Jennifer Wright Knust

Jennifer Wright Knust

Professor of Religious Studies

Office Hours: 
Tuesdays 12 pm - 2 pm and by appointment


Jennifer Knust is a scholar of religion who specializes in early Christian history and the religions of the ancient Mediterranean. Author of To Cast the First Stone: The Transmission of a Gospel Story(with Tommy Wasserman, Princeton 2018), Unprotected Texts: The Bible’s Surprising Contradictions about Sex and Desire (HarperONE 2011), and Abandoned to Lust: Sexual Slander and Ancient Christianity (Columbia 2005), she studies early Christian texts, their contexts, and their receptions from multiple angles, with a particular focus on rhetoric and gendered discourse. Her numerous articles, book chapters, and edited books address the materiality of texts, the intersection of Christian practices with other ancient religions, and the ethics of interpretation in ancient as well as contemporary contexts. 

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., Columbia University 2001
  • M.Phil., Columbia University 1997
  • M.Div., Union Theological Seminary 1991
  • B.S., University of Illinois 1988

Knust, Jennifer, and Tommy Wasserman. To Cast the First Stone The Transmission of a Gospel Story. Princeton University Press, 2018.

Moser, Claudia. Ritual Matters Material Remains and Ancient Religion. University of Michigan Press, 2017.

Knust, J. W., and Z. Várhelyi. Ancient Mediterranean Sacrifice. 2012, pp. 1–352. Scopus, doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199738960.001.0001. Full Text

Knust, Jennifer Wright. Abandoned to Lust Sexual Slander and Ancient Christianity. Columbia University Press, 2006.

The Future of New Testament Textual Scholarship. Mohr Siebeck, 2019. Crossref, doi:10.1628/978-3-16-156663-9. Full Text

The Bible and Feminism. Oxford University Press, 2018. Crossref, doi:10.1093/oso/9780198722618.001.0001. Full Text

Knust, J. W. “Jesus’ conditional forgiveness.” Ancient Forgiveness: Classical, Judaic, and Christian, 2011, pp. 176–94. Scopus, doi:10.1017/CBO9780511978654.011. Full Text

Wheeler-Reed, D., et al. “Can a man commit 'Greek passage' with his wife?Journal of Biblical Literature, vol. 137, no. 2, Jan. 2018, pp. 383–98. Scopus, doi:10.15699/jbl.1372.2018.345030. Full Text

Knust, Jennifer, and Tommy Wasserman. “The Biblical Odes and the Text of the Christian Bible: A Reconsideration of the Impact of Liturgical Singing on the Transmission of the Gospel of Luke.” Journal of Biblical Literature, vol. 133, no. 2, Project Muse, 2014, pp. 341–65. Crossref, doi:10.1353/jbl.2014.0024. Full Text

Knust, Jennifer, and Tommy Wasserman. “Earth Accuses Earth: Tracing What Jesus Wrote on the Ground.” Harvard Theological Review, vol. 103, no. 4, Cambridge University Press (CUP), Oct. 2010, pp. 407–46. Crossref, doi:10.1017/s0017816010000799. Full Text

Knust, Jennifer Wright. “In Pursuit of a Singular Text: New Testament Textual Criticism and the Desire for the True Original.” Religion Compass, vol. 2, no. 2, Wiley, Mar. 2008, pp. 180–94. Crossref, doi:10.1111/j.1749-8171.2008.00062.x. Full Text

Knust, J. W. “Early Christian re-writing and the history of the pericope adulterae.” Journal of Early Christian Studies, vol. 14, no. 4, Jan. 2006, pp. 485–536. Scopus, doi:10.1353/earl.2007.0009. Full Text

Knust, Jennifer. “"Who's Afraid of Canaan's Curse? Genesis 9:18-29 and the Challenge of Reparative Reading".” Biblical Interpretation, vol. 22, no. 4–5, Brill Academic Publishers, pp. 388–413.