Luke Timothy Johnson

Luke Timothy Johnson

Robert W. Woodruff Professor Emeritus of New Testament and Christian Origins


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.

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

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