Dr. Justin Strong

Principal Investigator for the German Research Foundation Project (DFG): "The Ancient Fable and Early Christian Writings"

+49 6131 39 22086



  • 2005–2008 BA, Azusa Pacific University
  • 2008–2010 Emergency Pediatric Cardiology Volunteer and Diplomatic Liaison in the Middle East (Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Iraq)
  • 2010–2012 MTS, Harvard University, The Divinity School, Focus: New Testament and Early Christianity, Jewish Studies
  • 2011 Tel Aviv University, Advanced Program for the Study of Jewish-Christian Encounters in the Early Centuries CE
  • 2012–2013 Adjunct Instructor, Azusa Pacific University (Hebrew Bible, New Testament)
  • 2013–2014 Fulbright Research Fellow, Humboldt University of Berlin (Project: “German Specters in American Research on Ancient Christianity and Judaism)
  • 2014–2019 PhD, University of Notre Dame, in Christianity and Judaism in Antiquity (Doktorvater: Prof. John T. Fitzgerald)
    • 2017 Comprehensive Examinations in Hebrew Bible, New Testament, and Early Christianity passed with honors
    • 2019 Dissertation: "The Fables of Jesus in the Gospel of Luke: Their Form Origins and Implications"
  • 2019–2020 Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of Notre Dame (USA) in London
  • 2019–2020 Assistant Professor of Research, University of Durham
  • 2020–2022 Research Associate at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz
  • 2022–Principal Investigator for the German Research Foundation Project (DFG) "The Ancient Fable and Early Christian Writings" (link)

Research Areas

  • The New Testament in the Context of Popular Literature in Antiquity
  • Parables and Fables
  • Gospels and Acts
  • The Synoptic Problem
  • Hellenistic Judaism
  • Bodies – Martyrdom, Sexual Violence, Ancient Medicine, Disability, Physiognomy
  • Ancient Education
  • Animal Studies



The Fables of Jesus in the Gospel of Luke: A New Foundation for the Study of Parables. Studies in the Cultural Contexts of the Bible 5. 2 Parts. Paderborn: Brill, 2021. 2 books, xxii + 629 pp. Brill link

Winner of the 2022 Manfred Lautenschlaeger Award

Reviews: Prof. Dr. Peter J. Tomson (University of Leuven), Review of Biblical Literature 01/2022 (link); Dieter T. Roth, (Boston College, USA), Biblica, forthcoming; Sean A. Adams, (University of Glasgow, UK), Journal for the Study of the New Testament, forthcoming; Eric Fields (University of Pretoria, South Africa), Neotestamentica, forthcoming; assigned, Novum Testamentum, forthcoming.


  1. “Chronology,” “Copper Scroll,” “Hammurapi,” “Proverb,” in J. Berry and L. Wentz, The Lexham Bible Dictionary, Bellingham, WA: Lexham, 2013.
  2. “Candida: An Ante-Nicene Martyr in Persia,” Journal of Early Christian Studies (JECS) 23.3 (2015): 389–412.
  3. “Aristotle and Hippocrates in the Book of Jubilees.” Journal for the Study of Judaism in the Persian, Hellenistic and Roman Period (JSJ) 48.3, 2017, 309–330
  4. “Lazarus and the Dogs: The Diagnosis and Treatment,” New Testament Studies (NTS) 64.2, 2018, 178–193.
  5. “Dogs in the World of the Bible,” Biblical Archaeological Review (BAR) 45.2, 2019, 46–50.
  6. “How to Interpret Parables in Light of the Fable: The Promythium and Epimythium.” Pages 327–52 in J. Pater, M. Stoutjesdijk, and A. Oegema (eds.), Overcoming Dichotomies: Parables, Fables, and Similes in the Graeco-Roman World, Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament, Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2022.
  7. “The Markan ‘Parables’ and Ancient Rhetorical Theories of Fable and Comparison.” Pages 37–61 in Genres of Mark—Reading Mark’s Gospel from Micro and Macro Perspectives. Edited by Jacob P. B. Mortensen. Studia Aarhusiana Neotestamentica 9. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2022.
  8. “The Rape of Men in the Hebrew Bible, the Syrian Civil War, and the ‘Me Too’ Movement,” in S. Scholz (ed.), Doing Biblical Masculinity Studies as Feminist Biblical Studies? Critical Interrogations. Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix, forthcoming.
  9. “The Rabbinic Mashal and the Ancient Fable: Prospects for a Changing Perspective.” In The Power of Parables: Narrating Religion in Late Antiquity. Edited by Eric Ottenheim and Marcel Poorthuis. Leiden: Brill, forthcoming 2023.
  10. “Aesop.” The Literary Encyclopedia. Forthcoming 2023.
  11. “From Ahiqar and Aesop to the Bible and the Rabbis.” In The Fable between East and West. Edited by Caterina Mordeglia. Florence, IT: Sismel Edizioni del Galluzzo, accepted for publication.
  12. “Embedding Fables into the Gospels: Compositional Techniques and Rhetorical Functions.” In “Et in cothurnis prodit Aesopus nouis:” On the Interaction between Ancient Fable and Literary Genres. Edited by Ursula Gaertner and Lukas Spielhofer. Trends in Classics Supplemenary Volumes. Berlin: De Gruyter, accepted for publication.


  1. April 2016, “Jubilees and Hellenistic Physiognomy.” Paper presented at the Groningen-Leuven Encounters on the Dead Sea Scrolls. Qumran Institute, University of Groningen. Groningen, Netherlands.
  2. September 2016, “The Denigration and Rehabilitation of Saul the Prophet.” Graduate Student Theological Seminar. The Wesleyan Church World Headquarters. Fishers, IN.
  3. November 2016, “Lazarus and the Dogs: The Diagnosis and Treatment.” Gospel of Luke section at the Annual Meeting of the SBL. San Antonio, TX.
  4. February 2017, “Personified Cities between Aelius Aristides and John the Apocalyptist.” Apocalyptic section at the Annual Meeting of the SBL Midwest Region. Notre Dame, IN.
  5. August 2017, “The Rape of Men in the Bible and the Syrian Civil War: Limitations of a Feminist Hermeneutic.” Paper presented in, “Doing Biblical Masculinity Studies as Feminist Biblical Studies? Critical Interrogations,” at the Annual Meeting of the ISBL and EABS. Berlin, Germany.
  6. November 2017, “‘Did You Hear the One about the Widow Who Hits a Judge?’ The Parable in Luke 18:2–5.” Gospel of Luke section at the Annual Meeting of the SBL. Boston, MA.
  7. April 2018, “Learning a Lesson from Laughter: The Didactic Value of Humor in Ancient Education.” Paper presented at, “What’s So Funny? Discovering and Interpreting Humor in the Ancient World.” The Ohio State University. Columbus, OH.
  8. August 2018, “Parables and Paratexts: Promythium and Epimythium as a Guide and a Crutch to Interpretation.” Synoptic Gospels section at the Annual Meeting of the ISBL. Helsinki, Finland.
  9. August 2018, “Aesop, Bar Kappara, and Jesus: The Literary Persona of the Historical Fable Teller.” Paper presented in, “Parables in Rabbinic Judaism and Early Christianity: Towards a New Comparative Approach,” at the Annual Meeting of the EABS. Helsinki, Finland.
  10. November 2018, “Parables in Q or Parables in L?” Q section at the Annual Meeting of the SBL. Denver, CO.
  11. June 2019, “Jewish and Christian Parables in Light of Recent Scholarship on the Ancient Fable.” Paper presented at, “The Power of Parables: Narrating Religion in Late Antiquity.” Tilburg School of Catholic Theology, Tilburg University. Utrecht, Netherlands.
  12. June 2019, “Parable Interpretation in Light of the Lessons from the Fable.” Humboldt University of Berlin New Testament Colloquium (Gastgeber Cilliers Breytenbach). Berlin, Germany.
  13. November 2019, “Babrius: A Lost and Re-Lost First-Century Jewish Poet?” Hellenistic Judaism section at the Annual Meeting of the SBL. San Diego, CA.
  14. January 2020, “Muthos in Mark.” Paper presented at, “The Gospel of Mark and Genre: Micro and Macro.” University of Aarhus. Sønderborg, Denmark.
  15. February 2020, “The Graeco-Roman Fable Tradition and Aesopica in the Gospel of Luke.” University of Cambridge New Testament Seminar. Cambridge, UK.
  16. April 2020 [canceled due to plague], “Die antike Fabel als Begriffsumfeld der christlichen und jüdischen Parabeln.” Petronian Society – Munich Section. Munich, Germany.
  17. June 2020, "Sacred Scripture and the Open Text." University of Groningen. Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies. Groningen, Netherlands.
  18. November 2020, “The Form and Ethics of the Fable in the Lukan Parables.” Paper presented in the Gospel of Luke section at the Annual Meeting of the SBL. Boston, MA.
  19. December 2020, “Puzzling the Fables: Neue Lösungen und neue Rätsel in der Parabelforschung.” Neutestamentliche Sozietät. Johannes-Gutenberg Universität Mainz. Mainz, Germany.
  20. January 2021, “Jesus the Fable Teller: A New Paradigm for the Study of Jesus and His Parables.” University of Durham New Testament Seminar. Durham, UK.
  21. April 2021, "„Zieh von unten raus:“ Methode und Ziel in der Gleichnis- und Evangelienforschung." Evangelisch-Theologische Fakultät. Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn. Bonn, Germany.
  22. November 2021, “‘Gospel,’ the Synoptic Outline, and The Life of Aesop.” Paper to be presented in the Synoptic Gospels section at the Annual Meeting of the SBL. Boston, MA.
  23. December 2021, “The Marginal Gospel: Classical Literature for Rustics, Slaves, Women, and Children.” Jesuit School of Theology at Santa Clara University. Berkeley, CA.
  24. February 2022, “How to Read the Gospel from Below with a High View of Scripture.” Southern Nazarene University. Bethany, OK.
  25. June 2022, “Embedding Fables into the Gospels: Composition Techniques and Rhetorical Functions.” Paper presented at the conference, “Et in cothurnis prodit Aesopus nouis. On the Interaction between Ancient Fable and Literary Genres.” University of Graz. Graz, Austria.
  26. June 2022, “Situating the Fables of Jesus between the Prophet Nathan, Aristotle, and Josephus.” University of Groningen. Groningen, The Netherlands.
  27. July 2022, Respondent to Bill Loader, Christology, Soteriology, and Ethics in John and Hebrews. Collected Essays, WUNT 478 (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2022). Response delivered in the Neutestamentliche Sozietät der Universität Mainz. Mainz, Germany.
  28. September 2022, Respondent to Albertina Oegema, Jonathan Pater, and Martijn Stoutjesdijk, eds., Overcoming Dichotomies: Parables, Fables, and Similes in the Graeco-Roman World, WUNT 1/483 (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2022). Response delivered to the Protestantse Theologische Universiteit. Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
  29. September 2022, “The Past, Present, and Future of ‘Parables’ in the Fable Context.” Paper presented at, “The Parables and Their Reception: Towards a New Paradigm for Interpreting the Parables.” University of Oslo and Oslo Metropolitan University. Oslo, Norway.
  30. October 2022, “From East to West and Back Again: From Ahiqar and Aesop to the Bible and the Rabbis.” Paper presented at the conference, “La favola tra Oriente e Occidente/The Fable between East and West.” University of Trento. Trento, Italy.

Scholarships, Grants, Fellowships, and Prizes

  1. 2006–2008, Azusa Pacific Berdina Ruth Scholarship
  2. 2007–2008, Pew College Society Scholarship
  3. 2008–2010, H.I.S. Years Fellowship, Azusa Pacific
  4. 2010–2012, Reverend Betsy Parker Fellowship, Harvard
  5. 2011, Harvard Center for Jewish Studies Research Scholarship
  6. 2011–2012, Emma Gildersleeve Lane Full Tuition Scholarship, Harvard
  7. 2012, Paper Competition Winner for the Krister Stendahl Conference, “Conversations across Religious Boundaries”
  8. 2012, Harvard Divinity School Student Conference Scholarship
  9. 2013–2014, Fulbright Research Fellowship, Germany
  10. 2014–2019, University Presidential Fellowship, Notre Dame
  11. 2016, Notre Dame Theology Department Summer Research Grant
  12. 2017, Notebaert Professional Development Award
  13. 2018, Notebaert Professional Development Award (second time)
  14. 2018, Notre Dame Jewish Studies Research Grant
  15. 2019, Berlin Transnational European Studies Seminar Scholarship
  16. 2019–2020, Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellowship
  17. 2020 University of Mainz grant to prepare DFG Project
  18. 2022 Manfred Lautenschläger Award for Theological Promise


  • Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas (SNTS)
  • Society of Biblical Literature (SBL)
  • Society for Classical Studies (SCS)
  • European Association of Biblical Studies (EABS)
  • Ancient Fable Society (AFS)
  • British New Testament Society (BNTS)
  • Chicago Society of Biblical Research (CSBR)