Vernon K. Robbins

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Vernon Kay Robbins (born March 13, 1939 in Wahoo, Nebraska)[1] is an American New Testament scholar and historian of early Christianity. He is currently Winship Distinguished Research Professor of New Testament and Comparative Sacred Texts at Emory University, as well as visiting professor of New Testament at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa.[2] He is a major figure in Markan scholarship (scholarship related to the Gospel of Mark) and is the creator and a prominent proponent of socio-rhetorical criticism in New Testament studies.[3]

Robbins obtained a B.A. from Westmar College, an M.Div. from United Theological Seminary and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Chicago Divinity School. He taught at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign before moving to Emory and in 1983-84 he was Fulbright Professor at the University of Trondheim.[4]

In 2003, a festschrift was published in his honor, Fabrics of Discourse: Essays in Honor of Vernon K. Robbins, edited by David B. Gowler, L. Gregory Bloomquist, and Duane F. Watson (ISBN 1563383659).[5]


  • Sea Voyages and Beyond: Emerging Strategies in Socio-Rhetorical Interpretation (2010, Deo Press)
  • Invention of Christian Discourse 1 (2009, Deo Press)
  • Exploring the Texture of Texts: A Guide to Socio-Rhetorical Interpretation (1996, Trinity Press International)
  • New Boundaries in Old Territory: Forms and Social Rhetoric in Mark (edited and introduced by David B. Gowler; 1994, Peter Lang)
  • Jesus the Teacher: A Socio-Rhetorical Interpretation of Mark (1984, Fortress Press) (Republished in 1992 & 2009)
  • Ancient Quotes and Anecdotes: From Crib to Crypt (1989, Polebridge)
  • Patterns of Persuasion in the Gospels (co-written with Burton Mack; Polebridge, 1989) (Republished in 2008)
  • The Tapestry of Early Christian Discourse: Rhetoric, Society and Ideology (1996, Routledge)