Dr. Stephen L Young

Language(s) taught



Myths about the beginnings of the world, stories about the origins of a nation, narratives about a golden age in the past when moral values and the family and religion were healthy in comparison with a dysfunctional present: these are familiar ways of talking about the past, and they have a lot of effects on us in the present that we do not notice. My goal as a professor is to help us notice. I teach courses that focus on ancient Greece and Rome (Classical mythology, history, philosophy, and Latin), biblical literature, ancient Judaism, and early Christianity. We ask what these texts said, why they said it, whose voices are and are not represented in them, and why these questions matter for us now.

Courses Taught

First and Second year Latin (LAT 1010, 1020, 1040, 1050)
Greek and Roman Mythology (LLC 2025)
Marriage: From the Bible to America (LLC 2025)


Ph.D. Brown University – Religious Studies (2016) Concentrations: Ancient Mediterranean, Early Christianity, Ancient Judaism
Th.M. Westminster Theological Seminary – Hebrew Bible (2008)
M.A. Westminster Theological Seminar – Biblical Studies (2007)
B.A. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill – History / English Literature (2004)


Journal Articles

“The Politics of Scholarship: N.T. Wright’s Paul and Christian Exceptionalism.” Interpretation (Forthcoming)

“Ethnic Ethics: Paul’s Eschatological Myth of Jewish Sin.” New Testament Studies (Forthcoming)

“‘Let’s Take the Text Seriously’: The Protectionist Doxa of Mainstream New Testament Studies.” Method and Theory in the Study of Religion 32 (2020): 328–63.

“The Marcosian Redemption: Mythmaking, the Afterlife, and Early Christian Religiosity.”          Journal of Early Christian History 6 (2016): 77–110.

“Maximizing Literacy as a Protective Strategy: Redescribing Evangelical Inerrantist Scholarship on Israelite Literacy.” Biblical Interpretation 23 (2015): 145–73.

“Paul’s Ethnic Discourse on ‘Faith’: Christ’s Faithfulness and Gentile Access to the Judean God in Romans.” Harvard Theological Review 108 (2015): 30–51.

“Protective Strategies and the Prestige of the ‘Academic’: A Religious Studies and Practice Theory Redescription of Evangelical Inerrantist Scholarship.” Biblical Interpretation 23 (2015): 1–35.

“‘I Will Set His Hand to the Sea’: Psalm 88:26 (LXX) and Christology in Mark.” With J.R. Daniel Kirk as co-author. Journal of Biblical Literature 133 (2014): 333–40.

“Romans 1.1–5 and Paul’s Christological Use of Hab 2.4 in Rom 1.17: An Underutilized Consideration in the Debate.” Journal for the Study of the New Testament 34 (2012): 277–85

Essays in Edited Volumes

“Himpathy, the Bible, and Christian Hegemony: The Invisibility of the Son of Man’s Sexual Assault in Revelation 2,” in Sex, Violence, and Early Christian Texts (ed. Christy Cobb and Eric Vanden Eykel; Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield – Forthcoming).

“Mythological Themes in Romans,” in The Oxford Handbook of the Letter to the Romans (ed. Davina Lopez; New York: Oxford University Press – Forthcoming).

“Religious Freedom for a Christian America: ‘Don’t You Agree?’,” in The Museum of the Bible: A Critical Introduction (ed. Cavan Concannon and Jill Hicks-Keeton; New York: Rowman and Littlefield, 2019), 235−54.

“The Museum of the Bible: Promoting Biblical Exceptionalism to Naturalize an Evangelical America,” in Christian Tourist Attractions, Mythmaking, and Identity Formation (ed. Erin Roberts and Jennifer Eyl; Critiquing Religion: Discourse, Culture, Power; New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2019), 25–41.

 “The Rhetoric of Disinterest for Authorizing our Critical Position: Historicizing Critical-Theory in Religious Studies,” in Theory in a Time of Excess: The Case of the Academic Study of Religion (ed. Aaron W. Hughes; Sheffield: Equinox Press, 2017), 80–96.

Contributions to Pedagogical or Encyclopedia Volumes

Contributor to Religion in 5 Minutes: Scholars Answer Your Questions (ed. Aaron W. Hughes and Russell McCutcheon; Sheffield: Equinox Press, 2017) – Entry on “Who Wrote the Bible?”

Contributor to the Routledge Encyclopedia of Ancient Mediterranean Religions (ed. E. Orlin, L. Fried, J. Wright Knust, M. Satlow, M. Pregill; New York: Routledge, 2016) – Entries on 1st Maccabees, Apostle, Bar Kokhba, Barnabas, Daniel, Hasmoneans, and Jerusalem Council.

Contributor to Baker Illustrated Bible Dictionary (ed. Tremper Longman; Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Academic, 2013) – Entries on Apostolic Fathers, Bar-Kochba, Caiaphas, Diaspora, Enoch, Epistle to Galatians, Gentiles, Gnosticism, Hasmoneans, Hellenism, Jannes and Jambres, Flavius Josephus, Judaism, Q. [By contract, entries were subject to un-seen modifications by the editor]

Research Projects

My current book project is Paul Among the Mythmakers: Gods, Sin, and Scriptures. It argues that the apostle Paul drew upon known myths in order to make his “gospel” seem obvious and necessary for gentiles (i.e., non-Jews). In this way he fits alongside other mythmakers in the Greek / Roman world who competitively promoted themselves by reusing established myths. This project is a way to explore how gentiles would have heard Paul’s depictions of Christ as a warrior who executes the Jewish God’s plans, his narratives about how gentiles degenerated into effeminate and idolatrous corruption, and his claims that Christ would restore them.

Scholarly Awards and Fellowships

Paul J. Achtemeier Award for New Testament Scholarship – Society of Biblical Literature, 2020

Theodore Zev and Alice Weiss Holocaust Education Foundation, Fellowship for Summer Institute – Northwestern University, 2020

Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Fellowship, 2014–16

Full CV

Link to full CV

Title: Senior Lecturer, Latin and Classical Cultures
Department: Languages, Literatures & Cultures

Email address: Email me

Phone: (828) 262-7826

Office address
L S Dougherty 210G