Richard Hays

George Washington Ivey Professor Emeritus of New Testament

Download Curriculum Vitae


Duke Divinity School
Box 90967
Durham NC 27708-0967


B.A., M.Div., Yale University
Ph.D., Emory University

Richard B. Hays, George Washington Ivey Professor Emeritus of New Testament at Duke Divinity School, is internationally recognized for his work on the Gospels, the letters of Paul, and on New Testament ethics. His scholarly work has bridged the disciplines of biblical criticism and literary studies, exploring the innovative ways in which early Christian writers interpreted Israel’s Scripture.  He has also consistently sought to demonstrate how close reading of the New Testament can inform the church’s theological reflection, proclamation, and ministry.

Hays’s  book The Moral Vision of the New Testament: Community, Cross, New Creation (1996) was selected by Christianity Today as one of the 100 most important religious books of the twentieth century. His more recent books include The Art of Reading Scripture (2003, co-edited with Ellen Davis), The Conversion of the Imagination (2005), Seeking the Identity of Jesus: A Pilgrimage (2008, co-edited with Beverly Roberts Gaventa), Revelation and the Politics of Apocalyptic Interpretation (2012, co-edited with Stefan Alkier), Reading Backwards: Figural Christology and the Fourfold Gospel Witness (2014), and Echoes of Scripture in the Gospels (2016).

Professor Hays has lectured widely in North America, Europe, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and Japan. An ordained United Methodist minister, he has preached in settings ranging from rural Oklahoma churches to London’s Westminster Abbey. Professor Hays has chaired the Pauline Epistles Section of the Society of Biblical Literature, as well as the Seminar on New Testament Ethics in the Society for New Testament Studies, and has served on the editorial boards of several leading scholarly journals. Professor Hays received an honorary doctorate (Dr. theol. honoris causa) from the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany, in 2009. He served as dean of Duke Divinity School from 2010 to 2015.


  • Richard Bauckham, God Crucified: Monotheism and Christology in the New Testament
  • Markus Bockmuehl, Seeing the Word: Refocusing New Testament Study
  • Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together
  • Beverly Roberts Gaventa and Richard B. Hays (eds.), Seeking the Identity of Jesus: A Pilgrimage
  • Marilynne Robinson, Gilead
  • C. Kavin Rowe, World Upside Down: Reading Acts in the Graeco-Roman Age
  • Rowan Williams, Christ on Trial: How the Gospel Unsettles our Judgment
  • N. T. Wright, Justification: God’s Plan and Paul’s Vision

In the Media

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Richard Hays: What is handed over on Maundy Thursday?

Australian Broadcasting Corp. (The Religion & Ethics Report)

News and Stories

Richard Hays Honored with 2022 Burkitt Medal for Biblical Studies

Professor Emeritus Hays has been awarded the medal by the British Academy for his internationally recognized and influential work on the Gospels, the letters of Paul, and New Testament ethics.

Selected Publications

  • Seeking the Identity of Jesus: A Pilgrimage. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2008. (Co-edited with Beverly Roberts Gaventa).
  • The Conversion of the Imagination: Paul as Interpreter of Israel’s Scripture. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2005.
  • Die Bibel im Dialog der Schriften: Konzepte intertextueller Bibellektüre. Tübingen/Basel: Francke, 2005. (Co-edited with Stefan Alkier).
    [English translation: Reading the Bible Intertextually. (Co-edited with Stefan Alkier and Leroy Huizenga), Baylor University Press, 2009.]
  • The Art of Reading Scripture (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2003). (Co-edited with Ellen F. Davis).
  • The Faith of Jesus Christ: The Narrative Substructure of Galatians 3:1-4:11. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002.
  • The Letter to the Galatians. New Interpreter’s Bible, Vol. XI. Nashville: Abingdon, 2000.
  • First Corinthians. Interpretation Commentaries. Louisville: Westminster/John Knox, 1997.
  • The Moral Vision of the New Testament: Community, Cross, New Creation. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1996.
  • Echoes of Scripture in the Letters of Paul. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1989.
  • “Reading the Bible with Eyes of Faith: The Practice of Theological Exegesis,” Journal of Theological Interpretation 1 (2007): 5-21.
  • Scores of essays and articles in scholarly journals.

Recent Courses

  • The Old Testament in the New
  • Greek Exegesis of Matthew
  • Greek Exegesis of Romans
  • Greek Exegesis of 1 Corinthians
  • New Testament Theology
  • New Testament Ethics
  • Church and Ministry in the New Testament