Ian H. Henderson

Academic title(s): 

Associate Professor, New Testament Studies; Chair, B.Th. Program and Policies committee and B.Th. Admissions and Awards Committee; B.Th. Academic Advisor; S.T.M. Academic Advisor

Contact Information

3520 University Street, Room 202
Montreal, Quebec
H3A 2A7, Canada

Fax number: 
Email address: 
ian.henderson [at] mcgill.ca

B.A. (Manitoba)
B.D. (St. Andrews)
M.A. (McMaster)
D.Phil. (Oxford)


Hellenistic Rhetoric and Poetics; Historical Jesus and Gospel Traditions; Synoptic Literary Criticism


Ian Henderson has taught and studied Historical Jesus Research, early Christianity and the New Testament at McGill University since 1988. The author of Jesus, Rhetoric and Law (1996), he publishes on Mark’s Gospel and on religious aspects of Greco-Roman (Sophistic) Rhetoric. He also has research interests in Argumentation Theory and Translation Theory in relation to contemporary Christian receptions of Scripture especially among Canadian indigenous peoples. Since 2008 he has participated in the research project “Religious Individualization in Historical Perspective” of the Max Weber College in Erfurt. His current research focuses on Mark’s Gospel as a manual for leadership formation, and on audience definition in the canonical gospels.

A native of Winnipeg, he studied Greek and Latin at the University of Manitoba. After theological studies in Scotland (St. Andrews), he returned to Canada, to begin research in Second Temple Judaism and early Christianity at McMaster University under Ben F. Meyer, E.P. Sanders and A.I. Baumgarten. He followed Professor Sanders to complete a D.Phil. in Oxford, with further studies under Klaus Berger and Gerd Theissen in Heidelberg. He has taught as a Guest Professor at the University of Erfurt, and in the Roman Catholic Faculty of Theology, Erfurt, Germany. He has also taught students for ministry at the Big Beaver House Bible Camp, Kingfisher Lake, ACC Diocese of Keewatin and more recently at the Arthur Turner Training School, Iqaluit, Nunavut, ACC Diocese of the Arctic. He has been a Visiting Researcher at the Université de Strasbourg.

Selected publications: 

“Thinking about Complexity in the Gospel of Mark’s Designed Audience(s)” in (ed.) G. Van Oyen, Reading the Gospel of Mark in the Twenty-First Century (Bibliotheca Ephemeridum Theologicarum Lovaniensium, 301; Leuven: Peeters, 2019) forthcoming.

“The Child, Death and the Human in Mark’s Gospel” in (edd.) Ulrike Mittmann and Beate Ego, Evil and Death: Conceptions of the Human in Biblical, Early Jewish, Early Christian, Greco-Roman and Egyptian Literature (Deuterocanonical and Cognate Literature 18; Walter de Gruyter, 2015) 199–219.

‘“…Hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3) Modes of Personhood in Deutero-Pauline Tradition’ in (edd.) Jörg Rüpke and Wolfgang Spickermann, Reflections on Religious Individuality: Greco-Roman and Judaeo-Christian Texts and Practices (Religionsgeschichtliche Versuche und Vorarbeiten 62; Walter de Gruyter: Berlin; New York, 2012) 43–67.

“Memory, Text and Performance in Early Christian Formation” in (edd.) Christa Frateantonio, Helmut Krasser, Religion und Bildung. Medien und Funktionen religiösen Wissens in der Kaiserzeit (Potsdamer Altertumswissenschaftliche Beiträge 30; Franz Steiner Verlag: Stuttgart, 2010) 157–184.

“The Second Sophistic and Non-Elite Speakers” in (edd.) Thomas Schmidt and Pascale Fleury Perceptions of the Second Sophistic and its Times — Regards sur la Seconde Sophistique et son époque (University of Toronto Press: Toronto, 2010) 23–35.

“Reconstructing Mark’s Double Audience” in (ed.) Elizabeth Struthers Malbon, Between Author and Audience in Mark: Narration, Characterization, Interpretation (New Testament Monographs 23; Sheffield Phoenix Press: Sheffield, 2009) 6–28.

“Speech representation and religious rhetorics in Philostratus' Vita Apollonii” in Studies in Religion/Sciences Religieuses 32 (2003) 19–37.