• Co-editor, New Testament Abstracts, Boston College (litwa@bc.edu)
    • Unit Chair, Bible, Myth, and Myth Theory Group at the Society of Biblical Literature


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



  1. Carpocrates, Marcellina, and Epiphanes: Three Early Christian Teachers of Alexandria and Rome (London: Routledge, 2022).
  2. Found Christianities: Remaking the World in the Second Century CE (London: T&T Clark, 2022).
  3. The Evil Creator: Origins of an Early Christian Idea (New York: Oxford University Press, 2021).
  4. Posthuman Transformation in Ancient Mediterranean Thought: Becoming Angels and Demons (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2021).
  5. How the Gospels Became History: Jesus and Mediterranean Myths (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2019).
  6. Hermetica II: The Excerpts of Stobaeus, Papyrus Fragments, and Ancient Testimonies in a English Translation with Notes and Introductions (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018).
  7. Desiring Divinity: Self-deification in Ancient Jewish and Christian Mythmaking. Forthcoming from Oxford University Press, 2016.
  8. Refutation of All Heresies: Text, Translation, and Notes, Writings from the Greco-Roman World 40 (Atlanta: SBL Press, 2015).
  9. Iesus Deus: The Early Christian Depiction of Jesus as a Mediterranean God (Minneapolis: Fortress Academic, 2014).
  10. Becoming Divine: An Introduction to Deification in Western Culture (Eugene, OR: Cascade, 2013)
  11. 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. “Deification and Defecation: Valentinus Fragment 3 and the Physiology of Jesus’s Digestion,” Journal of Early Christian Studies 31:1 (2023): 1-18.
  2. “The So-called Stratiotics and Phibionites: Three Notes on the “Gnostics” of Epiphanius, Panarion 26,” Vigiliae Christianae 76 (2022): 73-93.
  3. “Did Marcion Call the Creator ‘God’?” Journal of Theological Studies 72:1 (2021): 231-46. https://doi.org/10.1093/jts/flab010.
  4. “Equal to Angels: The Early Reception History of the Lukan ἰσάγγελοι (Luke 20:36),” forthcoming from the Journal of Biblical Literature 140:3 (2021): 601-22.
  5. “The So-called Stratiotics and Phibionites: Three Notes on the “Gnostics” of Epiphanius, Panarion 26,” Vigiliae Christianae 76 (2022): 73-93.
  6. “The Father of the Devil (John 8:44): A Christian Exegetical Inspiration for the Evil Creator,” Vigiliae Christianae (2020): 1-26.
  7. “Literary Eyewitnesses: The Appeal to an Eyewitness in John and Contemporaneous Literature,” New Testament Studies 64:3 (2018): 343-61.
  8. “Paul the ‘god’ in Acts 28: A Comparison with Philoctetes,” Journal of Biblical Literature 136:3 (2017): 707-726.
  9. “You are Gods”: Deification in the Naassene Writer and Clement of Alexandria,” Harvard Theological Review, 110:1 (2017): 125-48.
  10. “Gnostic Self-deification: The Case of Simon of Samaria,” Gnosis: Journal of Gnostic Studies 1 (2016): 157-76.
  11. “Phikola: A Mysteries Goddess at Phlya,” Religion in the Roman Empire 2:2 (2016): 279-93.
  12. “‘I Will Become Him’: Homology and Deification in the Gospel of Thomas,” Journal of Biblical Literature, 133:2 (2015): 427-47.
  13. “The Deification of Moses in Philo of Alexandria” The Studia Philonica Annual 26 (2014): 1-27.
  14. “The Wondrous Exchange: Irenaeus and Eastern Valentinians on the Soteriology of Interchange,” The Journal of Early Christian Studies 22 (2014): 311-41.
  15. “The God ‘Human’ and Human Gods: Models of Deification in Irenaeus and the Apocryphon of John,” Zeitschrift für Antikes Christentum 18 (2014): 70-94.
  16. “Transformation through a Mirror: Moses in 2 Cor 3:18,” Journal for the Study of the New Testament 34 (2012): 286-97.
  17. Paul’s Mosaic Ascent: An Interpretation of 2 Cor 12:7-9,” New Testament Studies 57 (2011): 238-57.
  18. “Self Sacrifice to Save the Life of Another in Jewish and Christian Traditions: A Comparative Analysis,” Heythrop Journal 50:6 (2009): 912-922.

Book Chapters

  1. “The Mysteries in Christian Gnosis: The Case of the Naassene Preacher,” forthcoming in The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Mystery Cults, ed. Hugh Bowden and Rassia Aikaterini-Iliana.
  2. “Resurrection, Transformation, and Deification,” forthcoming in The Cambridge History of Ancient Christianity, ed. Bruce Longenecker and David Wilhite (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2022).
  3. “Divinities,” forthcoming in The Oxford Handbook to the New Testament in the Roman Empire, ed. Harry O. Maier, Emiliano R. Urciuoli, Heidi Wendt (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2023).
  4. “The Presocratics,” in The Routledge Handbook of Early Christian Philosophy, ed. Mark Edwards (London: Routledge, 2021), 179-190.
  5. “The Curse of the Creator: Galatians 3:13 and Negative Demiurgy,” in Telling the Christian Story Differently: Counternarratives from Nag Hammadi and Beyond, ed. Francis Watson and Sarah Parkhouse (London: Bloomsbury Academic Press, 2020), 13-30.
  6. “Becoming Gods: Deification and the Supernatural,” in Religion: Super Religion, ed. Jeffrey J. Kripal, Macmillan Interdisciplinary Handbooks, Religion Series (Farmington Hills, MI: Macmillan Reference USA, 2017), 89-103.


  • Past Positions
    • Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry, ACU Melbourne
    • Instructor in Early Christianity, Virginia Tech Department of Religion and Culture, USA from August 2016 to June 2017
    • Lecturer in Classics, College of William & Mary, USA from January to May 2016
    • Lecturer in Classics, University of Virginia, USA from January 2013 to May 2015
  • Unit Chair for Bible, Myth, and Myth Theory, Society of Biblical Literature
  • Organizer
    • North American Patristics Society Open Call Session: Alternative Christianities (2020-2022)


2 comments on “About

  1. 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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