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Janet Spittler

Associate Professor


  • BA, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
  • MA, University of Chicago
  • PhD, University of Chicago

Research Interests

New Testament and Early Christian Literature, Christian Apocrypha, Apocryphal Acts.

The majority of my research to date centers around the Christian apocrypha, particularly the apocryphal acts of the apostles.  My first book explores the literary context and significance of the animal-related episodes that are so common in the acts, and in subsequent articles I have treated various other aspects of these texts. I am currently working on a commentary on the apocryphal Acts of John, alongside translations of various apocryphal texts.

I am associate editor of Mohr-Siebeck’s Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament series [link:] and co-editor (with Tony Burke and Brent Landau) of Westar Tools & Translation’s Early Christian Apocrypha series [link:].


  • New Testament
  • The Gospels
  • Paul
  • Apocryphal Literature
  • Religions of Roman Empire
  • Ancient Greek Popular Literature

Selected Publications:

Translation: (with Jonathan D. Holste) “The Acts of Thomas and his Wonderworking Skin: A New Translation and Introduction,” in New Testament Apocypha: More Noncanonical Scriptures  Volume 2. Edited by Tony Burke. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, forthcoming 2020.

Edited volume: The Narrative Self in Early Christian Literature: Essays in Honor of Judith Perkins. Writings from the Greco-Roman World Supplements Series; Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature Press, 2019.

Essay: “The Development of Miracle Traditions in the Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles,” in Between Canonical and Apocryphal Texts: Processes of Reception, Rewriting and Interpretation in Early Judaism and Early Christianity. Edited by Jörg Frey, Claire Clivaz and Tobias Nicklas, in coll. with Jörg Röder. WUNT, Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2019.

Essay: “The Physiologus and the Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles,” in Christus in Natura: Physiologus. Edited by Zbynek Garsky. SBR, Berlin: De Gruyter, 2019.

Edition, translation, and commentary: “Apollonios (uncertain date) (1672).” Die Fragmente der Griechischen Historiker Continued. Part IV E. Paradoxography and Antiquities. IV 1. Paradoxography, ed. by Stefan Schorn, Leiden, Boston.

Essay: “µανθάνεις πρὸς τίνας εἴρηται τὰ εἰρηµένα; Metalepsis in the Apocryphal Acts of Andrew.” In Metalepsis in Ancient Cultures. Ed. by Peter v. Möllendorff and Ute Eisen. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2013. 

Essay: “Christianity at the Edges: Representations of the Ends of the Earth in the Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles.” In The Rise and Expansion of Christianity in the First Three Centuries CE. Edited by Clare Rothschild and Jens Schroeter. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2013.

Selected Awards and Grants

Senior Fellow, Institute for Advanced Studies: Beyond Canon Centre, Universität Regensburg (2019-2020) [link:]

Humboldt Foundation Renewed Research Fellowship (2016)

Humboldt Foundation Research Fellowship for Postdoctoral Researchers (2010-2011)