Michael G. Azar, PhD

Associate Professor of Theology/Religious Studies

Associate Professor of Theology/Religious Studies


Michael G. Azar holds a PhD in New Testament from Fordham University (2013) and an MA in theology from St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary (2005).  His research focuses on the New Testament, especially the Gospel according to John, Paul's Letters, and the Book of Revelation.  His other scholarly pursuits include the theology and literature of early Christianity, the relationship between Jews and Christians in the centuries after Jesus as well as the modern world, Orthodox Christian history and theology, Christianity in Arabic-speaking lands, and the effects that contemporary sociopolitical policies have on scholarly understandings of the ancient world. 

Courses Taught


Research Interests–Biblical Studies:                        

  • Gospels (especially John)
  • Paul and the Law 
  • Apocalyptic Literature
  • Reception History and Theological Interpretation
  • Post-Colonialism and Contemporary Biblical Scholarship 

Research Interests–Christian History and Theology:  

  • Early and Modern Jewish-Christian Relations (especially the so-called "parting of the ways")
  • Early Christian Exegesis, Theology, and Liturgy
  • Orthodox Christian History and Theology
  • Christianity in the Middle East

Select Publications:

  • Exegeting the Jews: The Early Reception of the Johannine “Jews” (Bible in Ancient Christianity 10; Leiden: Brill), 2016.
  • “Mission to the Jews (Greek and Latin Patristics and the Orthodox Churches),” Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception (forthcoming). 
  • “The Eastern Orthodox Tradition, Jews, and the Gospel of John,” in The Gospel of John and Jewish-Christian Relations (ed. Adele Reinhartz; Lanham, Md.: Lexington/Fortress, 2018), 21–46.
  • “The Law and the New Life in Romans 7:1–6: Eastern-Western Dialogue and Romans,” in Participation, Justification and Conversion: Eastern Orthodox Interpretation of Paul and the Debate between Old and New Perspectives on Paul (WUNT 442; ed. Athanasios Despotis; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2017), 247–76.
  • “Origen, Scripture, and the Imprecision of ‘Supersessionism,’” Journal of Theological Interpretation 10.2 (2016), 157–72.
  • “John Chrysostom and the Johannine ‘Jews,’” in The School of Antioch: Biblical Theology and the Church in Syria (ed. Vahan S. Hovhanessian; Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2015), 41–48.
  • “Prophetic Matrix and Theological Paradox: Jews and Judaism in the Holy Week and Pascha Observances of the Greek Orthodox Church,” Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations 10.1 (2015), 1–27.
  • “‘Bow Your Head Low to the Great; Rescue the Oppressed from the Oppressor’: Ben Sira and the Struggle with Elitism,” in Festschrift in Honor of Paul Nadim Tarazi 3: Studies in Intertestamental, Extra-Canonical, and Early Christian Literature (ed. Tom Dykstra; Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2015), 23–36.
  • “Orthodox Americans, the Orthodox Peace Fellowship, and Iraq,” in For the Peace from Above: An Orthodox Handbook on War, Peace, and Nationalism (rev. ed.; ed. Hildo Bos and Jim Forest; Rollinsford, N.H.: Orthodox Research Institute, 2011), 279–94.
  • “The Scriptural King,” St. Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly 50.3 (2006), 255–75.

Recent Presentations: 

  • “The Deification of ‘Witnesses’ in John’s Apocalypse,” Annual Meeting of the Catholic Biblical Association (CBA), Denver, CO, July 2018.
  • “Eastern Orthodox Identity, Jews, and John’s Gospel,” Annual Meeting of the SBL, Boston, MA, November 2017.
  • “The Logos and Lamb of the Lord’s Passover: Patristic Antitypes of the Johannine Type,” Annual Meeting of the CBA, Washington, DC, August 2017.
  • “Reading John’s ‘Jews’ through Eastern Orthodox Thought and Practice,” 2017 Corcoran Chair Conference: The Gospel of John and Jewish-Christian Relations, April 2017.
  • “‘Freed from the Law?’ Orthodox Fasting and Paul’s View of the Law,” Annual Meeting of the Orthodox Theological Society in America (OTSA), Boston, MA, September 2016.
  • “Old, New, Neither: Romans 7 and an Eastern Orthodox Perspective,” Annual Meeting of the CBA, Santa Clara, CA, August 2016.


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