New Testament Studies

REF 2021

1st in the UK

Divinity at the University of Aberdeen was ranked 1st in the UK for overall quality of research

New Testament Studies

The small corpus of texts known as the New Testament is perhaps one of the most influential collections in the history of western civilisation. New Testament Studies is the discipline that seeks to understand these texts in every way possible, with the aid of literary, historical, theological, philosophical, and social-scientific methods (among others).

Click the tabs below for more information on what Aberdeen has to offer by way of research expertise and doctoral supervision, how to apply, and what students can expect when studying with us.

New Testament Studies in Aberdeen

Studying the New Testament in Aberdeen offers notable advantages, including supervisor expertise in the subject area. Our academic staff are specialists in many aspects of New Testament studies, including the theological study of the New Testament; Second Temple Judaism; the transmission of Jewish apocalyptic texts in Christian tradition; textual connections with Christian origins (including canon formation); Hellenistic philosophies and the New Testament; rhetoric; and emotion studies.


We are interested in hearing from students wishing to undertake postgraduate level work in New Testament Studies at the doctoral level. Please contact one of the supervisors below if you are thinking about applying for a PhD in their subject area.

Dr Tomas Bokedal: Tomas Bokedal supervises PhD students interested in the following areas: oral and written gospel tradition; the Synoptic Gospels; Paul (including old and new perspectives on Paul); pre-Pauline christology; the use of the OT in the NT, NT textual criticism, the NT canon; the earliest Christian confessions; catechetical traditions; early Christian worship; rites of Christian initiation/baptism; and the history of New Testament interpretation.

Professor Grant Macaskill: Grant Macaskill's research interests include the New Testament as a coherent body of theological literature emerging from the diverse contexts of late Second Temple Judaism; treatments of theological issues in the New Testament, notably 'Union with Christ'; examination of the transmission of Jewish apocalyptic texts in Christian tradition, particularly 1 Enoch and 2 Enoch.

Dr Katherine Hockey: Katherine Hockey’s research is interested, more broadly, in the formation and shaping of Early Christian identity/identities. More specifically, this includes an interest in 1 Peter and the Catholic Epistles; Christian self-conception; emotion studies and the New Testament; and Greco-Roman philosophical ethics and rhetoric.

Dr J Thomas Hewitt: J. Thomas Hewitt’s research interests include texts of the New Testament as specimens of early Jewish literature; modes of early scriptural appropriation, especially interplay between scriptural tradition and interpretative innovation; ancient messiah speculation among Jews and Christians; participatory messianology in early Christian literature; and ethnicity and pneuma in the Pauline epistles. Dr Hewitt’s current research investigates scripturally formed discourses in ancient Jewish and Christian depictions of the heavenly realm.

Dr Sam Newington: Supervision can be offered in the field of ancient Greek religion with particular focus on comparisons with Biblical and Near Eastern traditions (creation narratives especially).

PGR Students

Some current (and graduated) students and their projects from the University of Aberdeen include:

  • Dillon Burroughs, The Origin of the Longer Ending of the Gospel of Mark: Texts and Contexts
  • Victor Lee, 'Dramatic Irony' in John’s Gospel? Re-examining the irony using ancient dramatic theory
  • Gary Michael, Divorce and Remarriage from the Perspective of Matthew 19
  • Marlene Reid, The Need to Go Through Samaria: A Prophecy-Fulfilment Lens on John 4:1-42 and Various Ezekiel Pericopae
  • Michael Straus, Inspiration, Text and Translation: Paul to the Colossians as a Case Study

The following are some selected publications relating to New Testament Studies by staff at the University of Aberdeen:

Dr Tomas Bokedal

Professor Grant Macaskill

Dr Katherine Hockey

  • Hockey, KM 2019, The Role of Emotion in 1 Peter. Society for New Tesatement Studies Monograph Series, vol. 173, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.[ONLINE] DOI: HTTPS://DOI.ORG/10.1017/9781108567343
  • Hockey, KM & Horrell, DG (eds) 2018, Ethnicity, Race, Religion: Identities and Ideologies in Early Jewish Texts, and in Modern Biblical Interpretation. Bloomsbury T&T Clark, London and New York.
  • Hockey, KM 2017, 1 Peter 4.16: Shame, Emotion and Christian Self-Perception. in KM Hockey, MN Pierce & F Watson (eds), Muted Voices of the New Testament: Readings in the Catholic Epistles and Hebrews. The Library of New Testament Studies, vol. 587, Bloomsbury T&T Clark, London and New York, pp. 27-40.
  • Hockey, KM, Pierce, MN & Watson, F (eds) 2017, Muted Voices of the New Testament: Readings in the Catholic Epistles and Hebrews. The Library of New Testament Studies, vol. 587, Bloomsbury T&T Clark, London and New York.
  • Hockey, KM 2017, The Missing Emotion: The Absence of Anger and the Promotion of Nonretaliation in 1 Peter. in FS Spencer (ed.), Mixed Feelings and Vexed Passions: Exploring Emotions in Biblical Literature. Resources for Biblical Study, vol. 90, SBL Press, Atlanta, pp. 331-353.

Dr J Thomas Hewitt

  • In Messiah: "In Christ" Language in Paul and Messiah Discourse in Ancient Judaism. WUNT II. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, forthcoming 2020.
  • "Israel’s Scriptures in the New Testament: The Messiah." In The Old Testament in the New: Israel’s Scriptures in the New Testament and other Early Christian Writings. Edited by Matthias Henze and David Lincicum. Grand Rapis: Eerdmans, forthcoming 2020.
  • "Ancient Messiah Discourse and Paul’s Expression ἄχρις οὗ ἔλθῃ τὸ σπέρμα in Galatians 3.19." New Testament Studies 65 (2019): 398–411.
  • "Participationism and Messiah Christology in Paul." With Matthew V. Novenson. Pages 393–415 in God and the Faithfulness of Paul: A Critical Examination of the Pauline Theology of N. T. Wright. Edited by Christoph Heilig, J. Thomas Hewitt, and Michael Bird. WUNT II 413. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2016
  • God and the Faithfulness of Paul: A Critical Examination of the Pauline Theology of N. T. Wright. Edited with Christoph Heilig and Michael Bird. WUNT II 413. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2016. Reprint, Fortress, 2017 

Affiliated Staff

Dr Sam Newington

  • Stuckenbruck, L.T., Lewis, S. & Newington, S. (eds), Animals and Monsters in Ancient Religion and Culture (Oxford: Taylor and Francis Group, forthcoming 2017)

Some helpful links for further information and resources in New Testament Studies include: