Advisory Board

James K. Aitken

James K. Aitken is Reader in Hebrew and Early Jewish Studies at the University of Cambridge in the Faculty of Divinity. His interests lie in the text and language of the Hebrew Bible, and in the literature and history of ancient Judaism. A particular area of research currently is the Greek version of the Bible (the Septuagint), including its language, exegesis and place within second temple Jewish society. He has published a number of monographs and edited volumes, as well as articles and essays. His most recent monograph is No Stone Unturned: Greek Inscriptions and Septuagint Vocabulary, and previously authored The Semantics of Blessing and Cursing in Ancient Hebrew. A number of his publications are listed and may be accessed here.

Thomas Bolin

Thomas Bolin is Professor of Theology and Religious studies at St. Norbert College. His research focuses on the ancient literary and cultural contexts of the Hebrew Bible as well as ancient Israelite history, specifically wisdom literature and post-exilic texts. Hermeneutics is a more recent research interest. He is the author of Freedom Beyond Forgiveness: The Book of Jonah Re-examined and most recently, Ecclesiastes and the Riddle of Authorship. He is currently completing a book on Catholic biblical interpretation in contemporary American social and political debate and working on a second book on the nature of Job as both book and dialogue. His publications can be accessed here.

Francis Borchardt

Francis Borchardt is Associate Professor in the department of Theology, Religion, and Philosophy at NLA University College. Borchardt’s research focuses on concepts and modes of transmission in ancient Jewish and Christian texts. In his work, he seeks to uncover ancient theories of text production by investigating the ways early Jewish and Christian writings discuss the acts of composition, translation, collection, epitomization, and curation of the written word. He has written extensively on the books of Maccabees, the Letter of Aristeas, the Sibylline Oracles, and a number of other texts and corpora among early Jewish and Christian writings. He has been a contributing member of research projects funded by the European Science Foundation, the Academy of Finland, the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, and the Elie Wiesel Center for Jewish Studies. Borchardt’s current project investigates the relationship between the fictional lives of books and their material production. His publications can be accessed here.

Paul Delnero

Paul Delnero is Associate Professor of Assyriology in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Johns Hopkins University. He is the author of The Textual Criticism of Sumerian Literature (Journal of Cuneiform Studies Supplemental Series vol. 3, ASOR Publications, Boston, 2012). In this work, he considers how semantic, orthographic, and grammatical variants in copies of Sumerian mythological compositions and hymns provide an essential, but overlooked source of evidence for tracking how cultural knowledge was transmitted and consumed in Ancient Mesopotamia, while also proposing a methodology for critically evaluating textual variation in the sources for Sumerian literary works. In addition to articles on the topics of the role of memorization in Mesopotamian scribal education, the role of Sumerian religion and mythology in identity formation, the social and cultural contexts for lamenting in early Mesopotamia, and other subjects relating to Mesopotamian religion, literature, education, textual archives, and ritual, he is the co-editor of Texts and Contexts: The Circulation and Transmission of Cuneiform Texts in Social Space (Studies in Ancient Near Eastern Records, de Gruyer, Berlin, 2015), a collection of studies on the materiality and social function of ancient Near Eastern texts from different periods. His most recent book, How to Do Things with Tears: Ritual Lamenting in Ancient Mesopotamia, will be published by de Gruyter press in July 2020. His publications can be accessed here.

Helen Dixon

Helen Dixon is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at East Carolina University. She was previously assistant professor at Wofford College and a postdoctoral researcher at North Carolina State University in the department of history and a postdoctoral researcher in the department of biblical studies at the University of Helsinki, Finland. Her research focuses on Phoenician History and Religion, First Millennium BCE Near Eastern Mortuary Practice, Cultural History, the History of Religions, and the Ethics of the Antiquities Trade. Her first book is a social history of Phoenicia from the perspective of the dead, and has written articles on intersections of ancient material culture, literary traditions, and social history, and contemporary attitudes towards cultural heritage. Her publications can be accesed here. She is also a general editor of Metatron.

Theodor Dunkelgrün

Theodor Dunkelgrün is a cultural and intellectual historian of Europe and the Mediterranean World, 1450-1900, with particular interest in early modern Spain and the Low Countries, the history of universities, and the history of the Jews. Much of his work across historical periods takes place at the intersections of Biblical scholarship and the History of the Book. He is especially interested in learned encounters between Jews, Christians and Muslims and in the ways their textual traditions and scholarly practices interact, carry over, and respond to technological innovation, from the invention of print to the invention of photography. At the center of his research, in different historical and geographical contexts, is the Hebrew Bible: its readers, editors and collectors; its study, reception, and transmission; its material, visual and artistic histories; and the ways in which Jewish, Christian and Muslim scholars have negotiated the tensions between the idea of a sacred, revealed book and the imperfect human transmission of the material text. Since 2017, Dunkelgrün has been Senior Research Associate and Academic Co-ordinator of Religious Diversity and the Secular University (2017-2022), a CRASSH-project funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and directed by Simon Goldhill. He is an affiliated lecturer in the Faculty of History and a member of the Cambridge Forum for Jewish Studies and of the Centre for Material Texts. He is a member of EMoDiR (Early Modern Religious Dissents and Radicalism), Ideas in Motion (a working group of the Cost Action “People in Motion”), and the British Academy Early Career Network on Critical University Studies, directed by Alison Wood. In 2021, Dunkelgrün joined fifty scholars under the general editorship of Glenn Most, Martin Kern and Anne Eusterschulte collaborating on Philological Practices: A Comparative Historical Lexicon, which will study some thirty classical traditions from across the globe and from antiquity to the present. He co-edits the Hebrew section with Jacqueline Vayntrub (under contract with Princeton University Press). His publications can be accessed here.

Liv Ingeborg Lied

Liv Ingeborg Lied is Professor of Religious Studies at the Norwegian School of Theology. She is an expert in in Jewish and Christian literatures of Late Antiquity and has published widely on the apocalyptic text, 2 Baruch. Her interests span manuscript studies, New Philology and textual scholarship, as well as media history, and she is currently writing a book on the transmission history of this text among Syriac Christians. She is the author and editor of numerous volumes, most recently an editor of Snapshots of Evolving Traditions: Jewish and Christian Manuscript Culture, Textual Fluidity, and New Philology and Bible as Notepad: Tracing Annotations and Annotation Practices in Late Antique and Medieval Biblical Manuscripts. Her publications can be accessed here.

Ingrid Lilly

Ingrid Lilly is Assistant Professor at Wofford College. Her research is driven by a fascination with bodies as mediums of language and culture. Her focus is culture-specific embodiments (illness, gender, mental states, performance, social selves) and conducts historical-critical work on the textualization of bodies in the Hebrew Bible, cognate literature, and Jewish and Christian reception. She draws primarily on medical anthropology, cultural anthropology, gender studies, ANE/Greco-Roman comparative studies, and Hebrew philology. Along with core members Jacqueline Vayntrub and Laura Quick, Dr. Lilly is editing a volume of HBAI on “The Philology of Gender.” She has published two essays on spirit and illness (Brill and Mohr Siebeck) and two essays on gender in the Women’s Bible Commentary and the festschrift for Carol Newsom, and have an essay on prophecy and spirit possession under review at Harvard Theological Review. She speaks internationally on her work (recently, Oxford, University of Wisconsin, Madison,  San Francisco Theological Seminary, Fuller Theological Seminary, Complutense University of Madrid, the Carlos Museum at Emory, the Pacific School of Religion, and L’Institut International des Droits de l’Homme in Strasbourg, France).  She is the author of Two Books of Ezekiel: Papyrus 967 and the Masoretic Text as Variant Literary Editions (Brill 2012), which explored text-critical, editorial, and materialist approaches to fluid textuality. Her second book is Winds in the Body: A Critical Medical Anthropology of Spirit in the Ancient Near East, Hebrew Bible, and Second Temple Jewish Literature, forthcoming with Cambridge University Press, presents a cultural survey of spirit. Beginning with cases of Western ideas about spirit, and specifically rejecting the embodied poetics of Gunkel and the charisma of Weber, Lilly adopts concepts of the body from medical anthropology to examine spirit/wind as a feature of embodiment. Lilly is also editor of Ezekiel for Hebrew Bible: A Critical Edition, an eclectic, critical text to be published by SBL, and will be preparing the Ezekiel volume for the new Oxford Biblical Commentary Series, which includes a new critical translation. She is on the steering committee of the SBL program unit, Philology in Hebrew Studies.

Yii-Jan Lin

Yii-Jan Lin is Associate Professor of New Testament at Yale Divinity School. She specializes in textual criticism, the Revelation of John, critical race theory, gender and sexuality, and immigration. Her book, The Erotic Life of Manuscripts, examines how metaphors of race, family, evolution, and genetic inheritance have shaped the goals and assumptions of New Testament textual criticism from the eighteenth century to the present—a book which David Parker has identified as “necessary reading for every philologist.” Her current book project focuses on apocalypticism and the use of Revelation in the political discourse surrounding American immigration – both in utopian visions of America and dystopian fear of “outsiders.” She has convened panels and conferences on philology and its search for the “authentic,” philology’s epistemologies and its possible futures. Her publications can be accessed here.

Hugo Lundhaug

Hugo Lundhaug is Professor of Biblical Reception and Early Christian Literature at the University of Oslo in the Faculty of Theology. His primary research focus is on early Christian texts transmitted in the Coptic language, and the manuscripts that preserve them. The historical context that occupies me the most is that of Christianity and monasticism in Egypt, especially Upper Egypt, in the fourth and fifth centuries CE, and much of his research has been related to the Nag Hammadi Codices. Methodologically his work is informed by New Philology and various cognitive approaches to literature and memory, and he is particularly interested in the processes of textual transmission and the impact of changing contexts on interpretation. He is the author of Images of Rebirth: Cognitive Poetics and Transformational Soteriology in the Gospel of Philip and the Exegesis on the Soul (Brill, 2010). He is the co-author of The Monastic Origins of the Nag Hammadi Codices with Lance Jennot (Mohr Siebeck, 2015) and in 2018, published a co-edited volume with Jennot, The Nag Hammadi Codices and Late Antique Egypt. He has co-edited with Liv Ingeborg Lied, Snapshots of Evolving Traditions: Jewish and Christian Manuscript Culture, Textual Fluidity, and New Philology (DeGruyter, 2017). Lundhaug is Scientific Director of the interdisciplinary research school, Authoritative Texts and their Reception (ATTR), a research school funded by the Research Council of Norway which offers PhD students in the Humanities, Law, and Theology high-level reflection on theories and research methods related to textual scholarship and interdisciplinary feedback on their dissertations. His publications can be accessed here.

Kelly Murphy

Kelly Murphy is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Central Michigan University. Her research blends historical critical approaches and reception history with critical theory, gender studies, and pop culture. She is an editor of Apocalypses in Context: Apocalyptic Currents throughout History, an editor of the new series Horror and Scripture, and most recently, the author of Rewriting Masculinity: Gideon, Men, and Might. Learn about her award winning next project, Open Your Hand to the Poor: How We Hear the Bible’s Many Voices here. You can access her publications here.

Hindy Najman

Hindy Najman is the Oriel and Laing Professor of the Interpretation of Holy Scripture at the University of Oxford. She is widely published on authority and tradition, colletion and canon, composition and author function, the construction and imitation of biblical figures, pseudepigraphic practices and literary attribution, and exemplarity. She is the author of Seconding Sinai: The Development of Mosaic Discourse in Second Temple Judaism, Past Renewals: Interpretative Authority, Renewed Revelation and the Quest for Perfection in Jewish Antiquity, and Losing the Temple and Recovering the Future: An Analysis of 4 Ezra. Her current project is engaged in a reconceptualization and reconfiguration of philological practices, entitled Ethical Reading: The Transformation of Text and Self. The project the ethical implications both of ancient reading and writing practices, and of our contemporary practices of reading and writing about ancient texts. She is founder and director of the Centre for the Study of the Bible in the Humanities at Oriel College, University of Oxford. Her publications can be accessed here.

Daniel Picus

Daniel Picus is Assistant Professor at Western Washington University. He is a specialist in Jewish Studies, with particular interests in the rabbinic period. Picus’s current project, stemming from his dissertation, is about rabbinic reading practices in late antiquity, with a particular focus on the different ways in which ancient rabbis broke the text of the Hebrew Bible into smaller pieces, and the practices that grew out of those divisions. Picus spent the winter of 2018 as a fellow at the Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan, working on a project about ancient Jewish attitudes towards physical texts. He is currently chair of the Book History program unit at the Society of Biblical Literature annual meeting, whose panels are listed in our page on Conferences, Panels, and Collaborations. His publications can be accessed here.

Annette Yoshiko Reed

Annette Yoshiko Reed is Professor of New Testament at Harvard Divinity School. Her research spans Second Temple Judaism, early Christianity, and Jewish/Christian relations in Late Antiquity. Publications include Fallen Angels and the History of Judaism and Christianity (Cambridge 2005), Heavenly Realms and Earthly Realities in Late Antique Religions (ed. with R. Boustan; Cambridge 2004), The Ways that Never Parted: Jews and Christians in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages (ed. with A.H. Becker; Mohr Siebeck 2003; Fortress 2007), and Jews, Christians, and the Roman Empire (ed. with N. Dohrmann; UPenn Press, 2013). She is currently working on two monographs: one on the origins of Jewish angelology and demonology, and the other on the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies and the history of “Jewish-Christianity.” A number of her many publications can be found here.

Matthieu Richelle

Matthieu Richelle (PhD, EPHE-Sorbonne; Habil, Université de Strasbourg) is Professor of Old Testament Exegesis at the Université catholique de Louvain, in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium. He is a former student of the École biblique et archéologique française de Jérusalem. Richelle’s research concerns both the textual criticism of the Hebrew Bible and on North-West Semitic epigraphy. He is the author of Le Testament d’Élisée: Texte massorétique et Septante en 2 Rois 13.10-14.16 (Cahiers de la Revue Biblique 76; Pendé: Gabalda, 2010). The book reconstructs the textual history in a section of 2 Kings where the Masoretic Text and the Old Greek (reflecting another Hebrew edition of Kings) diverge sharply. Richelle is also the author of The Bible and Archaeology (Peabody: Hendrickson, 2018) and of Interpreting Israel’s Scriptures: A Practical Guide to the Exegesis of the Hebrew Bible / Old Testament (Peabody: Hendrickson, forthcoming in November 2022). The latter book advocates a holistic approach to biblical philology by introducing students to a wide range of exegetical approaches, encompassing historical-critical methods, synchronic methods, reception, feminist and gender studies, and postcolonial criticism. Richelle is lead editor of 1 Kings in the HBCE (The Hebrew Bible: A Critical Edition) and collaborating editor on the BHQ (Biblia Hebraica Quinta). He is currently writing an exegetical commentary on 2 Kings in the series “Commentaire de l’Ancien Testament” (Genève: Labor et Fides), and co-editing the Oxford Handbook of First and Second Kings together with Steve McKenzie. A number of his sixty scholarly articles examine Levantine inscriptions in various scripts (Early Alphabetic script, Old Hebrew, Ammonite, Moabite) and reflect on literacy in ancient Israel and Judah. His publications can be accessed here.

Seth L. Sanders

Seth Sanders is Professor of Religious Studies at University of California, Davis. Sanders studied Hebrew Bible and Semitic languages at Harvard, Hebrew University, and Johns Hopkins, pursuing the question of how writing helped create languages and identities in the ancient Levant. He is the author of The Invention of Hebrew (University of Illinois, 2009) was the winner of ASOR’s Frank Moore Cross award and a finalist for the Jewish National Book Award. There he used epigraphic evidence to understand how biblical texts worked as political communication. It argued that the new genres of Hebrew inscriptions and biblical literature were designed to address their audience in a new way–as members of a public, a community called into being through the circulation of texts. He is also the author of From Adapa to Enoch: Scribal Culture and Religious Vision in Judea and Babylonia (Mohr Siebeck, 2017), the first major comparative study of ancient Babylonian, Aramaic and Hebrew scholarship, designed to explain how early Jewish literary culture diverged from its Israelite legacy. His collaborative publications include Cuneiform in Canaan, the first complete edition of Babylonian texts from Israel, Margins of Writing, Origins of Cultures: New Approaches to Reading and Writing in the Ancient Near East, and Ancient Jewish Sciences and the History of Knowledge in Second Temple Literature (NYU Press, 2014). He is the recent winner of an National Endowment of the Humanities award and a Guggenheim fellow. Among his new projects is How to Build a Sacred Text in the Ancient Near East, which will bring together experts on 2000 years of literature, from Egypt, Babylon, Canaan and Israel to explore the key ways that sacred narratives and laws were built. A number of his articles may be accessed here.

Ethan Schwartz

Ethan Schwartz is Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies at Villanova University. He studies the Hebrew Bible in both the ancient Near Eastern setting in which it emerged and the Second Temple setting in which it became Jewish and Christian scripture. His research focuses on the prophetic literature, with interests in the representation of prophetic interaction with institutional authority, the comparative study of biblical and ancient Near Eastern prophecy, the redaction of the prophetic corpus, and the reception of the prophetic literature in Judaism and Christianity. Other areas of research include the Pentateuch, the literature of Qumran, the ancient Jewish context of the New Testament, and the intellectual history of academic biblical studies. In much of his work, he tries to bring biblical texts into historical-critical conversation with the philosophical literature of Classical Greece. He is on the steering committee of the SBL program unit Philology in Hebrew Studies.

Matthew Suriano

Matthew Suriano is Associate Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at the Meyerhoff Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. His research is concerned with ancient Israelite and Near Eastern religions, literature, and material culture, and has specific expertise in cultural concepts and practices related to death, succession, and kingship. He is the author of The Politics of Dead Kings: Dynastic Ancestors in the Book of Kings and Ancient Israel and A History of Death in the Hebrew Bible, which was awarded the 2018 ASOR Frank Moore Cross book award. His publications can be accessed here.

Benjamin Wright

Benjamin Wright is University Distinguished Professor at Lehigh University, with expertise on Judaism in the Second Temple period. His research concentrates on Jewish Wisdom literature of the period, especially the Wisdom of Jesus Ben Sira; the translation of Jewish literature from Hebrew into Greek; and the Dead Sea Scrolls. He is the author of numerous books and articles, most recently, a commentary on the Letter of Aristeas for inclusion in the Commentaries on Early Jewish Literature series published by Walter de Gruyter and he has edited with Albert Pietersma of the University of Toronto and translator, A New English Translation of the Septuagint, the first translation into English since 1841 of the Septuagint/Old Greek translations. He has also recently published on gender in Second Temple texts in an article co-authored by Suzanne M. Edwards. His publications can be accessed here.

Molly Zahn

Molly Zahn is Associate Professor at Yale Divinity School. Her research focuses on issues of scriptural interpretation in the Hebrew Bible and in early Judaism, primarily in the Dead Sea Scrolls and related texts. Other interests include the ancient Near Eastern world, early Christianity, and the historical relations between Christianity and Judaism. Her publications explore how interpretation shapes the development of authoritative or scriptural texts themselves, and examine the variety of creative ways individuals and communities claim authority for new interpretations. She is the author of Rethinking Rewritten Scripture: Composition and Exegesis in the 4QReworked Pentateuch Manuscripts, which was widely reviewed, editor of several volumes and numerous peer-reviewed journal articles, and the author of a forthcoming book, The Genres of Rewriting in Second Temple Judaism. She is editor in chief of Dead Sea Discoveries, a premier international journal dedicated to the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Her publications can be found here.