Dale Allison
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Dale Allison
Dale C. Allison
Born (1955-11-25) November 25, 1955 (age 65)
OccupationNew Testament scholar, historian of Early Christianity, and Christian theologian
TitleRichard J. Dearborn Professor of New Testament Studies at Princeton Theological Seminary
Academic background
Alma mater
Academic work
DisciplineBiblical studies
Sub-disciplineNew Testament studies

Dale C. Allison (born November 25, 1955)[1] is an American New Testament scholar, historian of Early Christianity, and Christian theologian who for years served as Errett M. Grable Professor of New Testament Exegesis and Early Christianity at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.[2] He is currently the Richard J. Dearborn Professor of New Testament Studies at Princeton Theological Seminary.[3] He is an ordained elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA).[4]


Allison received a BA from Wichita State University (1977) and an MA (1979) and a PhD (1982) from Duke University.[1] Prior to joining Princeton Theological Seminary in 2013, Allison served on the faculties of Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas, Friends University in Wichita, Kansas,[1] and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is the author of books on early Christian eschatology, the Gospel of Matthew, the Epistle of James, the so-called Sayings Source or Q document, the historical Jesus, George Harrison, religious experience in the modern world, and the Testament of Abraham. He has been called "the premier Matthew specialist of his generation in the United States" and "North America's most complete New Testament scholar."[1][permanent dead link] Allison has served on many editorial boards including New Testament Studies and the Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus[3] and he was for many years the main New Testament editor for the multi-volume Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception. He contributed the commentary on the Gospel of Matthew to the single-volume Oxford Bible Commentary, published in 2001.

Allison is a prominent defender of the view of the historical Jesus as an apocalyptic prophet expecting the imminent end of the age. This view is laid out in his books Jesus of Nazareth: Millenarian Prophet and Constructing Jesus: Memory and Imagination and History (which the Biblical Archaeology Society named best book relating the New Testament for 2009-2010). This view stands over against those of the Jesus Seminar and such scholars as John Dominic Crossan and Marcus Borg, whose reconstructions of Jesus are largely free of apocalyptic elements. In recent years, he has been a critic of the standard scholarly means of authenticating sayings attributed to Jesus and events concerning him, and he has proposed an alternative approach that takes into account the modern scientific work on human memory.

We can, nonetheless, make numerous informed judgments--for instance, that the Romans crucified Jesus as "king of the Jews"--and we can, happily, judge many propositions more probable than others. It is, for example, much more credible that Jesus was a millenarian prophet than that the eschatological enthusiasm reflected in so many early Christian texts appeared independently of his influence. Still, a vast ignorance remains, and our reach often exceeds our grasp. Time after time, if we are honest, arguments concocted to demonstrate that Jesus really did say this or really did do that fall flat. Historians of Jesus, including myself, have too often assumed that we should be able, with sufficient ingenuity, to reconstruct the genealogy of almost every individual tradition. But it is not so. Some things just cannot be done, and desire does not beget ability.[5]



  • Allison, Dale (2016). Night Comes: Death, Imagination, and the Last Things. Wm.B.Eerdmans Publishing Co. ISBN 978-0-8028-7118-3.
  • ——— (2013). A critical and exegetical commentary on the Epistle of James. International Critical Commentary. T. & T. Clark. ISBN 978-0-567-07740-0.
  • ——— (2010). Constructing Jesus: Memory, Imagination, and History. Baker Academic. ISBN 978-0-8010-3585-2.
  • ——— (2009). The Historical Christ and the Theological Jesus. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. ISBN 978-0-8028-6262-4.
  • ——— (2006). The Love There That's Sleeping: The Art and Spirituality of George Harrison. T. & T. Clark International. ISBN 0-8264-2756-1.
  • ——— (2006). The Luminous Dusk: Finding God in the Deep, Still Places. Eerdmans. ISBN 0-8028-3218-0.
  • ———; Levine, Amy-Jill; Crossan, John Dominic, eds. (2006). The Historical Jesus in Context. Princeton Readings in Religion. Princeton. ISBN 0-691-00992-9.
  • ——— (2005). Studies in Matthew: Interpretation Past and Present. Baker Academic. ISBN 0-8010-2791-8.
  • ——— (2005). Resurrecting Jesus: The Earliest Christian Tradition and Its Interpreters. T. & T. Clark International. ISBN 0-567-02900-X.
  • ——— (2005). Matthew: A Shorter Commentary. T. & T. Clark International. ISBN 0-567-08249-0.
  • ——— (2003). The Testament of Abraham, Commentaries on Early Jewish Literature. de Gruyter. ISBN 3-11-017888-5.
  • ——— (2000). The Intertextual Jesus: Scripture in Q. Trinity Press Intl. ISBN 1-56338-329-2.
  • ——— (2000). Scriptural Allusions in the New Testament: Light from the Dead Sea Scrolls (The Dead Sea Scrolls and Christian Origins Library 5). BIBAL Press.
  • ——— (1999). The Sermon on the Mount: Inspiring the Moral Imagination (Crossroad Companions to the New Testament). Crossroad. ISBN 0-8245-1791-1.
  • ——— (1998). Jesus of Nazareth: Millenarian Prophet. Fortress. ISBN 0-8006-3144-7.
  • ——— (1997). The Jesus Tradition in Q. Trinity Press International. ISBN 1-56338-207-5.
  • ———; Dale Allison (1997). An Exegetical and Critical Commentary on the Gospel according to St. Matthew (Vol. 3, chapters 19-28). International Critical Commentary. T. & T. Clark. ISBN 0-567-08375-6.
  • ——— (1995). The Silence of Angels. Trinity Press International. ISBN 1-56338-131-1.
  • ——— (1993). The New Moses: A Matthean Typology. Fortress and T & T. Clark. ISBN 0-8006-2699-0.
  • ———; Dale Allison (1991). An Exegetical and Critical Commentary on the Gospel according to St. Matthew (Vol. 2, chapters 8-18). International Critical Commentary. T. & T. Clark. ISBN 0-567-08365-9.
  • ———; Dale Allison (1988). An Exegetical and Critical Commentary on the Gospel according to St. Matthew (Vol. l, chapters 1-7). International Critical Commentary. T. & T. Clark. ISBN 0-567-08355-1.
  • ——— (1985). The End of the Ages Has Come: An Early Interpretation of the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus. Fortress. ISBN 0-8006-0753-8.

Selected Articles

  • ——— (Summer 2000). "The Secularizing of the Historical Jesus". Perspectives in Religious Studies. 27 (2): 135-151.
  • ——— (Fall 2002). "Rejecting Violent Judgment: Luke 9:52-56 and its Relatives". Journal of Biblical Literature. 121 (3): 459-478.
  • ——— (April 2004). "Resurrecting a Calf: The Origin of Testament of Abraham 6:5". Journal of Theological Studies. 55 (1): 103-116.
  • ——— (2008). "The Resurrection of Jesus and Rational Apologetics". Philosophia Christi. 10 (2): 315-335.
  • ——— (Fall 2008). "What I Have Learned from the History of Interpretation". Perspectives in Religious Studies. 35 (3): 237-250.
  • ——— (October 2008). "Matthew and the History of its Interpretation". Expository Times. 120 (1): 1-7.
  • ——— (Summer 2011). "Blessing God and Cursing People: James 3:9-10". Journal of Biblical Literature. 130 (2): 397-405.
  • ——— (September 2011). "A Liturgical Tradition Behind the Ending of James". Journal for the Study of the New Testament. 34 (1): 3-18.
  • ——— (December 2011). "Eldad and Modad". Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha. 21 (2): 99-131.


  1. ^ a b c "Dale C. Allison, Jr". Contemporary Authors Online. Detroit: Gale. 2011. Retrieved 2013.
  2. ^ Sweeney, James P. (2006). "Matthew: A Shorter Commentary: Based on the Three-Volume International Critical Commentary". Review of Biblical Literature. 8: 404.
  3. ^ a b "World-Class New Testament Scholar Joins Princeton Theological Seminary Faculty". Princeton, NJ: Princeton Theological Seminary. Archived from the original on 18 June 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  4. ^ Faculty bio, Princeton Theological Seminary, www.ptsem.edu/people/dale-c-allison-jr
  5. ^ Allison, Dale C. (1 November 2010). Constructing Jesus: Memory, Imagination, and History. Baker Academic. p. 460. ISBN 978-0-8010-3585-2.

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