John Martens portrait

John Martens

Ph.D. McMaster University

JRC 156
(651) 962-5316
Toll Free
(800) 328-6819, Ext. 2-5316
Mail #JRC 153, University of St. Thomas
2115 Summit Ave.
St. Paul MN 55105

        B.A - St. Michael's College at the University of Toronto (1984)

        M.A. - McMaster University(1986)
        Thesis: A Social Description of the Damascus Document

        Visiting Student - University of Tübingen (1989-90)

        PhD- McMaster University (1991)
        Dissertation: The Superfluity of the Law in Philo and Paul

Courses Taught at UST:

Theo 101 - The Christian Theological Tradition

Theo 210 - The New Testament

Theo 343 - Apocalyptic Literature

Theo 335 - The Letters of Paul

LS 401 - Introductory Greek

Theo 395 - Children in the Early Church (J-Term)

Theo 390U-A - The Cradle of Early Christianity (J-Term Abroad - Greece and Turkey)

DVSS 530 (MAT CORE) - Survey of New Testament Literature

CSMA 593-02 - From Creation to Fulfillment: Major Biblical Themes

DVSS 704 - The Lucan Writings

DVSS 705 - The Pauline Epistolary

DVSS 721 - Apocalyptic Literature

Scholarly Expertise and Interests:

        The Apostle Paul
        Hellenistic Judaism, especially Philo of Alexandria
        Apocalyptic Thought and Literature
        Development of early Christianity
        Biblical interpretation
        Children in early Christianity

Selected Publications:   
The Word on the Street, Year A: Sunday Lectionary Reflections (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2016).

“Do Not Sexually Abuse Children: The Language of Early Christian Sexual Ethics,” in Children in Late Ancient Christianity, eds., Cornelia B. Horn and Robert Phenix (Tubingen: Mohr-Siebeck, 2010).

“A Burning Question in Romans 12:20: What do the 'Coals of Fire' Mean?," in Catholic Biblical Quarterly, April 2014 (Vol.76, no.2) 291-305.
With Cornelia Horn: "Let the Little Ones Come to Me": Children and Childhood in early Christianity (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 2009).

One God, One Law: Philo of Alexandria on the Mosaic and Greco-Roman Law (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 2003).

The End of the World: The Apocalyptic Imagination in Film and Television (Winnipeg: J. Gordon Shillingford Press, 2003). ISBN: 0-920486-29-0.

"Introduction to Ben F. Meyer’s 'Election-Historical Thinking in Romans 9-11, and Ourselves'" in Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture 7.4 (2004) 150-170.

"Rom. 2:14-16: A Stoic Reading," in New Testament Studies, Vol.40, 1994, 55-67.

"Ignatius and Onesimus: John Knox Reconsidered" in The Second Century 9, Summer 1992, 73-86.

"Unwritten Law in Philo: A Response to Naomi G. Cohen," in Journal of Jewish Studies, Spring 1992, 38-45.

"A Sectarian Analysis of the Damascus Document" in Essays in the Social Scientific Study of Judaism and Jewish Society. eds. Simcha Fishbane, Jack N. Lightstone, and Victor Levin. Department of Religion, Concordia University, Montreal, 1990.

Selected Presentations:
“Slaves in the Family: The Relationship Between Freeborn Boys and Slaves According to John Chrysostom’s On Vainglory” at The International Medieval Congress, Leeds, England, July 4, 2016.

“The Living Word: Scripture in the Life of the Church” at Sheen Center, New York City, March 1, 2016. (
“Pope Francis, Mercy, and the Bible,” a lecture at Archdiocese of Milwuakee, Milwaukee, Wis., February 25, 2016.

“(Why) Was Jesus Single?” at Singles and the Single Life in the Roman and Later Roman World, May 28-30, 2015 Rome.

"Interpretation of the Bible: History and Truth," at Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture Annual Fall Conference: "Modernity: Yearning for the Infinite", November 30- December 2, 2006.

"Theodicy in Apocalyptic Thought: From Ancient Visions to (Post) Modern Nightmares" at Evil and Suffering in the Patristic Period, Boston, October 12-14, 2006.

"A Visual Apocalypse" at Catholic Biblical Association Annual Meeting, August 7, 2006, Chicago, as part of a panel on "The Bible and Film."

"Fathers and Daughters in Corinth" at SBL Meetings, November 21, 2005, Philadelphia.

"From Euripides to Heraclitus to the Stoic Socrates," at Brock University Conference on Western Ethics, March 14-15, 2003. Invited Paper.

Current Research:

        The life of children in the early Church

        The ideas of infancy and maturity in the letters of Paul

        The use of ancient methods of biblical interpretation in modern study of the Bible

Professional memberships:

        Society of Biblical Literature
        Catholic Biblical Association

Summer 2017 Courses

Summer 2017 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location
DVMT 902 - 01 Thesis Theology - - - - - - - -
CRN: 30694 3 Credit Hours Instructor: John W. Martens

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)

Fall 2017 Courses

Fall 2017 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location
DVMT 902 - 01 Thesis Theology - - - - - - - -
CRN: 42377 3 Credit Hours Instructor: John W. Martens

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
THEO 101 - P1 Christian Theo Tradition - T - R - - - 0955 - 1135 JRC 481
CRN: 41404 4 Credit Hours Instructor: John W. Martens This course is designed to acquaint students with the contents of the Bible and with Christian history, especially in the context of the Catholic tradition. Through careful reading of a core of common texts and a variety of written assignments, students are expected to attain a basic understanding of human experience in the light of major areas of theology, including revelation, God, creation, Jesus and the Church.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
THEO 210 - 03 New Testament - T - R - - - 1525 - 1700 MHC 210
CRN: 41735 4 Credit Hours Instructor: John W. Martens This course involves the student in an intensive historical, literary and theological reading of major portions of the New Testament in the Jewish and Greco-Roman contexts and from the perspective of modern methods of biblical interpretation. In addition, the course explores the New Testament as a foundational document for modern Christian traditions in the development of doctrine, in the expressions of worship and in the articulation of moral principles. Prerequisite: THEO 101

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)

J-Term 2018 Courses

J-Term 2018 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location