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Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences

Pheme Perkins

theology department


Pheme Perkins


Stokes N429
Boston College
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

Phone: 617-552-3889
Fax: 617-552-0794

Curriculum Vitae

Office Hours


Ph.D., Harvard University, 1971
A.B., St. John's College, Annapolis, MD, 1966


Born 1945 in Louisville, KY. Lived in Boston area since 1946; educated in Weston Public Schools and at The Winsor School; taught at Boston College since 1972. Married. Roman Catholic. Volunteered in various parish jobs since 1967. Current interests: adult education, RCIA, lectors.


Greco-Roman cultural setting of early Christianity; hellenistic philosophy; Pauline epistles; Johannine writings; Resurrection and early Christian eschatology; Nag Hammadi corpus; Gnosticism; Irenaeus.

Current projects

Gnostic sources for the emergence of a Christian canon

Healing Sophia in Valentinian Gnosis -- its philosophical roots

Current books in process

1 Peter. Wisdom Commentary Series; Liturgical Press (mss. due 2014).

Philippians, Colossians and Philemon.  Illumination Commentary Series; Eerdmans (mss. due 2017).

Gospel of Thomas. Commentary (to be submitted to the Anchor Yale Commentary Series).

Understanding Gnostic Christianity (to be submitted to Eerdmans).


Perspectives on Western Culture
First-Year Honors Seminar
New Testament Ethics
Pauline Tradition
Gospel of Mark
Gospel of John
New Testament Christology
First-Year PhD Colloquium


  • Member of SBL, CBA, SNTS, and ATS. Past president of CBA; past treasurer of ATS.
  • Past member of the board of trustees of the Massachusetts Bible Society.
  • Past editor of the New Testament Dissertation Series, SBL.
  • Past member of the editorial boards of Journal of Biblical Literature, Catholic Biblical Quarterly, and Theological Studies.
  • Associate editor, The New Oxford Annotated Bible, Third Edition.
  • Steering committee for SBL sections: Pauline Theology; Nag Hammadi and Gnosticism.
  • Currently serving on the boards of College Teaching, Horizons, Catholic Biblical Association Monograph Series, Abingdon New Testament Commentary Series, and Theological Advisory Board for Herder/Crossroad (USA).
  • Co-chair of steering committee to initiate a consultation on resurrection, eternal life and early Christian eschatology in the SBL to begin in 2003.
  • Kaneb Visiting Professor of Roman Catholic Studies at Cornell University, 1989-90.
  • Kantonen Lecturer, Trinity Lutheran Evangelical Seminary, Columbus, OH, 1991.
  • Mother Elizabeth Seton Medal, College of Mount St. Joseph, Cincinnati, OH, 1997.
  • Chi-Rho Lecture Series Lecturer, Eugene, OR, October 2002.


Books Translated into Other Languages

Revelation. Collegeville Bible Commentary, 1983 [Italian]; with R. Fuller.

Who is This Christ?, 1986 [Japanese].

Jesus as Teacher, 1990 [Spanish].

First and Second Peter, James and Jude. Interpretation Commentary Series, 1995 [Japanese].

Recent Books

1 Corinthians.  Paideia Commentary Series; Grand Rapids: Baker Academic,  2012.

Reading the New Testament. 3rd edition revised.  Mahwah, NJ: Paulist, 2012. (Awarded 1st prize in Scripture category by Catholic Publishers Association, 2013).


Introduction to the Synoptic Gospels. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2007. (Awarded 1st prize in Scripture category by Catholic Publishers Association, Aug. 2008); paperback edition, 2010.

“Resurrection and Christology Are They Related?”  Israel’s God and Rebecca’s Children. Essays in Honor of  Larry W. Hurtado & Alan F. Segal. Edited by David B. Capes, April D. DeConick, Helen K. Bond and Troy A. Miller; Baylor: Baylor University Press, 2007, 67-75. 

“Gnosticism,” in New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible. D-G. K. Sackanfeld, ed. Nashville: Abingdon, 2007.

“Resurrection of Jesus,” in Encyclopedia of the Historical Jesus. Craig Evans, ed.  New York: Routledge, 2008, 498-505.

“Acquire a Wife in Holiness and Honor” (1 Thess 4:4). Christian Marriage in the New Testament,”  National Conference of Catholic Bishops. 2007 (papers posted on the NCCB website).

“What Is a Gnostic Gospel?” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 71 (2009) 104-128.

“Schism and Heresy. Identity, cracks, and canyons in early Christianity,”  in Routledge Encyclopedia of 2nd and 3rd Century Christianity.  Ed. J. Bingham; New York: Routledge, 2010, pp. 227-38.

“Ephesians, Epistle to the,” The Cambridge Dictionary of Christianity. Ed. D. Patte; Cambridge University Press (2010), 369-70.

“Jude,” The Cambridge Dictionary of Christianity. Ed. D. Patte; Cambridge University Press (2010), 665.

“Peter, the Apostle,” The Cambridge Dictionary of Christianity. Ed. D. Patte; Cambridge University Press (2010), 947-48.  

“To the Jews as a Jew” (1 Cor 9:20): Paul and Jewish Identity,”  e-journal Boston College Center for Christian Jewish Learning (2010)

“Ephesians,” translation in The Common English Version (New Testament). Nashville: Abingdon, 2010.

“The Resurrection of Jesus,” in T. Holman and Porter, eds. Handbook of the Historical Jesus. 4 vols. (Leiden: Brill, 2011) 2409-2432.

“Christology of Matthew,” Bible Today  49 (2011)

“Imagining the Kingdom: Jesus Tells Parables,” Bible Today 49 (2011) 223-227.

“Faithfulness to Israel: Witness to God’s Mercy (Rom 9-11)”,  paper prepared for a conference on Jewish—Christian relations in light of Nostra Aetate at Georgetown in March 2010 that focused on problematic scripture texts. They intend to publish their proceedings.

“Fallen Angels and the Demonic Creator. Gnostic Exegetes Reading Gen 6:1-4,” [volume of seminar papers on fallen angels and Enoch traditions from the CBA seminar on Jewish pseudepigrapha and related early Christian texts] accepted as a volume for the Catholic Biblical Quarterly Monograph Series

“Gender and the Body of Christ: Problems in 1 Corinthians,”  Method and Meaning. Essays on New Testament Interpretation in Honor of Harold W. Attridge.  Andrew B. McGowan & Kent H. Richards, eds;   Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2011, pp. 487-99.

“Adam and Christ in the Pauline Epistles,”  in P. Spitaler, ed. Celebrating Paul. Festschrift in Honor of Jerome Murphy-O’Connor and Joseph A. Fitzmyer. CBQMS 48;  Washington DC: Catholic Biblical Association, 2012,  pp. 128-151.

“Jewish Christian Gospels: Primitive Tradition Imagined,” in J. Schröter, ed. The Apocryphal Gospels within the Context of Early Christian Theology. CBL LX, July 26-28, 2011. Leuven: Peeters, 2012.


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