Associate Professor Stephen Carlson

Biblical and Early Christian Studies

Dr Stephen C. Carlson

Areas of expertise: new testament; christian origins; hellenistic greek; textual criticism; papias of hierapolis

Phone: +61 (3) 9953 3991


Location: ACU Melbourne Campus

ORCID ID: 0000-0002-9519-6389

Dr Stephen C. Carlson is Associate Professor in the Biblical and Early Christian Studies program. After earning his PhD in New Testament from Duke University, he was a postdoctoral research fellow in Pre-Constantinian Christianity at Uppsala University in Sweden prior to coming to ACU in 2014. He is the author of three books, The Gospel Hoax, which debunked the "Secret Gospel of Mark"; The Text of Galatians and its History, which applied state-of-the-art computer phylogenetic software he wrote himself to produce a family tree of ninety-two manuscripts and witnesses of Galatians; and Papias of Hierapolis, the most complete edition of the fragments of Papias of Hierapolis, a second-century Christian commentator. He is also the author of numerous peer-reviewed journal articles, including those on the so-called "inn" in Luke's infancy account and the donkeys in Matthew's triumphal entry.

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Select publications

  • Papias of Hierapolis, Exposition of Dominical Oracles: The Fragments, Testimonia, and Reception of a Second-Century Commentator. Oxford Early Christian Texts (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021), x + 381 pp.
  • The Gospel Hoax: Morton Smith’s Invention of Secret Mark. (Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2005), xix + 151 pp.
  • “Rufinus’s Version of Eusebius’s Origen and the Politics of Martyrdom,” Journal of Early Christian Studies (forthcoming 2023), with Michael Hanaghan.
  • “A Bias at the Heart of the Coherence-Based Genealogical Method (CBGM),” Journal of Biblical Literature 139 (2020): 319-340. doi: 10.15699/JBL.1392.2020.5
  • “‘The Jenny and the Colt’ in Matthew’s Messianic Entry, Part II: Matthew 21:7 as a Reading of Mark 11:7 in Light of Zechariah 9:9,” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 81 (2019): 235-251. doi: 10.1353/cbq.2019.0105
  • “‘The Jenny and the Colt’ in Matthew’s Messianic Entry, Part I: Matthew 21:5 as a Reading of Zechariah 9:9 in Light of Mark 11:1-10,” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 81 (2019): 62-84. doi: 10.1353/cbq.2019.0051
  • “The Reception of the Watchers in Tertullian with regard to 1 Cor 11.2-16,” in The Reception of Jewish Traditions in the Social Construction of Early Christianity, eds. John Barclay and Kylie Crabbe; Receptions of Jesus in the First Three Centuries 8 (London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2021), 47-60. doi: 10.5040/‌
  • “Rufinus’s Origenization of Eusebius in his Translation of the Historia ecclesiastica,” in Perspectives on Origen in the History of his Reception, ed., Alfons Fürst, Adamantiana 21 (Münster: Aschendorff, 2021), 151-160.
  • “The Fragments of Papias,” in Cambridge Companion to the Apostolic Fathers, eds., Michael F. Bird and Scott D. Harrower (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2021), 332-350. doi: 10.1017/9781108554992.018
  • “Papias’s Appeal to the ‘Living and Lasting Voice’ over Books” in Rise of the Early Christian Intellectual, ed. Lewis O. Ayres and H. Clifton Ward, AZT 139 (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2020), 25-44. doi: 10.1515/9783110608632-005


  • Flourishing in Early Christianity, CI (2022-present) , ACURF
  • Text, Traditions, and Early Christian Identities, CI (2017-2021), ACURF

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Society of Biblical Literature (SBL)
  • Society for New Testament Studies (SNTS)
  • SBL Steering Committee for New Testament Textual Criticism (2012-2023)
  • SBL Steering Committee for Synoptic Gospels (2012-2023)

Editorial roles

  • Editorial board member, Journal of Biblical Literature, (2020-)

Public engagement activities

ACU Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry

Mailing address

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