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Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations (NELC)

Biblical Studies - program requirements




Genizah Genesis imageNELC’s graduate program in Biblical Studies offers advanced study of the languages and philology of the Hebrew Bible as well as the history and archaeology of ancient Israel in its Near Eastern context. In general, the student is to follow the MA general procedures or the PhD general procedures of the department, but the following statements outline the regulations specific to the PhD program in Biblical Studies.



Students must acquire proficiency in the following areas:

I. Primary Field
A) Hebrew and Aramaic of the Biblical period, including the language of extra-Biblical texts; knowledge of historical grammar and ability to sight-translate Biblical prose and interpret Biblical poetry.
B) Biblical literature: ability to identify passages and details from the Hebrew or Aramaic text, and to discuss textual, literary-critical, and methodological issues. Exams on assigned texts and secondary literature are given at the start of each academic year.
C) History, geography, and archaeology of Israel in the Biblical period in their ancient Near Eastern context.
D) Culture: social and political institutions and history of Israelite religion within their ancient Near Eastern context.
E) Ancillary fields:
1) A secondary field in either Cuneiform Studies (Akkadian) or Egyptology, and comparative studies relating the secondary field to Biblical Israel; or a secondary field in Biblical Archaeology.
2) Hebrew epigraphy, Northwest Semitic languages, elementary Arabic, and comparative Semitics; Greek adequate for use of the Septuagint; post-Biblical literature and exegesis.

II. Secondary Field
A) Hebrew: 4 graduate-level courses in Biblical Hebrew texts; ability to sight-translate uncomplicated texts.
B) Biblical literature: familiarity with the content of the Bible, distinctive features of its main genres, and important literary-critical issues.
C) History and culture of ancient Israel.
D) Comparative studies relating Biblical Israel to the student's Primary Field.