Luke Timothy Johnson

Robert W. Woodruff Professor Emeritus of New Testament and Christian Origins
Luke Timothy Johnson
    • PhD, Yale University, 1976
    • MDiv, Saint Meinrad School of Theology, 1970
    • MA, Indiana University, 1970
    • BA, Notre Dame Seminary, 1967

    Dr. Luke Timothy Johnson is Candler School of Theology’s Robert W. Woodruff Professor Emeritus, Emory’s most distinguished endowed chair. A noted scholar and an award-winning teacher, Johnson taught at Yale Divinity School and Indiana University prior to arriving at Candler in 1992. His research concerns the literary, moral and religious dimensions of the New Testament, including the Jewish and Greco-Roman contexts of early Christianity (particularly moral discourse), Luke-Acts, the Pastoral Letters, and the Letter of James.

    A prolific author, Johnson has penned 31 books, more than 70 scholarly articles, 100 popular articles and nearly 200 book reviews. His 1986 book, The Writings of the New Testament: An Interpretation, now in its third edition, is widely used as a textbook in seminaries and departments of religion throughout the world. A decade later, Johnson made national headlines with The Real Jesus: The Misguided Quest for the Historical Jesus and the Truth of the Traditional Gospels (HarperOne, 1996), the first book to systematically challenge the Jesus Seminar’s controversial claims, among them that Jesus said only 18 percent of what the Gospels attribute to him.

    In 2011, Johnson won the prestigious Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Religion, designated for highly significant contributions to religious and spiritual understanding, for his book Among the Gentiles: Greco-Roman Religion and Christianity (Yale Univ. Press, 2009), which proposes a new framework for analyzing early Christianity in its religious, social and historical contexts. He received the Catholic Press Association’s 2012 Catholic Book Award in Scripture for his book Prophetic Jesus, Prophetic Church (Eerdmans, 2011), which reveals the vision of Jesus and the church in Luke and Acts.

    A former Benedictine monk, Johnson is a highly sought-after lecturer and has made more than 175 academic presentations. He is also a member of several editorial and advisory boards, and a senior fellow at Emory University's Center for the Study of Law and Religion.

    Selected Publications

    • Faculty Publication
    • Faculty Publication
    • Faculty Publication

    Miracles: God's Presence and Power in Creation.Westminster John Knox, 2018.

    The Revelatory Body: Theology as Inductive Art Wm. B. Eerdmans2015

    Contested Issues in Christian Origins and the New Testament: Collected Essays Brill2013

    "Life-Giving Spirit: The Ontological Implications of Resurrection in 1 Corinthians," in Stone Campbell Journal, vol. 15, issue 1 Stone-Campbell International2012

    "The Use of Cinema to Do Theology," in CommonwealCommonweal2012

    Prophetic Jesus, Prophetic Church: The Challenge of Luke-Acts to Contemporary Christians Wm. B. Eerdmans2011

    Sharing Possessions: What Faith Demands, Second Edition Wm. B. Eerdmans2011

    The Writings of the New Testament: An Interpretation, Third Edition Augsburg Fortress2010

    A Very Short Introduction to the New Testament Oxford University Press2010

    Among the Gentiles: Greco-Roman Religion and Christianity Yale University Press2009

    Hebrews: A Commentary Westminster John Knox Press2006

    Selected Awards

    Emory Williams Distinguished Teaching Award, Emory University, 2012-2013.

    Catholic Press Association Catholic Book Award in Scripture for Prophetic Jesus, Prophetic Church

    Grawemeyer Award in Religion for Among the Gentiles: Greco-Roman Religion and Christianity

    Presented with a Festschrift entitled Between Experience and Interpretation: Engaging the Writings of the New Testament

    Outstanding Faculty Person Award, Candler School of Theology

    Catholic Biblical Association of America Research Fellowship

    Chosen as a Fellow of the Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University, 2001-2013.

    Henry Luce III Fellow in Theology, Association of Theological Schools

    "On Eagle's Wings" Excellence in Teaching Award, Candler School of Theology

    Doctor of Divinity (Honoris Causa), The Nashota House

    "The Fear of the Lord is the Beginning of Wisdom" - Spring 2016 Convocation, Cannon Chapel, January 12, 2016

    "Meeting the Theological Challenges of the New Century" - Prophetic Voices Centennial Academic Conference, Keynote Address, Cannon Chapel, March 18, 2015


    "Jesus and the Law of Marriage and Divorce" - 2012 Alonzo L. McDonald Lecture in Law and Christianity, Center for the Study of Law and Religion, Emory University, February 9, 2012

    Selected Courses

    New Testament Interpretation

    Greek Exegesis of First Corinthians

    New Testament and Ethics

    Jesus and the Gospels

    Sexuality and the Bible

    Theology of Paul: Paul's Jesus