Faculty Profiles

Jordan Ryan

Jordan Ryan, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of New Testament

On Faculty since 2019


Dr. Ryan was born and raised in the multicultural city of Toronto, Canada. His parents worked with the street youth population in the inner city, and he grew up in the heart of the city in community with some of its most marginalized people. These experiences contributed to his formation and continue shape his thought and teaching, giving him an interest in Jesus’ proclamation of the Kingdom of God in the Gospels.

Much of Dr. Ryan’s research involves the study of early Judaism in the Land of Israel-Palestine, as well as situating Jesus and the Gospel narratives within their early Jewish context. Archaeology plays a particularly important role in that endeavor, as it provides a window into daily life and local institutions and presents the lives of the non-elites of the biblical world, whose voices may not be preserved through text. He has been a member of the excavations at Magdala for several seasons since 2012, and is currently a staff member of the Tel Shimron excavations. Much of his work involves the study of ancient synagogues, and his first book, The Role of the Synagogue in the Aims of Jesus, studied and contextualized Jesus’ activities in synagogues in light of synagogue research. He is currently also interested in the study of early church buildings, particularly the ways in which traditions about Jesus were commemorated in architectural form..

As a half-Filipino scholar hailing from the urban center of Toronto, Dr. Ryan has also recently developed interest in his teaching and research in urban issues in the ancient world, as well as in underrepresented voices in biblical scholarship.

Bachelor of Arts, Honours (B.A., Hon.)
University of Toronto, 2009

Master of Arts (M.A.)
St. Michael’s College (Toronto School of Theology), 2011

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
McMaster University, 2016

Historical Jesus
Archaeology of Galilee and Judea in the Early Roman Period
Ancient Synagogues
Early Jewish Writings
Ancient Churches

Society of Biblical Literature
American Schools of Overseas Research

  • Gospels
  • New Testament
  • Historical Jesus
  • Early Synagogues
  • Archaeology of Roman Galilee and Judea Early Judaism
  • Jewish Background of the New Testament
  • Early Reception of Jesus and the Gospels


Ryan, Jordan J. The Role of the Synagogue in the Aims of Jesus. Minneapolis: Fortress
          Press: 2017.

Ryan, Jordan J. From the Passion to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre: Memories of
          Jesus in Place, Pilgrimage, and Early Holy Sites Over the First Three Centuries.
          The Reception of Jesus in the First Three Centuries. London and New York:
          T&T Clark, (forthcoming, 2020). 

Journal Articles

Ryan, Jordan J. “The Ideology of Restoration and the Archaeology of Galilee: The
            Hasmonean Transformation of Galilee as Context for Jesus and the Gospels.”
            Criswell Theological Review 16, no. 1 (2018): 48-71.

Ryan, Jordan J. “The Historian’s Craft and the Future of Historical Jesus Research:
            Engaging Brant Pitre’s Jesus and the Last Supper as a Work of History.” Journal for the Study of the
            Historical Jesus,
15, no. 1 (2017): 60-87.

Ryan, Jordan J. “‘When We Were Hebrews’: Listening to Different Voices Among
            Attitudes Towards The Jewish Heritage of Christianity in the Second and Third Centuries."
           Journal of the Jesus Movement in its Jewish Setting 4 (2017): 65-90.   

Ryan, Jordan J. “Jesus and Synagogue Disputes: Recovering the Institutional Context of
            Luke 13:10-17.” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 79, no. 1 (2017): 41-59.

Ryan, Jordan J. “Jesus at the Crossroads of Inference and Imagination: The Relevance of R.G.
            Collingwood’s Philosophy of History for Current Methodological Discussions in Historical Jesus
            Research.” Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus 13 no. 1 (2015): 66-89.

Contributions to Edited Volumes

            Ryan, Jordan J. “The Sermon on the Mount as Synagogue Teaching.” In Matthew within
                        Judaism: Israel and the Nations in the First Gospel. Edited by Daniel M. Gurtner
                        and Anders Runesson. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2020 (forthcoming).

            Ryan, Jordan J. “The Contributions of Historical and Archaeological Study of Early
                        Synagogues to Historical Jesus Research.” In Synagogues in the Hellenistic-
                        Roman Period: New Finds – New Theories – New Methods. Edited by Lutz
                        Doering and Andrew R. Krause. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2020 (forthcoming). 

            Ryan, Jordan J. “The Archaeology of the Hellenistic Period.” In Behind the Scenes of the
                        Old Testament: Historical, Cultural, and Social Contexts of Ancient Israel. Edited
                        by Jonathan S. Greer, John W. Hilber, and John H. Walton. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2018.

            Ryan, Jordan. “Magdala.” In T&T Clark Encyclopedia of Second Temple Judaism, edited
                         by Loren T. Stuckenbruck and Daniel M. Gurtner. 2 vols. London and New York: T&T Clark,

            Ryan, Jordan. “Magdala.” In Lexham Bible Dictionary, edited by John D. Barry and
                         Lazarus Wentz. Bellingham: Lexham Press, 2012. Electronic resource.

            Ryan, Jordan. “Tiberias.” In Lexham Bible Dictionary, edited by John D. Barry and
                         Lazarus Wentz. Bellingham: Lexham Press, 2012. Electronic resource.