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Luke Timothy Johnson

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Luke Timothy Johnson

Luke Timothy Johnson
Born (1943-11-20) November 20, 1943
Park Falls, Wisconsin
Nationality American
Occupation Theologian, historian, scholar, former priest
Religion Roman Catholic
Spouse(s) Joy Randazzo (1974 - present)

Luke Timothy Johnson (born November 20, 1943) is an American New Testament scholar and historian of early Christianity. He is the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins at Candler School of Theology and a Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University. Johnson's research interests encompass the Jewish and Greco-Roman contexts of early Christianity (particularly moral discourse), Luke-Acts, the Pastoral Epistles, and the Epistle of James.


  • Early life 1
  • Academic career 2
  • Recognition 3
  • Personal life 4
  • Publications 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Early life

A native of Park Falls, Wisconsin, Johnson was educated in public and parochial schools. A Benedictine monk and priest at St. Joseph Abbey, St. Benedict, Louisiana from 1963 to 1972, he received a B.A. in Philosophy from Notre Dame Seminary in 1966, a M.Div. in Theology from Saint Meinrad School of Theology in 1970, an M.A. in Religious Studies from Indiana University, and a Ph.D. in New Testament from Yale University in 1976.[1] He has taught at St. Meinrad, Saint Joseph Seminary College, Yale Divinity School, and Indiana University.

Academic career

Johnson is a critic of the Jesus Seminar, having taken stances against Burton Mack, Robert Funk and John Dominic Crossan in discussions of the "historical Jesus".[2] Johnson objects to the Seminar's historical methodology. He is also a proponent of an early dating for the Epistle of James, arguing:

"The Letter of James also, according to the majority of scholars who have carefully worked through its text in the past two centuries, is among the earliest of New Testament compositions. It contains no reference to the events in Jesus' life, but it bears striking testimony to Jesus' words. Jesus' sayings are embedded in James' exhortations in a form that is clearly not dependent on the written Gospels."[3]

In some areas, Johnson disagrees with Roman Catholic teaching. He has publicly declared his support for women's ordination and he has expressed concern for what he perceives to be the Roman Catholic Church's overemphasis and singling out of homosexual partnerships amidst the myriad of other sexual sins condemned in the Bible.[4]

Johnson has produced lectures on early Christianity and ancient Greek philosophy for The Teaching Company. [5]


He is the recipient of the 2011 [6]

Personal life

Johnson married Joy Randazzo in 1974 and is stepfather to six children and father of one.


  • The Creed: What Christians Believe and Why it Matters, Doubleday, 2004. ISBN 978-0-385-50247-4
  • Brother of Jesus, Friend of God: Studies in the Letter of James (2004). ISBN 0-8028-0986-3 ISBN 978-0802809865
  • The First and Second Letters to Timothy: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (Anchor Bible) (2001). ISBN 0-385-48422-4 ISBN 978-0385484220
  • Living Jesus: Learning the Heart of the Gospel (1999). ISBN 0-06-064283-1 ISBN 978-0060642839
  • Religious Experience: A Missing Dimension in New Testament Studies (1998). ISBN 0-8006-3129-3 ISBN 978-0800631291
  • Reading Romans: A Literary and Theological Commentary (1997). ISBN 1-57312-276-9 ISBN 978-1573122764
  • Letters to Paul's Delegates: A Commentary on 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy and Titus (1996). ISBN 1-56338-144-3 ISBN 978-1563381447
  • Scripture and Discernment: Decision Making in the Church (1996). ISBN 0-687-01238-4 ISBN 978-0687012381
  • The Real Jesus: The Misguided Quest for the Historical Jesus and the Truth of the Traditional Gospels (1996). ISBN 0-06-064166-5, ISBN 978-0-06-064166-5
  • The Letter of James (Commentary) (1995). ISBN 0-385-41360-2 ISBN 978-0385413602
  • Proclamation 5: Interpreting the Lessons of the Church Year (1993). ISBN 0-8006-4184-1 ISBN 978-0800641849
  • The Acts of the Apostles (Commentary) (1992). ISBN 0-8146-5968-3 ISBN 978-0814659687
  • The Gospel of Luke (Commentary) (1991). ISBN 0-8146-5966-7 ISBN 978-0814659663
  • Faith's Freedom: A Classic Spirituality for Contemporary Christians (1990). ISBN 0-8006-2428-9 ISBN 978-0800624286
  • 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus (1987). ISBN 0-8042-3242-3 ISBN 978-0804232425
  • The Writings of the New Testament: An Interpretation (1986, rev. ed. 2002). ISBN 0-334-02911-2, ISBN 978-0-334-02911-3; paperback (2003) ISBN 0-8006-3439-X ISBN 978-0800634391
  • Decision Making in the Church: A Biblical Model (1983). ISBN 0-8006-1694-4 ISBN 978-0800616946
  • Luke-Acts: A Story of Prophet and People (1982). ISBN 0-8199-0524-0 ISBN 978-0819905246
  • Some Hard Blessings: Meditations on the Beatitudes in Matthew (1981). ISBN 0-89505-058-7 ISBN 978-0895050588
  • Sharing Possessions: Mandate and Symbol of Faith (1981). ISBN 0-8006-1534-4 ISBN 978-0800615345
  • Invitation to the Letters of Paul III: Ephesians, Colossians, Pastorals (Commentary) (1980).
  • The Literary Function of Possessions in Luke-Acts (1977).
  • Teaching Religion to Undergraduates (1973).
  • The writings of the New Testament (Third Edition) ISBN 978-0-8006-6361-2

Johnson is also the author of a large number of scholarly articles, encyclopedia, anthology and popular articles, book reviews, and other academic papers and lectures.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Robert M. Price The Real Jesus: The Misguided Quest for the Historical Jesus and the Truth of the Traditional GospelsReview of . The Journal of Higher Criticism, (Spring, 1997), 156-158.
  3. ^ Johnson, Luke Timothy (1996). The Real Jesus. HarperOne. p. 121.  
  4. ^ " Homosexuality & the Church: Two Views", Commonweal Magazine, June 2007.
  5. ^ "Professor Bio Page" , The Teaching Company, retrieved 18 Nov 2014
  6. ^ "Ancient religions had much in common, says Grawemeyer winner". 

External links

  • Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Religion Senior Fellow
  • Emory University Faculty Home Page
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