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Bill Adler

Distinguished University Professor of Religious Studies

Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies

Withers Hall 443

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William Adler is Distinguished University Professor of Religious Studies in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies. He began teaching at the University in 1984.

Awards and Honors:

Fellow, Dumbarton Oaks, 2022-23

Visiting Scholar, Freie Universität Berlin, Summer, 2017

The Sternberg Lecture on the Study of Religion, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, March 20. 2017

Fellow, Israel Institute for Advanced Studies, 2016-17

Visiting Scholar, Freie Universität Berlin, Spring, 2015

Appointed as Distinguished University Professor, 2013

Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor Award,North Carolina State University, 2009

Alexander Quarles Holladay Medal for Excellence, North Carolina State University, 2009

Visiting Scholar, University of Basel, 2008, 2011

Fellow, Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, Philadelphia, Pa., 2007-08

Academy of Outstanding Teachers, North Carolina State University, 2007

CHASS Outstanding Teaching Award, 2007

Visiting Guest Professor, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, 2005

NEH Fellowship for College Teachers. 1998-99

Distinguished Visiting Research Scholar,University of Adelaide, 1996

Inaugural Lecture, The Nick Galatis Annual Byzantine Lecture and Prize Ceremony, University of Adelaide, 1996

Dumbarton Oaks Research Fellowship, 1994-95

CHASS Distinguished Literary Publication Award, 1991

Fellow, Annenberg Institute for Judaic and Near Eastern Studies, Philadelphia, PA, 1989-89

Fulbright Visiting Lecturer, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1984-85


2011- The Reception History of the Book of Jubilees, for Oxford University (invited volume to the Oxford monograph series, The Reception of the Apocrypha)

2008- Critical Edition of the Palaea Historica, for Corpus Christianorum, Series Apocryphorum


​​​​​​​Books and edited volumes

2018   Co-editor (with M. Henze and L. Tomasso), The Embroidered Bible: Studies in Biblical Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha in Honour of Michael E. Stone (SVTP: Brill: Leiden, 2017)

2013 The Cambridge History of Religions in the Ancient Worlded. Vol. 2 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013). Paperback reprint published in 2018

2012 Iulius Africanus. Cesti, transl. with Martin Wallraff (GCS; Neue Folge: Berlin/New York: de Gruyter, 2012)

2007 Iulius Africanus, Chronographiae: The Extant Fragments, trans. with Martin Wallraff (GCS: Neue Folge 15; Berlin/New York: de Gruyter, 2007)

2002 The Chronography of George Synkellos, with Paul Tuffin (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002)

1996 The Jewish Apocalyptic Heritage in Early Christianity, co-edited and co-authored with James Vanderkam (CRINT ¾ Assen: Van Gorcum; Minneapolis: Fortress, 1996)

1989 Time Immemorial: Primordial History in Christian Chronography from Julius Africanus to George Syncellus, Dumbarton Oaks Studies 26 (Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection: Washington, D.C., 1989)

Recently published articles 

2022 “‘Suffering after the manner of young men’: Two Accounts of Clement’s Mental Distress and its Aftermath in the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies (Books One and Four),” in B. De Vos and D. Praet, eds., In Search of Truth in the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies (Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 49; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2023), 55-84

2022 “Jesus’ Letter to Abgar,” in J. Christopher Edwards, ed. Early New Testament Apocrypha: Ancient Literature for New Testament Studies (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2022), 343-60

2021   “Translatio studii:  Stelae Traditions in Second Temple Judaism and their Legacy in Byzantium,” in J. Ben Dov and F. Rojas,  eds., Afterlives of Ancient Rock-Cut Monuments in the Near East (Leiden:  Brill, 2021), 380-401

2020 “Observations on the Textual Transmission of the Palaea Historica in Greek,” in C. Böttrich, D. Fahl, eds., Von der Historienbibel zur Weltchronik (Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 2020), 64-94

2019 “Origen and the Old Testament ‘Apocrypha’: the Creation of a Category,” in M. Henze and L. I. Lied, eds. The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha: Fifty Years of the Pseudepigrapha Section at the SBL (Leiden: Brill, 2019), 287-308

2019 “Traditions: Greek,” in A. Kulik, et al., eds. A Guide to Early Jewish Texts and Traditions in Christian Transmission (Oxford: OUP, 2019), 7-22

2019 “Chronography,” in D. Gurtner and L. Stuckenbruck, eds. T&T Clark Encyclopedia of Second Temple Judaism, Vol. 2 (London/New York: T&T Clark. 2109), 144

2019 “The Stelae Tradition in Byzantine Universal Chronicles” (Hebrew), Meghillot: Studies in the Dead Sea Scrolls 14 (2019), 205-21

2019 “Jubilees Section 8.3: Greek,” Textual History of the Bible (Leiden: Brill, 2019), 22-26

2019 “Julius Africanus,” forthcoming in Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception (Berlin: de Gruyter)

2018 “Dionysius Exiguus,” in O. Nicholsoned, Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity 1 (2 vols.; Oxford: OUP, 2018), 488

2017 “The Creation of Christian Elite Culture in Roman Syria and the Near East,” in W. A. Johnson and S. Richter, eds, Oxford Handbook to the Second Sophistic (Oxford: OUP, 2017), 655-668

2017 “The Story of Abraham and Melchizedek in the Palaea Historica,” in The Embroidered Bible: Studies in Biblical Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha in Honour of Michael E. Stone, 47-63

2017 “From Adam to Abraham: Malalas and Euhemeristic Historiography,” in L. Carrare, M. Meier, C. Radtki, eds. Die Weltchronik des Johannes Malalas. Quellenfragen (Malalas, Bd. 2: Stuttgart: Franz Steiner, 2017), 27-47

2016 “Priesthood of Jesus,” in T. Burke and B. Landau, eds. New Testament Apocrypha, More Noncanonical Scriptures, Vol. 1 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2016), 69-108

2015 “Demetrius the Chronographer,” in E. Olin, et al., ed. Routledge Encyclopedia of Ancient Mediterranean Religions (New York: Routledge, 2016), 245

2015 “On the Priesthood of Jesus,” NASCAL (on-line resource)

2015 “Parabiblical Traditions and their Use in the Palaea Historica,” in M. Kister, H. Newman, M. Segal, and R. A. Clements, eds. Tradition, Transmission, and Transformation from Second Temple Literature through Judaism and Christianity in Late Antiquity, (Leiden: Brill, 2015), 1-39

2015 “Sextus Julius Africanus and the Roman Near East in the 3rd Century,” in Languages and Cultures of Eastern Christianity: Greek, ed. S. F. Johnson (Ashgate: Variorum Reprints, 2015), 123-153. Reprint of an article of the same title published in Journal of Theological Studies 55 (2004), 520-550

2013 “Introduction,” in The Cambridge History of Religions in the Ancient World, Vol. 22 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013), 1-19

2013 “Julius Africanus,” Wiley’s Encyclopedia of Ancient History

2013 “The Relics of Zechariah and the Boy Buried at his Feet: A new translation and introduction,” in Old Testament Pseudepigrapha: More Non-canonical Scriptures, ed. J. Davila and R. Bauckham (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2013), 443-47

2013 “The Heartless Rich Man and the Precious Stone: Introduction and Translation,” in Old Testament PseudepigraphaMore Non-canonical Scriptures, ed. J. Davila and R. Bauckham (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2013), 360-66

2013 “Palaea Historica: Introduction and Translation,” in Old Testament Pseudepigrapha: More Non-canonical Scriptures, ed. J. Davila and R. Bauckham (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2013), 585-672

2013 “The Kingdom of Edessa and the Creation of a Christian Aristocracy,” in Jews, Christians, and the Roman Empire, ed. Natalie Dohrmann and Annette Reed (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013), 43-62

2012 “Christians and the Public Archive,” A Teacher for All Generations: Essays in Honor of James C. VanderKam, ed. Eric F. Mason, et al. Supplements to the Journal for the Study of Judaism 153 (Leiden / Boston: Brill, 2012), Vol. 2, 917-937

2011 “Alexander Polyhistor and Literary Culture in Republican Rome,” forthcoming in Re-considering Eusebius: a Fresh Look at His Life and Work, ed. S. Inowlocki and C. Zamagni (Leiden: Brill, 2011), 225-240

2011 “The Chronographiae of Julius Africanus and its Jewish Antecedents,” ZAW 14 (2011), 496-524

2010 “Eupolemus,” in Encyclopedia of the Medieval Chronicle, ed. Graeme Dunphy (Leiden: Brill, 2010)

2010 “Justus of Tiberias,” in Encyclopedia of the Medieval Chronicle, ed. Graeme Dunphy (Leiden: Brill, 2010)

2010 “Demetrius the Chronographer,” in Dictionary of Early Judaism, ed. John Collins and Daniel Harlow (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2010), 530-31

2010 “Early Jewish Chronography,” in Dictionary of Early Judaism, ed. John Collins and Daniel Harlow (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2010), 469-71

2009 “The Cesti and Sophistic Culture in the Severan Age,” in Die Kestoi des Julius Africanus und ihre Überlieferung, ed. M. Wallraff and L. Mecella (TU 165; Berlin: de Gruyter, 2009), 1-17

2009 “Jewish Pseudepigrapha in Jacob of Edessa’s Letters and Historical Writings,” in Jacob of Edessa and the Syriac Culture of his Day, ed. Bas ter Haar Romeny. Monographs of the Peshitta Institute 18 (Leiden: Brill, 2009), 49-65


Ph.D. Early Christianity and Judaism University of Pennsylvania 1982

M.Div. Early Christianity Yale University 1975

B.A. Classics Franklin and Marshall College 1972