Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East

Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East is intended as a comprehensive title to include a variety of cooperative programs combining the study of Biblical Hebrew and the other Northwest Semitic languages with other fields within NELC and with the Divinity School.

Students will choose one of two tracks within the program:

  • Track A allows students to attain a high degree of competence in Biblical Hebrew informed by biblical criticism, in other Northwest Semitic languages, and in another of the major Near-Eastern languages.
  • Track B focuses on attaining a high degree of competence in Biblical Hebrew and other Northwest Semitic languages coupled with broad training in biblical criticism and exegesis.

Ideally, the common denominator between these two types of programs will be training in biblical criticism: students of the first category will be expected to attain a basic grounding in the various approaches to the interpretation of the Hebrew Bible while students in the second will be expected to complete at least the two-year level in a non-Northwest Semitic language. A typical program will include extensive course-work in Northwest Semitic philology, with primary emphasis on Biblical Hebrew, complemented by extensive course-work in another field of NELC or in the Divinity School and by course-work in the history and archaeology of the ancient Near East in preparation for a comprehensive examination in these areas. In any such program, the student will have a principal advisor in NELC and a second advisor to oversee the program in the other principal concentration, either for the second field within NELC or for the work done in the Divinity School. The comprehensive examinations in biblical criticism and in the exegesis of the Hebrew Bible will be administered by specialists in these areas in the Divinity School.