Larry W. Hurtado

Born in Kansas City, Missouri, Larry Hurtado moved to Canada shortly after finishing his PhD, initially teaching in Regent College (Vancouver), and then in the University of Manitoba (Winnipeg). During his time there (1978-1996), he founded the University of Manitoba Institute for the Humanities. In 1996 he accepted the professorial chair in New Testament Language, Literature and Theology at the University of Edinburgh, where he founded the Centre for the Study of Christian Origins (1998). Since his retirement in 2011, he remains active in research and publications dealing with various questions concerning the origins of Christianity. His published Ph.D. thesis (1981) redrew the history of the textual transmission of the Gospel of Mark, and he continues to make contributions to New Testament textual criticism. More recently, he has led in the study of the remarkable physical and visual features of earliest Christian manuscripts as historical artifacts, as in his book, The Earliest Christian Artifacts: Manuscripts and Christian Origins (Eerdmans, 2005), which underscores the importance of these texts for our understanding of early Christianity. But he is perhaps most well known for his numerous publications on the origins of devotion to Jesus, especially his book, Lord Jesus Christ: Devotion to Jesus in Earliest Christianity (Eerdmans, 2003). He is widely credited with helping to establish what is now referred to as the emerging consensus view that devotion to Jesus as sharing in divine status erupted early, quickly, and initially in circles of Jewish believers. His books, Destroyer of the gods: Christian Distinctives in the Roman World (Baylor University Press, 2016) and Why on Earth did Anyone Become a Christian in the First Three Centuries? (Marquette University Press, 2017), focus on the peculiar nature of Christianity in the first few centuries. He is an elected member of the Society for New Testament Studies (1984). He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2008, and was President of the British New Testament Society, 2009-2012. He and his wife, Shannon (an art historian), live in Edinburgh.