Program Director
Biblical and Early Christian Studies

Matthew CrawfordAreas of expertise: New Testament studies; Christianity in late antiquity; patristic exegesis; development of the doctrine of the Trinity; Diatessaron; Christian engagement with ancient philosophy; Tatian; Eusebius; Cyril of Alexandria

HDR Supervisor accreditation status: Provisional

ORCID ID: 0000-0002-2888-2071

Phone: +61 399533142


Location: ACU Melbourne Campus

Matthew R. Crawford completed his PhD in Church History and Historical Theology at Durham University in 2013. He then took up a three-year postdoc position funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council in Durham before coming to ACU in 2015. He has published on ancient Christianity from the second to the fifth centuries, including monographs on Cyril of Alexandria and the Eusebian Canon Tables, and articles on Tatian the Assyrian and his so-called Diatessaron. He is currently preparing the first ever English translation of Cyril’s massive apologetic treatise titled Against Julian, which he plans to follow with a monograph on Christianity and Neoplatonism in the early fifth century.

Select publications


  • The Eusebian Canon Tables: Ordering Textual Knowledge in Late Antiquity (Oxford Early Christian Studies; Oxford: OUP, 2019)
  • Cyril of Alexandria’s Trinitarian Theology of Scripture (Oxford Early Christian Studies; Oxford: OUP, 2014)

Edited books

  • The Gospel of Tatian: Exploring the Nature and Text of the Diatessaron, edited by M.R. Crawford and Nick Zola (The Reception of Jesus in the First Three Centuries 3; London: T&T Clark 2019)
  • Producing Christian Culture: Gospel Text and Gospel Commentary in Medieval Perspective, edited by M.R. Crawford, Francis Watson, and Giles Gasper (London: Routledge 2017)

Scholarly book chapters

  • ‘Severus of Antioch on Gospel Reading with the Eusebian Canon Tables,’ in Gospel Reading and Reception in Early Christian Literature, ed. Simon Gathercole, Madison N. Pierce, and Andrew J. Byers (Cambridge: CUP, 2022), 215-33
  • “Do the Eusebian Canon Tables Represent the Closure or the Opening of the Biblical Text?: Considering the Case of Codex Fuldensis,” in Canones: The Art of Harmony, ed. Alessandro Bausi, Bruno Reudenbach, Hanna Wimmer (Studies in Manuscript Cultures 18; Berlin: De Gruyter, 2020)
  • “Cyril of Alexandria’s Contra Iulianum, Imperial Politics, and Alexandrian Philosophy (c.416-428),” in Eastern Christianity and Late Antique Philosophy, edited by Eva Anagnostou-Laoutides and Ken Parry (Texts and Studies in Eastern Christianity 18; Leiden: Brill, 2020)
  • “Tatian, Celsus, and Christianity as ‘Barbarian Wisdom’ in the Late Second Century,” in The Emergence of the Christian Intellectual in the Second Century, ed. Lewis Ayres and H. Clifton Ward (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2020)
  • “The Eusebian Canon Tables as a Corpus-Organizing Paratext in the Multiple-Text Manuscript of the Fourfold Gospel,” in The Emergence of Multiple-Text Manuscripts, ed. Alessandro Bausi, Michael Friedrich, and Marilena Maniaci (Studies in Manuscript Cultures 17; Berlin: De Grutyer, 2019)
  • “Rejection at Nazareth in the Gospels of Mark, Matthew, Luke – and Tatian,” in Connecting Gospels, ed. Francis Watson and Sarah Parkhouse (Oxford: OUP, 2018)
  • “Scholarly Practices: The Reception of the Eusebian Canons in Hiberno-Latin Exegesis,” in Producing Christian Culture: Gospel Text and Gospel Commentary in Medieval Perspective, ed. M. R. Crawford, Francis Watson, and Giles Gasper (London: Routledge, 2017)

Refereed journal articles

  • (2021) “‘The Hostile Devices of the Demented Demons’: Tatian on Astrology and Pharmacology,” Journal of Early Christian Studies 29.1, 31-60
  • (2020) “The Influence of Eusebius’Chronicle on the Apologetic Treatises of Cyril of Alexandria and Augustine of Hippo,” Journal of Ecclesiastical History 71.4, 693-711
  • (2020) “Reconsidering the Relationship between (Pseudo-)Didymus’ De Trinitate and Cyril of Alexandria’s Contra Iulianum,” Journal of Theological Studies 7.1, 236-57
  • (2018)“A New Witness to the ‘Western’ Ordering of the Gospels: GA 073+084,” Journal of Theological Studies 69, 477-83.
  • (2017) “The Origins of Pauline Theology: Paratexts and Priscillian of Avila’s Canons on the Letters of the Apostle Paul,” New Testament Studies 63, 125-45; co-authored with T.J. Lang
  • (2016) “Resolving Genealogical Ambiguity: Eusebius and (ps-)Eprhem on Luke 1:36,” Aramaic Studies 14, 83-97
  • (2016)“The Problemata of Tatian: Recovering the Fragments of a Second-Century Christian Intellectual,” Journal of Theological Studies 67, 542-75
  • (2016): Kanon and Scripture according to the Letter of Peter to James,” Zeitschrift für Antikes Christentum 20, 260-75
  • (2016) “‘Confessing God from a Good Conscience’: 1 Peter 3:21 and Early Christian Baptismal Theology,” Journal of Theological Studies 67,  23-37
  • (2016) “The Diatessaron, Canonical or Non-canonical? Rereading the Dura Fragment,” New Testament Studies 62, 253-77
  • (2015) “‘Reordering the Confusion’: Tatian, the Second Sophistic, and the so-called Diatessaron,” Zeitschrift für Antikes Christentum 19, 209-36
  • (2015) “Ammonius of Alexandria, Eusebius of Caesarea, and the Origins of Gospel Scholarship,” New Testament Studies 61, 1-29
  • (2015) “Reading the Diatessaron with Ephrem: The Word and the Light, the Voice and the Star,” Vigiliae Christianae 69, 70-95
  • (2015) “The Fourfold Gospel in the Writings of Ephrem the Syrian,” Hugoye 18, 9-51
  • (2013) “The Triumph of Pro-Nicene Theology over Anti-Monarchian Exegesis: Theodore of Heraclea and Cyril of Alexandria on John 14:10-11,” Journal of Early Christian Studies 21, 537-67
  • (2013) “Diatessaron, a Misnomer? The Evidence of Ephrem’s Commentary,” Early Christianity 4362-85
  • (2013) “An Inauthentic Georgian Epistle Attributed to Cyril of Alexandria,” Le Muséon 126,  369-78; co-authored with Zurab Jashi
  • (2013) “Scripture as One Book: Origen, Jerome, and Cyril of Alexandria on Isaiah 29:11,” Journal of Theological Studies 64, 137-53
  • (2013) “The Preface and Subject Matter of Cyril of Alexandria’s Treatise De Adoratione,” Journal of Theological Studies 64, 154-67
  • (2013) “On the Diversity and Influence of the Eusebian Alliance: The Case of Theodore of Heraclea,” Journal of Ecclesiastical History 64, 227-57; winner of the 2013 Eusebius Essay Prize
  • (2013) “Assessing the Authenticity of the Fragments on Psalm 22 (LXX) Attributed to Cyril of Alexandria,” Studia Patristica 68, 95-100


  • “Ephrem the Syrian: Commentary on the Gospel 1.2-1.8,” in The Cambridge Edition of Early Christian Writings, Volume 1: God, ed. Andrew Radde-Gallwitz (CUP 2017), 224-28
  • “Cyril of Alexandria: Five Tomes against Nestorius 4.1-4.2,” in The Cambridge Edition of Early Christian Writings, Volume 1: God, ed. Andrew Radde-Gallwitz (CUP 2017), 328-38

Reference works


Accolades and awards

  • Residential Fellowship at Dumbarton Oaks Research Library (Sept – Dec 2019).
  • Fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for research at Universität Bonn (2015-2017). [declined]
  • Junior Research Fellowship, Hatfield College, Durham University (2013-2015).
  • Eusebius Essay Prize from the Journal of Ecclesiastical History (2012).

Appointments and affiliations

  • Australian Catholic University, Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry: Program Director, Biblical and Early Christian Studies (November 2018 – present); Associate Professor (November 2018 – present); Senior Research Fellow (January 2017 – October 2018); Research Fellow (September 2015-December 2016)
  • Durham University, Department of Theology and Religion, Postdoctoral Research Assistant (2012-2015), funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council on the project ‘The Fourfold Gospel and its Rivals.
  • Committee member for SBL Program Unit, ‘The Development of Early Christian Theology,’ 2015 – 2021; co-chair 2018 – 2021
  • Member of North American Patristics Society, International Association of Patristic Studies, Society of Biblical Literature, Asia-Pacific Early Christian Studies Society, Pacific Partnership for Late Antique Studies, Australasian Society of Classical Studies

International journal review panel

  • Peer review of articles for Modern Theology, Journal of Early Christian Studies, Vigiliae Christianae, Zeitschrift für Antikes Christentum, Studies in Late Antiquity, Augustinian Studies, the Downside Review, Journal of Early Christian History, International Journal of Systematic Theology
  • Peer review manuscripts and book proposals for Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press

Grant agency review panel

  • Assessor for Australian Research Council (2018-present)
  • Public engagement

    ACU Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry

    Mailing address

    C/- 115 Victoria Pde
    Fitzroy, VIC, 3065.