Simeon R. Burke (Wolfson Foundation PhD Student)

Contact details

  • PhD Student, New College, School of Divinity


Simeon Burke is a PhD Candidate in Early Christianity and New Testament. 


Ph.D. in New Testament and Early Christian Origins, University of Edinburgh (2015-) MPhil in New Testament and Early Christianity, University of Cambridge (2014-2015) MA Joint Honours in New Testament and Modern History, University of St Andrews (2010-2014)

Responsibilities & affiliations

Ecclesiastical History Society

Society of Biblical Literature

North American Patristic Society 

Undergraduate teaching

Tutor for Christianity in Formation, Sem 1 2016

Research summary

Since Autumn 2015, I have been working at the University of Edinburgh on a Wolfson Foundation-funded Ph.D. My doctoral research contributes to the understanding of ancient ethics by examining Tertullian and Origen's re-use of particular sayings of Jesus (see

My research interests mainly revolve around the interplay between early Roman education and rhetoric, early Christian biblical exegesis, hermeneutics and the shape of ethics in the Roman world. I have also researched the Gospel of Thomas and remain interested in how early Christian Gospels interact with and represent "Judaism". More broadly, I am interested in the history of biblical interpretation and the various contributions patristic exegesis and early Christian hermeneutics can make to the understanding of biblical texts and how they have been, and continue to be, read.  

My recent publications (not including book reviews) include:

S.R. Burke, "'Render to Caesar the Things of Caesar and to God the Things of God': Recent Perspectives on a Puzzling Command (1945–Present)", Currents in Biblical Research, Vol. 16(2) 2018:157–190

S.R. Burke, "Tertullian’s Martyrological Maxim: A Case Study for the Multiple Rhetorical Functions of the Command to 'Render to Caesar the Things of Caesar and to God the Things of God' in the Writings of Tertullian", Studia Patristica (accepted and forthcoming 2018)

"Naked Man, NT", in Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception (Berlin: De Gruyter, forthcoming)

"Nazirite, NT", in Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception (Berlin: De Gruyter, forthcoming)

S. Burke, “When was the Gospel of Thomas written?", May 2017. Online: Bible Odyssey, SBL. (invited by editors of Society of Biblical Literature online platform)




Current research interests

Ancient ethics, Gospels, Patristics, History of Interpretation of Biblical Texts

Knowledge exchange

Simeon Burke, Bible Odyssey Contribution: When Was the Gospel of Thomas Written? (June 2017)

Conference details

"The Hermeneutical Benefits of Wirkungsgeschichte: Patristic Applications of the Maxim to "Render to Caesar and to God" as a Case Study (Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting, History of Interpretation Unit, 19th Nov 2018)

"The Hermeneutics of Textual Contextualisation: Early Christian Maxim Re-Use and the Transformation of Roman Morality" (British Patristics Conference, Cardiff, 5th-7th September 2018)

"Early Christian Re-uses of Anecdotes and Maxims: The 'Render' Command and Its Implications for Early Roman Morality" (University of Edinburgh Biblical Studies Senior Seminar, Dec 1 2017)

"An Ascetic Maxim in Alexandria: The 'Render' Command in Clement, Origen and the Sentences of Sextus" (North American Patristics Conference, Chicago, IL May 2017)

"Tertullian and the 'Render' Command" (Sixth British Patristics Conference, University of Birmingham; 5th-7th September 2016)

"Tertullian’s Interpretations of the Command to ‘render to Caesar the things of Caesar and to God the things of God’" (Ecclesiastical History Society Annual Meeting, University of Edinburgh, July 26th 2016. Theme: 'Church and Empire')


New College Inaugural Postgraduate Colloquium, April 2016.