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Paula Fredriksen is a historian and a scholar of religious studies. She holds the position of William Goodwin Aurelio Professor of the Appreciation of Scripture at Boston Universitymarker.She has a Ph.D. in the history of religion from Princeton Universitymarker and a theology diploma from Oxford Universitymarker.

Fredriksen is a scholar of the historical Jesus.While skeptical of much of the Gospel accounts, she affirms at least Jesus' baptism by John the Baptist and his crucifixion by Pilate.Certain other elements of the Gospel narrative that are commonly taken as historical, such as the Temple incident, she regards as inventions.While some historians interpret the historical Jesus as a nonapocalyptic ethical teacher, she sides with those who portray him as an apocalyptic preacher in the tradition of prophets before him and apostles after him. Introduction to Fredriksen's book From Jesus to Christ.

One of the editors of her book From Jesus to Christ: The Origins of the New Testament Images of Jesus was E.P. Sanders. Along with Geza Vermes, she is often regarded as the most influential historical Jesus scholar in terms of placing him firmly within a Jewish context largely devoid of the kind of anti-Judaic (and sometimes anti-Semitic) bias that characterized Jesus scholarship in the 19th and much of the 20th century.From Jesus to Christ received the Governors' Award from Yale Press in 1988.


  • On The Passion of the Christ: Exploring the Issues Raised by the Controversial Movie, Paula Fredriksen, University of California Press, 2006.
  • From Jesus to Christ: The Origins of the New Testament Images of Jesus (Yale Nota Bene), Paula Fredriksen, Yale University Press, 2nd edition, 2000.
  • Jesus, Judaism, and Christian Anti-Judaism: Reading the New Testament After the Holocaust, Paula Fredriksen, Adele Reinhartz, Westminster John Knox Press; 2002.
  • Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews: A Jewish Life and the Emergence of Christianity, Paula Fredriksen, Vintage Press, 2000.
  • Augustine on Romans, Paula Fredriksen, Chico: Scholars Press, 1982.

Personal life

Fredriksen is married to Alfred Tauber, professor of philosophy and Zoltan Kohn Professor of Medicine at Boston University. Her ex-husband, Richard Landes, is professor of medieval history at Boston University.

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