David Downs is a Fellow and Tutor, as well as Clarendon-Laing Associate Professor in New Testament Studies in the Faculty of Theology and Religion. He joined Keble College in 2019. Previously he served for twelve years on the faculty of Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California.
His publications have focused mainly on Pauline theology, economic issues in the New Testament and early Christian literature, and the writings of the Apostolic Fathers. His recent books include Alms: Charity, Reward, and Atonement in Early Christianity (Baylor University Press, 2016) and The Faithfulness of the Risen Christ: Pistis and the Exalted Lord in the Pauline Epistles (Baylor University Press, 2019), the latter of which is co-written with Benjamin Lappenga.
In addition to his research on Christian literature of the first two centuries, he has also enjoyed involvement in interdisciplinary work combining the fields of cultural hermeneutics, the reception of the Bible in diverse contexts, public health, and infectious diseases research. This is the result of being married to Jen, an infectious diseases-trained physician-scientist who conducts clinical medical research in the Mwanza region of Tanzania, where the Downs family spends every summer. Jen and David, together with Tanzanian colleagues, have received several grants for projects that explore the relationship between public health interventions and local faith traditions and practices. Their research has been published in the British Medical Journal Open and The Lancet.