Emeritus Professor Loveday Alexander

Classics, Philosophy and Ancient History, Oxford

Email address l.c.alexander@sheffield.ac.uk


Reverend Professor Canon Loveday Alexander trained as a classicist and has retained an overriding interest in exploring the boundaries and interconnections between the New Testament and its Greco-Roman matrix.

She has contributed to the Dictionary of Biblical Interpretation, the Anchor Bible Dictionary, The Dictionary of Paul and his Letters, and to RGG. She also edited Images of Empire and published The Preface to Luke's Gospel.

Current research projects

I am currently completing two commentaries on the book of Acts, one with a primarily historical focus (Black´s NT Commentaries: Continuum) and one more oriented to church-based readers (The People´s Bible: Bible Reading Fellowship).

Future plans include:
• Jointly-authored volume on The School of Moses and the School of Christ (with Philip Alexander)
• Volume on New Testament History for the New Testament Library series (Westminster John Knox)
• Commentary Hebrews for the ICC series (Continuum).

Research supervision

Research proposals in the following areas are welcome:

• Interfaces between early Christian and Greco-Roman art and literature.
• History of Early Christianity.
• Hermeneutics and the use of the Bible in today’s church.

Current postgraduate research students:
• Peter Roberts

Other professional activities

• Former Chair and Secretary of the Social World Seminar of the British New Testament Conference
• Editor of the Journal of Biblical Literature
• Editor of The Journal for the Study of the New Testament
• Editor of New Testament Studies.



The Preface to Luke's Gospel: Literary Convention and Social Context in Luke 1:1-4 and Acts 1:1. SNTS Monograph 78; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1993. xv + 250 pp. Paperback reissue, 2005.

Acts in its Ancient Literary Context: A Classicist looks at the Acts of the Apostles (Studies in the NT and its World; London/New York: Continuum, 2005: forthcoming).

Edited Volumes

Images of Empire: the Roman Empire in Jewish, Christian and Greco-Roman Sources. Proceedings of the interdisciplinary Images of Empire colloquium held in Sheffield in March 1990. Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement Series 122; Sheffield: JSOT Press 1991. 316 pp.


  • Luke's Preface in the Pattern of Greek Preface-Writing', Novum Testamentum 28/1 (1986), pp.48-74.
  • 'Hellenistic Letter-form and the Structure of Philippians', Journal for the Study of the New Testament 37 (1989) (= New Testament Essays in Honour of David Hill, ed. C.M.Tuckett), pp.87-101.
  • 'The Living Voice: Scepticism Towards the Written Word in Early Christian and in Greco-Roman Texts', pp.221-47 of The Bible in Three Dimensions, ed. D.J.A.Clines, S.E.Fowl, S.E.Porter (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press 1990).
  • 'Sisters in Adversity: Retelling Martha's Story', pp.167-86 of Women in the Biblical Tradition, ed. George J. Brooke (Edwin Mellen Press, 1992). Reprinted in Amy-Jill Levine (ed.), A Feminist Companion to Luke’s Gospel (Sheffield: SAP, 2002).
  • 'Acts and Ancient Intellectual Biography', pp.31-63 of The Book of Acts in its First Century Setting: I Ancient Literary Setting, eds. Bruce W. Winter & Andrew D. Clarke (Eerdmans: Grand Rapids 1993).
  • 'Paul and the Hellenistic Schools: the Evidence of Galen': in Paul in his Hellenistic Context, ed Troels Engberg-Pedersen (Philadelphia: Augsburg Fortress/Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1994).
  • 'The Relevance of Greco-Roman Literature and Culture to New Testament Studies': pp. 109-126 of Hearing the New Testament, ed. Joel B.Green (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans / Carlisle: Paternoster 1995).
  • '"In journeyings often": Voyaging in the Acts of the Apostles and in Greek Romance': pp.17-49 of Luke’s Literary Achievement: Collected Essays, ed. C.M.Tuckett (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1995).
  • ‘Narrative Maps: Reflections on the Toponymy of Acts', pp.17-57 of The Bible in Human Society: Essays in Honour of John Rogerson, eds. M. Daniel Carroll R., D.J.A.Clines, P.R.Davies, (JSOTSS 200; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press,1995).
  • 'The Preface to Acts and the Historians': in History, Literature and Society in the Book of Acts, ed. Ben Witherington III (Cambridge University Press: 1996), pp.73-103.
  • ‘Ancient Book-Production and the Circulation of the Gospels’, in Richard J. Bauckham (ed.), The Gospels for All Christians: Rethinking the Gospel Audiences (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans 1997), pp.71-111.
  • ‘Marathon or Jericho? Reading Acts in Dialogue with Biblical and Greek Historiography’, in David J.A. Clines and Stephen D. Mooore (ed.), Auguries: The Jubilee Volume of the Sheffield Department of Biblical Studies, (JSOTSS 269; Sheffield; SAP 1998), pp. 92-125.
  • ‘Fact, Fiction, and the Genre of Acts’, New Testament Studies 44/3 (July 1998), pp. 380-99.
  • ‘St. Paul and the Greek Novel’, in Ron Hock (ed.), Ancient Fiction and Early Christian Narrative (SBL Symposium Series; Atlanta: Scholars Press,1998), pp.235-256.
  • ‘The Acts of the Apostles as an Apologetic Text’, in Mark Edwards, Martin Goodman, Simon Price, Chistoper Rowland (ed.), Apologetics in the Roman Empire (Oxford: OUP 1999), pp.15-44.
  • ‘Reading Luke-Acts from Back to Front’, in Jos Verheyden (ed.), The Unity of Luke-Acts (BETL; Leuven: Peeters, 1999), pp.419-46.
  • ‘Which Greco-Roman Prologues Most Closely Parallel the Lukan Prologues?’, in David P. Moessner (ed.), Jesus and the Heritage of Israel, (Harrisburg: Trinity Press International, 1999), pp.9-26.
  • ‘Intertextualité et la question des lecteurs,’ in D. Marguerat, A. Curtis (ed.), Bible et Intertextualité (proceedings of the 1998 Manchester-Lausanne Colloquium; Geneva: Labor et Fides), pp.201-14.
  • ‘What if Luke had never met Theophilus?’, in J. Cheryl Exum (ed.), Virtual History and the Bible (Biblical Interpretation, 8, 1/2; Leiden: Brill, 1999), pp.161-70.
  • ‘IPSE DIXIT: Citation of Authority in Paul and in the Jewish and Hellenistic Schools’, in Troels Engberg-Pedersen (ed.), Paul Beyond the Judaism-Hellenism Divide (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2001), pp.103-27.
  • ‘”Foolishness to the Greeks”: Jews and Christians in the public life of the Empire’, in G. Clark, T. Rajak, (ed.), Philosophy and Power in the Graeco-Roman World: essays in honour of Miriam T. Griffin (Oxford: OUP 2002), pp.229-49.
  • Mapping Early Christianity: Acts and the Shape of Early Christianity,’ Interpretation 57/2 (April 2003), pp.163-173.
  • ‘New Testament Narrative and Ancient Epic,’ in Emmanuelle Steffek & Yvan Bourquin (ed.), Raconter, interpreter, annoncer: Parcours de Nouveau Testament. Mélanges offerts à Daniel Marguera pour son 60e anniversaire (Le Monde de la Bible 47; Genève: Labor et Fides, 2003), pp.239-49.
  • ‘Septuaginta, Fachprosa, Imitatio: Albert Wifstrand and the Language of Luke-Acts,’ in Cilliers Breytenbach & Jens Schröter (ed.), Die Apostelgeschichte und die hellenistische Geschichtsschreibung: Festschrift für Eckhard Plümacher zu seinem 65. Geburtstag (Leiden: Brill, 2004), pp.1-26.