Amy-Jill Levine
Born1956 (age 64–65)
Other namesA. J. Levine
Spouse(s)Jay Geller[1]
Academic background
Alma mater
ThesisThe Matthean Program of Salvation History (1984)
Doctoral advisorD. Moody Smith
Academic work
DisciplineBiblical studies
School or tradition
Notable works
  • The Misunderstood Jew (2006)
  • Short Stories by Jesus (2014)

Amy-Jill Levine (born 1956) is E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor of New Testament Studies at Vanderbilt University Divinity School, Department of Religious Studies, and Graduate Department of Religion.


Amy-Jill Levine was born in 1956. Raised in a predominantly Catholic neighborhood in Massachusetts, she grew up knowing and loving many aspects of the Christian tradition—although she is herself an Orthodox Jew.[2] She completed her undergraduate work at Smith College, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa and held honors in both religion and English.[3] She earned her doctorate at Duke University.[3]

She has held office in the Society of Biblical Literature, the Catholic Biblical Association, and the Association for Jewish Studies.

Her publications include The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus (HarperSanFrancisco, 2006), the edited collection, The Historical Jesus in Context (Princeton University Press, 2006), and the 14-volume Feminist Companions to the New Testament and Early Christian Writings (Continuum).

A self-described "Yankee Jewish feminist who teaches in a predominantly Protestant divinity school in the buckle of the Bible Belt," Levine "combines historical-critical rigor, literary-critical sensitivity, and a frequent dash of humor with a commitment to eliminating antisemitic, sexist, and homophobic theologies."[4] She is a member of the Orthodox Jewish synagogue Sherith Israel.[5] She accepts the Orthodox Jew tenet of the afterlife[clarification needed], [6] but "is often quite unorthodox" overall.[7] Levine has produced lectures on the Old Testament and "Great Figures of the New Testament" for The Teaching Company. [8]


Per the introduction by Levine for The Historical Jesus in Context:

There is a consensus of sorts on a basic outline of Jesus' life. Most scholars agree that Jesus was baptized by John, debated with fellow Jews on how best to live according to God's will, engaged in healings and exorcisms, taught in parables, gathered male and female followers in Galilee, went to Jerusalem, and was crucified by Roman soldiers during the governorship of Pontius Pilate (26–36 CE). But, to use the old cliché, the devil is in the details.[9]

Selected publications


  1. ^ Kandil, Caitlin Yoshiko (2013). "The Gospel of Amy-Jill Levine". Moment. Vol. 38 no. 6. Washington: Center for Creative Change. Retrieved December 30, 2018.
  2. ^ "Bio, on Scarboro Missions".
  3. ^ a b Caitlin Yoshiko Kandil. "The Gospel of Amy-Jill Levine". Moment Magazine. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  4. ^ "Biography". Vanderbilt University website. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  5. ^ "Second Hour: Amy-Jill Levine :: Sunday Nights". Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  6. ^ "Is There Life After Death? Jewish Thinking on the Afterlife". 17 July 2011.
  7. ^ "Profile".
  8. ^ "Professor Bio Page". Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  9. ^ Levine, Amy-Jill; Allison, Dale C.; Crossan, John Dominic (10 January 2009). The Historical Jesus in Context. Princeton University Press. p. 4. ISBN 978-1-4008-2737-4.
  10. ^ Levine, Amy-Jill (18 December 2001). A Feminist Companion to Mark. ISBN 9781841271941. Retrieved 15 March 2016.
  11. ^ Levine, Amy-Jill (15 July 2002). A Feminist Companion to Luke. ISBN 9781841271743. Retrieved 15 March 2016.
  12. ^ Levine, Amy-Jill (2001). A Feminist Companion to John Volume 2. ISBN 9780826463333. Retrieved 15 March 2016.
  13. ^ Levine, Amy-Jill (28 November 2006). The Misunderstood Jew. ISBN 9780060789664. Retrieved 15 March 2016.
  14. ^ "The Historical Jesus in Context". Retrieved 15 March 2016.
  15. ^ "The Jewish Annotated New Testament". Archived from the original on 20 November 2012. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  16. ^ Levine, Amy-Jill (9 September 2014). Short Stories by Jesus. ISBN 9780062198198. Retrieved 4 January 2015.