Carl R. Holladay

Charles Howard Candler Professor Emeritus of New Testament
Carl R. Holladay
    • PhD, University of Cambridge, 1975
    • ThM, Princeton Theological Seminary, 1970
    • STB, Abilene Christian University, 1969
    • BA, Abilene Christian University, 1965

    Dr. Carl R. Holladay taught at Candler and in Emory's Graduate Division of Religion from 1980 to 2019. He is a popular lecturer at colleges and universities around the world.

    Holladay’s research joins classical academic scholarship and professional application, focusing on Luke-Acts, Hellenistic Judaism (Judaism in the Greco-Roman world), and Christology. His scholarly contributions have focused on the ways in which the culture of the Hellenistic world shaped Jewish traditions of the Second Temple period, and through them the development of early Christianity. He has illuminated the ways in which Jewish authors of the Hellenistic period expressed and defended their tradition in literary and conceptual forms current in the Hellenistic environment. His edition of and commentary on the Greek fragments of Hellenistic Jewish authors is a foundational work for study of Jewish literature of the period, combining philological expertise and a sophisticated grasp of the literature and philosophy of the period.

    He is the sole author of nine books, including A Critical Introduction to the New Testament: Interpreting the Message and Meaning of Jesus Christ (Abingdon, 2005), which offers historical context as well as an orientation to religious, theological and ethical issues surrounding Jesus’ message, and is used extensively by seminaries and ministers. Holladay also co-authored or co-edited four books, including Biblical Exegesis: A Beginner's Handbook (Westminster John Knox, 1st ed., 1982), a widely used introductory text on exegetical methods, theory and practice, now in its third edition. His recent publications include Acts: A Commentary, New Testament Library (Westminster John Knox, 2016), and Introduction to the New Testament: Reference Edition (Baylor, 2017), which treats the historical, literary, and theological dimensions of these early Christian writings.

    He has received several prestigious fellowships and professional honors, including a Fulbright Senior Scholar Award, a Luce Fellowship, and a Festschrift titled Scripture and Traditions: Essays on Early Judaism and Christianity in Honor of Carl R. Holladay (Brill, 2008). Holladay is a member of the Society for New Testament Studies and The Society of Biblical Literature. He was elected in 2017 to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation's oldest and most prestigious honorary societies and a leading center for independent policy research. Holladay currently serves on the Eastern European Liaison Committee, an initiative of the Society for New Testament Studies that has fostered dialogue between Orthodox and non-Orthodox biblical scholars since the 1990s. He is also a member of the editorial board of two international scholarly journals: Novum Testamentum and Sacra Scripta. He also serves on the board of The Christian Scholarship Foundation, Inc., a Georgia-based charitable organization that he helped establish in 1983.

    Selected Publications

    • Faculty Publication
    • Faculty Publication
    • Faculty Publication


    Introduction to the New Testament: Reference Edition. Baylor University Press, 2017

    Acts: A Commentary. Westminster John Knox Press, 2016

    Co-editor,Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity. Collected Essays, 1959-2012, by Abraham J. Malherbe. Brill, 2013

    Co-author,Biblical Exegesis: A Beginner's Handbook, Third Edition. Westminster John Knox Press, 2007; Korean translation, 1988, 2014

    A Critical Introduction to the New Testament: Interpreting the Message and Meaning of Jesus Christ. Abingdon Press, 2005

    Co-author,Preaching Through the Christian Year (1992-1994). Trinity Press International, 1992

    Co-author,Preaching the New Common Lectionary (1984-1987). Abingdon Press, 1984

    The First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians. Abilene Christian University Press, 1984; French translation, 1989

    Fragments from Hellenistic Jewish Authors. Volume I: Historians (1983); Volume II: Poets (1989); Volume III: Aristobulus (1995); Volume IV: Orphica (1996). Society of Biblical Literature, Texts and Translations Pseudepigrapha Series.

    THEIOS ANER in Hellenistic Judaism. Society of Biblical Literature, 1977

    Selected Awards

    President of the Society for New Testament Studies, 2016-2019

    Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2017

    Presented a Festschrift entitled Scripture and Traditions: Essays on Early Judaism and Christianity in Honor of Carl R. Holladay

    Board of Trustees, Abilene Christian University, 2005-2008

    Distinguished Alumni Award, Abilene Christian University

    Henry T. Luce, III, Fellow in Theology, Association of Theological Schools, 1999-2000

    Fulbright Senior Scholar Award for research at Eberhard-Karls Universität in Tübingen, Germany, 1994-1995

    Senior Faculty Fellowship, Yale University

    A. Whitney Griswold Faculty Research Grant, Yale University, 1976, 1979

    F. J. A. Hort Memorial Fund Award, Cambridge University

    “Imagining the Future" - Fall Convocation Address, Cannon Chapel, August 28, 2014

    "The Church of the Spirit" - Carmichael-Walling Lectures, Abilene Christian University, November 15, 2013

    "Happiness and Faith: New Testament" - Candler School of Theology, October 1, 2010