Professor of Bible and the Ancient Near East
Near Eastern and Judaic Studies
Biblical studies and the languages and literatures of the Ancient Near East; biblical and Near Eastern ritual and law
DAVID 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).
University of California, Berkeley, Ph.D.
University of California, Berkeley, M.A.
University of Utah, B.A.
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)
|NEJS||9a||The World of the Ancient Near East|
|NEJS||103a||The Early History of God|
|NEJS||104a||Comparative Semitic Languages|
|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 Magic in the Bible|
|NEJS||206a||Advanced Northwest Semitics|
|NEJS||211b||The History of Israelite Religions|