Gay L. Byron

Gay L. Byron

Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity – Howard University School of Divinity

Visiting Faculty Fellow

The Rev. Dr. Gay L. Byron's scholarship focuses on liberation and womanist interpretations of the Bible, the Pauline epistles, race and ethnicity in early Christian writings, and the origins of Christianity in ancient Ethiopia. Her research identifies and examines ancient Ethiopic (Ge`ez) sources for the study of the New Testament and other early Christian writings.

As a 2020-21 Visiting Faculty Fellow, she will be collaborating with Jennifer Knust, William A. Johnson, and J. Andrew Armacost, co-directors of the Manuscript Migration Lab at the Franklin Humanities Institute. Her work will center on the "invisible lives" of Ethiopic manuscripts. In addition to generating a book manuscript on Ancient Ethiopia and the New Testament that explores manuscripts as fluid cultural products documenting both ancient realities and the practices of twentieth-century black bibliophiles, she also seeks to learn of the latest technologies and digital platforms for cataloguing and researching manuscript collections.

As a professor in a Historically Black Theological School, she has an innate sensibility in her scholarship toward equity, accessibility, and accountability when it comes to examining stories that make up biblical "canon(s)."

Rev. Dr. Byron passed away suddenly after a brief illness in December 2023. She was honored by her colleagues at Duke and around the world.


The "Invisible Lives" of Ethiopic (Ge'ez) Manuscripts