How do we better understand Jesus in light of his Jewish context? What role did synagogues play in the Gospel narrative of Jesus’ life and ministry? Despite the emphasis of recent scholarship on Jesus’ Jewish heritage and the Jewish setting of the New Testament, synagogue studies have played next to no role in the historical study of Jesus. In effort to fill this void, Dr. Ryan has sought to open new avenues for interpretation and understanding of who Jesus was, as well as what he taught and how we lived, through a better understanding of one of the primary settings of Jesus’ activities during his ministry: the synagogue.
With extensive experience in the field, Dr. Ryan is one of the preeminent authorities on this crucial institution in the life of Jesus. His engaging and innovative research into the background of the New Testament provides new insights in an area of intense scholarly and public interest. In honor of International Archeology Day, and in partnership with the Madison Biblical Archeology Society, Dr. Ryan will offer a scholarly lens through which to read the subtle and often unappreciated contexts of many of Jesus’ teachings.
Jordan J. Ryan is Assistant Professor of New Testament at Wheaton College. He previously taught at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary. He is author of The Role of the Synagogue in the Aims of Jesus (Fortress Press, 2017) and holds a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from McMaster University. His research has appeared in the Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus and Catholic Biblical Quarterly, among other journals.