Lown Center for Judaica Studies, 309
Departments/ProgramsNear Eastern and Judaic Studies
DegreesUniversity of California, Berkeley, Ph.D.
University of California, Berkeley, M.A.
University of Utah, B.A.
ExpertiseBiblical studies and the languages and literatures of the Ancient Near East; biblical and Near Eastern ritual and law
ProfileDAVID WRIGHT, Professor of Bible and Ancient Near East, offers courses on Hebrew Bible; biblical and Near Eastern ritual, law, and history; and Northwest Semitic languages (Aramaic, Ugaritic, Northwest Semitic dialects) as well as courses on comparative Semitic linguistics and Hittite. His research specialties are Near Eastern and biblical ritual and law in comparative perspective. He is author of Inventing God's Law: How the Covenant Code of the Bible Used and Revised the Laws of Hammurabi (Oxford University Press, 2009). This book argues that the biblical law collection in Exodus 20:23-23:19 was created as a response to Neo-Assyrian imperialism in Israel-Judah around 700 BCE and used Hammurabi's Laws as a model for both its casuistic and apodictic laws. Wright is also author of The Disposal of Impurity: Elimination Rites in the Bible and in Hittite and Mesopotamian Literature (Scholars Press, 1987) and Ritual in Narrative: The Dynamics of Feasting, Mourning, and Retaliation Rites in the Ugaritic Tale of Aqhat (Eisenbrauns, 2001). He was also chief editor of Pomegranates and Golden Bells: Studies in Biblical, Jewish and Near Eastern Ritual, Law, and Literature in Honor of Jacob Milgrom (Eisenbrauns, 1995).
|NEJS||9a||The World of the Ancient Near East|
|NEJS||103a||The Early History of God|
|NEJS||104a||Comparative Semitic Languages|
|NEJS||105a||Music in Biblical and Near Eastern Religion|
|NEJS||106a||Northwest Semitic Inscriptions|
|NEJS||110b||Readings in the Hebrew Bible|
|NEJS||113a||The Bible in Aramaic|
|NEJS||113b||Law in the Bible and the Ancient Near East|
|NEJS||114b||Ritual and Cult in the Bible|
|NEJS||206a||Advanced Northwest Semitics|
|NEJS||211b||The History of Israelite Religions|
Awards and Honors
Asher Achinstein Lecturer, Johns Hopkins University, March 13, 2013 (2013)
Conference session reviewing D. P. Wright, Inventing God's Law, annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, San Francisco, November 21, 2011 (4 reviewers with response) (2011)
Marver and Sheva Bernstein Faculty Fellowship (1994 - 1995)
Fulbright Scholar Research Award (Israel) (1989 - 1990)
National Resource Fellowship (for Arabic and Hebrew) (1980)
Stanley Adelman Memorial Award (1977)
Ethel Zucker Prize for Hebrew (1976)
Wright, David. "Profane Versus Sacrificial Slaughter: The Priestly Recasting of the Yahwist Flood Story." Current Issues in Priestly and Related Literature: The Legacy of Jacob Milgrom and Beyond. vol. in Resources for Biblical Study of the SBL Ed. Roy Ganes and Ada Taggar-Cohen. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2013. 1-20*. (forthcoming)
Wright, David. "Syro-Canaanite Religions: A Construct of Metaphors." Cambridge History of Ancient Religions: Volume 1: Ancient Near Eastern and Mediterranean Religions from the Third Millennium B.C.E. through the Fourth Century B.C.E. Ed. Marvin Sweeney and Michele Renee Salzman. Cambridge University Press, 2012. 1-20*. (forthcoming)
Wright, David. "Ritual Theory, Ritual Texts, and the Priestly-Holiness Writings of the Pentateuch." Social Theory and the Study of Israelite Religion: Essays in Retrospect and Prospect. Ed. Saul Olyan. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2012. 195–216.
Wright, David. "Approaches to the Study of Biblical Law [A review article]." Rev. of Everyday Law in Biblical Israel: An Introduction (Louisville: Westminster, John Knox, 2009), by Raymond Westbrook and Bruce Wells. Journal of Hebrew Scriptures vol. http://www.jhsonline.org/reviews/reviews_new/review542.htm 2011: 1-8.
Wright, David. "Leviticus (Commentary and Revised Translation)." Revised New American Bible (Various editions are appearing). Ed. Catholic Biblical Association of America. Washington DC: Saint Benedict Press and United States Catholic Conference of Bishops, 2011. 111-143.
Wright, David (third editor, with Jeffrey Stackert, Barbara Nevling Porter), ed. Gazing on the Deep: Ancient Near Eastern and Other Studies in Honor of Tzvi Abusch. Bethesda MD: CDL Press, 2010.
Wright, David. "Chiasmus in the Covenant Code Reconsidered: The Final Apodictic Laws." ”Um Gerechtigkeit und Recht zu üben” (Gen 18,9): Festschrift für Eckart Otto zum 65. Geburtstag. Ed. R. Achenbach and M. Arneth. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2010. 171–181.
Wright, David. "Miscarriage, Talion, and Slave Injury in the Covenant Code and Hammurabi's Laws." Gazing on the Deep: Ancient Near Eastern and Other Studies in Honor of Tzvi Abusch. Ed. Jeffrey Stackert, Barbara Nevling Porter, David P. Wright. CDL Press, 2010. 539-564.
Wright, David. "‘She Shall Not Go Free as Male Slaves Do’: Developing Views About Slavery and Gender in the Laws of the Hebrew Bible." Beyond Slavery: Overcoming Its Religious and Sexual Legacy. Ed. Bernadette Brooten. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. 125-142.
Wright, David. Inventing God's Law: How the Covenant Code of the Bible Used and Revised the Laws of Hammurabi (OUP link: http://www.oup.com/us/catalog/general/subject/ReligionTheology/Judaism/?view=usa&ci=9780195304756). Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.
Wright, David (second editor), Baruch J. Schwartz (main editor), Jeffrey Stackert, and Naphtali Meshel, ed. Perspectives on Purity and Purification in the the Bible. New York: T&T Clark, 2008.
Wright, David. "Deciphering a Definition: The Syntagmatic Structural Analysis of Ritual in the Hebrew Bible." Journal of Hebrew Scriptures 8, article 12. (2008): <http://www.arts.ualberta.ca/JHS/>.
Wright, David. "The Study of Ritual in the Hebrew Bible." Jewish Studies in the 21st Century. Ed. Frederick E. Greenspahn. New York: New York University Press, 2008. 120-138.
Wright, David. "Homicide, Talion, Vengeance, and Psycho-Economic Satisfaction in the Covenant Code." Religion and Violence: The Biblical Heritage. Ed. David Bernat and Jonathan Klawans. Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2007. 57-78.
Wright, David. "The Laws of Hammurabi and the Covenant Code: A Response to Bruce Wells." Maarav 13. 2 (2007): 211-260.
Wright, David. "The Fallacies of Chiasmus: A Critique of Structures Proposed for the Covenant Collection (Exodus 20:23-23:19)." Zeitschrift für altorientalische und biblische Rechtsgeschichte 10. (2004): 143-168.
Wright,David. "Hittite Religion of Anatolia." Religions of the Ancient World. Ed. Sarah lles Johnston. Harvard University Press, 2004. 189-196.
Wright,David. "Sin, Pollution and Purification." Religions of the Ancient World. Ed. Sarah ll Johnston. Harvard University Press, 2004. 496-497.
Wright,David. "Syro-Canaanite Religion." Religions of the Ancient World. Ed. Sarah lles Johnston. Harvard University Press, 2004. 173-180.
Wright,David. "The Compositional Logic of the Goring Ox and Negligence Laws in the Covenant Collection (Ex 21:28-36)." Zeitschrift für Altorientalische und Biblische Rechtsgeschichte 10. (2004): 93-142.
Wright,David. "The Laws of Hammurabi as a Source for the Covenant Collection (Exodus 20:23-23:19)." Maarav (2003): 11-87.
Wright, David. "Music and Dance in 2 Samuel 6." Journal of Biblical Literature 121. (2002): 201-225.
Wright, David. "[Commentaries on] Leviticus, Numbers." The New Oxford Annotated Bible. Ed. M. D. Coogan. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001. 142-183, 184-239 [Hebrew Bible section].
Wright,David. Ritual in Narrative: The Dynamics of Feasting, Mourning, and Retaliation Rites in the Ugaritic Tale of Aqhat. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2001.
Wright, David. "Blown Away Like a Bramble: The Dynamics of Analogy in Psalm 58." Revue Biblique 35. (1996): 213-236.
Wright, David. "Holiness, Sex, and Death in the Garden of Eden." Biblica 77. (1996): 305-329.
Wright, David. "David Autem Remansit In Hierusalem: Felix Coniunctio! [ritual perspectives in the David and Bathsheba story]." Pomegranates and Golden Bells. Ed. D. P. Wright, et al.. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 1995. 215-230.
Wright,David, co.-ed. David Noel Freedman & Avi Hurvitz. Pomegranates and Golden Bells: Studies in Biblical, Jewish, and Near Eastern Ritual, Law and Literature in Honor of Jacob Milgrom. Winona Lake IN: Eisenbrauns, 1995.
Wright, David. "Ritual Analogy in Psalm 109." Journal of Biblical Literature 113. (1994): 385-404.
Wright, David. "Analogy in Biblical and Hittite Ritual." Religionsgeschichtliche Beziehungen zwischen Kleinasien, Nordsyrien und dem Alten Testament. vol. Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis 129 Ed. Bernd Janowski, et al.. Freiburg Schweiz/Göttingen: Universitätsverlag/Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1993. 473-506.
Wright, David. "The Spectrum of Priestly Impurity." Priesthood and Cult in Ancient Israel. vol. Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement Series 125 Ed. Gary A. Anderson and Saul M. Olyan. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1991. 150-181.
Wright,David. The Disposal of Impurity: Elimination Rites in the Bible and in Hittite and Mesopotamian LIterature. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1987.