The Bible area seeks to understand and interpret the Jewish and Christian scriptures and related texts in their historical and cultural settings as well as in their subsequent roles as canonical texts for Judaism and Christianity. Contributing to these goals are four interrelated areas of research: the historical contexts of these scriptures from ancient Israel to the Roman empire, the history and transmission of biblical and post-biblical literature, the history and methods of exegesis, and biblical and post-biblical theology.  

Students in the Bible Area choose one of four concentrations for their academic program in research and teaching: Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East;  2. Hebrew Bible  and Early Jewish Literature; 3. Jewish and Christian Bible; and 4. New Testament and Early Christian Literature.



Simeon Chavel, Michael Fishbane, Hans-Josef Klauck, David Martinez, Margaret M. Mitchell, J. David Schloen, Jeffrey Stackert

Bible brief overview (pdf)

Progress Conference format

The progress (or pre-exam) conference is normally held in the spring quarter of the second year, or the fall of the third year.  In Bible, the progress conference is held with the student's panel of examiners for the qualifying examinations, and will normally include assessment of coursework to date, cogency of the course of study petition, readiness for qualifying examinations, and development of the dissertation project. A report from the advisor and a timeline for the qualifying examinations is submitted to the Dean of Students following the conference. 

Written Examinations

The Bible Area offers six examinations:

1. History and Religion of Israel

2. Hebrew Scripture

3. Christian Origins

4. New Testament and Related Texts

5. Special field for Hebrew Bible and Ancient Near East

6. Special field for New Testament and Early Christian Literature

Exams 1 and 2 (PDF)
Exams 3 and 4 (PDF)

Complete Area Overview


Selected Bible Courses

BIBL 30601 Introduction to Judaic Civilization. Robinson
BIBL 31000 Jewish History and Society: Introduction to the Hebrew Bible. Chavel
BIBL 31800 Family Matters in Ancient Israel. Chavel
BIBL 32500 Introduction to New Testament: Texts and Contexts. Mitchell or Klauck
BIBL 32700 Law in Biblical Literature. Chavel
BIBL 33900 Introduction to Biblical Hebrew I, II. Yardney
BIBL 34000 Introduction to Koine Greek I, II. Soyars
BIBL 36300 Plutarch: Isis and Osiris. Martinez
BIBL 39900 Song of Songs. Fishbane
BIBL 40300 The Gospel of Luke. Klauck
BIBL 41000 Amos. Stackert
BIBL 41800 The Old Testament in the Gospel of John. Klauck
BIBL 41801 Justin Martyr. Martinez
BIBL 42000 The Gospel According to Mark. Mitchell
BIBL 42100 The Thessalonian Letters. Mitchell
BIBL 42200 The Farewell Discourses of the Gospel of John. Klauck
BIBL 42400 Isaiah 40-66: Babylon and Yehud. Chavel
BIBL 42500 Revelation: The New Testament Apocalypse. Klauck
BIBL 43400 Science and Scripture: Jewish Philosophical Exegesis in the Middle Ages. Robinson
BIBL 43501 The Question of Jewish Intellectual Culture. Fishbane
BIBL 43600 The Pastoral Epistles. Mitchell
BIBL 43801 Ritual, Cult, and Magic in the Hebrew Bible. Stackert
BIBL 43900 I Corinthians. Mitchell
BIBL 44400 Lucian of Samosata. Martinez
BIBL 44500 Philo of Alexandria. Martinez
BIBL 45200 Studies in Midrash: Pirke De-Rabbi Eliezer. Fishbane
BIBL 45500 The Bible and Its Ancient Interpreters. Fishbane
BIBL 45700 Studies in Midrash: Leviticus Rabba. Fishbane
BIBL 46400 Israelite Love Lyrics: the Song of Songs. Chavel
BIBL 46900 Wrath of God in the Hebrew Bible. Fishbane
BIBL 47200 Reconsidering Patristic Biblical Interpretation. Mitchell
BIBL 50400 Early Christian Rhetoric. Mitchell
BIBL 51000 Papyrology and Early Christian Backgrounds. Martinez
BIBL 51401 The Documentary Hypothesis. Stackert
BIBL 51700 Dio Chrysostom and the New Testament. Klauck

Why Chicago?

Filmed during her recent tenure as Dean, here Margaret M. Mitchell, Shailer Mathews Professor of New Testament and Early Christian Literature, discusses the Divinity School's tradition of philological rigor and vibrant academic life.

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