Professor in Christian Origins with Specialisation in New Testament and Director of Research
Ever since I first encountered historical criticism I have been fascinated by the documents that make up the New Testament, particularly the gospels. How did these documents originate? What kind of groups found them useful? What are the relations between them? And how can we disentangle their complex weave of history, theology and defence?
I’m interested in most aspects of the social, cultural and religious context of Second Temple Judaism and early Christianity, including Josephus, the Herods, and the Roman government of Judaea. Recently I’ve been immersed in historical Jesus studies, and have become intrigued not only by the figure of Jesus himself but also the history of the scholarly Quest devoted to him.
Since July 2011 I have been Director of the Centre for the Study of Christian Origins (CSCO). The Centre aims to promote research into the earliest period of Christianity. Details of upcoming events and the kind of things we are interested in can be found on our blog site:
Director of Research
New Testament (particularly Gospels and Acts)
Jewish and Roman world of the first century
Women in the New Testament
Roman and Jewish Trials of Jesus (Pilate, Caiaphas)
Herods, particularly Herod I and the women of his dynasty
My research has tended to focus on characters within the biblical tradition. My first book was on Pontius Pilate. Although I was interested in the ‘historical Pilate,’ the main focus of my work was the various ways in which the Roman prefect was presented by the four gospels, Josephus and Philo. Differences in the portrayal of the governor can tell us quite a lot about the evangelists’ attitudes towards the Roman government of their day. These early Christian texts also mark the beginning of Pilate’s literary ‘afterlife,’ in which he enjoyed great popularity from the emerging apocryphal literature to mediaeval mystery plays and beyond.
Next I wrote a book on the high priest Caiaphas. There was less direct source material to work with here, but unscrambling the complexities of first century high priestly clans and their claims to legitimacy was fascinating - not to mention countering some commonly held and groundless assumptions about Jesus’ priestly enemies.
More information about research projects by Professor Bond are available on her Edinburgh Research Explorer profile.