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James R. Davila

Davila

Education

Ph.D., Harvard University, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, 1988.
Thesis: "Unpublished Pentateuchal Manuscripts from Cave IV, Qumran: 4QGenExa, Genb-h, Genj-k".
Thesis and general exams given grade of distinction.

M.A., University of California, Los Angeles, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, summa cum laude, 1983.

B.A., University of California, Los Angeles, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, summa cum laude, 1982.

Teaching

More information on these courses is available in the the Course catalogue.
Links to the title are to the web pages for the course module.
1000 to 4000 level modules are for undergraduates, 5000 level modules for postgraduates.

  • DI1004 Hebrew 1 : Introduction to Hebrew Language (team-taught module in 2004)
  • DI1009 Introduction to World Religions (team-taught module)
  • DI2002 Old Testament 2: Exile and Return
  • DI4705 (DI5205) Biblical Aramaic
  • DI4712 The Dead Sea Scrolls: English Texts
  • DI4713 (DI5212) The Dead Sea Scrolls: Hebrew Texts
  • DI4716 (DI5214) The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha
  • DI3217 Divine Mediator Figures in the Biblical World

Publications

Research interests

Judaism from the second temple period through late antiquity
The Dead Sea Scrolls
The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha
Early Jewish mysticism (Merkavah mysticism and Hekhalot literature)
The Hebrew Bible/Old Testament
Ancient divine mediator figures and Christian origins
Ancient Near Eastern literature and mythology

Books and text edition

The Provenance of the Pseudepigrapha: Jewish, Christian, or Other? (JSJSup 105; Leiden: Brill, 2005)

Descenders to the Chariot: The People Behind the Hekhalot Literature(JSJSup 70; Leiden: Brill, 2001)

Liturgical Works (Eerdmans Commentaries on the Dead Sea Scrolls 6; (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2000)

Qumran Cave 4: VII Genesis to Numbers (Discoveries in the Judean Desert, vol. 12), part one: 4QGenExoda, Genb-h, Genj-k (Oxford: Clarendon, 1994), 7-78, plates I-XII. A revised version of my dissertation.

Books edited

The Dead Sea Scrolls as Background to Postbiblical Judaism and Early Christianity: Papers from a Conference at St. Andrews in 2001(contributor and editor; STDJ 46; Leiden: Brill, 2003)

The Jewish Roots of Christological Monotheism. Papers from the St. Andrews Conference on the Historical Origins of the Worship of Jesus (contributor and coeditor with Carey C. Newman and Gladys S. Lewis; Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1999)

Articles published in peer review journals

"(How) Can We Tell if a Greek Apocryphon or Pseudepigraphon Has Been Translated from Hebrew or Aramaic?" Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha 15 (2005): 3-61 (conference paper here)

 

"The Macrocosmic Temple, Scriptural Exegesis, and the Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice," Dead Sea Discoveries 9 (2002): 1-19

"4QMess ar (4Q534) and Merkavah Mysticism," Dead Sea Discoveries 5 (1998): 367-81

"The Hodayot Hymnist and the Four Who Entered Paradise," in Revue de Qumran 17/65-68 (1996): 457-78

"The Flood Hero as King and Priest," in the Journal of Near Eastern Studies 54 (1995): 199-214

"Prolegomena to a Critical Edition of the Hekhalot Rabbati," in the Journal of Jewish Studies 45 (1994): 208-26

"Text-Type and Terminology: Genesis and Exodus as Test Cases," in Revue de Qumran 16 (1993): 3-37

(with Bruce Zuckerman) "The Throne of Ashtart Inscription," in the Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 289 (1993): 67-80

"The Name of God at Moriah: An Unpublished Fragment from 4QGenExoda," in the Journal of Biblical Literature 110 (1991): 577-82

"Qoheleth and Northern Hebrew," in Sopher Mahir: Northwest Semitic Studies Presented to Stanislav Segert (= Maarav 5-6), ed. Edward Cook (Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, (1990): 69-87

Contributions to books

"Is the Prayer of Manasseh a Jewish Work?" in Heavenly Tablets:  Interpretation, Identity and Tradition in Ancient Judaism (ed. Lynn LiDonnici and Andrea Lieber; JSJSup 119; Leiden:  Brill, 2007), pp. 75-85

"The Hekhalot Literature and the Ancient Jewish Apocalypses," in Paradise Now: Essays on Early Jewish and Christian Mysticism (ed. April Deconick; SBL Symposium Series 11; Atlanta, Ga.: Society of Biblical Literature, 2006), 105-25

"Enochians, Essenes, and Qumran Essenes" and "The Animal Apocalypse and Daniel," in Enoch and Qumran Origins: New Light on a Forgotten Connection (ed. Gabriele Boccaccini; Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2005), 35-38, 365-59

"Ritual in the Jewish Pseudepigrapha," in Anthropology & Biblical Studies: Avenues of Approach (ed. Louise J. Lawrence and Mario I. Aguilar;. Leiderdorp: Deo, 2004),158-83 (conference paper here)

"Melchizedek, the 'Youth,' and Jesus," in The Dead Sea Scrolls as Background to Postbiblical Judaism and Early Christianity, 248-74 (see above)

Shamanic Initiatory Death and Resurrection in the Hekhalot Literature," in Magic and Ritual in the Ancient World, ed. Paul Mirecki and Marvin Meyer (Religions in the Graeco-Roman World 141; Leiden: Brill, 2002), 283-302

"Early Jewish and Christian Mysticism: What are We Talking About? A Collage of Scholarly Views" in the Society of Biblical Literature 2001 Seminar Papers (Atlanta: SBL, 2001), 278-304, esp. pp. 282-283

"The Dead Sea Scrolls and Merkavah Mysticism," in The Dead Sea Scrolls in their Historical Context, edited by Timothy H. Lim, et. al. (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 2000), 249-64

"Exodus, Book of," "Genesis, Book of," "Orthography," Encyclopedia of the Dead Sea Scrolls, ed. Lawrence H. Schiffman and James C. VanderKam (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), 277-79, 299-300, 625-28

"Of Methodology, Monotheism, and Metatron: Introductory Reflections on Divine Mediators and the Origins of the Worship of Jesus," in The Jewish Roots of Christological Monotheism, 3-18 (see above)

"Heavenly Ascents in the Qumran Scrolls," for The Dead Sea Scrolls after Fifty Years: A Comprehensive Assessment, ed. Peter W. Flint and James C. VanderKam ( 2 vols.; Leiden: Brill, 1999), 2:461-85

"Melchizedek: King, Priest, and God," in The Seductiveness of Jewish Myth: Challenge or Response?, ed. S. Daniel Breslauer (Albany, N. Y.: SUNY, 1997), 217-34

"Melchizedek, Michael, and War in Heaven," in the Society of Biblical Literature 1996 Seminar Papers (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1996), 259-72

"The Hekhalot Literature and Shamanism," in the Society of Biblical Literature 1994 Seminar Papers (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1994), 767-89

"New Qumran Readings for the Joseph Story (Gen 37-50)," in the Proceedings of the International Congress on the Dead Sea Scrolls, Madrid, 18-21 March 1991, ed. J. Trebolle Barrera and L. Vegas Montaner (Leiden: Brill, 1992), 1:167-75, 355 (pl. 1)

"Accad" (1:49-50), "Moriah," (4:905), "Nod" (4:1133-34), "Rehoboth-Ir" (5:664), "Resen" (5:678), and "Shinar" (5:1220), in The Anchor Bible Dictionary, ed. David Noel Freedman (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1992)

"New Qumran Readings for Genesis One," in Of Scribes and Scrolls: Studies on the Hebrew Bible, Intertestamental Judaism, and Christian Origins Presented to John Strugnell, ed. Harold Attridge et al. (College Theology Resources in Religion 5; Lanham, N.Y., and London: University Press of America, 1990), 3-11

 

Other articles

"The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha as Background to the New Testament," Expository Times 117 (2005): 53-57

"Assimilated to the Blogosphere: Blogging Ancient Judaism" in the SBL Forum, April 2005

"Enoch in Cyberspace: The Internet Meets the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha," Computers and Texts 15 (August, 1997), 8-10.

Articles in press

"Counterfactual History," in How to Read the Dead Sea Scrolls: Methods and Theories in Scrolls Research, ed. Maxine Grossman

"Old Testament Pseudepigrapha" and "Liturgical Works" for the Dictionary of Early Judaism

"Did Christians Write Old Testament Pseudepigrapha that Appear to Be Jewish?" Forthcoming in conference volume for the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha section of the 2004 International Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature. Ed. Pierluigi Piovanelli. 2005 or 2006 (conference paper here)

"Enoch, Third Book of,""Merkabah Mysticism," and "Nod," for the New Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible

Conferences organized

The International Conference on the Dead Sea Scrolls as Background to Postbiblical Judaism and Early Christianity, held at the University of St. Andrews on 26-28 June, 2001. This conference gathered scholars from around the world to explore how the Dead Sea Scrolls contribute to our knowledge of the background of both rabbinic and noncanonical forms of Judaism, and of the origins and early development of Christianity. For more information., see the Qumran Conference web page. A conference volume has also been published (see above).

The International Conference on the Historical Origins of the Worship of Jesus, held at the University of St. Andrews on 13-17 June, 1998. Coorganized with Dr. Carey C. Newman, Chair of the Institute for the Study of Christian Origins. See the Jesus Conference web page, which includes summaries of the papers and responses. A conference volume has also been published (see above).

 

Book reviews in:

Biblical Interpretation
Catholic Biblical Quarterly
Critical Review of Books in Religion
Interpretation
Ioudaios Review
Jewish Quarterly Review
Journal of the Americal Oriental Society
Journal of Biblical Literature
Journal of Semitic Studies
Journal for the Study of the New Testament Booklist
Journal for the Study of Judaism
Society for Old Testament Study Booklist

 

Work in progress

The More Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Project (with Richard Bauckham). My contributions include "Aramaic Levi," Massekhet Kelim ("The Treatise of the Holy Vessels"); Sefer HaRazim ("The Book of the Mysteries") and "Quotations, biblical, of lost works."

A book-length translation of the late antique/early medieval Hebrew and Aramaic Jewish mystical corpus of "Hekhlalot literature" into English

"Ritual in the Old Testament Apocrypha" (for the conference volume for a symposium on Anthropology and the Old Testament held at Glasgow University, August 2004; conference paper here)

 

Articles,Conference Papers, and Book Reviews Online

The 94 Books of Ezra and the Angelic Revelations of John Dee (PDF, 121 KB)  (SBL, November 2012)
Ritual Praxis in Ancient Jewish and Christian Mysticism (PDF, 137 KB)  (SBL, November 2011)
The Book of Revelation and the Hekhalot Literature (PDF, 154 KB) (SBL, November 2008)
Book of Revelation and Hekhalot Literature: Texts (PDF, 119 KB)
Review of Andrei A. Orlov, The Enoch-Metatron Tradition (Review of Biblical Literature, December 2006)
The Hekhalot Literature and the Ancient Jewish Apocalypses (PDF, 108 KB) (SBL, November 2006)
Scripture as Prophetically Revealed Writings (PDF, 169 KB)(SBL, November 2006)
"More Christian Apocrypha" (Ottawa Workshop on Christian Apocrypha, September-October 2006)
"More Jewish Pseudepigrapha" (International SBL, July 2006)
Enter the Bibliobloggers(SBL, November 2005)
"The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha as Background to the New Testament" (Expository Times 117.2:53-57 (November, 2005, requires paid personal or institutional subscription to access)
(How) Can We Tell if a Greek Apocryphon or Pseudepigraphon has been Translated from Hebrew or Aramaic? (
JSP 15 (2005): 3-61, (requires paid personal or institutional subscription to access)
"Assimilated to the Blogosphere: Blogging Ancient Judaism" (SBL Forum, April 2005)
"Astrology and the Descenders to the Chariot" (PSCO, SBL, November 2004)
"The Odes of Isaiah: A Newly Discovered Syriac Pseudepigraphon - A Thought Experiment" (BNTC, September 2004)
"Ritual in the Old Testament Apocrypha," (Symposium on Anthropology and the Old Testament, Glasgow University, June 2004)
"The Apocalypse of Daniel: A Newly Discovered Syriac Pseudepigraphon - A Thought Experiment" (IOQS, July 2004)
"Did Christians Write Old Testament Pseudepigrapha That Appear to Be Jewish?" (Intnl. SBL, July 2004)
"Is the Story of Zosimus Really a Jewish Composition?" (SBL, November 2003)
"The Rechabites in Patristic and Parabiblical Literature" (SBL, November 2003)
"Ritual in the Jewish Pseudepigrapha" (Symposium on Anthropology and Biblical Studies, St. Mary's College, June 2003)
"(How) Can We Tell if a Pseudepigraphon Has Been Translated from Hebrew or Aramaic?" (International SBL, July 2003)
"Enochians, Essenes, and Qumran Essenes" (summary of paper; Second Enoch Seminar, Venice, July 2003)
"The Animal Apocalypse and Daniel" (handout here; further thoughts here; Second Enoch Seminar, Venice, July 2003)
"Jewish Pseudepigrapha and Christian Apocrypha: (How) Can We Tell Them Apart?" (BNTC, September 2002)
"Enoch in Cyberspace: The Internet Meets the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha" (
Computers and Texts 15 [August, 1997] 8-10)
"Melchizedek, Michael, and War in Heaven" (
SBLSP 1996)
Review essay on Massekhet Hekhalot--Traktat von den himmlischen Pal_sten, by Klaus Hermann (Ioudaios Review vol. 5.014; October 1995)
"Dialectology in Biblical Hebrew: A North Israelite Dialect? Synchronic and Diachronic Considerations" (SBL, November 1994)
"The Hekhalot Literature and Shamanism" (
SBLSP 1994)
Review essay on Ascent to Heaven in Jewish and Christian Apocalypses, by Martha Himmelfarb (Ioudaios Review vol. 4.017; August 1994)

Contact details

James R. Davila
Professor of Early Jewish Studies

St Mary's College
The School of Divinity
University of St Andrews
South Street
St Andrews
Fife KY16 9JU
Scotland, United Kingdom

Tel: + 44 (0)1334 462834
Fax: + 44 (0)1334 462852

Related links

External links

  • PaleoJudaica.com (a blog on ancient Judaism and its historical and literary context)