William Schniedewind is a Professor of Biblical Studies at UCLA. He was the Chair of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at UCLA and held the Kershaw Endowed Term Chair of Ancient Eastern Mediterranean Studies. He has a Ph.D. in Bible and Ancient Near East from Brandeis University (1992). He has been a Visiting Scholar at the Hebrew University and a Research Fellow at the Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem. He is the author of six books, including How the Bible Became a Book (Cambridge, 2004), A Social History of Hebrew (Yale, 2013), and The Finger of the Scribe (Oxford, 2019).
BAS Scholars Series, March 6, 2024
Who Really Wrote the Bible? The Story of Scribal Communities
Traditional biblical scholarship has searched for the authors of the Bible, sometimes even identifying individuals. However, evidence from inscriptions and archaeology and anthropological models indicates that literacy was acquired through apprenticeship in a variety of professions. Such apprenticeships created scribal “communities of practice,” and it was in such communities of practice that biblical literature was collected, maintained, edited, and passed on. This lecture will examine inscriptional evidence for scribal communities of practice and explore the implications for the formation of biblical literature.
Bible & Archaeology Fest XXIII, October 24 – 25, 2020 Panelist
Bible & Archaeology Fest XXII, November 22 – 24, 2019
In Search of King Solomon: New Insights from Archaeology and Texts
Excavations at Khirbet en-nahas and Timna have revealed extensive copper mining operations dating to early Iron Age. These excavations provide a new window for reinterpreting earlier archaeological excavations dealing with Iron Age trade networks. They also provide the keys for recovering the literary sources for King Solomon and understanding their use by biblical authors. An early Iron Age trade network emerges that is shaped into the golden age of ancient Israel by biblical authors.
Bible & Archaeology Fest XXI, November 16 – 18, 2018
The History of the “Prophet” in Light of the New Isaiah Seal Impression
This talk discusses the significance of recently published seal impression of Isaiah that seems to give his title as “prophet.” But the seal impression is broken, and the reconstruction is debated. The reconstruction is also a window into the history of the prophetic office, government bureaucracy, and the writing of the Bible.