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

Baker, M. D., and J. R. Wagner. “"The righteousness of God" and Hurricane Mitch: reading Romans in hurrican-devastated Honduras.” In Navigating Romans through Cultures, edited by Y. Khiok-khng, 95–132. New York: T & T Clark, 2004.

Wagner, J. R. “Piety, Jewish.” In Dictionary of New Testament Background, edited by C. A. Evans and S. E. Porter, 796–803. Downer’s Grove, Ill: InterVarsity Press, 2000.

Wagner, J. R. “The heralds of Isaiah and the mission of Paul : an investigation of Paul's use of Isaiah 51-55 in Romans.” In Jesus and the Suffering Servant, 193–222. Harrisburg, Pa: Trinity Pr Int’l, 1998.

Wagner, J. R. “Psalm 118 in Luke-Acts : tracing a narrative thread.” In Early Christian Interpretation of the Scriptures of Israel, 154–78. Sheffield, Eng: Sheffield Academic Pr, 1997.

Levison, J. R., and J. R. Wagner. “Introduction : the character and context of Josephus' Contra Apionem.” In Josephus’ Contra Apionem, 1–48. Leiden: E J Brill, 1996.