Prof. Dr. Ruben Zimmermann

Professor of New Testament Studies

Zimmermann, Univ.-Prof. Dr. Ruben

New Testament Studies I

Wallstraße 7-7a
Room: 01-335
55128 Mainz, DE

Phone: +49 61131 39 22653


Portrait Zimmermann, Univ.-Prof. Dr. Ruben


Personal data

  • Ruben Zimmermann, born May 10th, 1968, married to Prof. Dr. Mirjam Zimmermann. We have four children: Rahel (born 1995); Josua (born 1996); Rebekka (born 1999); Ruth (born 2001).

Curriculum Vitae

  • 1987-89 community service (psychiatric clinic in Wiesloch)
  • 1989-1995 university studies – Theology, Philosophy and Diaconal Management at the Universities of Erlangen, Bonn, Santiago de Chile and Heidelberg
  • 1995/96 postgraduate course in Diaconal Management with the main focus on medical ethics (diploma in 1996)
  • 1996-1997 pastoral training in Karlsruhe (Badische Landeskirche)
  • 1997-1997 PhD bursary (Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes)
  • 1999 PhD graduation, Protestant-Theological Faculty, University of Heidelberg (supervisor Prof. Dr. K. Berger, secondary supervisor: Prof. Dr. G. Theißen)
  • 1999 ordination (Badische Landeskirche)
  • 1999-2001 pastor in training, Christuskirche Heidelberg
  • 2001-2003 postdoctoral bursary (Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft DFG) and (Meyer-Struckmann-Foundation for Humanities)
  • 2003 Habilitation, Protestant-Theological Faculty, LMU München (supervisor: Prof. Dr. J. Frey; secondary supervisor: Prof. Dr. F. Hahn)
  • Since winter term 2003/04 Adj. Professor (Privatdozent) for New Testament Studies, University of Munich
  • SoSe 2004 Substitute Chairholder Institute for NT Theology, Protestant-Theological Faculty, University of Hamburg
  • SoSe 2005-2009 W 3-Professorship for Protestant Theology and Didactics with main focus on Old and New Testament, University of Bielefeld
  • since SoSe 2009 Professorship for New Testament, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität of Mainz


  • Music (violine) and gardening

Main research interests

  • Ethics (historical, theoretical, current issues)
  • Methodology and Hermeneutics of the New Testament
  • Q-Document and synoptic Problem
  • Forms of metaphorical language (Metaphor, Symbol, Myth etc.)
  • Jesus/Christology of Early Christianity
  • Early Christian miracles stories
  • Parables of Jesus
  • Johannine Writings (Gospel of John, Letters of John, Apocalypse)
  • Tradition-history of the New Testament (Wisdom literature, OT)
  • Gender-Studies, History of Sexuality
  • Bibledidactics
  • Bible und cultural memory

Research projects

Ethics of the New Testament

  • Special Research Project „Ethik in Antike und Christentum“ (Ethics in Antiquity and Early Christianity)
  • Contexts of New Testament Ethics (WUNT-volumes: (1) F.W. Horn/R. Zimmermann (Hg.), Jenseits von Indikativ und Imperativ (WUNT 238), Tübingen 2009; (2) Jan G. van der Watt/Ruben Zimmermann (Hg.), Moral Language in the New Testament (WUNT 2/296), Tübingen 2010)
  • Johannine Ethics (Humboldt-research project, together with Jan van der Watt, Pretoria/South Africa; J. van der Watt/R. Zimmermann, Ethics in the Johannine Writings (WUNT 2/), forthcoming 2011)
  • Implicit Ethics in 1 Corinthians (Bibl.-theol. Studies, forthcoming 2012)
  • Ethics in Galatians (PhD project: Chun Sunwoo)
  • Works (erga) in the Gospel of John (PhD project: Alexander Drews)
  • Responsivity. Phenomenological ethics in the Gospel of John (PhD project: Karl Weyer-Menkhoff)

„Miracle Stories in Early Christianity“

  • Conference: Miracle Stories, October 2009
  • Book project: Kompendium der frühchristlichen Wundererzählungen, 2 vols., Gütersloher Verlag
  • Boook project: Hermeneutics of Miracle Stories (WUNT-volume)

Methodology and Hermeneutics in the New Testament

  • "Text und Geschichte", group within the Wissenschaftliche Gesellschaft für Theologie (together with Prof. Landmesser, Tübingen, 1. Meeting. 7.10.-9.10.200: Programme)
  • Book project: Handbook of NT Methodology (with Jörg Frey)
  • Book project: Source texts of theological hermeneutics (forthcoming 2012)

Johannine Writings

Parables of Jesus

  • How to understand the Parables of Jesus? A postmodern hermeneutics (monography)
  • Analogy and Reference in Parables (PhD project: N.N.)
  • Database: Bibliography on Parables of Jesus

The Synoptic Problem and the Q-Document

  • Parables in Q (Habilitation project: Dr. Dieter Roth)
  • Q and John (Paper at the International Q-Conference, Graz 2011)
  • Character analysis in Q parables (Paper at the SBL-Congress, San Francisco 2011)


  • Co-editor: Wissenschaftliches Bibellexikon (WiBiLex), a project initiated by the Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft; the aim ist to create a comprehensive, constantly updated and free online dictionary of the Bible (


  • Society of Biblical Literature (SBL)
  • Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas (SNTS since 2009 chairman of the group on 'Johannine Writings')
  • Wissenschaftliche Gesellschaft für Theologie, Dept. New Testament
  • Rudolf-Bultmann-Gesellschaft für Hermeneutische Theologie (Marburg)
  • Akademie für Ethik in der Medizin (Göttingen)
  • Hochschulauswahlausschuss der Studienstiftung des Dt. Volkes

Publications (selected)

This is the link to the full chronological list of publications.
Articles with the Downloads-button can be downloaded from this page