Centre for Theology and Religious Studies

The Joint Faculties of Humanities and Theology | Lund University


born 1977, Th.D. and reader ("docent") in New Testament exegesis.

With a background in the fields of ancient history and classical Greek I have a particular interest in how New Testament texts functioned in the ancient Greek and Roman world. In my thesis I investigated how texts were orally delivered in antiquity and what that implies when it comes to the performance of New Testament writings, the Gospel of John in particular.

I am currently involved in four major avenues of research: early Christian reading culture, hymns in the New Testament, literary style in antiquity, and Bible translation.


About the research

I am currently involved in four major avenues of research: early Christian reading culture, hymns in the New Testament, literary style in antiquity, and Bible translation.

Early Christian Reading Culture
My main research focus is directed towards reading culture in early Christianity. Reading culture is primarily a social phenomenon, which includes how, why, by whom, and in which settings texts are read. In my dissertation (Public Reading in Early Christianity: Lectors, Manuscripts, and Sound in the Oral Delivery of John 1–4 [Novum Testamentum Supplements 163; Leiden: Brill, 2015]), I investigated the public reading of John’s Gospel during the first and second centuries C.E. Since there are few surviving accounts of such readings, I focus on how lectors (i.e. trained public readers) analyzed and delivered literary writings for audiences. The study includes inquiries into distinctive features of early Christian manuscripts, the identity and function of lectors, and the use of sound structure and stylistic analysis in the preparations for public reading. The insights from these areas are applied to the text and the public reading of John’s Gospel.

Hymns in the New Testament
In the research project "Ancient Hymns or Contemporary Rhetoric? Style, Sound, and Literary Seams in Supposed Hymnic Passages of the New Testament" (financed by the Swedish Research Council) I critically examine earlier identifications of hymns in the New Testament. The passages are analyzed from the perspectives of rhetoric, sound, style, and thematic topoi to ascertain their nature. The project, which runs between 2016 and 2019, will result in a monograph.

Literary Style in Antiquity
In the research project ”Style as an Interpretative Factor in New Testament Writings” I examine presentations of literary style from the first centuries B.C.E. and C.E. and develop of method of analyzing style in New Testament writings. Rather than use style to determine the authorship of disputed texts, I approach literary style as the manner in which an idea or message is embodied in a text. It thus involves the integration of form and content in ancient literary writings and can be used to better understand both their composition and oral delivery.

Bible Translation
I am also involved in studying aspects of Bible translation, especially (but not exclusively) of translations into Swedish. My main interests are the recent test translation (of Galatians and parts of Luke) from the Swedish Bible Society, the use of gender-inclusive language, and translations for/of performance.


Books (3)
Articles (7)
Book chapters (6)
Encyclopaedia entries (8)
Conference contributions (7)
Reviews (2)
Newspaper articles (2)

Research portal (Lund University)

Dan Nässelqvist

Biblical Studies
Centre for Theology and Religious Studies

Contact information

E-mail dan.nasselqvistctr.luse

Phone +46 46 222 97 41

Room LUX:B124

Visiting address Helgonavägen 3, Lund

Postal address Box 192, 221 00 Lund

Internal post code 30