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Paul Trebilco image 2021

BSc (Canterbury),  Bachelor of Divinity (Otago), PhD (University of Durham), FRSNZ

Head of Theology Programme
Room 4S2, Arts Building
Tel +64 3 479 8798

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:


  • BIBS121 Interpreting the New Testament
  • BIBS226 Jesus in the New Testament
  • BIBS326 Jesus in the New Testament (Advanced)
  • BIBS322 The New Testament Epistles
  • BIBS423 The New Testament Epistles (Advanced)

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

Main research interests

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

Current research

  • The early Christians in Ephesus, Smyrna, Miletus and elsewhere in Ionia, from Paul to 500 CE
  • The Johannine Epistles
  • The Acts of the Apostles
  • Jewish Communities in Asia Minor

Current postgraduate students

  • Aminta Arrington (PhD) “Christ as Mearcstapa: The Border Stalking of Jesus of Nazareth in Luke’s Gospel Account”
  • Andrew Duncanson (MTh) “A Historical Inquiry into the Baptism of Jesus”
  • W.H. Chong (PhD) “Spaces Matter: Learning from the Text Delimitations of Early NT MSS containing Ephesians and 1 Peter”
  • Fenika Faalave (PhD) “Examining Luke's Characterisation of the Human Characters in the Dream-Visions in Acts”
  • Aaron Geddis (PhD) “Jesus' Temple action in the Gospel of Matthew: The climax of Malachi's return of Elijah motif”
  • Christopher Hext (PhD) “The Character and Origin of the Easter  computus in the early church: Christianity’s inheritance, or its own invention?”
  • Mathew Newton (PhD) “Improvising Abraham: Paul's use of the Abraham narratives in Galatians”
  • Julie O’Toole (MTh) “Put on the New Man: An Examination of the Conversion Experience of the Apostle Paul as an example of Transformative Learning and the Implications for Theological Education”
  • Jonathan Seiuli (PhD) “Submission to the Governing Authorities: Re-examining Authority from God in Romans 13: 1–7”
  • Chanki Shin (PhD) “A Study of Paul's Anomalous Fatherhood in 1 Corinthians 4.14–21 in Light of the Sociopolitical Context of Greco-Roman and Jewish Fatherhood During the Second Temple Period”
  • Emma Stokes (PhD) “Reconsidering the Samaritans as a character in the Lukan travel narrative”
  • Herry Susanto (PhD) “Pauline Cosmological Redemption as the Basis for Eco-Theology”

Completed postgraduate students

  • Jessica Bent (PhD) “Spiritual Family Language: A Dialogue between Paul and a New Zealand Baptist Church”
  • Jordan Chapman (PhD) “Isaiah’s Servant(s) in 1 Peter: Isaiah 53 and the Argument of 1 Peter”
  • Malcolm Gordon (PhD) “Forsaking Protest: Tracing the Loss of Protest Prayer in Early and Patristic Christianity”
  • Clare Knowles  (PhD) “Interpreting Isaiah from Isaiah: Intratextual Translation in Old Greek Isaiah”
  • Elliot Luo (PhD) “Realised and Future Eschatology, and Dualism in the Johannine Epistles”
  • 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”
  • Nick Brennan (PhD) “Leading Many Sons to Glory': Human Destiny and the Identity of Christ in the Epistle to the Hebrews”
  • 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”
  • Aaron Geddis (MTh) “The concept of the Return of Elijah in Matthew 11:2-24 and it's Christological Implications”
  • 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"
  • Ben Hudson (PhD) “Co-partakers of the promise: Israel and the Gentiles in Ephesians”
  • Tom Innes (PhD) “Into the Deep Water, to the Other Side: Discipleship in Luke's Lake Stories”
  • Bradley Kelderman (MTh) “Paul's Use of the Remnant Concept in Romans 9-11 and its Interpretative Implications for Romans 11:26”
  • 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”
  • 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”
  • Ben Ong (PhD) “Partner-centred Interpretation in Aotearoa New Zealand: A Hermeneutic for Paakehaa in Partnership with Māori”
  • Phillip Porter (PhD) "The Possibilities of the Gospel Narratives for Parable Interpretation!"
  • Jonathon Robinson (PhD) “An Intertextual Assessment of Christology in the Markan Miracles”
  • 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”
  • Blake Wassell (PhD) “Pilate and the Jews in the Gospel of John: A Study in Historiography, Kingship, and Friendship”
  • 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”


Trebilco, P. (2024). Jews in Asia Minor. In C. Hezser (Ed.), The Routledge handbook of Jews and Judaism in late antiquity. (pp. 509-526). Abingdon, UK: Routledge. doi: 10.4324/9781315280974 Chapter in Book - Research

Trebilco, P. (2023). Gift and reciprocity in John's Gospel: A lens through which to read the farewell discourses. In E. Adams, D. H. Bertschmann, S. J. Chester, J. A. Linebaugh & T. D. Still (Eds.), The new perspective on grace: Paul and the gospel after Paul and the gift. (pp. 142-156). Grand Rapids MI: Eerdmans. Chapter in Book - Research

Trebilco, P. R. (2023). The reception of Paul in Ephesus from the second to the fifth century CE. In D. P. Moessner, P. B. Duff, J. E. Spittler & R. M. Calhoun (Eds.), Paul, Christian textuality, and the hermeneutics of Late Antiquity. (pp. 351-378). Leiden, The Netherlands: Koninklijke Brill. Chapter in Book - Research

Trebilco, P. R. (2023). Travel and itinerary plans. In S. McKnight, L. H. Cohick & N. K. Gupta (Eds.), Dictionary of Paul and his letters: A compendium of contemporary biblical scholarship. (2nd ed.) (pp. 1064-1075). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press. [Encyclopaedia/Dictionary Entry]. Chapter in Book - Research

Trebilco, P. R. (2023). Ephesus. In S. McKnight, L. H. Cohick & N. K. Gupta (Eds.), Dictionary of Paul and his letters: A compendium of contemporary biblical scholarship. (2nd ed.) (pp. 261-264). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press. [Encyclopaedia/Dictionary Entry]. Chapter in Book - Research

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