Christopher A. Rollston

Dr. Christopher A. Rollston
Address2101 Carmel Road
Charlotte, NC 28266

Toyozo W. Nakarai Professor of Old Testament and Semitic Studies, Emmanuel School of Religion

B.Rel., Great Lakes Christian College,
M.A.R., Emmanuel School of Religion,
M.A., John Hopkins U.,
Ph.D., John Hopkins U.,

Professor Rollston was educated as an historian and philologist of the ancient Near East, with the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament), Northwest Semitic epigraphy, textual criticism, Syro-Palestinian archaeology, the Old Testament Apocrypha, and the Dead Sea Scrolls as his strongest emphases. He works in more than a dozen ancient and modern languages, especially the biblical languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek), as well as Ugaritic, Phoenician, Akkadian, Ammonite, and Moabite. He was a full-time faculty member in the Dept. of Near Eastern Studies at Johns Hopkins University for two years (as a Post-Doctoral Fellow of Northwest Semitic), where students consistently noted his strong teaching abilities. He is currently the Toyozo Nakarai Professor of Old Testament and Semitic Studies at Emmanuel School of Religion, a graduate seminary of the Stone-Campbell Movement. Dr. Rollston is a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

He has conducted research at museums and collections in the Middle East (including Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria), Europe, and North America. He has participated as a staff member in archaeological excavations at Tell Umm el-Marra (Syria) and Tel Megiddo (Israel). His research has received funding from several organizations, especially the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Society of Biblical Literature and the Dorot Foundation.

Dr. Rollston is active in the academic guilds of biblical and ancient Near Eastern studies. He presents papers on a regular basis at meetings of the Society of Biblical Literature and the American Schools of Oriental Research. He has delivered lectures at various institutions, including Vanderbilt University, Columbia University, the University of Tennessee, and the University of Judaism. He was invited to participate in, and fully funded for, Princeton’s Symposium on the “Talpiyot Tomb” in January 2008 (Jerusalem, Israel). He has also been invited to participate in, and fully funded for, Duke University’s symposium entitled “Archaeology, Politics, and the Media” to be held in April 2009. He is the co-chair of the “Ancient Inscriptions” session of the American Schools of Oriental Research (with Annalisa Azzoni of Vanderbilt University) and he is the chair of the “Palaeography Session” of the Society of Biblical Literature. Dr. Rollston is a member of the American Schools of Oriental Research “Committee on Publications.” He is the editor of MAARAV, a specialized journal publishing articles in the field of Northwest Semitic languages and literature. He served as the guest editor for two recent sequential issues of the Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, namely BASOR 344 (2006) and BASOR 345 (2007), both of which were devoted to the subject of epigraphy. He holds membership in several learned societies, including, the Society of Biblical Literature, the Catholic Biblical Association, the American Schools of Oriental Research, and Israel Exploration Society. During January of 2007 Rollston testified as a Palaeographic Expert in Israel as part of the Epigraphic Forgery Trial (this was done at the behest of the District Attorney of Jerusalem).

Rollston has published articles, notes, and reviews in various venues, including Israel Exploration Journal, Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, Near Eastern Archaeology, Journal of Biblical Literature, Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Journal of Near Eastern Studies. Among some of his more recent contributions are three articles in the forthcoming Festschrift for Harvard Professor Frank Moore Cross entitled An Eye for Form: Epigraphic Essays in Honor of Frank Moore Cross (Eisenbrauns 2009). Rollston’s articles in this volume focus on the Phoenician script, the Old Hebrew script, and palaeographic methodology. In addition, his article entitled “The Phoenician Script of the Tel Zayit Abecedary and Putative Evidence for Israelite Literacy,” has just appeared in a volume entitled Literate Culture and Tenth-Century Canaan: The Tel Zayit Abecedary in Context (Eisenbrauns, 2008). He has also recently published “Scribal Education in Ancient Israel: the Old Hebrew Epigraphic Evidence,” BASOR 344 (2006): 47-74; “Non-Provenanced Epigraphs I: Pillaged Antiquities, Northwest Semitic Forgeries, and Protocols for Laboratory Tests,” MAARAV 10 (2003): 135-193; and “Non-Provenanced Epigraphs II: The Status of Non-Provenanced Epigraphs within the Broader Corpus” MAARAV 11 (2004): 57-79. A reflection of his interests in the Second Temple Period, Rollston has also published “Inscribed Ossuaries: Personal Names, Statistics, and Laboratory Tests” in NEA 69 (2006): 125-129; and “Ben Sira 38:24-39:11 and the Egyptian Satire of the Trades: A Reconsideration,” JBL 120 (2001): 131-139. Among his forthcoming journal articles are “The Dating of the Early Royal Byblian (Phoenician): A Response to Benjamin Sass” and “Prosopography and the Yzbl (Jezebel) Seal.”

Dr. Rollston’s volume entitled Writing and Literacy in the World of Ancient Israel is at press, as is his volume entitled The Art of the Scribe in Israel and Judah: The Script of Iron Age Hebrew Ostraca, Incised, and Chiseled Inscriptions. In addition, he is under contract with the Society of Biblical Literature (in the Writings from the Ancient World series) for a volume entitled Northwest Semitic Royal Inscriptions. He is also under contract with Eerdmans Publishing Company for a volume tentatively entitled An Introduction to Northwest Semitic Epigraphy. Several years ago, Rollston edited a New Testament volume entitled The Gospels of Michael Goulder: A North American Response, among the contributors are Krister Stendahl, Alan Segal, John Kloppenborg, and Bruce Chilton (Trinity Press International, 2002). In addition, he is working on the republication of the Old Hebrew inscriptions from Samaria and the Old Hebrew inscribed jar handles from Gibeon. Finally, he is also serving as one of the editors for a Festschrift honoring his Doktorvater, namely, P. Kyle McCarter, Jr. of Johns Hopkins University.

Beyond the classroom, Dr. Rollston enjoys hiking, swimming, foreign travel, antique furniture restoration, and African art.

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