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Mark Ellison

Associate Professor
Ancient Scripture

275E JSB - Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602


Mark Ellison received a PhD and MA from Vanderbilt University in early Christianity and early Christian art, an MA from the University of South Florida in religious studies (Bible and archaeology), and an MEd (educational leadership) and BA (English) from Brigham Young University. He also studied New Testament Greek at St. Petersburg Theological Seminary, has done archaeology field work at the Bethsaida (et-Tell) Excavations and Huqoq Excavations near the Sea of Galilee, and has taught at the BYU Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies.

In his academic research he is an interdisciplinary historian of early Christianity, exloring early Christian texts, artifacts, visual art, and practices, with particular interest in

  • biblical reception and interpretation
  • lived experience and ordinary Christians in Late Antiquity
  • early Christian worship and ritual
  • marriage, family, and celibacy in early Christianity
  • women in early Christianity and late ancient society
  • portrayals of Jesus in Christian art

​Dr. Ellison has co-chaired the Art and Religions of Antiquity program unit of the Society of Biblical Literature, and with Professor Robin Margaret Jensen (University of Notre Dame) he is co-editor of The Routledge Handbook of Early Christian Art (2018). 

Before joining the BYU faculty, he worked for LDS Seminaries and Institutes of Religion. He served a two-year mission in the deaf communities of Oakland and Phoenix and stays fluent in conversational American Sign Language. He and his wife, Lauren, have five children and reside in Provo, Utah.

Courses taught:

  • REL A 211 The Gospels
  • REL A 250 Jesus Christ and the Everlasting Gospel
  • REL A 275 Doctrine and Teachings of the Book of Mormon
  • REL A 303 Old Testament Studies
  • REL A 311 New Testament Studies
  • REL A 392R The Parables of Jesus (Fall '25)
  • REL E 611 Graduate Seminar on the New Testament
  • ANES 430R Biblical Art in Late Antiquity (Fall '24)
  • GWS 390R Women in the Christian Tradition (Winter '25)

Selected publications:


Research Interests

Intersections of early Christian art, archaeology, literature, and practice; early Christian material culture (art, archaeology, architecture, etc.); biblical reception in Late Antiquity; social world of New Testament and early Christianity; ordinary Christians in late antiquity; marriage, family, celibacy, and women's lives in late antique Christianity; early Christian house-churches; ancient Christian worship and ritual; reception history of Adam and Eve

Teaching Interests

New Testament; Early Christian history; Early Christian Art and biblical reception (ANES)

Courses Taught

Mark Ellison