Current Position


  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) University of Virginia
  • Master of Theology (Th.M.) Duke University
  • Master of Divinity (M.Div.) Emory University



  1. Hermetica II: The Excerpts of Stobaeus, Papyrus Fragments, and Ancient Testimonies in a English Translation with Notes and Introductions (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018).
  2. Desiring Divinity: Self-deification in Ancient Jewish and Christian Mythmaking. Forthcoming from Oxford University Press, 2016.
  3. Refutation of All Heresies: Text, Translation, and Notes, Writings from the Greco-Roman World 40 (Atlanta: SBL Press, 2015).
  4. Iesus Deus: The Early Christian Depiction of Jesus as a Mediterranean God (Minneapolis: Fortress Academic, 2014).
  5. Becoming Divine: An Introduction to Deification in Western Culture (Eugene, OR: Cascade, 2013)
  6. We Are Being Transformed: Deification in Paul’s Soteriology (Beihefte zum Zeitschrift für Neutestamentliche Wissenschaft 187; Berlin & New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2012).

Articles in Peer-Reviewed Journals

  1. “Literary Eyewitnesses: The Appeal to an Eyewitness in John and Contemporaneous Literature,” New Testament Studies 64:3 (2018): 343-61.
  2. “Paul the ‘god’ in Acts 28: A Comparison with Philoctetes,” Journal of Biblical Literature 136:3 (2017): 707-726.
  3. “You are Gods”: Deification in the Naassene Writer and Clement of Alexandria,” Harvard Theological Review, 110:1 (2017): 125-48.
  4. “Gnostic Self-deification: The Case of Simon of Samaria,” Gnosis: Journal of Gnostic Studies 1 (2016): 157-76.
  5. “Phikola: A Mysteries Goddess at Phlya,” Religion in the Roman Empire 2:2 (2016): 279-93.
  6. “‘I Will Become Him’: Homology and Deification in the Gospel of Thomas,” Journal of Biblical Literature, 133:2 (2015): 427-47.
  7. “The Deification of Moses in Philo of Alexandria” The Studia Philonica Annual 26 (2014): 1-27.
  8. “The Wondrous Exchange: Irenaeus and Eastern Valentinians on the Soteriology of Interchange,” The Journal of Early Christian Studies 22 (2014): 311-41.
  9. “The God ‘Human’ and Human Gods: Models of Deification in Irenaeus and the Apocryphon of John,” Zeitschrift für Antikes Christentum 18 (2014): 70-94.
  10. “Transformation through a Mirror: Moses in 2 Cor 3:18,” Journal for the Study of the New Testament 34 (2012): 286-97.
  11. Paul’s Mosaic Ascent: An Interpretation of 2 Cor 12:7-9,” New Testament Studies 57 (2011): 238-57.
  12. “Self Sacrifice to Save the Life of Another in Jewish and Christian Traditions: A Comparative Analysis,” Heythrop Journal 50:6 (2009): 912-922.


  • Presiding
    • Esotericism and Mysticism in Antiquity session 1: Early Judaism (Society of Biblical Literature, 2014
  • Steering Committee for Bible, Myth, and Myth Theory, Society of Biblical Literature from 2015 to the present



2 comments on “About

  1. Richard R. Schaefer says:

    Dear Dr. Litwa,

    I have recently read your fine article, “I Will Become Him,” in the JBL, and two things struck me. The first is that your article seems to support the findings/assertions that I make in my recently published book on the truth to which Jesus testified, as that truth is represented in the Gospel of John. The second thing is that my book might provide ideas and inspiration for your further work.

    I would like to send you a copy of my book, The Truth Is, on the chance that you might have time to look at it – especially chapters 5 (Life and Death), 6 (Eternal Life), and 7 (Son of Man/Son of God). If you would like a copy, all I need is an address to which I can send it. In any case, the book is available on Amazon.com (just punch in The Truth Is and Schaefer).

    Thanks for your article, and your time,

    Richard R. (Rick) Schaefer

  2. […] Depiction of Jesus as a Mediterranean God”. After checking the author credentials (He has a polished qualifications on greek and ancient greek studies and being a historian and Greek specialist rather than a theologian, he does not seem biased in […]

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