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).

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; textual connections with Christian origins (including canon formation) through the fourth century; the eastern Mediterranean under Roman rule; Hellenistic and Roman Judaea; Philo; the Dead Sea Scrolls; Josephus; ancient historiography; and rhetoric.


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.

Dr Jutta Leonhardt-Balzer: Jutta Leonhardt-Balzer offers PhD supervision in: the study of Hellenistic Jewish authors (particularly Philo of Alexandria) and their accounts of Second Temple Jewish life and thought; the texts from Qumran, of the communities described in them as well as the implications of the texts for the study of other aspects of Second Temple Jewish life and thought; all aspects of research on the Johannine writings as well as the social setting of the Johannine community; the study of the texts from Nag Hammadi (especially the Apocryphon of John) as well as their sociological setting and their relationship to other ancient authors; the study of Second Temple Jewish and New Testament apocalyptic texts and traditions as well as research on apocalyptic worldviews of the time; and the study of Second Temple Jewish Wisdom texts, of the reception of wisdom traditions and motifs in the New Testament and of the social background of these wisdom texts.

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.

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

Dr Jutta Leonhardt-Balzer

  • 'Evil at Qumran', in C Keith & LT Stuckenbruck (eds), Evil in Second Temple Judaism and Early Christianity. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament. 2. Reihe, vol. 417, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, pp. 17-33.
  • 'Evil, dualism and community: who/what did the Yahad not want to be?', in GG Xeravits (ed.), Dualism in Qumran. Library of Second Temple Studies, vol. 76, T&T Clark, London, United Kingdom, pp. 121-147.
  • 'Fall as Ascent: The exegesis of Gen 3-4 and 6:1-4 in the Apocryphon of John', in A Larkin & Z Hadromi-Allouche (eds), Fall Narratives: An Interdisciplinary Perspective. Routledge, New York, pp. 203-214.
  • 'Philo of Alexandria: An Annotated Bibliography 2013'. Studia Philonica Annual, vol 28, pp. 393-434.
  • 'Righteousness in Early Judaism', in KD Sakenfeld (ed.), The New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible. vol. 4, Abingdon Press, Nashville, pp. 807-818.

Professor Grant Macaskill


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