Dennis Ronald MacDonald
Dennis Ronald MacDonald received his undergraduate degree from Bob Jones University, his Master of Divinity from McCormick Theological Seminary, and his Ph.D. from Harvard University (1978). From 1980-1998 he taught at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, with stints as a visiting professor at the Harvard Divinity School (1985-1986) and the Union Theological Seminary of New York (spring 1991). Since 1998 he has been the John Wesley Professor of New Testament at the Claremont School of Theology and Professor of Religion at the Claremont Gradate University. Since 2000 he has been the Director of the
Institute for Antiquity and Christianity at CGU.
He has published nine books and scores of articles, especially on topics related to Christian apocryphal writings and imitations of Homer in ancient Jewish and Christian writings, including the Gospels of Mark and Luke and the Acts of the Apostles. His books include
The Homeric Epics and the Gospel of Mark (Yale University Press, 2000) and
Does the New Testament Imitate Homer? (Yale University Press, 2004).
He is currently writing five additional volumes:
Q+: A Reconstruction of the Common Source behind the Gospels of Mark, Matthew, and Luke, with Attention to its Jewish Antetexts
A three-volume commentary on the Gospels of Mark and Luke and the Acts of the Apostles that assesses their creative uses of antecedent literature, including Q+, the Septuagint (the Jewish Bible in Greek), and classical Greek literature, Homer above all
A Christian Iliad and Odyssey: The Passion and Resurrection of Jesus Written by Aeneas (otherwise known as the Gospel of Nicodemus, and the Desensus Christi, or the Acta Pilati)
My Turn: A Critique of Critics of "Mimesis Criticism" - (MS Word) (PDF)
(Greek text does not display properly.)
Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins
Claremont School of Theology
Date of Birth: 1 July
Married to Amy Furth
Address: Claremont, CA
1325 N. College Ave.
Claremont, CA 91711
909.447.2594 (MacDonald's direct line)
The Institute for Antiquity and Christianity
Claremont Graduate University
831 N. Dartmouth Ave.
Claremont, CA 91711
909.621.8066 or 607.2653
Educational Background and Grants
top of page
1974-1978 Harvard University, New Testament
1973-1974 McCormick Theological Seminary
1970-1972 Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
1969-1970 Princeton Theological Seminary
1964-1968 Bob Jones University cum laude (degree returned)
- National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend, "Imitations of Homeric Epic in Luke-Acts," 2002
- Association of Theological Schools Grant for Younger Scholars, "Toward a Folkloristic Commentary on the Acts of Andrew," 1983
- National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend, "Oral Conventions in the Acts of Andrew," 1983
- Visiting Research Associate, The Folklore Institute, Indiana University, July August 1983
- Indiana Council on the Humanities grant for a project on the Nag Hammadi Library, 1978
Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins, Claremont School of Theology, and Professor of Religion, Claremont Graduate University, Fall 1998-present
- Director, The Institute for Antiquity and Christianity, Claremont Graduate University, 2000-present
- Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins, Iliff School of Theology, 1980-1998
- Visiting Professor of New Testament, Union Theological Seminary, New York, spring term, 1991
- Visiting Professor of New Testament, Harvard Divinity School, 1985-1986
- Assistant Professor of Bible, Goshen College, January 1977-June 1980
Involvement in Professional Societies
top of page
l’Association pour l'étude de la littérature
apocryphe chrétienne (AELAC)
Society of Biblical Literature
Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas
Elect, Pacific Region, AAR/SBL, 2005-
- Co-Chair, The Formation of Luke-Acts, a program unit of the SBL, 2004-
- Co-President, Rocky Mountain-Great Plains Region, AAR/SBL, 1995 1996
President and Co-Program Chairperson, Rocky Mountain/Great Plains
Region, AAR/SBL, 1994-1995
Christian Apocrypha, Texts and Translations, Scholars Press,
- Chair of the Society of Biblical Literature Seminar on Intertextuality in
Christian Apocrypha, 1990-1994
Board, Journal of Biblical Literature, 1988 1992
- Chair for Consultation on Apocryphal New Testament, Society of Biblical
Literature International Meeting, Sheffield, England. 1988
- Chair for the Society of Biblical Literature Consultation on New Testament
Apocryphal Literature, 1988-1989
- President, Rocky Mountain/Great Plains Region, AAR/SBL, 1984 1985
- Vice President and Program Chairperson, Rocky Mountain/Great Plains
Region, AAR/SBL, 1983 1984
- Chair for the Society of Biblical Literature Consultation on New Testament Apocryphal
Acts, 1980 1982
Articles (excluding book reviews)
top of page
- The Acts of Andrew. Early Christian Apocrypha, 1. Santa Rosa: Polebridge, 2005.
- Does the New Testament Imitate Homer? Four Cases from the Acts of the Apostles. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003.
Mimesis and Intertextuality in Antiquity and Christianity. Ed. Dennis R. MacDonald. SAC. Harrisburg: Trinity Press International, 2001. In addition to editing the volume, my contributions include:
"Tobit and the Odyssey," 11-40.
- The Homeric Epics and the Gospel of Mark. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000. Also translated into Modern Greek by Kostas Tsapogas, and published in Athens by Cactus (2004).
- Christianizing Homer: "The Odyssey," Plato, and "The Acts of Andrew." New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.
- The Acts of Andrew and the Acts of Andrew and Matthias in the City of the Cannibals. Texts and Translations 33. Christian Apocrypha 1. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1990.
- There Is No Male and Female: The Fate of a Dominical Saying in Paul and Gnosticism. Harvard Dissertations in Religion. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1987.
- The Apocryphal Acts of Apostles. Semeia, 38 (1986). Atlanta: Scholars Press. In addition to editing the volume my contributions include:
"Introduction: The Forgotten Novels of the Early Church."
"The Acts of Andrew and Matthias and The Acts of Andrew."
"Response"to Jean-Marc Prieur.
"Pseudo-Chrysostom's Panegyric to Thecla: The Heroine of The Acts of Paul in Homily and Art," co-authored with Andrew D. Scrimgeour.
- The Legend and the Apostle: The Battle for Paul in Story and Canon. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1983.
- "The Breasts of Hecuba and those of the Daughters of Jerusalem: Luke’s Transvaluation of a famous Iliadic Scene.” In
Ancient Fiction: The Matrix of Early Christian and Jewish Narrative. Ed. Jo-Ann A.Brant, Charles W. Hedrick, and Chris Shea, 239-54. SBL Symposium Series 32. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2005.
- "Lydia and her Sisters as Lukan Fictions." In A Feminist Companion to the Acts of the Apostles. Ed. Amy-Jill Levine. 105-10. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2004.
- "Homer. ”In Jesus in History, Thought, and Culture: An Encyclopedia. 2vols. Ed. Leslie Houlden, 1.357-60. Santa Barbara: ABC/CLIO, 2003.
- "The Spirit as a Dove and Homeric Bird Similes.” In Early Christian Voices: In Texts, Traditions, and Symbols. FS François Bovon. Ed. David H. Warren, et al., 333-339. Boston: Brill, 2003.
- “Paul’s Farewell to the Ephesian Elders and Hector’s Farewell to Andromache: A Strategic Imitation of Homer’s Iliad.” In Contextualizing Acts: Lukan Narrative and Greco-Roman Discourse. Ed. Todd Penner and Caroline Vander Stichele, 189-203. SBL Symposium Series 20. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2003.
- "Renowned Far and Wide: The Women Who Anointed Odysseus and Jesus." In A Feminist Companion to Mark. Ed. Amy-Jill Levine. 128-35. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2001.
- "The Ending of Luke and the Ending of the Odyssey." In Fora Later Generation: The Transformation of Tradition in Israel, Early Judaism and Early Christianity. Ed. Randal A. Argall et al. 161-68. Harrisburg: Trinity Press International, 2000.
- "The Soporific Angel in Acts 12:1-17 and Hermes’ Visit to Priam in Iliad24: Luke’s Emulation of the Epic." Forum 2.2 (1999):179-87.
- "The Shipwrecks of Odysseus and Paul." New Testament Studies45 (1999): 88-107.
- "Which Came First? Intertextual Relationships Among the Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles." In The Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles in Intertextual Perspective. Semeia 80, 11-41. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1997.
- "Secrecy and Recognitions in The Odyssey and Mark: Where Wrede Went Wrong." In Ancient Fiction and Early Christian Narrative. Ed. Ronald F. Hock et al, 139-53. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1998.
- "Which Came First? Intertextual Relationships Among the Apocryphal Acts of the Symposium Series.” Semeia 80. Atlanta: Scholars Press,1998.
- "Is There a Privileged Reader? A Case from the Apocryphal Acts." In Textual Determinacy. Part Two. Semeia 71, 29-43. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1995.
- "From Faith to Faith." In Leaving the Fold: Testimonies of Former Fundamentalists. Ed. Edward T. Babinski, 109-16. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 1995.
- "Luke's Eutychus and Homer's Elpenor: Acts 20:7-12 and Odyssey 10-12." Journal of Higher Criticism 1 (1994): 5-24.
- "The Acts of Paul and The Acts of John: Which Came First?" Society of Biblical Literature 1992 Seminar Papers. Ed. Eugene H. Lovering, 506-10. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1993.
- "The Acts of Peter and The Acts of John: Which Came First?" Society of Biblical Literature 1992 Seminar Papers. Ed. Eugene H. Lovering, 623-26. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1993.
- My translation of The Acts of Andrew was republished in The Apocryphal New Testament. Ed. J. K. Elliott, 245-99. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993.
- "Legends of the Apostles." In Eusebius, Christianity, and Judaism. Ed. Harold W. Attridge and Gohei Hata, 166-80. Detroit: Wayne State University, 1992. (Published also in Japanese.)
- "The Acts of Paul and The Acts of Peter: Which Came First?" Society of Biblical Literature 1992 Seminar Papers. Ed. Eugene H. Lovering, 214-24. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1992.
- "Thecla," "Andrew, Traditions of," and "Acts of Andrew and Matthias." In The Anchor Bible Dictionary. Ed. David Noel Freedman. New York: Doubleday, 1992.
- "Early Christian Literature." In The Oxford Study Bible,113-21. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.
- "A Response to R. Goldenberg and D. J. Harrington, S. J." In The Sabbath in Jewish and Christian Traditions. Ed. Tamara C. Eskenazi, et al. New York: Crossroad, 1991.
- "Andrew and the Ant People." The Second Century 8 (1991): 43-49.
- "Apocryphal and Canonical Narratives about Paul." In Paul and the Legacies of Paul. Ed. William S. Babcock, 55-70. Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 1990.
- "Intertextuality in Simon's 'Redemption' of Helen the Whore: Homer, Heresiologists, and The Acts of Andrew." In Society of Biblical Literature 1990 Seminar Papers. Ed. David J. Lull, 336-43. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1990.
- "Corinthian Veils and Gnostic Androgynes." In Images of the Feminine in Gnosticism. Ed. Karen King, 276-92. Institute for Antiquity and Christianity. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1988.
- "From Audita to Legenda: Oral and Written Miracle Stories." Forum, 2 (1986): 15-26.
- "In Memoriam et Imitationem." A sermon remembering the life of George W. MacRae. Harvard Theological Review 78(1985): 237-242.
- "Odysseus's Oar and Andrew's Cross: The Transformation of a Homeric Theme in the Acts of Andrew." In Society of Biblical Literature 1986 Seminar Papers. Ed. Kent Harold Richards, 309-13. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1986.
- "The Forgotten Novels of the Early Church." Harvard Divinity Bulletin 16.4 (1986): 4 6.
- The New Harper's Bible Dictionary (1985) included my entries on: Apocryphal New Testament, Bithynia, Galatia, Nicolaitans, Phrygia, Pontus, and Thrace.
- "The Role of Women in the Production of the Apocryphal Acts of Apostles." The Iliff Review 41 (1984): 21 38.
- "A Conjectural Emendation of 1 Cor. 15:31 32; Or the Case of the Misplaced Lion Fight." Harvard Theological Review73 (1980): 265 76.