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Professor Paul Trebilco

Paul photo 12Professor
BSc (Canterbury), Bachelor of Divinity (Otago), PhD (University of Durham), FRSNZ

Room: 4S2, Arts Building
Tel 64 3 479 8798
Email paul.trebilco@otago.ac.nz

Paul Trebilco is Professor of New Testament. He studied Chemistry at the University of Canterbury, and then did a Bachelor of Divinity at Otago before completing his PhD in the New Testament in 1987 at the University of Durham.

He has published work on the Jewish and Greco-Roman backgrounds to the New Testament, the Acts of the Apostles, the apostle Paul, early Christians in Ephesus, the relationship of Scripture and Church tradition, and the Self-designations used by the earliest Christians in the New Testament.

From 2013-2017, he was the General Editor of the Society for New Testament Studies Monograph Series, published by Cambridge University Press.  In 2017, Paul was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand. See further information here: https://royalsociety.org.nz/news/2017-new-fellows/

Teaching

Interpreting the New Testament

Jesus in the New Testament

The Epistles

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Preferred Areas of Supervision

  • The Historical Jesus
  • The Johannine Literature (John's Gospel, 1-3 John and Revelation)
  • Acts of the Apostles
  • Pauline Theology
  • The Pastoral Epistles
  • Unity and Diversity in the New Testament

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Main Research Interests

  • The Early Christians in Ephesus
  • The Pastoral Epistles
  • The Johannine Literature
  • Diaspora Judaism

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Current Research

  • The issue of self-designation in earliest Christianity. What terms would an early Christian use to address a gathering? We might think they would use the term "Christian", but since this is found only three times in the New Testament, it is unlikely that this is the term they would have used
  • On-going work on the early Christians in Ephesus
  • The development of early Christian communities in Asia Minor into the second century
  • The Pastoral Epistles
  • The sense of the "local" and the "global", as lens through which we can view the New Testament and earliest Christianity

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Current Postgraduate Students

  • Nick Brennan (PhD) “Leading Many Sons to Glory’: Human Destiny and the Identity of Christ in the Epistle to the Hebrews”
  • Alesana Eteuati (PhD) “Destigmatization in Matthew 1-3: A reading of Matthew’s infancy and baptismal narrative”
  • Aaron Geddis (MTh) "Elijah’s Failure and Jesus’ Vocation"
  • Ben Hudson (PhD) "Salvation History and Apocalyptic in Ephesians"
  • George Mombi (PhD) “Exploring the Meaning and Significance of the concept of “in Christ” in Colossians as a response to Melanesian concept of ‘Gutpela Sindaun’, with special reference to the concepts of Fullness, Riches, Mystery and Hiddenness”
  • Mathew Newton (PhD) "Improvising Abraham: Paul’s use of the Abraham narratives in Galatians"
  • Ben Ong (PhD) "Hospitality around Food as Key to Unity in 1 Corinthians"
  • Phillip Porter (PhD) "The Possibilities of the Gospel Narratives for Parable Interpretation!"
  • Jonathon Robinson (PhD) "An Intertextual Assessment of Christology in the Markan Miracles"
  • Christine Sansotta (MTh) “Leadership in the New Testament with a focus on Pauline Literature”
  • Blake Wassell (PhD) "Pilate and the Jews in the Gospel of John: A Study in Historiography, Kingship, and Friendship"

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Recent Postgraduate students

  • Carmen Anderson (MTh) “Ἀμήν I Say to You”: Faith, Understanding and Speaking the Truth in Matthew’s Gospel”
  • Doug Anderson (PhD) “The Origin and Purpose of Matthew 27:51b-53”
  • Tualagi Ah-Yek (MTh) “The metaphor of shepherding in John 10:1-18 and 1 Peter 5:1-7 and its significance for Samoan Ministry”
  • David Balchin (MTh) “To Understand the Righteousness of God in Romans is to Understand how the Gospel is the Power of God for the Salvation of those who believe”
  • Erin Bay (PhD) "The Social Significance of the Sacralized Body in The Epistle to the Romans: Pauline Subversion of Cultural Constructions of Human Worth"
  • Deborah Bower (PhD) “Isaiah, the Gospel of Luke, and Peter in Conversation with Cornelius. A Narrative-Critical Analysis of Acts 10:1-11:18”
  • Chris Caradus (PhD) “Beyond a Sonderweg for Israel: An Exploration of Persistence of Exile Themes in relation to Romans 11.26”
  • Tim Dack (MTh) “Grace Redefined in 1 Corinthians 12:9a”
  • Matt Easter (PhD) ““Let Us Go to Him”: The Story of Faith and the Faithfulness of Jesus in Hebrews”
  • Gerard Ellis (PhD) “Grammar as Theology: A Linguistic Rereading of Philippians 2:6-7a”
  • Mark Forman (PhD) “The Politics of Inheritance? The Language of Inheritance in Romans within its First-Century Greco-Roman Imperial Context
  • Patrik Frank (PhD), "Blessed is he who keeps the words of prophecy in this book": an intra-textual reading of the Apocalypse as Parenesis
  • Sarah Harris (PhD) “The Davidic Shepherd King in the Lukan Narrative”
  • Erin Heim (PhD) “Light Through a Prism: New Avenues of Inquiry for the Pauline Ui`oqesi,a Metaphors”
  • Anna Hluan (PhD) “Silence in translation : Interpreting 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 in Myanmar"
  • Dale Hokin (MTh) “Is Motivation of Reward and Punishment Faithful to the Teachings of Jesus in the Gospel of Mark?”
  • Luke Hoselton (PhD) "New Creation in Colossians: A Comparative, Exegetical, and Theological Analysis"
  • Tom Innes (PhD) “Into the Deep Water, to the Other Side: Discipleship in Luke’s Lake Stories”
  • Jacqui Lloyd (PhD) "Archaeology and the Itinerant Jesus: a historical inquiry into the Extent of Jesus’ itinerancy in the north"
  • Jonathon Lookadoo (PhD) “The High Priest and the Temple: Metaphorical Depictions of Jesus in the Letters of Ignatius of Antioch"
  • Alan Missen (MTh) “Worship and witness in the Apocalypse”
  • Tony Siew (PhD) “The War Between the Two Beasts and the Two Witnesses: A Chiastic Reading of Rev 11:1-14:5”
  • Dillon Thornton (PhD) “Hostility in the House of God: An “Interested” Investigation of the Opponents in 1 and 2 Timothy
  • Sean du Toit (PhD) “1 Peter: Negotiating Life within the Greco-Roman World”
  • Gillian Townsley (PhD) “The Straight Mind in Corinth: Queer Readings Across 1 Cor 11.2-16”
  • Julia van den Brink (PhD) “Blessings and Woes in Luke: Intertextual Echoes of Antithetical Covenant Blessings and Curses in Luke’s Gospel with Particular Reference to 6:20b-26"
  • Deolito Vistar (PhD) “The Supreme Σημεῖον of Jesus’ Death-and-Resurrection in the Fourth Gospel"
  • Kevin Waldie (PhD) “Compassion, Jesus and Luke: Words and Deeds in a Redaction-Compositional Study of Luke 6:12-8:3”
  • Rick Weymouth (PhD) “The Christ-Story of Philippians 2:6-11: Narrative Shape and Paraenetic Purpose in Paul's Letter to Philippi”
  • Max Whitaker (PhD) "Is Jesus Athene or Odysseus? Investigating the unrecognisability and metamorphosis of Jesus in his post-resurrection appearances"
  • Martin Williams (PhD) “The Doctrine of Salvation in the First Letter of Peter: A Theological-Critical Study”

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Publications

Trebilco, P. R. (2017). Outsider designations and boundary construction in the New Testament: Early Christian communities and the formation of group identity. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 358p. doi: 10.1017/9781108291460

Walton, S., Trebilco, P. R., & Gill, D. W. (Eds.). (2017). The urban world and the first Christians. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 388p.

Trebilco, P. R. (2017). Engaging—or not engaging—the city: Reading 1 and 2 Timothy and the Johannine letters in the city of Ephesus. In S. Walton, P. R. Trebilco & D. W. Gill (Eds.), The urban world and the first Christians. (pp. 160-186). Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.

Walton, S., Trebilco, P. R., & Gill, D. W. (2017). Cities as more than "scenery". In S. Walton, P. R. Trebilco & D. W. Gill (Eds.), The urban world and the first Christians. (pp. xii-xv). Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.

Walton, S., Trebilco, P. R., & Gill, D. W. (2017). Research on urban Christian communities: Looking ahead. In S. Walton, P. R. Trebilco & D. W. Gill (Eds.), The urban world and the first Christians. (pp. 320-324). Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.

Authored Book - Research

Trebilco, P. R. (2017). Outsider designations and boundary construction in the New Testament: Early Christian communities and the formation of group identity. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 358p. doi: 10.1017/9781108291460

Trebilco, P. (2012). Self-designations and group identity in the New Testament. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 375p.

Trebilco, P., Caradus, C., & Rae, S. (2009). Asia Bible Commentary Series. 2 Timothy and Titus. Manila, Philippines: Asia Theological Association, 222p.

Trebilco, P., & Rae, S. (2006). 1 Timothy. Singapore: Asia Theological Association, 199p.

Trebilco, P. (2004). The early Christians in Ephesus from Paul to Ignatius. Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 842p.

Trebilco, P. R. (1995). Considering Orthodoxy: Foundations for Faith Today. Orewa: Colcom Press, 186p.

Trebilco, P. R. (1991). Jewish communities in Asia Minor. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 330p.

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Edited Book - Research

Walton, S., Trebilco, P. R., & Gill, D. W. (Eds.). (2017). The urban world and the first Christians. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 388p.

Morris, P., Shepard, W., Trebilco, P., & Tidswell, T. (Eds.). (2014). The teaching and study of Islam in western universities. Abingdon, UK: Routledge, 198p.

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Chapter in Book - Research

Trebilco, P. R. (2017). Engaging—or not engaging—the city: Reading 1 and 2 Timothy and the Johannine letters in the city of Ephesus. In S. Walton, P. R. Trebilco & D. W. Gill (Eds.), The urban world and the first Christians. (pp. 160-186). Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.

Walton, S., Trebilco, P. R., & Gill, D. W. (2017). Research on urban Christian communities: Looking ahead. In S. Walton, P. R. Trebilco & D. W. Gill (Eds.), The urban world and the first Christians. (pp. 320-324). Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.

Walton, S., Trebilco, P. R., & Gill, D. W. (2017). Cities as more than "scenery". In S. Walton, P. R. Trebilco & D. W. Gill (Eds.), The urban world and the first Christians. (pp. xii-xv). Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.

Trebilco, P. (2015). Epigraphy and the study of the Polis and the Ekklēsia in the Greco-Roman world. In J. R. Harrison & L. L. Welborn (Eds.), The first urban churches 1: Methodological foundations. (pp. 89-109). Atlanta, GA: SBL Press.

Trebilco, P. (2015). Early Jewish communities in Asia Minor and the early Christian movement. In M. Tiwald (Ed.), Q in context II: Social setting and archaeological background of the Sayings Source. (pp. 213-231). Göttingen, Germany: V&R unipress.

Trebilco, P. (2014). The Holy Spirit in 1 John. In J. T. K. Lim (Ed.), Holy Spirit: Unfinished agenda. (pp. 71-74). Singapore: Genesis Books & Word N Works.

Morris, P., Shepard, W., Tidswell, T., & Trebilco, P. (2014). Introduction: Setting the scene. In P. Morris, W. Shepard, P. Trebilco & T. Tidswell (Eds.), The teaching and study of Islam in western universities. (pp. 1-8). Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Trebilco, P. (2013). 1 Timothy 3.16 as a proto-rule of faith. In J. B. Green & T. Meadowcroft (Eds.), Ears that hear: Explorations in theological interpretation of the Bible. (pp. 170-190). Sheffield, UK: Sheffield Phoenix Press.

Trebilco, P. (2013). Studying "fractionation' in earliest Christianity in Rome and Ephesus. In C. Breytenbach & J. Frey (Eds.), Reflections on the early Christian history of religion [Erwägungen zur frühchristlichen religionsgeschichte]. (pp. 293-333). Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill.

Trebilco, P. (2013). The social setting of the Epistle to the Romans. In K. K. Yeo (Ed.), From Rome to Beijing: Symposia on Roger Jewett's commentary on Romans. (pp. 299-309). Lincoln, NE: Kairos Studies.

Trebilco, P. (2013). The province and cities of Asia. In J. B. Green & L. M. McDonald (Eds.), The world of the New Testament: Cultural, social and historical contexts. (pp. 501-521). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.

Trebilco, P. (2011). Christians in the Lycus Valley: The view from Ephesus and from Western Asia Minor. In A. H. Cadwallader & M. Trainor (Eds.), Colossae in space and time: Linking to an ancient city. (pp. 180-211). Göttingen, Germany: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.

Trebilco, P. (2010). Antioch (Pisidian). In J. J. Collins & D. C. Harlow (Eds.), The Eerdmans dictionary of early Judaism. (pp. 334-336). Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans.

Trebilco, P. (2010). Jesus Christ: Creator and redeemer (Colossians 1:15-20): An exposition. In B. Nicolls, T. R. Lua & J. Belding (Eds.), The Church in a changing world: An Asian response: Challenges from the Malang Consultation on globalization. (pp. 39-48). Quezon City, Philippines: Asia Theological Association.

Trebilco, P. (2010). Asia Minor. In J. J. Collins & D. C. Harlow (Eds.), The Eerdmans dictionary of early Judaism. (pp. 392-396). Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans.

Trebilco, P. (2010). Jesus Christ: Our servant Lord (Philippians 2:6-11): An exposition. In B. Nicolls, T. R. Lua & J. Belding (Eds.), The Church in a changing world: An Asian response: Challenges from the Malang Consultation on globalization. (pp. 49-59). Quezon City, Philippines: Asia Theological Association.

Trebilco, P. (2009). Asia Minor and the Bible. In H.-J. Klauk, B. McGinn, P. Mendes-Flohr, C.-L. Seow, H. Spieckermann & B. D. Walfish (Eds.), Encyclopedia of the Bible and its reception: Anim-Atheism. (pp. 1034-1037). Berlin, Germany: Walter de Gruyter.

Trebilco, P. (2008). Diaspora. In C. A. Evans (Ed.), Encyclopedia of the historical Jesus. (pp. 156-157). New York: Routledge.

Trebilco, P. (2006). Asia. In K. D. Sakenfeld (Ed.), The new interpreter's dictionary of the Bible: A-C (Vol. 1). (pp. 303-304). Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press.

Trebilco, P. (2006). The Jews in Asia Minor: 66-c. 235 CE. In S. T. Katz (Ed.), The Cambridge history of Judaism: Volume IV: The late Roman-Rabbinic period. (pp. 75-82). UK: Cambridge University Press.

Trebilco, P. (2004). The significance and relevance of the Spirit in the pastoral epistles. In G. N. Stanton, B. W. Longenecker & S. C. Barton (Eds.), The Holy Spirit and Christian origins. (pp. 241-256). Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

Trebilco, P. (2004). The Christian and Jewish Eumeneian formula. In J. M. G. Barclay (Ed.), Negotiating diaspora: Jewish strategies in the Roman Empire. (pp. 66-88). London: T & T Clark International.

Trebilco, P. (2001). Timorati di Dio. In A. Lewin (Ed.), Gli Ebrei Nell'impero Romano. (pp. 161-193). Florence: Editrice La Giuntina.

Trebilco, P. (2000). Jewish communities in Asia Minor. In C. A. Evans & S. E. Porter (Eds.), Dictionary of New Testament Background. (pp. 562-569). Downers Grove, Illinois: Inter-Varsity Press.

Trebilco, P. (2000). The goodness and holiness of the earth and the whole creation (1 Tim. 4:1-5). In N. Habel (Ed.), Readings from the Perspective of Earth. The Earth Bible. Vol.1. (pp. 204-220). Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press.

Trebilco, P. (1997). Ozen(ear). In W. A. VanGemeren (Ed.), New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology& Exegesis. (pp. 341-343). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan Pub. House.

Trebilco, P. (1997). Dam(blood). In W. A. VanGemeren (Ed.), New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology & Exegesis. (pp. 963-966). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan Pub. House.

Trebilco, P. (1997). Jewish backgrounds of the New Testament. In S. E. Porter (Ed.), Handbook to Exegesis of the New Testament (New Testament Tools and Studies, vol 25). (pp. 359-388). Leiden: Brill.

Trebilco, P. (1997). Diaspora Judaism. In R. P. Martin & P. H. Davids (Eds.), Dictionary of the Later New Testament and its Developments. (pp. 287-300). Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press.

Trebilco, P. (1996). Animals. In W. A. Elwell (Ed.), Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology. (pp. 24-26). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.

Trebilco, P. (1996). Proselyte. In I. H. Marshall, J. I. Packer & D. J. Wiseman (Eds.), The New Bible Dictionary. 3rd edn. (pp. 1769-1771). Leicester: Inter Varsity Press.

Trebilco, P. (1995). Orthodoxy, scripture and tradition. In P. R. Trebilco (Ed.), Considering Orthodoxy: Foundations for Faith Today. (pp. 97-123). Orewa: Colcom Press.

Trebilco, P. (1994). Acts 17: A window on Paul's methods of evangelism. In B. Hamill & M. Rae (Eds.), Theological fragments: Essays in honour of Alan Torrance. (pp. 26-36). Dunedin, New Zealand: Lada Publications.

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Journal - Research Article

Trebilco, P. (2014). Creativity at the boundary: Features of the linguistic and conceptual construction of outsiders in the New Testament. New Testament Studies, 60(2), 185-201. doi: 10.1017/S0028688513000404

Trebilco, P. (2013). Early Christian communities in the Greco-Roman city: Perspectives on urban ministry from the New Testament. Ex Auditu, 29, 25-48.

Trebilco, P. (2012). The significance of the distribution of self-designations in Acts. Novum Testamentum, 54, 30-49. doi: 10.1163/156853611X593269

Trebilco, P. (2011). Why did the early Christians call themselves η εκκλησια? New Testament Studies, 57(3), 440-460. doi: 10.1017/S0028688511000087

Trebilco, P. (2006). Christian communities in Western Asia Minor into the early second century: Ignatius and others as witnesses against Bauer. Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, 49(1), 17-44.

Trebilco, P. (2006). Gospel, culture, and the public sphere: Perspectives from the New Testament. Evangel, 24(2), 37-45.

Trebilco, P. (2005). Gospel, culture, and the public sphere: Perspectives from the New Testament. Stimulus, 13(3), 2-10.

Trebilco, P. (2003). What shall we call each other? Part Two: The issue of self-designation in the Johannine Letter and revelation. Tyndale Bulletin, 54(1), 51-73.

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