Faculty Directory

Lawrence M. Wills

Part-time Faculty


Lawrence Wills was born and raised in rural Kentucky. He received his AB from Harvard College in 1976, and his MTS and ThD from Harvard Divinity School, the latter in 1987. He has taught at Harvard Divinity School, Episcopal Divinity School, Brown University, Williams College, Boston University School of Theology, Stonehill College, and now also at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry.

Selected Courses

Fall 2022

Gospel of Mark

Spring 2023

Gospel of Matthew

Selected Publications


Introduction to the Apocrypha: Jewish Books in Christian Bibles. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2021.

Jewish Annotated Apocrypha, co-edited with Jonathan Klawans. New York: Oxford University Press, 2020.

Judith. Hermeneia. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2019.

Not God’s People: Insiders and Outsiders in the Biblical World. Religion in the Modern World 1. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2008.

The Quest of the Historical Gospel: Mark, John, and the Origins of the Gospel Genre. London: Routledge, 1997.

The Jewish Novel in the Ancient World. Myth and Poetics Series. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 1995. 

The Jew in the Court of the Foreign King: Ancient Jewish Court Legends. Harvard Dissertations in Religion 26. Minneapolis: Augsburg/Fortress Press, 1990. 


“Judith 9: A Prayer and More Than a Prayer,” in Selected Studies on Deuterocanonical Prayers. Ed. Angela Kim Harkins and Barbara Schmitz. CBET 103; Leuven: Peeters Press, 2021.

“Jewish and Hellenistic Novels,” in The Biblical World. Ed. Katharine J. Dell. 2nd ed. London: Routledge, 2021.

“Why the Passive Protagonist in Wisdom of Solomon 2–5?” Journal of Religious Competition in Antiquity 1 (2019): 48–61: https://soar.stonehill.edu/jrca/

“Court Tales,” Bible Odysseyhttps://www.bibleodyssey.org/people/related-articles/court-tales

“Novels,” in T&T Clark Encyclopedia of Second Temple Judaism. Ed. Loren Stuckenbruck and Daniel Gurtner. T & T Clark, 2020.

“The Jewishness of the Gospel of Mark,” in Bridging Between Sister Religions: Studies of Jewish and Christian Scriptures Offered in Honor of Prof. John T. Townsend. Ed. Isaac Kalimi. Brill Reference Library of Judaism 54. Leiden: Brill, 2017. Pp. 69–86.

“Jew, Judean, Judaism in the Ancient Period: An Alternative Argument,” Journal of Ancient Judaism 7 (2016): 169–93.

“Greek Philosophical Discourse in the Book of Judith?” Journal of Biblical Literature, 134 (2015): 753–73. 

“Wisdom and Word among the Hellenistic Saviors: The Function of Literacy” Journal for the Study of Pseudepigrapha 24 (2014) 118–48.

“Negotiating the Jewish Heritage of Early Christianity,” Fortress Bible Commentary (New Testament section). Ed. Margaret Aymer, Cynthia Kittredge, and David A. Sánchez. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2014. Pp. 2.31–45.

“Prayer of Azariah” and “The Song of the Three Jews,” Fortress Bible Commentary (Old Testament section). Ed. Matthew Coomber, Hugh Page, and Gale A. Yee. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2014. Pp. 1.1043–45, 51–53.

“The Biblical Short Story.” In Cambridge Companion to the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. Ed. Stephen B. Chapman and Marvin A. Sweeney. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2016. Pp. 314–30

“Gospel of Mark.” In Jewish Annotated New Testament. Ed. Marc Z. Brettler and Amy-Jill Levine. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011. German translation in Wolfgang Kraus, Michael Tilly, Axel Töllner, eds., Das Neue Testament—Jüdisch Erklärt (Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2021)

“Jewish Novellas in a Greek and Roman Age: Fiction and Identity,” Journal for the Study of Judaism 42 (2011): 141–65.

“Judith” (Introduction and annotations). The New Oxford Annotated Bible, 4th edition. Ed. Michael Coogan. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010, and also for the 5th edition, 2018. Ed. Carol Newsom.

“Asceticism.” In Dictionary of Early Judaism. Ed. John J. Collins and Daniel Harlow. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2010.

“Scribal Methods in Matthew and Mishnah Abot,” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 63 (2001): 241–57.

“Ascetic Theology Before Asceticism? Jewish Narratives and the Decentering of the Self.” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 74 (2006): 902–925.

“Methodological Reflections on Tax Collectors in Early Gospel Tradition.” In When Judaism and Christianity Began: Essays in Memory of Anthony J. Saldarini. Ed. Alan J. Avery-Peck, Daniel Harrington, and Jacob Neusner. 2 vols. Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2004. Pp. 1.251–66.