Prof. Dr. Martin Ebner

Affiliated Researcher

University of Bonn
Faculty of Catholic Theology
New Testament Studies’ Department
Regina-Pacis-Weg 1
D-53113 Bonn
Phone: +49 / (0)228 / 73 7643 

Academic Profile

Martin Ebner 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

Habilitation and Venia legendi in Exegesis of the New Testament

Ph.D. in Catholic Theological Faculty, University of Würzburg, Germany

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

Diploma Studies in Catholic Theology, University of Würzburg, Tübingen (Germany), École Biblique et Archéologique in Jerusalem (Israel)

Current Position
Managing Director of the New Testament Studies Department, University of Bonn, Germany

Professor for Exegesis of the New Testament, University of Bonn, Germany

Professor for Exegesis of the New Testament, University of Munster, Germany

Research Associate, Biblical Institute, University of Würzburg, Germany

Member of the DFG Expert Commission 107 Catholic Theology

 Head of subproject D2 “Revelation’s Violent Visions and Spectacles of Violence in the Roman Empire” of the DFG Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics in Premodern and Modern Cultures”, University of Münster, Germany

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”

Member of the Catholic New Testament Research Group (AKN) (Vice-Chairman 2007-2011, Chairman 2011-2015) Member of the Societas Novi Testamenti Studiorum (Member of the editorial board, 2003-2004)

“Novum Testamentum et Orbis Antiquus” (NTOA) (together with P. Lampe/S. Schreiber/Zangenberg)

“Bonner Biblische Beiträge” (together with U. Berges)

Editor of “Biblische Zeitschrift” (together with R. Scoralick)

1999– present
Editor of “Neutestamentliche Abhandlungen”, Münster (together with B. Heininger)

DFG: "Herrenmahl und Gruppenidentität" [“Lord's Supper and Group Identity"] (individual project)

DFG: “Bibelkenntnis und Bibelverständnis in Deutschland” [“Knowledge and Understanding of the Bible in Germany”] (individual project, together with K. Gabriel)

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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]. Munster 2008.
  • Das Markusevangelium. Neu übersetzt und kommentiert. [The Gospel of Mark. Newly Translated and Annotated]. Stuttgart 2008.
  • (ed.). Herrenmahl und Gruppenidentität. [Lord’s Supper and Group Identity]. Freiburg in Breisgau 2007.
  • (ed.): Aus Liebe zu Paulus? Die Akte Thekla neu aufgerollt. [Out of Love towards Paul? The Thekla Case Revisited]. Stuttgart 2005.
  • Jesus von Nazaret in seiner Zeit. Sozialgeschichtliche Zugänge. [Jesus of Nazareth in his Time. Socio-Historical Perspectives]. Stuttgart 2003.
  • Jesus – ein Weisheitslehrer? Synoptische Weisheitslogien im Traditionsprozeß. [Jesus – a Teacher of Wisdom? Synoptic Sayings of Wisdom in the Process of Tradition]. Freiburg in Breisgau 1998.
  • 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.
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