New Testament

Last supper

The Ph.D. program in New Testament is intended to prepare students to do research in this field and to teach in an academic setting (usually a university department of religious studies or a theological seminary). Areas of strength in the Duke program include Paul, the use of the Old Testament in the New, the Synoptic Gospels, the Jewish cultural context of the New Testament, and biblical theology. The faculty has expertise in historical, exegetical, literary, and theological methods of interpretation.

Convener: J. Ross Wagner

Major Field Requirements

  • Course Work
    • For students entering with a Master's degree or equivalent:
      • 3-4 courses each semester for 2 years
      • At least 6 of these must be advanced courses in New Testament
    • For students entering without a Master's degree or equivalent:
      • 3-4 courses each semester for 3 years
      • May, in the first year, include basic language courses or undergraduate/Divinity School courses
  • Languages
    • Modern:
      • Students must pass competency exams in German and French before taking their preliminary exams. Depending on interest, a reading knowledge of other languages such as modern Hebrew and Spanish may also be acquired.
    • Ancient:
      • Students are expected to have or develop good to excellent biblical Hebrew and ancient Greek, and to demonstrate competency in both languages. They may also study rabbinic Hebrew, Aramaic, Syriac, Coptic, Latin, and/or other languages during their doctoral years.
  • Responsible Conduct of Research Training
  • Preliminary Examinations
    • 4-hour New Testament introduction examination (history, authorship, chronology, etc.)
    • 4-hour New Testament thought/theology examination
    • 3-hour internal minor examination
    • 3-hour external minor examination
    • Oral defense
  • Dissertation
Track-specific guidelines

Inside Minor Requirements

  • 2 courses

New Testament

Laura Robinson: "Mission, Jews, and Gentiles in the Gospel of Matthew." 2023. Co-Advisors: Joel Marcus, Mark S. Goodacre

Katherine Burgett: "In Slavery With God's Children: The Law as Enslaved Agent in Galatians." 2022. Advisor: J. Ross Wagner

Ian Nelson Mills: "Rewriting the Gospel: The Synoptics among Pluriform Literary Traditions." 2021. Advisor: Mark S. Goodacre

Andrew Rillera: "Paul’s Philonic Opponent: Unveiling the One Who Calls Himself a Jew in Romans 2:17." 2021. Advisor: Douglas Campbell

Adam Booth: "Mother Jesus: The Contribution of Maternal Imagery to the Soteriology and Christology of First Peter." 2021. Advisor: J. Ross Wagner

Julie Newberry: “You Will Have Joy and Gladness: A Narrative Analysis of the Conditions that Lead to Lukan Joy.” 2020. Advisor: C. Kavin Rowe

Joseph Longarino, "The Weight of Mortality: Pauline Theology and the Problem of Death." 2019. Advisor: Douglas Campbell

David Smith, "Luke, the Jews, and the Politics of Early Christian Identity." 2018. Advisor: Joel Marcus

Chris Blumhofer, "The Gospel of John and the Future of Israel." 2017. Advisor: Richard Hays

Zack Phillips: "Filling Up the Word: The Fulfillment Citations in Matthew's Gospel." 2017. Advisor: Richard Hays

Doron Wilfand: "Mark, Matthew and the Tanakh: A Comparison of Tanakh References in Mark and Matthew." 2016. Advisor: Joel Marcus

Lori Baron: "The Shema in John Against its Background in Second Temple Judaism and the New Testament." 2015. Advisor: Joel Marcus

T. J. Lang: “Mystery and the Making of a Christian Historical Concsiousness: From Paul to the Second Century.” 2014. Advisor: Douglas Campbell

Jill Hicks-Keeton: “Rewritten Gentiles: Conversion to the ‘Living God’ in Ancient Judaism and Christianity.” 2014. Advisor: Joel Marcus

Kathy Dawson: “Reading Galatians As Rhetorical Parody: Paul's Reinterpretation of Scriptural Demands for Obedience to the Law and the Implications for Understanding Faithfulness and Apostasy.” 2013. Advisor: Richard B. Hays