Old Testament/Hebrew Bible

The Old Testament has been taught at the University of Aberdeen since its inception in the fifteenth century. In 1673, a professorial Chair of Hebrew and Semitic Languages was founded in order to provide a permanent, solid basis for the study of the Old Testament and neighbouring fields with the requisite philological and historical rigour.

The Chair was held by such eminent scholars as A. R. S. Kennedy, A. C. Kennedy, John Gray and William Johnstone. The present incumbent is Professor Joachim Schaper. He and his colleagues, Dr Lena-Sofia Tiemeyer and Dr Kenneth Aitken, teach across a wide range of Old Testament/Hebrew Bible and related ancient Near Eastern topics. A special feature of Old Testament studies at the University of Aberdeen is the attention that is given, both in research and teaching, to the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, and related writings.

Research Supervision is offered in the subjects enumerated below.

Deuteronomy and the Rise of Monotheism

Supervisor: Joachim Schaper

Supervision can be offered in the field of the study of Deuteronomy, with special attention to the interaction between Deuteronomy and (other) legal texts in the Hebrew Bible, on the one hand, and to the place of Deuteronomy in the development of Israelite religion, and especially the rise of monotheism from the seventh century BC onwards, on the other.

Hebrew Language and Poetic Literature

Supervisor: Joachim Schaper

Supervision can be offered on the history of the Hebrew language from its beginnings to the Hellenistic period, with a special view to classical Hebrew poetry.

Prophecy

Supervisors: Joachim Schaper and Lena-Sofia Tiemeyer

Professor Schaper offers supervision on subjects related to the Minor Prophets, especially on Haggai and Zechariah 1-8, as well as Trito-Isaiah, and on the parallels (or lack thereof) between Israelite and Neo-Assyrian prophecy. Dr Tiemeyer supervises research focusing on the study of the prophetic literature in the Hebrew Bible (in particular the books of Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Zechariah), as well as on the wider phenomenon of prophecy and intermediation in Ancient Israel and the Ancient Near East.

The History of Ancient Israel

Supervisor: Joachim Schaper

Supervision can be offered on any area of the history of ancient Israel and Judah, especially the late pre-exilic and the Persian periods.

The Pentateuch, its Theology and its Literary History

Supervisor: Joachim Schaper

Supervision can be offered on any aspect of the theology and literary history of the Pentateuch, with a special interest in the role Deuteronomy played in that history.

The Septuagint

Supervisor: Joachim Schaper

Supervision can be offered on any aspect of the Greek Bible, and especially on the Pentateuch and the Old Greek Psalter.

Comparative Semitics

Supervisor: Lena-Sofia Tiemeyer

Supervision can be offered in the areas of Hebrew and Aramaic Inscriptions.

Midrash and Mediaeval Jewish Exegesis

Supervisor: Lena-Sofia Tiemeyer

Supervision can be offered in the area of Jewish Interpretation of the Hebrew Bible, as found in Midrash and Mediaeval Jewish Exegesis.

The Hebrew Bible and its Ancient Near Eastern Context

Supervisor: Lena-Sofia Tiemeyer

Supervision can be offered in the area of comparative studies (historical, literary, and linguistic), between the texts and worldviews of the people of Ancient Israel and the texts and worldviews of the other peoples in the Ancient Near East.

Hebrew Language

Supervisor: Lena-Sofia Tiemeyer

Supervision can be offered in the study of the development of the Hebrew Language within the Hebrew Bible, as well as of its syntactical, semantic, and morphological aspects.

Overview of the PhD