Professor Esler, who gained his New Testament doctorate from Oxford, practised law in Sydney, Australia, before moving to the UK with his family permanently in 1992, initially to the University of St Andrews. From 2005 to 2009 he was on leave from St Andrews to serve as the first Chief Executive of the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
Philip Esler specialises in the social scientific interpretation of biblical and extra-biblical texts and ancient legal papyri, and in biblical theology and the Bible and the visual arts. He has been Portland Chair in New Testament Studies since September 2013. Prior to his appointment here he had been Professor of Biblical Criticism and the Vice-Principal for Research at the University of St Andrews, Chief Executive of the Arts and Humanities Research Council and Principal of St Mary’s University College, Twickenham. His first career was as a solicitor and barrister in Sydney, Australia. He holds a D. Phil and a DD from Oxford University and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
Society of New Testament Studies, Society of Biblical Literature