Professor Larry Hurtado (BA MA PhD FRSE)

Emeritus Professor in New Testament Language, Literature & Theology


Practically anything about earliest Christianity interests me.

My own abilities and competence certainly have limits, but my interests and appreciation extend much farther.

The New Testament is a collection of early Christian writings with a fascinating and complex history to them, an invaluable body of evidence from early Christian circles. But these writings are also Holy Scripture for Christians, and the single most important collection of writings for anyone who seeks to understand the Christian tradition and come to some appreciation of the key beliefs and convictions that have shaped it.

In my inaugural lecture, "New Testament Studies at the Turn of the Millennium: Questions for the Discipline," Scottish Journal of Theology 52(1999), pp. 158-78, I have tried to indicate my own approach to the field and I have sketched some major issues facing the field in this new millennium and century.

Although I retired in 2011, I continue to be research-active and involved in helping in supervising PhD students. 



Research summary

My own research has always been driven by questions: how the New Testament came to us, how the Gospels were transmitted in the early centuries, what this or that passage means, how the early Christians adapted traditions from their religious background and how they innovated, how their worship began and how it was shaped, how they accommodated Christ along with God in their devotional life, how Christian belief and practice was shaped by opposition and historical developments of the first two centuries . . . And my questions continue, especially focused in the following matters:

Gospels (esp. Gospel of Mark)

Apostle Paul

Early Christology & Jesus-devotion

Early Christian Worship

Jewish Background of the New Testament

New Testament Textual Criticism

Early Christian Manuscripts

Current research interests

Current research is directed to several topics, including key biblical (Old Testament) texts in earliest Christological developments, and features of earliest Christian papyri and the significance for Christian origins.

Affiliated research centres