Bibliography: Individual Gospel Characters

A number of academic studies have been produced that focus on historical individuals who appear as characters in the Gospel stories.

John the Baptist

Murphy, Catherine M. John the Baptist: Prophet of Purity for a New Age. Interfaces. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2003.

Taylor, Joan E. The Immerser: John the Baptist within Second Temple Judaism. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997.

Webb, Robert L. John the Baptizer and Prophet: A Socio-Historical Study. 1991. Reprint, Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2006.

Disciples of Jesus


Blaine, Bradford. Peter in the Gospel of John: The Making of an Authentic Disciple. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2007.

Brown, Raymond E., Karl P. Donfried, and John Reumann, eds. Peter in the New Testament: A Collaborative Assessment by Protestant and Roman Catholic Scholars. Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1973.

Cassidy, Richard. Four Times Peter: Portrayals of Peter in the Four Gospels and at Philippi. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2007.

Perkins, Pheme. Peter: Apostle for the Whole Church. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1994.


Culpepper, R. Alan. John, the Son of Zebedee: The Life of a Legend. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1994.


Klassen, William. Judas: Betrayer or Friend of Jesus? Minneapolis: Fortress, 1996.

Meyer, Marvin. Judas: The Definitive Collection of Gospels and Legends about the Infamous Apostle of Jesus. New York: HarperOne, 2007.

Robinson, James M. The Secrets of Judas: The Story of Jesus’s Misunderstood Disciple and His Lost Gospel. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 2006.

Specific Women in the Gospels

Mary, the Mother of Jesus

Brown, Raymond E., Karl P. Donfried, Joseph A. Fitzmyer, and John Reumann, eds. Mary in the New Testament. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1978.

Gaventa, Beverly Roberts. Mary: Glimpses of the Mother of Jesus. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1999.

Gaventa, Beverly Roberts, and Cynthia L. Rigby, eds. Blessed One: Protestant Perspectives on Mary. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2002.

Jones, F. Stanley. Which Mary? The Marys of Early Christian Tradition. SBLSymS 19. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2002.

McKnight, Scott. The Real Mary: Why Evangelical Christians Can Embrace the Mother of Jesus. Brewster, MA: Paraclete, 2007.

Perry, Tim. Mary for Evangelicals: Toward an Understanding of the Mother of Our Lord. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2006.

Mary Magdalene

Brock, Ann Graham. Mary Magdalene, The First Apostle: The Struggle for Authority. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2002.

De Boer, Esther. Mary Magdalene: Beyond the Myth. Harrisburg, PA: Trinity Press International, 1997.

Haskins, Susan. Mary Magdalen: Myth and Metaphor. New York: Riverhead Books, 1995.

Hearon, Holly E. The Mary Magdalene Traditions: Witness and Counter-Witness in Early Christian Communities. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2004.

Jones, F. Stanley. Which Mary? The Marys of Early Christian Tradition. SBLSymS 19. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2002.

Women in the Gospels

Bauckham, Richard. Gospel Women: Studies of the Named Women in the Gospels. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002.

Caron, Gérald, Aldina da Silva, Olivette Genest, Marc Girard, Michel Gourgues, Élisabeth J. Lacelle, Jean-Jacques Lavoie, André Myre, and Jean-François Racine. Women also Journeyed with Him: Feminist Perspectives on the Bible. Translated by Madeleine Beaumont. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2000.

Corley, Kathleen E. Women and the Historical Jesus: Feminist Myths of Christian Origins. Santa Rosa, CA: Polebridge, 2002.

Gench, Frances Taylor. Back to the Well: Women’s Encounters with Jesus in the Gospels. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2004.

Getty-Sullivan, Mary Ann. Women in the New Testament. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2001.

Meyers, Carol, ed. Women in Scripture: A Dictionary of Named and Unnamed Women in the Hebrew Bible, the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books, and the New Testament. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2001.

Spencer, F. Scott. Dancing Girls, Loose Ladies, and Women of the Cloth: The Women in Jesus’s Life. Harrisburg, PA: Continuum, 2004.

Witherington, Ben, III. Women and the Genesis of Christianity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990.

James and Other Brothers of Jesus

Bauckham, Richard J. Jude and the Relatives of Jesus in the Early Church. Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1990.

Chilton, Bruce, and Jacob Neusner, eds. The Brother of Jesus: James the Just and His Mission. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2001.

Hartin, Patrick J. James of Jerusalem. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2004.

Painter, John. Just James: The Brother of Jesus in History and Tradition. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1997.

Prominent Romans

Herod the Great

Knoblet, Jerry. Herod the Great. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2005.

Richardson, Peter. Herod: King of the Jews and Friend of the Romans. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1996.

Herod Antipas

Hoehner, Harold W. Herod Antipas: A Contemporary of Jesus Christ. SNTSMS 17. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1972.

Pontius Pilate

Bond, Helen K. Pontius Pilate in History and Interpretation. SNTSMS 100. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998.

Carter, Warren. Pontius Pilate: Portraits of a Roman Governor. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2004.