Prof Francis Watson
(email at firstname.lastname@example.org)
I joined the Department of Theology and Religion in September 2007, after eight years as holder of the Kirby Laing Chair of New Testament Exegesis in the University of Aberdeen (1999-2007) and fifteen years at King’s College London (1984-99), latterly as Reader in Biblical Theology. My primary academic field is New Testament studies, but I also have interests in theological hermeneutics and the history of biblical interpretation. My published work tends to move freely between these areas, without being too concerned about conventional disciplinary boundaries.
During my time in Aberdeen, my major published work lay in the field of Pauline studies, most notably Paul and the Hermeneutics of Faith (2004) and Paul, Judaism and the Gentiles: Beyond the New Perspective (Revised and Expanded Edition) (2007). My move to Durham coincided with the start of a new project on early Christian gospels, both canonical and noncanonical. This project brings historical, hermeneutical and theological perspectives to bear on the question what it means for a gospel to be “canonical”, and proposes a new and broader paradigm for the study of the gospels. Recent publications relating to this include a critique of the "Q" hypothesis (NTS 55 ), and an article arguing that the so-called "Secret Gospel of Mark" is in fact a modern hoax (JTS n.s. 61 ). I hope to complete a major book provisionally entitled, Gospel Writing: A Canonical Perspective, by early 2012; it will be published by Eerdmans.
Supervision of research students has been a central element in my work in recent years. Among PhD topics I have supervised (or am still supervising) are the following:
- Historical Jesus and hermeneutics
- Intertextuality in Matthew
- Discipleship in Luke
- Genesis 1-3 in Paul and Philo
- Individual and community in Pauline theology
- Paul and the exalted Christ
- Word-of-God language in 1 Thessalonians
- Pauline God-language and trinitarian theology
- Divine and human agency in Paul and Second Temple Judaism
- Reintegrating the Haustafeln into Colossians and Ephesians
- Hebrews, Barnabas, and scripture
- The Epistle of James and the formation of the Catholic Epistles collection
- The Didache and Matthean Christianity
- Irenaeus and Genesis 1-2
- The Gospel of John in the controversy between modalists and proto-trinitarians
- Augustine’s De Doctrina Christiana and its relevance for contemporary theological hermeneutics
- Scripture, hermeneutics and the doctrine of election in Calvin and Barth
- Theological hermeneutics in Schleiermacher, Gadamer and Barth
- Hermeneutics and homiletics
I am always happy to enter into email correspondence with prospective postgraduate students, especially about possible research topics. For students from north America, there is also the possibility of meeting in person at the annual meetings of the SBL.
- Watson, Francis (2013). Gospel Writing: A Canonical Perspective. Eerdmans.
- Watson, Francis B. (1993). The Open Text: New Directions for Biblical Studies?. London: SCM Press.
- Watson, Francis (2010). Douglas Campbell, The Deliverance of God: An Apocalyptic Rereading of Justification in Paul. Early Christianity 1(1): 179-185.
Essays in edited volumes
- Watson, Francis (2011). Eschatology and the Twentieth Century: On the Reception of Schweitzer in English. In Eschatology-Eschatologie. Eckstein, H.-J., Landmesser, C. & Lichtenberger, H. Mohr Siebeck. 331-347.
- Watson, Francis (2010). In the Beginning: Irenaeus, Creation and the Environment. In Ecological Hermeneutics: Biblical, Historical and Theological Perspectives. Horrell, David G., Hunt, Cherryl, Southgate, Christopher & Stavrakopolou, Francesca T. & T. Clark. 127-139.
- Watson, Francis B. (2009). Mistranslation and the Death of Christ: Isaiah 53 LXX and its Pauline Reception. In Translating the New Testament: Text, Translation, Theology. Porter, Stanley E. & Boda, Mark J. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans. 215-250.
- Watson, Francis (2008). Veritas Christi: How to get from the Jesus of History to the Christ of Faith without losing one's Way. In Seeking the Identity of Jesus: A Pilgrimage. Gaventa, Beverly Roberts & Hays, Richard B. Eerdmans. 96-114.
- Watson, Francis B. (2007). “I Received from the Lord.” Paul, Jesus and the Last Supper. In Jesus and Paul Reconnected. Still, Todd. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans.
- Watson, Francis B. (2006). Are There Still Four Gospels? A Study in Theological Hermeneutics. In Reading Scripture with the Church. Adam, A. K. M., Fowl, S., Vanhoozer, K. & Watson, F. B. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker.
- Watson, Francis B. (2006). Constructing an Antithesis Pauline and Other Jewish Perspectives on Divine and Human Agency. In Divine and Human Agency in Paul and His Cultural Environment. Barclay, John M. G. & Gathercole, Simon J. London and New York: T. & T. Clark. 99-116.
- Watson, Francis B. (2006). The Fourfold Canonical Gospel. In The Cambridge Companion to the Gospels. Barton, Stephen. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 34-52.
- Watson, Francis B. (2006). The Gospel of John and New Testament Theology. In The Nature of New Testament Theology. Rowland, C. & Tuckett, C. Oxford: Blackwell. 248-62.
- Watson, Francis B. (2002). Barth's Philippians as Theological Exegesis. In Epistle to the Philippians. Barth, Karl Louisville: Westminster John Knox. xxvi-li.
- Watson, Francis B. (2002). Is There a Story in These Texts? In Narrative Dynamics in Paul. Longenecker, Bruce W. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster/John Knox Press. 231-39.
- Watson, Francis B. (2001). The quest for the real Jesus. In The Cambridge Companion to Jesus. Bockmuehl, Markus. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 156-69.
- Watson, Francis B. (2000). The Bible. In The Cambridge Companion to Karl Barth. Webster, John. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 57-71.
- Watson, Francis B. (1997). The Scope of Hermeneutics. In The Cambridge Companion to Christian Doctrine. Gunton, C. E. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 65-80.
- Watson, Francis B. (1997). Towards a Literal Reading of the Gospels. In The Gospels for All Christians. Bauckham, Richard. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans. 189-211.
- Watson, Francis B. (1994). “He is Not Here.” Towards a Theology of the Empty Tomb. In Resurrection: Essays in Honour of Leslie Houlden. Barton, Stephen. & Stanton, Graham. London: SPCK. 95-107.
- Watson, Francis B. (1987). Is John’s Christology Adoptionist? In The Glory of Christ in the New Testament. Wright, N. T. & Hurst, L. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 113-24.
Journal papers: academic
- Watson, Francis B. (2010). ‘Beyond Suspicion: On the Authorship of the Mar Saba Letter and the Secret Gospel of Mark’. Journal of Theological Studies n.s. 61(1): 128-170.
- Watson, Francis (2010). Hermeneutics and the Doctrine of Scripture: why they need each other. International Journal of Systematic Theology 12(2): 118-143.
- Watson, Francis (2009). Is the Historian competent to speak of the Resurrection of Jesus? A Study in Hermeneutics. Kerygma und Dogma 55: 52-72.
- Watson, Francis B. (2009). Q as Hypothesis: A Study in Methodology. New Testament Studies 55(04): 397-415
- Watson, Francis (2008). Scripture in Pauline Theology: How Far Down Does It Go? Journal of Theological Interpretation 2: 181-192.
- Watson, Francis B. (2006). Paul the Reader: An Authorial Apologia. Journal for the Study of the New Testament 28: 363-73.
- Watson, Francis B. (2006). Response. SJT 59: 461-68.
- Watson, Francis B. (2002). “America’s theologian” an appreciation of Robert Jenson’s Systematic Theology, with some remarks about the Bible. Scottish Journal of Theology 55: 201-23.
- Watson, Francis B. (2000). The Authority of the Voice: A Theological Reading of 1 Cor. 11.2-16. New Testament Studies 46: 520-36.
- Watson, Francis B. (2000). The Triune Divine Identity: Reflections on Pauline God-Language, in Disagreement with J. D. G. Dunn. Journal for the Study of the New Testament 80: 99-124.
- Watson, Francis B. (1999). Trinity and Community: A Reading of John 17. International Journal of Systematic Theology 1: 168-84.
- Watson, Francis B. (1998). Theology and Music. Scottish Journal of Theology 51: 1-29.
- Watson, Francis B. (1996). Bible, Theology and the University: A Response to Philip Davies. Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 72: 3-16.
- Watson, Francis B. (1985). The Social Function of Mark’s Secrecy Theme. Journal for the Study of the New Testament 24: 49-69.
- Watson, Francis B. (1984). 2 Cor. X-XIII and Paul’s Painful Letter to the Corinthians. Journal of Theological Studies 35: 324-346.
- Watson, Francis B. (2007). Paul, Judaism and the Gentiles Beyond the New Perspective (Revised and Expanded Edition). Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans.
- Watson, Francis B. (2004). Paul and the Hermeneutics of Faith. London and New York: T. & T. Clark.
- Watson, Francis B. (2000). Agape, Eros, Gender: Towards a Pauline Sexual Ethic. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Watson, Francis B. (1997). Text and Truth: Redefining Biblical Theology. Edinburgh: T & T Clark.
- Watson, Francis B. (1994). Text, Church and World: Biblical Interpretation in Theological Perspective. Edinburgh: T & T Clark.
- Watson, Francis B. (1986). Paul, Judaism and the Gentiles: A Sociological Approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.