdam NT Colloquium, e.g., are frequented also by colleagues from other institutions and foster collaboration within an open scholarly climate. The academic habitus that this leads to is important for the formation of scholarly expertise as well as collaboration. In meetings of the two centres attached to this team experts on diverse topics exchange their insights in order to foster academic discussion. Annually, the Tjitze Baarda Memorial lecture is organized by the group.

  • Connection with education

    Each of the steering committee members of this team participates in undergraduate courses (BA) as well as graduate programmes (MA and PhD).

  • Academic relevance and societal urgency

    The academic and societal relevance of this team lies in the fact that questions concerning the origins of Christianity, its scriptures, and their meaning are of the utmost importance to faith communities and individuals. The current societal state of religious illiteracy leads to more and more questions with regard to the field studied by this team, and hence the need for academic expertise on this field increases by the day.

  • Connection with centers/institutes

    The two centres connected to this team are: