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Prof. Dr. Martin Ebner

Affiliated Researcher


Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn, New Testament Studies’ Department, Faculty of Catholic Theology, Regina-Pacis-Weg 1, 53113 Bonn

Tel.: +49 228 73-7643

E-Mail: martin.ebner[at]

Current position:

Managing Director of the New Testament Studies Department




1975-1981        Diploma Studies in Catholic Theology, University of Würzburg, Tübingen, École Biblique et Archéologique in Jerusalem

1981-1988           Ecclesiastical Education (Chaplain, Full-Time Teacher of Catholic Religion)

1985-1991           Doctoral Studies in Catholic Theological Faculty, University of Würzburg,

1997                    Habilitation and Venia legendi in Exegesis of the New Testament

Academic Positions

1991-1997           Research Associate, Biblical Institute, University of Würzburg

1998-2011           Professor for Exegesis of the New Testament, WWU Münster

2011-present       Professor for Exegesis of the New Testament, UoB

Participation in Academic Centers and Consortium Projects: 

Member of the Catholic New Testament Research Group (AKN) (since 1997, Vice-Chairman 2007-2011, Chairman 2011-2015); Member of the Societas Novi Testamenti Studiorum (Member of the editorial board, 2003-2004); Participation in subproject D 3: "Griechisch-römische Vereinigungen: Probleme gesellschaftlicher Integration und Abgrenzung vom 1. bis zum 3. Jh. n. Chr.“ ["Greek-Roman Associations: Problems of Social Integration and Demarcation from the 1st to 3rd Century AD"] of the DFG Collaborative Research Center 493 “Functions of Religion in Ancient Near Eastern Societies” (2000-2004); Head of subproject D2 “Revelation’s Violent Visions and Spectacles of Violence in the Roman Empire” (2008-2011) of the the DFG Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics in Premodern and Modern Cultures”, University of Münster; Member of the DFG Expert Commission 107 Catholic Theology (since 2016)

Additional Academic Activities: 

Editor of “Neutestamentliche Abhandlungen”, Münster (since 1999) (together with B. Heininger); Editor of “Biblische Zeitschrift” (2003-2013) (together with R. Scoralick), “Bonner Biblische Beiträge” (since 2012) (together with U. Berges), “Novum Testamentum et Orbis Antiquus” (NTOA) (since 2014) (together with P. Lampe/S. Schreiber/Zangenberg)


MEr focuses on New Testament texts that try to change the life conditions of slaves in Christian households – without abolishing the legal dependency on their masters. In the Epistles of the New Testament in particular, Christian theologians, such as the Apostle Paul, claim social consequences resulting from the Christian worldview. There is a radical form: Receiving Christ means to enter a new world – without the typical social borderlines of the Roman Empire ("there is neither slave nor free man“, Gal 3:28). The baptized slave must be treated "as a beloved brother“, as Paul tries to persuade the slaveholder Philemon. There is also a more moderate form: Slaveholders should be aware that they themselves are "slaves“ of a heavenly master (Col 4:1). We do not know if Paul was actually successful in creating "agency“ in slave-master-relationships with his epistles. Nevertheless, we still do have these documents, which at least made the attempt to find out.

6 books, 13 edited volumes, approximately 90 academic articles. 1 finished supervised habilitation, 3 ongoing habilitations, 4 completed dissertations, 5 ongoing doctorates

Third-Party Funding: 

DFG: "Herrenmahl und Gruppenidentität" [“Lord's Supper and Group Identity"] (individual project, 2005-2007); DFG: “Bibelkenntnis und Bibelverständnis in Deutschland” [“Knowledge and Understanding of the Bible in Germany”] (individual project, together with K. Gabriel, 2004-2006)

Selected Publications: 

  1. Leidenslisten und Apostelbrief. Untersuchungen zu Form, Motivik und Funktion der Peristasenkataloge bei Paulus (fzb 66) [Catalogs of Hardships and the Apostle’s Epistles. Analyzing Form, Motifs and Function of Paul’s Catalogs of Hardships]. Würzburg 1991.
  2.  Jesus – ein Weisheitslehrer? Synoptische Weisheitslogien im Traditionsprozeß [Jesus – a Teacher of Wisdom? Synoptic Sayings of Wisdom in the Process of Tradition]. Freiburg i. Br. 1998.
  3.  Jesus von Nazaret in seiner Zeit. Sozialgeschichtliche Zugänge [Jesus of Nazareth in his Time. Socio-Historical Perspectives]. Stuttgart 2003.
  4. Das Markusevangelium. Neu übersetzt und kommentiert [The Gospel of Mark. Newly Translated and Annotated]. Stuttgart 2008.
  5. Die Stadt als Lebensraum der ersten Christen. Das Urchristentum in seiner Umwelt [The City as Birthplace of the First Christians. Early Christanity in its Environment]. Göttingen 2012.
  6.  (ed.) Aus Liebe zu Paulus? Die Akte Thekla neu aufgerollt [Out of Love towards Paul? The Thekla Case Revisited]. Stuttgart 2005.
  7. (ed.), Herrenmahl und Gruppenidentität [Lord’s Supper and Group Identity]. Freiburg i. Br. 2007.
  8.  With K. Gabriel (eds.), Bibel im Spiegel sozialer Milieus. Eine Untersuchung zu Bibelkenntnis und -verständnis in Deutschland [The Bible in the Mirror of Sociological Milieus. An Analysis of the Knowledge and the Understanding of the Bible in Germany]. Münster 2008.
  9. With E. Esch-Wermeling (eds.), Kaiserkult, Wirtschaft und Spectacula. Zum politischen und gesellschaftlichen Umfeld der Offenbarung [Emperor Cult, Economy and Spectacles. On the Revelation’s Political and Economic Environment]. Göttingen 2011.
  10. Inkarnation der Botschaft. Kultureller Horizont und theologischer Anspruch neutestamentlicher Texte [Incarnation of the Message. Cultural Horizon and Theological Claims of New Testament Texts]. Stuttgart 2015.
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