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Faculty | Professor

J. Christopher Edwards

Contact Information

[email protected]
Office: 718.489.5235


New Testament
Early Christianity
The reception history of biblical texts


Ph.D., University of St. Andrews

Dr. Edwards is Professor of Religious Studies. His research focuses on the New Testament, Early Christianity and the reception history of biblical texts. His books and articles can be found on his website. His most recent book is Crucified: The Christian Invention of the Jewish Executioners of Jesus (Fortress Press, 2023). The book has received the following editorial reviews:

A thoughtful history of the first four centuries of perhaps the most destructive slur in the history of Christian anti-Semitism, Edwards's magisterial study--profoundly researched, precisely conceived, judicious, and written with exemplary clarity--a must-read for students of the history of anti-Semitism, early Christianity, and the reception of the Bible in antiquity. Highly recommended. --Kevin Madigan, Harvard Divinity School

Rome killed Jesus, but the Jews were blamed. Why did this happen, and when, and how? Step by step, text by text, J. Christopher Edwards traces the development of this terrible tradition, while summoning his readers to reflect on its consequences, moral and theological, for Christianity. This is a haunting story, compellingly told. --Paula Fredriksen, Boston University / The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Edwards addresses a stubborn problem in both theological speech and historical understanding: attributing the death of Jesus to murder by Jewish hands. The first step in removing this linchpin of anti-Semitism is through careful scholarly reflection on how its logic formed in early Christian literature and thought. This is exactly what Edwards has given us. This small book renders an enormous service. --Willie James Jennings, Yale Divinity School

Who killed Jesus? The historical reality--that the Romans crucified Jesus--was abandoned shortly after his death. In this very readable, engaging book, J. Christopher Edwards carefully walks us through the evidence. He shows us the rise of the myth blaming the Jews and how it functioned among the early Jesus followers to justify Christianity's split with Judaism and falsely accuse Jews of the very worst crime: deicide. His book is a crucial effort to correct this "sacred error." --Susannah Heschel, author of The Aryan Jesus: Christian Theologians and the Bible in Nazi Germany

In this scholarly but accessible book, J. Christopher Edwards investigates the erroneous claim that the Jews crucified Jesus. He traces its development from the earliest Christian documents, including the Gospels, through to the fourth century. He elucidates the different circumstances in which this accusation arose and the different ways in which it was used, as well as its role in the creation of a Christian anti-Judaism. Edwards writes with a commendable sobriety and balance but in so doing never shirks the morally complex and disturbing questions which attend study of such a subject. --James Carleton Paget, University of Cambridge

Related Faculty

Professor Emerita

Sophie Berman

Philosophy and Religious Studies
[email protected]

Office: 718.489.5229

Adjunct Professor

Alexandria Egler

Philosophy and Religious Studies
[email protected]

Office: 718.489.5245

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