David Levenson

Associate Professor of Religion
Distinguished Teaching Professor
Dr. David Levenson

Contact Information

Religions of Western Antiquity
Office Location
314 Dodd Hall
(850) 212-5099
Resume / CV


David Levenson (Ph.D. '80, Harvard University, New Testament and Christian Origins) teaches introductory and intermediate-level courses in New Testament and ancient Judaism and advanced courses in "Greek Religious Texts," "Religions of the Graeco-Roman World," "Judaism in the Graeco-Roman World," "Rabbinic Judaism in Antiquity," "Jewish-Christian Relations in Antiquity," and Greek, Hebrew. Syriac, and Aramaic. He also regularly offers undergraduate and graduate seminars on the gospels. Professor Levenson's primary research areas are (1) Jewish-Christian relations in Antiquity with special attention to images of Jews and Judaism in popular narratives and historiography from the first through the fifth centuries and (2) Josephus. He is currently engaged in writing a commentary (which will also include a new translation) with Thomas Martin, College of the Holy Cross, on Book Six of Josephus' Jewish War, for the new Josephus Commentary series edited by Steven Mason, and published by E.J. Brill. He and Professor Martin are also working on the ancient Latin translation of the Jewish War, with the aim of producing a critical edition of Book Six. In addition to work on the Greek and Latin texts of Josephus’ Jewish War, Professor Levenson is also preparing a critical edition of the Latin translation of Book Thirteen of the Jewish Antiquities with Thomas Martin and Ashleigh Witherington in conjunction with his study of the Latin Josephus textual traditions used by the author of the Hebrew Sefer Yosippon.

Research Interests

  • The Latin Textual Tradition of Josephus’ War and Antiquities
  • Josephus and Hellenistic Judaism
  • Jewish-Christian Relations in Antiquity
  • Jews and Judaism in the New Testament and Christian Historiography through Late Antiquity
  • The use of Josephus in the Hebrew Sefer Yosippon 
  • The Emperor Julian

Selected Publications

  •  “A Revised Classification of Manuscript Groups for the  Early Books of the Latin Translation of Josephus's Antiquities Based on Textual Variants in AJ 6.356–360 and 6.362b,” with Thomas Martin, Medievalia et Humanistica, 46 (2021), 71-148.
  • “The Place of the Early Printed Editions of Josephus' Antiquities and War (1470-1534) in the Latin Textual Tradition,” with Thomas Martin, in Sibyls, Scriptures, and Scrolls: John Collins at Seventy, edited by Joel Baden, Hindy Najman, & Eibert Tigchelaar, 765-825 (Brill, 2017).
  •  “Messianic Movements,” in The Jewish Annotated New Testament, Second Edition, edited by A.J. Levine and M.Z. Brettler, 622-628 (Oxford, 2017).
  •  “The Ancient Latin Translations of Josephus,” with Thomas Martin, in A Companion to Josephus, edited by Honora H. Chapman and Zuleika Rodgers, 322-344 (Wiley-Blackwell, 2016).
  • “The Palestinian Earthquake of May 363 in Philostorgius, the Syriac Chronicon Miscellaneum and the Letter Attributed to Cyril on the Rebuilding of the Jerusalem Temple,” Journal of Late Antiquity 6 (2013), 60-83. 
  • “Akairos or Eukairos? The Nickname of the Seleucid King Demetrius III in the Transmission of the Texts of Josephus’ War and Antiquities,” with Thomas Martin,  Journal for the Study of Judaism 40 (2009), 307-341.
  • “The Ancient and Medieval Sources for the Emperor Julian’s Attempt to Rebuild the Jerusalem Temple,” Journal for the Study of Judaism 35 (2004), 409-460.
  • “University Religion Departments and Teaching About the Bible in Public High Schools: A Report from Florida,” Religious Studies News, AAR Edition 17/2 (March 2002), pp. 3, 7, 10 (republished in SBL Forum, Nov/Dec 2003).
  • “Different Texts or Different Quests: The Contexts of Biblical Studies, “ in Hebrew Bible or Old Testament?, edited by Roger Brooks and John J. Collins (University of Notre Dame, 1990), 153-164.

Teaching Specializations

  • New Testament and Early Christianity 
  • Hellenistic and Rabbinic Judaism 
  • Religions of the Graeco-Roman World 
  • Jewish-Christian Relations 
  • Hebrew 
  • Greek
  • Aramaic/Syriac 
  • Latin


fall 2023
  • HBR1103: Beginning Biblical Hebrew I
  • REL4203: Readings In Classical Hebrew Texts: Job and Sefer Yosippon
  • REL 4290/RLG5297: Seminar: Josephus and Second Temple Judaism
  • REL 4914: Latin Religious Texts: Tacitus on Serapis and Jews and Judaism (Histories 4.81-5.13)
spring 2024
  • HBR1103: Beginning Biblical Hebrew I
  • REL3936/RLG5292: Cyriac
  • REL 4290: Seminar: Gospel of Matthew
  • RLG5204: Elementary Biblical Hebrew II