J. Ross Wagner

J. Ross Wagner

Associate Professor of New Testament

External address: 
Box 90968, 407 Chapel Drive, 316 Gray, Durham, NC 27705
Internal office address: 
Box 90968, 316 Gray Bldg, Durham, NC 27708-0968
(919) 660-3480

Professor Wagner returned to Duke in 2013 after teaching New Testament for fifteen years at Princeton Theological Seminary. Specializing in Paul’s letters and in Septuagint studies, he seeks to contribute to the recovery of theological exegesis through careful investigation of the ways scriptural interpretation shaped early Jewish and Christian communities. His publications include Heralds of the Good News: Paul and Isaiah in Concert in the Letter to the Romans (2002), Between Gospel and Election: Explorations in the Interpretation of Romans 9–11 (coedited with Florian Wilk, 2010) and, most recently, Reading the Sealed Book: Old Greek Isaiah and the Problem of Septuagint Hermeneutics (2013). His current project, a book-length treatment of the Old Testament in the New, aims to show that theological reflection on the meaning of Jesus’ life has, from the very beginning, required Christian interpreters to wrestle with the textual and linguistic plurality of the scriptures in their witness to God’s actions in Jesus the Messiah.

A member of the editorial boards of The Catholic Biblical Quarterly and The Journal of Theological Interpretation, he also serves on the steering committee for the Pauline Soteriology Group of the Society of Biblical Literature. Wagner was a Humboldt Research Fellow at the University of Göttingen in 2006–2007 and 2010, and he spent 2009–2010 as a member in residence at the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton. He is a United Methodist.


  • Ph.D., Duke University 1999

Wagner, J Ross. Reading the Sealed Book, 2013.

Wilk, F., J. R. Wagner, and F. Schleritt. Between gospel and election: explorations in the interpretation of Romans 9-11. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2010.

Wagner, J. R., C. K. Rowe, and A. K. Grieb. The word leaps the gap: essays on scripture and theology in honor of Richard B. Hays. Grand Rapids: William B Eerdmans, 2008.

Wagner, J. R. “Paul and Scripture.” In The Blackwell Companion to Paul, edited by S. Westerholm, 154–71. Oxford: Blackwell, 2011.

Wagner, J. R. “"Not from the Jews only, but also from the Gentiles": mercy to the nations in Romans 9-11.” In Between Gospel and Election, 417–31. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2010.

Wagner, J. R. “Philippians.” In New Interpreter’s Bible One Volume Commentary, edited by B. R. Gaventa and D. Peterson. Nashville: Abingdon, 2010.

Wagner, J. R. “Psalms 93, 110, 118, 131, 132; Isaiah 12.” In The Lectionary Commentary: The Psalm and Hymn Responses for Worship and Preaching, edited by B. A. Strawn and R. Van Harn. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2009.

Wagner, J. R. “Notes on Philippians.” In Wesley Study Bible. Nashville: Abingdon, 2009.

Wagner, J. R. “Faithfulness and fear, stumbling and salvation: receptions of LXX Isaiah 8:11-18 in the New Testament.” In Word Leaps the Gap, 76–106. Grand Rapids: William B Eerdmans, 2008.

Wagner, J. R. “The Septuagint and the "search for the Christian Bible".” In Scripture’s Doctrine and Theology’s Bible, 17–28. Grand Rapids, Mich: Baker Academic, 2008.

Wagner, J. R. “Working out salvation: holiness and community in Philippians.” In Holiness and Ecclesiology in the New Testament, 257–74. Grand Rapids: William B Eerdmans, 2007.

Wagner, J. R. “Moses and Isaiah in concert: Paul's reading of Isaiah and Deuteronomy in the letter to the Romans.” In “As Those Who Are Taught,” 87–105. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2006.

Wagner, J. R. “Isaiah in Romans and Galatians.” In Isaiah in the New Testament, 117–32. London: T&T Clark, 2005.


Wagner, J Ross. “Baptism “Into Christ Jesus” and the Question of Universalism in Paul.” Horizons in Biblical Theology 33, no. 1 (2011): 45–61. https://doi.org/10.1163/019590811x571715. Full Text

Wagner, J Ross. “Missio Dei: Envisioning an Apostolic Reading of Scripture.” Missiology: An International Review 37, no. 1 (January 2009): 19–32. https://doi.org/10.1177/009182960903700103. Full Text

Wagner, J. R. “Rejoice in the Lord!.” Princeton Seminary Bulletin 28, no. 1 (2007): 1–6.

Wagner, J. R. “Identifying "updated" prophecies in Old Greek (OG) Isaiah: Isaiah 8:11-16 as a test case.” Journal of Biblical Literature 126, no. 2 (2007): 251–69.

Baker, Mark D., and J Ross Wagner. “Reading Romans in Hurricane-Ravaged Honduras: A Model of Intercultural and Interdisciplinary Conversation.” Missiology: An International Review 32, no. 3 (July 2004): 367–83. https://doi.org/10.1177/009182960403200306. Full Text

Wagner, J. R. “From the Heavens to the Heart : The Dynamics of Psalm 19 as Prayer.Catholic Biblical Quarterly 61, no. 2 (1999): 245–61.

Wagner, J. R. “"Not Beyond the Things Which Are Written" : A Call to Boast Only in the Lord (1 Cor 4.6).” New Testament Studies 44, no. 2 (1998): 279–87.

Wagner, J. R. “The Christ, Servant of Jew and Gentile : A Fresh Approach to Romans 15:8-9.Journal of Biblical Literature 116, no. 3 (1997): 473–85.

Selected Grants

Fostering a culture of Teaching awarded by Wabash Center (Co Investigator). 2017 to 2021