LXX Scholars Taking PhD Students

This page is a one-stop, (hopefully) up-to-date location for students to learn about who is actively working in and supervising the study of the Septuagint. The material below originally came from two blog posts in 2017 (here and here), but if I come by new intel I will add it here only. That said, if you think this list needs something changed or added, please contact me.

The information below is organized geographically. I attempt to provide relevant information for each entry. Otherwise these are not ordered in any particular way.

Scholars in North America

I have made an attempt at centralizing North American Septuagint scholars and programs in the past (see here), but this post is intended to be a more comprehensive list. Plus, things have changed since that prior post, most notably the retirement of Karen Jobes from Wheaton, and the semi-retirement (?) of Peter Gentry from SBTS.

Duke University

Duke University offers graduate degrees in religious studies at the University and Divinity School where it is possible to study Septuagint. The two scholars of note are:

  1. J. Ross Wagner – Wagner is at Duke Divinity School and is a scholar of New Testament, specializing in the Pauline corpus and Septuagint studies. Wagner supervises graduate and postgraduate students who are able to minor in LXX studies.
  2. Melvin K. H. Peters – Peters is part of Duke’s Trinity College of Arts and Sciences and, although he is not currently supervising doctoral students, he is part of the generation of Septuagint scholars trained at the University of Toronto. He offers a regular seminar in Septuagint studies that is part of the coursework in Duke’s degree programs.

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Not all my readers will be interested in attending a conservative baptist seminary for doctoral work. But for those who are part of the evangelical world, SBTS is an excellent option for its robust academic tradition. Aside from the MDiv degree, there is also an MA and PhD program in which it is possible to focus on Septuagint studies. This program has produced scholars such as John Meade (Phoenix Seminary). But the SBTS Septuagint engine runs largely on the power of one man:

Peter Gentry – Gentry is an Old Testament scholar who trained under Albert Pietersma at the University of Toronto in its heyday of Septuagint scholarship. His program is one of the only ones of its kind in North America, and he is supervising students in the topic (I believe) on a limited basis. Gentry tends to focus on detailed text-critical topics, such as the Hexapla, and is currently working on the Göttingen critical edition of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes.

Hebrew Union College

The HUC has long been recognized as a leading institution for study of the Hebrew Bible and related literature. Now, I have to say that I could have listed HUC in my second post (which I originally planned on), since it has several locations, three of which are in North America, but the fourth in Jerusalem. However, since the scholar of interest here is in the Cincinnati campus, it’s here, it’s listed under North America.

Adam Kamesar – Kamesar is Professor of Judaeo-Hellenistic Literature, whose work covers the wide variety of topics related to that title. His interest ranges from Midrash to Patristics to Canon formation.

McMaster Divinity College (Hamilton, ON)

Another good option for graduate and postgraduate work in North American is the program offered at McMaster Divinity College in Canada, which is technically a doctoral degree in Christian Theology. This is a new program as of 2017, which I’ve written about in more detail here. You can see the full list of scholars involved there, but the main scholars involved are:

  1. Stanley Porter – Porter is a New Testament scholar well known for many things, and among them is his work in Septuagint scholarship. At the moment he is general editor of the Brill Septuagint Commentary Series (SEPT), and he is known for his work in systemic functional linguistics.
  2. Mark Boda – Boda is an Old Testament scholar who is also well known, especially for his work in the Hebrew Bible and prophets. However he is also involved in the SEPT series mentioned above, producing the LXX-Psalms commentary, and is supervising Septuagint topics.

Trinity Western University (Langley, BC)

 On the other side of Canada from McMaster is Trinity Western University, just outside of Vancouver. One of the draws of this program is The John William Wevers Institute for Septuagint Studies located on campus, which is part of the legacy of both Wevers and Albert Pietersma who have donated their extensive personal libraries (and a large endowment). Unfortunately, TWU does not issue doctoral degrees, but it makes an excellent option for masters-level study. Furthermore, the Institute typically offers a week-long Septuagint seminar in May or June each year. I participated in the first one back in May 2013 (read about it here) and again in 2016. The Wevers Institute is directed by:

Robert Hiebert – Hiebert is a senior scholar in the field and currently the co-editor-in-chief of the SBL Commentary on the Septuagint, as well as conducting research on the Greek Psalter. Graduate students in the Master of Theological Studies and the Master of Theology programs at ACTS and in the Master of Arts in Biblical Studies program at TWU may take courses and specialize in the area of Septuagint Studies. See also this interview.

Other scholars who you will be able to benefit from at TWU include:

  1. Larry Perkins
  2. Dirk Büchner

Scholars in the United Kingdom

Part of the reason for my own decision to study the Septuagint abroad was driven by the fact that many scholars in the discipline are located outside of North America. So the rest of this post and the next will discuss scholars in the discipline in other parts of the world.

Although things have changed slightly since I was looking for a program, the situation is largely the same today. That is, Septuagint scholarship is fairly centralized in the United Kingdom and Europe (at least if active participation in the IOSCS is taken as a litmus test) so if you are looking for more options than those available in North America, you’ll need to consider an international move. But if you can manage it, you’ll have some of the best universities in the world to consider:

University of Cambridge

Although I am admittedly biased, the University of Cambridgehas a lot to offer. Aside from having one of the very best collection of libraries in the world, the university also hosts a wide array of respected scholars in parallel disciplines like linguistics and Classics. Some will also be attracted to the presence of one of the best biblical studies research libraries in the world, Tyndale House, where I do much of my work.

The main program of interest at Cambridge will be the PhD, but it is not uncommon to first enter the one-year MPhil if extra training would be useful. The main Septuagint scholar here is

  1. James K. Aitken – Aitken is Professor of Hebrew and Early Jewish Studies at the Faculty of Divinity. As a trained Classicist and expert in Judaism, Jim offers a unique perspective in Septuagint studies that seeks to locate the translation firmly within its Hellenistic social context. See also this interview.
  2. Geoffrey Khan – Another potential supervisor is Khan, who is Regius Professor of Hebrew in the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies(FAMES). Khan is not an active Septuagint scholar per se, but supervises dissertations that are indirectly related, as the majority of his research is in linguistic studies of Hebrew, Aramaic, and Arabic.

University of Oxford

Another (slightly less) excellent university for Septuagint studies is Oxford. Like Cambridge, students interested in graduate studies at Oxford will want to look into the doctoral program called the DPhil. The scholar to consider here is:

Alison Salvesen – Professor of Early Judaism and Christianity in the Faculty of Theology and Religion and a fellow of the the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies. Her work is largely related to the Hexapla and reception history of the Septuagint.

University of Bristol

University-of-Bristol-logo-Employer-Champion-profile-2A third option in England is Bristol, located on the southwest coast near the city of Bath. The person to consider studying with here is:

Lindsey A. Askin — Askin’s research focus is Jewish studies, focusing in lexical, text-critical, and linguistic analysis of the Hellenistic and Roman periods. She has specialized in Septuagint research, including work in scribal culture, material culture, and documentary texts. (She also maintains a very useful website here.)

University of Edinburgh

Turning northward to Scotland, Edinburgh makes another good place for Septuagint studies. Aside from offering an amazing city, the University’s School of Divinity has at least one scholar who could supervise:

Timothy Lim – Lim is Professor in Hebrew Bible and Second Temple Judaism at Edinburgh, whose research is focused largely in Dead Sea Scrolls and Christian Origins. Given this work, Lim would most likely be a good supervisor for Septuagint topics more closely related to parabiblical literature, textual criticism, canon, or transmission history.

University of Glasgow

Another option for you to consider as a prospective postgraduate student, there is Glasgow. At the School of Critical Studies there, you should consider studying with:

Sean Adams – Adams is Lecturer in New Testament and Ancient Culture whose interests include intersections of literature and culture in Hellenistic Judaism. His work situates the New Testament in its Graeco-Roman and Jewish contexts, including Christian reception of the Septuagint.

Septuagint Scholars Worldwide

To study with some very highly respected scholars in Septuagint, you can end up in some extremely fascinating places in the world. Below are those I know who are currently taking students.

Macquarie University (Australia)

If you believe in the land down under, then you should definitely consider studying at Macquarie (muh-KWAR-ee) in Sydney, one of the leading universities in Australia. They have an extremely well regarded Department of Ancient History, and there are some very fascinating research projects underway there.

  • Trevor V. Evans – Evans is well known for his work in Septuagint studies that brings a refined understanding of Greek papyri to bear (no surprise, having studied under Dr. John A. L. Lee). His doctoral dissertation on the verbal system in the Greek Pentateuch is considered a landmark in the field.

Australian College of Theology (Australia)

This program is a research degree, where the candidate produces an 80-100k word thesis and submits it for examination by three examiners (no viva).The candidate would have a principal supervisor and, often, a co-supervisor. The degree is 3 years full time, 6 years maximum. There is one very noteworthy opportunity for supervision here.

  • Christopher J. Fresch – Chris is known for his excellent work in both Septuagint scholarship and linguistics. His interest include the application of linguistic theory to the language of the Septuagint (primarily with respect to syntax and pragmatics). Here the application of cognitive grammar, functional linguistics, discourse grammar, and construction grammar are of particular interest. He is also interested in the language of the LXX in its postclassical context (e.g., documentary papyri), as well as the translators, their decisions, and the relationship between the translation and its Vorlage.

Stellenbosch University (South Africa)

Stellenbosch has an increasingly positive reputation globally, known by many for its program in linguistics. It also recently hosted the triennial IOSOT Congress in 2016, and has a leading Septuagint scholar.

  • Johann Cook – Cook is in part of the Department of Ancient Studies at Stellenbosch. He is particularly active in textual criticism and hermeneutics. Besides his interest in Septuagint, Cook also offers expertise in Aramaic, Syriac, and the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Hebrew University of Jerusalem

The Hebrew University is known around the world as a giant in the biblical studies community. Just take a glance at the current list of emeriti faculty and you’ll get a sense for how much important scholarship takes place there. I am not certain wither Emanuel Tov is still supervising students, but it is worth reaching out to him (See also this interview). But the main scholar of note is:

  • Michael Segal – Segal Professor of Biblical Studies and an expert in Second Temple Jewish literature including Hebrew Bible, Dead Sea Scrolls, Septuagint, and the Psedepigrapha. He is also the current editor of the very important Hebrew University Bible Project, and involved in the Historical and Theological Lexicon of the Septuagint (here).

Scholars in Europe

There are a number of very good scholars and programs in Europe for studying the Septuagint. In no particular order, these include:

University of Salzburg (Austria)

  • Kristin de Troyer – de Troyer is an expert in textual criticism, and has run a summer school in that area (see here) that I understand will occur again in the future. Not only will you benefit from a leading expert in Septuagint scholarship, but Salzburg is an outrageously beautiful place.

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven / Université catholique de Louvain (Belgium)

KU Leuven and UC Louvain are two “sister” institutions in Belgium that (so far as I understand) are closely integrated in faculty and research initiatives, as well as being fairly close to one another. Scholars here include:

University of Helsinki (Finland)

Helsinki is home to a venerable and lively tradition of Septuagint scholars who continue to make important contributions to the field (see here).

  • Anneli Aejmalaeus – Aejmalaeus is a leading scholar in the discipline who specializes in textual criticism, textual formation in Second Temple Judaism, and intertextuality. She is currently working on the Göttingen edition of 1 Samuel (1 Kingdoms).
  • Tuukka Kauhanen – Kauhanen is an expert in textual criticism, and is currently producing the Göttingen critical edition of 2 Samuel (2 Kingdoms) – for which we should all be immensely grateful. His other work has focused on the Historical Books.

University of Strasbourg (France)

  • Eberhard Bons – Bons is part of the Faculty of Theology at Strasbourg, and is known for his work in the Psalter and Prophets. He has contributed to the BdAand LXX.D projects, and is a project coordinator for the massive and important work on the Historical and Theological Lexicon of the Septuagint (here). Accordingly, his current research also includes Greek lexicography.

Paris-Sorbonne University (Paris, France)

  • Sébastien Morlet – Morlet’s specialty is in Patristics and Late Antiquity, as well as the reception of Classical antiquity, but focuses on the Septuagint as well. He is a member of the editorial board of La Bible d’Alexandrie, and is preparing the 2 Kingdoms volume in the series. He is interested in any aspect of the Septuagint as a Greek text.

 (Madrid, Spain)

  • Jose Manuel Cañas Reíllo – Cañas Reíllo is an expert in textual criticism and is currently working on the Göttingen edition of Judges. He was also very involved with the recently completed LBG project (also see this interview). The CSIC is a fantastic facility, and also the location of the research center for DGE. Although he is currently emeritus, you’ll also benefit from the input of Natalio Fernández Marcos (here).

Universidad Complutense Madrid (Spain)

  • Pablo Torijano – Torijano is an expert in textual criticism and the Historical Books. He is currently working with Julio Trebolle Barrera on 1-2 Kings (3-4 Kingdoms), and is part of the editorial team for massive Textual History of the Bible project.

Universität Göttingen (Germany)

  • Reinhard Kratz  – Kratz is well known in Old Testament scholarship, but one of his areas of research is Persian and Hellenistic Judaism. He is also the chair of the Kommission zur Edition und Erforschung der Septuaginta in collaboration with Felix Albrecht, which exists to continue and complete the Göttingen critical edition of the entire Septuagint.

Kirchliche Hochschule (Wuppertal, Germany)

Two Septuagint scholars are part of the faculty at the Hochschule, located on a beautiful hilltop outside Wuppertal. Another benefit of being here is the biannual Tagung of the Septuaginta Forschung, the next of which is coming up in 2018 (more on that soon).

  • Martin Karrer – Karrer is involved in a variety of biblical research, but in Septuagint studies he has taken a key role in the LXX.D project, and now continues working on the multi-volume Handbuch zur Septuaginta (LXX.H). He also focuses on the use and influence of the Septuagint on the New Testament.
  • Siegfried Kreuzer – Kreuzer specialized in the Historical Books, and has done a considerable amount of work in the question of the Kaige recension and textual history. He is also the current editor of the IOSCS Journal of Septuaingt and Cognate Studies (here; formerly BIOSCS).

Universität Zürich (Germany)

  • Thomas J. Kraus – Kraus is based in Zürich but is Research Fellow at the Department of Greek, Latin and Classical Studies, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa. His work in Septuagint is focused largely on the Psalter and elements of Greek style.

Universität Tübingen (Germany)

  • Michael Tilly – Tilly’s work focuses on ancient Bible translations and the reception of the Old Testament in the New. He’s done work with 1 Maccabees in particular with the LXX.D project.

Universität Rostock (Germany)

  • Martin Rösel – Rösel has a wide range of research interests, but in Septuagint has worked with LXX.D, and also quite a bit in Genesis, Joshua, and others. He has also done some of the most recent work thinking about a “theology” of the Septuagint and the question of messianism.