Professor Catrin H Williams BA (Wales), PhD (Cantab), FLSW
Professor of New Testament Studies
Tel: +44 (0)1570 424742
I teach New Testament and ancient Judaism on a variety of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, including the MA in Biblical Interpretation, as well as a module on Jewish-Christian Relatons for the MA and Professional Doctorate in Interfaith Studies. I also supervise the dissertations of several PhD students working on topics in the field of New Testament Studies.
After graduating from Bangor University with a BA in Biblical Studies, I completed my doctorate at Clare Hall, University of Cambridge. During my time as a doctoral student I was also awarded a DAAD scholarship that enabled me spend six months studying at the University of Tübingen.
In 1988 I was appointed to a lectureship at Bangor University and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2000. In 2004 I became University Lecturer in New Testament Studies and Tutorial Fellow in Theology at Keble College, University of Oxford, before returning to Bangor in the summer of 2006. In 2010 I took up a post as Senior Lecturer in New Testament Studies at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (Lampeter campus), where I was promoted to Reader in New Testament Studies in 2014 and to Professor of New Testament Studies in 2021.
For six years (2013-18) I was editor of the Journal for the Study of the New Testament. I am currently a member of the editorial board of the monograph series The Library of New Testament Studies (Bloomsbury T&T Clark) and also Journal for the Study of the New Testament and The Journal of Theological Studies. I have previously served on the editorial board of New Testament Studies and Biblical Interpretation.
In January 2023 I take up the role of General Editor of the Society for New Testament Studies Monograph Series (SNTSMS).
Until 2016 I was Co-Chair (with Professor Craig Koester) of the ‘John, Jesus, and History Group’ (Society of Biblical Literature), and I am presently Co-Chair of the SNTS Johannine Seminar with Professors Jörg Frey and Christina Hoegen-Rohls.
I am a member of the Colloquium Ioanneum, which brings together a small group of international scholars in the field of Johannine studies (steering committee: Professors Alan Culpepper, Jörg Frey, Jan van der Watt, Udo Schnelle).
- Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales
- Member of the Fellowships Scrutiny Committee (History, Philosophy, Theology and Religion), Learned Society of Wales
- Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas
- Research Fellow, Department of Old and New Testament Studies, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
- Society of Biblical Literature
- Society for Old Testament Study
- British New Testament Society
- Member of the Education Sub-Committee, Centre for the Critical Study of Apocalyptic and Millenarian Movements, Panacea Charitable Trust
Most of my undergraduate/postgraduate teaching falls within the area of New Testament Studies. At present I coordinate and/or contribute to the following undergraduate modules:
- The Letters of Paul
- Travelling with Luke: Journey through Luke-Acts
- Jesus through Faith and Culture
For the MA in Biblical Interpretation I offer the following modules:
- The Bible: Text and Transmission
- The Gospel of John
I supervise the dissertations of a number of postgraduate research students, whose topics include the following:
- The Letter to the Hebrews and Jewish Mysticism (completed)
- The Retelling of the Story of Israel in the Gospel of John (completed)
- Narrative Traditioning and Allusive Gesturing: Perpetua Reconsidered (completed)
- Jesus Caesar: A Roman Reading of John 18:28-19:22 (completed)
- The origins of Johannine Irony
- The ‘Agency’ Motif in the Gospel of John
- Discipleship and Mission in John 15
- Composite Allusions in the Gospel of John
- Death, Resurrection and the Combat Myth in the Gospel of John
- A Social Memory Reading of John 4
- Family Relations in Early Christianity and Islam from a Comparative Ethical Perspective
My research focuses primarily on the Gospel of John, particularly its reception of Jewish scripture and tradition. My first book examined the origins and significance of divine self-declaratory pronouncements in ancient Judaism and early Christianity, including the Gospels of Mark and John: I am He: The Interpretation of ’Anî Hû’ in Jewish and Early Christian Literature (2000).
I have co-edited (with Tom Thatcher) the volume Engaging with CH Dodd on the Gospel of John: Sixty Years of Tradition and Interpretation (CUP, 2013), in which twelve Johannine scholars assess the contribution of C.H. Dodd to Johannine scholarship in his two landmark studies: The Interpretation of the Fourth Gospel (CUP, 1953) and Historical Tradition in the Fourth Gospel (CUP, 1963).
I have also edited a volume on John’s Gospel and Jewish apocalyptic (with Christopher Rowland), entitled John’s Gospel and Intimations of Apocalyptic (Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2013). The volume brings together twelve specialists in the fields of Jewish apocalyptic and Johannine studies who explore ways in which the apocalyptic traditions of Judaism may have contributed to the Gospel’s outlook and to some of its most distinctive motifs.
More recent co-edited volumes include Discovering John: The Essays of John Ashton, with Christopher Rowland (Cascade Books, 2020) and Johns Transformation of Mark, with Helen Bond and Eve-Marie Becker (Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2021).
In several other publications during the past decade I have explored how the use of scriptural motifs and themes in ancient Judaism can shed new light on the interpretation of Johannine christology. Several contributions focus on the influence of Isaiah on John’s Gospel, including the exegetical and theological factors that contributed to the fourth evangelist’s interest in the testimony of Isaiah.
My current, long-term project is a commentary on the Letters of John for the International Critical Commentary Series.
My expertise falls into the following categories:
- The Gospel of John and the Letters of John
- The Interpretation of the Jewish Scriptures in Second Temple Judaism and Early Christianity
- Post-biblical Judaism (including targumic and rabbinic traditions)
- Ancient media culture, especially memory, orality and textuality
I am He: The Interpretation of ’Anî Hû’in Jewish and Early Christian Literature, Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament II: 113, Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2000.
Llyfr Datguddiad, Caernarfon: Gwasg Pantycelyn, 2002 [commentary in Welsh on the Book of Revelation].
Engaging with CH Dodd on the Gospel of John: Sixty Years of Tradition and Interpretation, co-editor with Tom Thatcher, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013.
John’s Gospel and Intimations of Apocalyptic, co-editor with Christopher Rowland, London/New York: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2013.
Discovering John, co-editor with Christopher Rowland, Eugene: Cascade Books, 2020.
John's Transformation of Mark, co-editor with Eve-Marie Becker and Helen Bond, London/New York: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2021.
Semeia Narratives in the Fourth Gospel, co-editor with Jörg Frey, Margarete Gruber and Christos Karakolis, Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2023 (forthcoming).
Essays and Articles
‘Scripture’, in Douglas Estes (ed.), How John Works: Storytelling in the Fourth Gospel, SBL Resources for Biblical Studies, Atlanta: SBL (in press).
‘Setting Captives Free: Jesus’ Self-Understanding in Reading Isaiah’, in Christopher Tilling and Darren Sumner (eds), T&T Clark Companion to Christology, London: Bloomsbury (in press).
‘Judas Thaddeus’, Brill Encyclopaedia of Early Christianity, Paul J.J. van Geest, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte, David G. Hunter (eds), Leiden: Brill, 2022, 231-36.
Entries on ‘Catholic Epistles’, ‘Jamnia’, ‘Welsh Bible’, ‘Paraclete’, ‘Jude’, ‘Lazarus’, in Andrew Louth (ed.), The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, 4th edition, Oxford: Oxford University Press 2022.
‘Jeremiah and his Prophecies in the New Testament’, in Louis Stulman and Edward Silver (eds), Oxford Handbook of the Book of Jeremiah, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2022, 520-38.
‘John’s “Rewriting” of Mark: Some Insights from Ancient Jewish Analogues’, in Eve-Marie Becker, Helen Bond, Catrin H. Williams (eds), John’s Transformation of Mark, London/New York: T&T Clark Bloomsbury, 2021, 51-65.
‘New Testament Christology: Interpretations of the Identity and Role of Jesus’, in Katharine J. Dell (ed.), The Biblical World, 2ndedition, London: Routledge, 2021, 813-33.
‘“Seeing”, Salvation, and the Use of Scripture in the Gospel of John’, in Max Botner, Justin Harrison and Simon Dürr (eds), Atonement: Jewish and Christian Origins, Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 2020, 131-54.
‘Persuasion through Allusion: Scriptural Evocations of Shepherd(s) in the Gospel of John’, in Alicia D. Myers and Lindsey S. Jodrey (eds), Come and Read: Interpretive Approaches to the Gospel of John, Lanham: Lexington Books/Fortress Press, 2020, 11-24.
'Samaritan Hopes and Scriptural Promises: Engagement with Samaritans and Samaritan Issues in John 4', in R. Alan Culpepper and Jörg Frey (eds), Expressions of the Johannine Kerygma in John 2:23-5:18: Historical, Literary, and Theological Readings from the Colloquium Ioanneum, WUNT 423; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2019, 117-35.
‘How Scripture “Speaks”: Insights from the Study of Ancient Media Culture’, in David Allen and Steve Smith (eds), Methodology in the Use of the Old Testament in the New, LNTS 589; London/New York: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2019, 53-69.
‘Jesus as Prophet in the Gospel of John: Crossing the Boundaries of Prophetic Expectation’, in Craig R. Koester (ed.), Portraits of Jesus in the Gospel of John, LNTS; London/New York: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2018, 91-107.
‘Johannine Christology and Prophetic Traditions: The Case of Isaiah’, in Gabriele Boccaccini and Benjamin E. Reynolds (eds), Reading the Gospel of John’s Christology as a Form of Jewish Messianism: Royal, Prophetic, and Divine Messiahs, AJEC 106; Leiden: Brill, 2018, 92-123.
‘Composite Citations in the Gospel of John’, in Sean A. Adams and Seth M. Ehorn (eds), Composite Citations in Antiquity Volume 2, LNTS 593; London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2018, 94-127.
‘The Voice in the Wilderness and the Way of the Lord: A Scriptural Frame for John’s Witness to Jesus’, in R. Alan Culpepper and Jörg Frey (eds), The Opening of John’s Narrative (John 1:19-2:22), WUNT 385; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2017, 39-57.
‘Faith, Life, and the Spirit’, in Martin DeBoer and Judith M. Lieu (eds), The Oxford Companion to Johannine Studies, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018, 347-62.
‘John, Judaism, and “Searching the Scriptures”’, in R. Alan Culpepper and Paul Anderson (eds), John and Judaism: A Contested Relationship in Context, SBL: Atlanta, 2017, 77-100.
‘Text and Experience: Reflections on “Seeing” in the Gospel of John’, in Bettina Schmidt (ed.), The Study of Religious Experience: Approaches and Methodologies, London: Equinox, 2016, 135-50.
‘(Not) Seeing God in the Prologue and Body of John’s Gospel’, in Jan G. van der Watt, R. Alan Culpepper, and Udo Schnelle (eds), The Prologue of the Gospel of John: Its Literary, Theological, and Philosophical Contexts. Papers Read at the Colloquium Ioanneum 2013, WUNT 359; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2016, 79-98.
‘Another Look at “Lifting Up” in the Gospel of John’, in J. Gordon McConville and Lloyd K. Pietersen (eds), Conception, Reception, and the Spirit: Essays in Honour of Andrew T. Lincoln, Eugene, Oregon: Cascade Books, 2015, 58-70.
‘Patriarchs and Prophets Remembered: Framing Israel’s Past in the Gospel of John’, in Alicia D. Myers and Bruce G. Schuchard (eds), Abiding Words: The Use of Scripture in the Gospel of John, SBL Resources for Biblical Study, Atlanta: SBL Publications, 2015, 187-212.
‘“I Am” Sayings’, in Joel B. Green, Jeannine K. Brown & Nicholas Perrin (eds), Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels, 2nd edition, IVP Academic: Downers Grove: 2013, 180-82.
‘Unveiling Revelation: The Spirit-Paraclete and Apocalyptic Disclosure in the Gospel of John’, in Catrin H. Williams and Christopher Rowland (eds), John’s Gospel and Intimations of Apocalyptic, London/New York: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2013, 104-27.
‘John (the Baptist): The In-Between Witness’, in Steve A. Hunt, D. Francois Tolmie and Ruben Zimmermann (eds), Character Studies in the Fourth Gospel: Narrative Approaches to Seventy Figures in John, WUNT 314, Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2013, 46-60.
‘What’s in a Name? Judas (not Iscariot)’, in Steve A. Hunt, D. Francois Tolmie and Ruben Zimmermann (eds), Character Studies in the Fourth Gospel: Narrative Approaches to Seventy Figures in John, WUNT 314, Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2013, 550-55.
‘John and the Rabbis Revisited’, in Tom Thatcher and Catrin H. Williams (eds), Engaging with CH Dodd on the Gospel of John: Sixty Years of Tradition and Interpretation, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013, 107-25.
‘First-Century Media Culture and Abraham as a Figure of Memory in John 8:31-59’, in Anthony Le Donne and Tom Thatcher (eds), The Fourth Gospel and First-Century Media Culture, LNTS 296, London/New York: T&T Clark Continuum, 2011, 205-22.
‘The Gospel of John’, in Michael Lieb, Jonathan Roberts, Emma Mason and Christopher Rowland (eds), The Oxford Handbook of the Reception History of the Bible, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011, 104-18.
‘“Seeing the Glory”: The Reception of Isaiah’s Call-Vision in John 12:41’, in James Crossley (ed.), Judaism, Jewish Identities and the Gospel Tradition: Festschrift for Professor Maurice Casey, London: Equinox Press, 2010, 245-72.
‘Newid Hinsawdd a’r Weledigaeth Apocalyptaidd’, Y Traethodydd, 2009, 226-35.
‘Inspecting an Aerial Photograph of John’s Engagement with Sources’, in Tom Thatcher (ed.), “What We Have Heard from the Beginning”: The Past, Present and Future of Johannine Studies, Waco: Baylor University Press, 2007, 83-86.
‘Isaiah and Johannine Christology’, in Patricia K. Tull and Claire M. McGinnis (eds), “As Those Who Are Taught”: The Reception of Isaiah from the LXX to the SBL, SBL Symposium Series 27, Atlanta: Scholars Press, 2006, 107-24.
‘Isaiah in John’s Gospel’, in Steve Moyise and Maarten J.J. Menken (eds), Isaiah in the New Testament, London/New York: T&T Clark International, 2005, 101-17.
‘“He Saw His Glory and Spoke About Him”: The Testimony of Isaiah and Johannine Christology’, in Robert Pope (ed.), Honouring the Past and Shaping the Future, Leominster: Gracewing, 2003, 53-80.
‘Interpretations of the Identity and Role of Jesus’, in John Barton (ed.), The Biblical World, London: Routledge, 2002, Vol. II, 332-56.
‘“I Am” or “I Am He”? Self-Declaratory Pronouncements in the Fourth Gospel and Rabbinic Tradition’, in Robert T. Fortna and Tom Thatcher (eds), Jesus in Johannine Tradition, Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2001, 343-52.
Examination of doctoral theses
Aberdeen (2007, 2018, 2020), Adelaide (2017), Birmingham (2021), Bristol (2012), Brunel [London School of Theology] (2005, 2011), Cambridge (2000, 2003, 2013, 2016),Trinity College Dublin (2019), Durham (2013, 2014), Edinburgh (2007, 2014, 2016, 2020), Gloucestershire (2004), King’s College, London (2006), Leeds (2013),London [Heythrop] (2014), Oxford (2009, 2020), Sheffield (2003, 2009, 2010, 2014, 2019).
- ‘John’s Gospel and Intimations of Apocalyptic’, Bangor University, July 2010 (partly funded by Bible Society).
- British New Testament Society, Bangor University, September 2010.
- Co-convenor of ‘The Legacies of C.H. Dodd and Raymond E. Brown’, St Mary’s Seminary and University, Baltimore, November 2013.
- Co-organiser, ‘Ethical Approaches to Interreligious Dialogue’, Cardiff City Hall, December 2017.
- Co-organiser with Professors Helen Bond and Eve-Marie Becker, ‘John and Mark: is there a Connection?’, Pre-SNTS conference, Athens, August 2018.
Peer reviewer for the following publishers:
- Oxford University Press
- Cambridge University Press
- Bloomsbury T&T Clark
Selected Conference and Seminar Papers:
- Society of Biblical Literature: San Francisco (2011), Chicago (2012), Baltimore (2013), San Diego (2014), Atlanta (2015), San Antonio (2016), Boston (2017), San Diego (2019), Boston (2020), Denver (2022).
- Jesus the Jew: John’s Gospel as a Form of Jewish Messianism, Enoch Seminar: Camaldoli (2016).
- British New Testament Society (2010, 2012, 2016, 2018, 2021 2022).
- Plenary lecture, Atonement, Sin, Sacrifice, and Salvation in Jewish and Christian Antiquity, St Andrews International Symposium for Biblical and Early Christian Studies, University of St Andrews, 2018.
- ‘John and Searching the Scriptures’, Guest lecturer: Vacation Term for Biblical Study, University of Cambridge, August 2018.
- ‘John's "Rewriting" of Mark: Some Methodological Considerations’, John and Mark: Is there a Connection?, Athens, August 2018.
- ‘The Legacies of C.H. Dodd and Raymond E. Brown’, St Mary’s Seminary and University, Baltimore (2013).
- ‘Land, Tradition, and Nation: Welsh Identity and New Testament Scholarship’, Wales Theological Symposium, St Michael’s College, Cardiff, 2017.
- ‘Reading the New Testament from an Interfaith Perspective’, Anglican Interfaith Commission: Regional Meeting for North America and Europe, 2019.
- ‘Encountering “the Other”: Johannine Perspectives’, Ecclesiology Seminar, Westminster Abbey, London, 2020.
- ‘John the Baptist in the Gospel of John’, Fourth Enoch Seminar Colloquium on John the Baptist, University of Michigan (online), 2021.
- ‘Apocalyptic Perspectives on the Gospel of John’, Eleventh Enoch Seminar / LMU Munich Congress on Apocalypticism in Antiquity (online), 2021.
- New Testament Research Seminars: Aberdeen (2019), Cambridge (2012, 2016, 2018, 2020), Durham (2013, 2018), Exeter (2012, 2018), Sheffield (2013, 2019), Oxford (2013, 2020), Trinity College Dublin (2021).
- Colloquium Ioanneum, Patmos (2013), Ephesus (2015), Jerusalem (2017), Eisenach (2019).
- Manson Memorial Lecture, University of Manchester, October 2022.