Peter Lampe

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Peter Lampe (born 28 January 1954) is a German Protestant theologian and Professor of New Testament Studies at the University of Heidelberg in Germany.

After studies in theology, philosophy and archaeology at Bielefeld and Göttingen, Germany, and Rome, Italy, he received his Ph.D. and his Dr. habil. at the University of Bern in Switzerland with works about the social history of the Christians in the city of Rome in the first two centuries and about the concept of ecclesiastical unity in the Pauline letters. As assistant professor (“Wissenschaftlicher Assistent“), he taught at the University of Bern from 1981 on, until, in 1986, he was called to a chair of New Testament Studies at Union Theological Seminary in Virginia, USA. In 1992, he took the chair of History and Archaeology of Early Christianity and Its Environment at the University of Kiel in Germany, where he also served as dean of the school of theology. In 1999, he accepted a call to the University of Heidelberg.

His works focus on the social history of early Christianity (groundbreaking studies on, for example, early Christianity in Rome in the 1st/2nd centuries, and on Paul’s correspondence with Philemon; his work also contributed decisively to the paradigm shift toward a more contextual reading of the Letter to the Romans);[1] on the Hellenistic background of early Christianity; on Pauline studies (including rhetorical studies); on early Christian archaeology and epigraphy; as well as on methodological and hermeneutical questions. He pioneered applying constructivist categories to New Testament exegesis and hermeneutics.[2] Furthermore, he was one of the first to explore the potential of psychological interpretation in his field.[3]

Since 2001, he has directed annual archaeological campaigns in Phrygia, Turkey. During these interdisciplinary campaigns, together with William Tabbernee of Tulsa, numerous unknown ancient settlements were discovered and archaeologically documented. Two of them are the best candidates so far in the search for the identification of the two holy centers of ancient Montanism, Pepouza and Tymion. The Montanist patriarch resided at Pepouza, and the Montanists expected the heavenly Jerusalem to descend to earth at Pepouza and Tymion. In late antiquity, both places attracted crowds of pilgrims from all over the Roman Empire. Scholars had searched for these lost sites since the 19th century.

In 2003, Lampe received the German Ecumenical Preaching Award (Bonn, Germany). In 2008, he was made honorary professor at the University of the Free State in South Africa. In 2005, he co-founded the Research Center for International and Interdisciplinary Theology (FIIT) at the University of Heidelberg, and in 1997 he founded the Societas Theologicum Adiuvantium in Kiel. He has been on the editorial board of international scholarly journals[4] and book series.[5] He is a K.St.J. (Germany), an ordained Lutheran minister, being married to Margaret Birdsong and having two children, Daniel and Jessica.


Peter Lampe
  • 2012: "New Testament Theology in a Secular World: A Constructivist Work in Philosophical Epistemology and Christian Apologetics" (Translated by Robert L. Brawley from the 2006 German edition, with substantial subsequent revisions and augmentations by the author; London/New York: T&T Clark International, 2012) ISBN 978-0-567-32417-7 (hardcover) and ISBN 978-0-567-38888-9 (paperback)
  • 2008: Pepouza and Tymion: The Discovery and Archaeological Exploration of a Lost Ancient City and an Imperial Estate (deGruyter: Berlin/New York, 2008; together with W. Tabbernee) ISBN 978-3-11-019455-5 und ISBN 978-3-11-020859-7
  • 2007: Küsste Jesus Magdalenen mitten auf den Mund?: Provokationen, Einsprüche, Klarstellungen (Neukirchener: Neukirchen-Vluyn, 2007) ISBN 978-3-7975-0142-4
  • 2006: Die Wirklichkeit als Bild: Das Neue Testament als ein Grunddokument abendländischer Kultur im Lichte konstruktivistischer Epistemologie und Wissenssoziologie (Neukirchener: Neukirchen-Vluyn, 2006) ISBN 3-7887-1624-X.
  • 2005: Wortglassplitter (a book of poetry; Athena: Oberhausen, 2005) ISBN 3-89896-225-3
  • 2004: Felsen im Fluss: Schriftworte in provokativer Auslegung zu Themen der Zeit (Neukirchener: Neukirchen-Vluyn, 2004) ISBN 3-7975-0071-8
  • 2003: From Paul to Valentinus: Christians at Rome in the First Two Centuries (Fortress: Minneapolis/Continuum: London, 2003) ISBN 0-8006-2702-4, ISBN 978-0-8006-2702-7, ISBN 0-8264-8102-7, ISBN 978-0-8264-8102-3
  • 1998: Die Briefe an die Philipper, Thessalonicher und an Philemon, NTD 8/2 (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht: Göttingen 1998) (together with N. Walter and E. Reinmuth) ISBN 3-525-51381-X, ISBN 978-3-525-51381-1
  • 1995: Pocahontas: Die Indianer-Prinzessin am Englischen Hof (Diederichs: München 1995) ISBN 3-424-01325-0
  • 1987 + 1989: Die stadtrömischen Christen in den ersten beiden Jahrhunderten: Untersuchungen zur Sozialgeschichte, Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2/18 (Mohr-Siebeck: Tübingen 1987; 2nd, revised and enlarged edition 1989) ISBN 3-16-145048-5, ISSN 0340-9570, ISBN 3-16-145422-7, ISSN 0340-9570
  • 1987 + 1993: Die Anfänge des Christentums: Alte Welt und neue Hoffnung (Kohlhammer: Stuttgart/Berlin/Köln/Mainz 1987) (together with J. Becker at al.) ISBN 3-17-001902-3, ISBN 978-3-17-001902-7. English translation: Christian Beginnings: Word and Community from Jesus to Post-Apostolic Times (Westminster/John Knox: Louisville 1993) ISBN 0-664-25195-1, ISBN 978-1-56338-264-2
  • 1981 + 1982: Eschatologie und Friedenshandeln: Exegetische Beiträge zur Frage christlicher Friedensverantwortung, SBS 101 (Katholisches Bibelwerk: Stuttgart 1981; 2nd edition 1982) (together with U. Luz, J. Kegler, P. Hoffmann) ISBN 3-460-04011-4, ISBN 978-3-460-04011-3
  • as editor, e.g.: 2008: Neutestamentliche Exegese im Dialog: Hermeneutik – Wirkungsgeschichte – Matthäusevangelium (Neukirchener: Neukirchen-Vluyn 2008) (together with M. Mayordomo, M. Sato) ISBN 978-3-7887-2283-8
  • 2010: Neutestamentliche Grenzgänge: Symposium zur kritischen Rezeption der Arbeiten Gerd Theißens" (Göttingen: Vandenhoek and Ruprecht 2010) (together with H. Schwier) ISBN 978-3-525-53393-2
  • 2010: Paul and Rhetoric" (New York/London: Clark 2010) (together with J.P. Sampley) ISBN 978-0-567-02704-7

See also[edit]

  • E.-M. Becker, ed., Neutestamentliche Wissenschaft, UTB 2475, Tübingen – Basel: 2003, 167-175
  • Gerd Theißen im Gespräch mit Peter Lampe, Jahresheft der Theologischen Fakultät der Universität Heidelberg 9 (2013/14), 61-68


  1. ^ See, e.g., H. Chadwick in Journal of Theological Studies (1990) 228-229; W.H.C. Frend in Journal of Ecclesiastical History (1990) 278-279; R. Jewett in Interpretation 43 (1989) 296-298; J. H. Elliott in CBQ 51 (1989) 560-562; R. Brown in The Heythrop Journal (1988) 359-360; M. Mueller in Dansk Teologisk Tidsskrift (1991) 157; P. Grech in Augustinianum (1987) 641-643; P. Pillhofer in Exegese und Methodendiskussion, Narr: Tuebingen 1998, 243; A. v.d. Hoek in Harvard Theological Review 90 (1997) 76; E. Fontana in Salesianum 53 (1991) 413-414; A. Segal in Journal of Biblical Literature 109/4 (1990) 733-735; J. Lieu in Journal of Jewish Studies 54 (2003) 153-154; Z.A. Crock in Toronto Journal of Theology 20/2 (2004) 223-224; J. H. Ellens in Journal of Psychology and Christianity (2005/2006); E. Krentz in Currents in Theology and Mission (2005) 213; T. J. Wellman in Theological Studies (2005) 856-858; H.-D. Betz in Reviews; H.-U. Weidemann in Bibel und Kirche (2010) 181f.
  2. ^ See, e.g., G.Theißen/P.v.Gemuenden, Erkennen und Erleben, Guetersloher: Guetersloh 2007, 21; M. Gaertner in Pfaelzisches Pfarrerblatt 10 (2007) 518-520.
  3. ^ See, e.g., G.Theißen/P.v.Gemuenden, Erkennen und Erleben, Guetersloher: Guetersloh 2007, 20-22, 382-383.
  4. ^ Cristianesimo nella storia (Bologna) until 2008; Interpretation (Richmond, VA, USA; English and Japanese) until 1992; Zeitschrift für die Neutestamentliche Wissenschaft (Berlin); Archivum Historiae Pontificiae (Rom: Pontificia Universitas Gregoriana).
  5. ^ Novum Testamentum et Orbis Antiquus/ Studien zur Umwelt des Neuen Testaments (Göttingen); Bellerophon: Studien zur Antiken und Christlichen Kultur- und Religionsgeschichte (Möhnesee).

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