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My Books

To date, I have written or edited eleven books devoted to exploring literary and historical concerns in the New Testament Gospels, the Gospel of Thomas, and contemporary research on Jesus.  

John and Thomas: Gospels in Conflict? Johannine Charaterization and the Thomas Question (Pickwick, 2009)


The hypothesis that the Fourth Gospel is a theological response to the Gospel of Thomas is a recent development in the study of the New Testament and early Christianity. Assuming an early date for the Gospel of Thomas, the proponents of this hypothesis argue that the supposed "polemical" presentation of Thomas in the Fourth Gospel is evidence of a conflict between the early communities associated respectively with John and Thomas. However, a detailed narrative study reveals that the Fourth Gospel portrays a host of characters--disciples and non-disciples--in an equally unflattering light where an understanding of Jesus's origins, message, and mission are concerned. This study attempts to demonstrate that the Fourth Gospel's presentation of Thomas is part and parcel of its treatment of "uncomprehending" characters. If this thesis is correct, it poses a significant challenge to the assumption that the Fourth Gospel contains a polemic against Thomas, or that it was written in response to the Gospel of Thomas or the community associated with Thomas.

Mark as Story: Retrospect and Prospect (with Kelly R. Iverson; Society of Biblical Literature/Brill, 2011)

Mark as Story: An Introduction to the Narrative of a Gospel, originally published in 1982 and extensively revised in 1999, was a turning point in Gospel studies, both for the contribution it made to Markan scholarship and for the methodological insights that it advanced. This volume celebrates Mark as Story and offers critique, engagement, and exploration of the new hermeneutical vistas that emerged in the wake of this pioneering study. In these essays, leading international Markan scholars discuss various texts and themes in the Second Gospel, reflect upon the rise of narrative criticism, and offer a glimpse at future trends in Gospels research. 


What Are They Saying About the Gospel of Thomas? (Paulist 2012).

Since its discovery the Gospel of Thomas has been the subject of intense study for those with interests in the developments of earliest Christianity. Three questions remain unanswered in contemporary scholarship: (1) When was Thomas composed?; (2) What is the relationship between Thomas and the canonical Gospels?; (3) What theological outlook is presented in the Gospel of Thomas? This volume provides a comprehensive overview of recent scholarly opinions on these three questions.

Unity and Diversity in the Gospels and Paul: Essays in Honor of Frank J. Matera (with Kelly R. Iverson; Society of Biblical Literature/Brill, 2012)

This volume addresses the perennial issue of unity and diversity in the New Testament canon. Celebrating the academic legacy of Fr. Frank J. Matera, colleagues and friends interact with elements of his many important works. Scholars and students alike will find fresh and stimulating discussions that navigate the turbulent waters between the Gospels and Paul, ranging from questions of Matthew's so-called anti-Pauline polemic to cruciform teaching in the New Testament. The volume includes contributions from leading scholars in the field, offering a rich array of insights on issues such as Christology, social ethics, soteriology, and more. The contributors are Paul J. Achtemeier, Sherri Brown, Raymond F. Collins, A. Andrew Das, John R. Donahue, S.J., Francis T. Gignac, S.J., Michael J. Gorman, Kelly R. Iverson, Luke Timothy Johnson, Jack Dean Kingsbury, William S. Kurz, S.J., John P. Meier, Francis J. Moloney, S.D.B., and Matt Whitlock.


Characters and Characterization in the Gospel of John (Bloomsbury/T&T Clark, 2013)

This volume examines characters in the Fourth Gospel and provides an in-depth look at different approaches currently employed by scholars working with literary and reader-oriented methods. Divided into two sections, the book first considers method and theory, followed by exegetical character studies using a literary or reader-oriented method. It summarizes the state of the discussion, examines obstacles to arriving at a comprehensive theory of character in the Fourth Gospel, compares different approaches, and compiles the diverse methodologies into one comparative study. 

Character Studies and the Gospel of Mark (with Matthew Ryan Hauge; Bloomsbury/T&T Clark, 2014)

Characters in the Second Gospel are analyzed and an in-depth look at different approaches currently employed by scholars working with literary and reader-oriented methods of analysis is provided. The first section consists of essays on method/theory, and the second consists of seven exegetical character studies using a literary or reader-oriented method. All contributors work from a literary, narrative-critical, reader-oriented, or related methodology. The book summarizes the state of the discussion and examines obstacles to arriving at a comprehensive theory of character in the Second Gospel. Specific contributions include analyses of the representation of women, God, Jesus, Satan, Gentiles, and the Roman authorities of Mark's Gospel. This work is both an exploration of theories of character, and a study in the application of those theories. 


Reading John (Cascade, 2015)

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The Gospel of John is often found at the center of discussions about the Bible and its relation to Christian theology. It is difficult to quantify the impact John's Gospel has had on both the historical development of Christian doctrine and the various expressions of Christian devotion. All too often, however, readers have failed to understand the Gospel as an autonomous text with its own unique story to tell. More often than not, the Gospel of John is swept into a reading approach that either conflates or attempts to harmonize with other accounts of Jesus' life. This book emphasizes the uniqueness of John's story of Jesus and attempts to provide readers with a road map for appreciating the historical context and literary features of the text. The aim of this book is to help others become better, more perceptive readers of the Gospel of John, with an ability to trace the rhetoric of the narrative from beginning to end.

Johannine Ethics: The Moral World of the Gospel and Epistles of John (with Sherri Brown; Fortress, 2017). 

The Gospel and Epistles of John are often overlooked in discussions of New Testament ethics; indeed, it has been asserted that the Fourth Gospel is of only limited value to such discussions--even that John is practically devoid of ethical material. Representing a range of viewpoints, the essays collected here by prominent scholars reveal the surprising relevance and importance of the Johannine literature by examining the explicit imperatives and the values implicit in the Gospel narrative and epistles.  


Cruciform Scripture: Cross, Participation, Mission (with Nijay K. Gupta, Andy Johnson, and Drew Strait; Eerdmans, 2021)

Michael Gorman has been tremendously influential in addressing important questions within New Testament studies, particularly in the letters of Paul, the Gospel of John, and the book of Revelation. His book Cruciformity: Paul’s Narrative Spirituality of the Cross inspired a generation of scholars and was the first in a trilogy of New Testament theology devoted to exploring the role of the cross, participation in Christ, and becoming the gospel in mission. Here, Gorman's friends and colleagues honor his work with contributions of their own, each of which further explores these three critical themes in various passages of the New Testament. This book is more than a tribute to a giant of biblical scholarship. It is an exploration of essential themes of New Testament theology and the core concerns of Christian life in community. Contributors include Ben C. Blackwell, Sherri Brown, Frank E. Dicken, Dennis R. Edwards, Rebekah Eklund, Dean Flemming, Patricia Fosarelli, Stephen E. Fowl, Nijay K. Gupta, Richard B. Hays, Andy Johnson, Sylvia C. Keesmaat, Brent Laytham, Klyne R. Snodgrass, Drew J. Strait, and N. T. Wright.

The Johannine Community in Contemporary Debate (co-edited with Christopher Seglenieks; Fortress Academic, 2024). 

Few scholarly constructs have proven as influential or as durable as the Johannine community. A product of the era in New Testament studies dominated by redaction criticism, the Johannine community construct as articulated first by J. Louis Martyn and later by Raymond E. Brown emerged with an explanatory power that proved persuasive to scholars deliberating on the provenance and emergence of the Johannine literature for the next 50 years. Recent years, however, have seen this once dominant paradigm questioned by many of those working with the Gospel and Letters of John. The Johannine Community in Contemporary Debate is dedicated to exploring the current state of the question while shining a light on new and constructive proposals for understanding the emergence of the Johannine literature. Some contributions accept the idea of a Johannine Community but suggest different ways we might know about the nature of that community. Others reject the existence of a Johannine Community, suggesting alternate models for understanding the emergence of these texts. These proposals are themselves set in perspective by responses from senior scholars. 

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Mark, New Word Biblical Themes (Zondervan Academic, in press, forthcoming, 2025)

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The Gospel of Mark provided the church with its first written narrative of Jesus’s life and ministry. While often overlooked by early commentators in favor of the Gospels of Matthew and John, Mark’s seemingly understated account contains a remarkably organized literary structure with a distinctive vision of Jesus’s identity and mission, the in-breaking of God’s Kingdom, and a theology of discipleship. This volume raises historical and literary questions with a view to elucidating some of Mark’s important themes and his unique contributions to our understanding of Jesus of Nazareth. In the process of outlining the valuable contributions of the gospel, I attempt to provide a coherent reading of Mark’s themes in their broader literary context. This volume explores themes related to Jesus’s mission to the Jewish and Roman worlds and his role in inaugurating of God’s Kingdom, while demonstrating that Mark’s understanding of Jesus Christ was foundational to what became the written gospel tradition.

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