Pieter van der Horst
Professor Emeritus, Utrecht University

Pieter van der Horst is a scholar specialising in New Testament studies, Early Christian literature and the Jewish and Hellenistic context of Early Christianity. He is professor emeritus in the faculty of theology at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. Since 1994 he is a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences and Humanities. He is the author of many books, including Studies in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity (2014). His website is www.pietervanderhorst.com

Written by Pieter van der Horst

In the Mea Shearim section of Jerusalem, Talmudic scholars haggle over various interpretations of Talmudic scholarship, 1957. Photo by Bert Glinn/Magnum

Essay/
Thinkers and theories
The Bible’s first critic

Centuries before Spinoza, there was Ḥiwi al-Balkhi, a Jewish freethinker for whom the Bible was too irrational for faith

Pieter van der Horst

Carvings thought to depict Terra Mater (Mother Earth) decorate the Ara Pacis Augustae, built in honour of the military successes and political reforms of the first Roman Emperor, Augustus. Photo by DeAgostini/Getty

Essay/
History
How the poor became blessed

Greco-Roman gods had no interest in the poor nor was organised charity a religious duty. How was Christianity different?

Pieter van der Horst

Margin detail of the creation, Book of Genesis. Egerton 1895 manuscript (Germany 1465). Courtesy The British Library

Essay/
Stories and literature
Pagans against Genesis

Confused, inferior and philosophically unsound: the Greco-Roman critique of the Old Testament could have been written today

Pieter van der Horst