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Chris Hays

Christopher Hays

D. Wilson Moore Professor of Old Testament and Ancient Near Eastern Studies

BA, Amherst College
MDiv, Princeton Theological Seminary
MA, University of California, Los Angeles
PhD, Emory University

Courses Taught

LG506/806: Advanced Hebrew Grammar

LG533/833: Beginning Ugaritic

LG534/834: Ugaritic II: Special Topics

LG535/835: Beginning Akkadian

LG536/836: Advanced Akkadian

OT500: Introduction to the Old Testament

OT506: Hebrew Exegesis of Isaiah 1-39

OT506: Hebrew Exegesis of Isaiah 40-66

OT833/533: Ancient Near Eastern History, Literature, and Culture

OT576: Experiencing the Land of the Bible (Immersion course in Israel/Palestine)

Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible

Israelite Religion in its Ancient Near Eastern Context (PhD seminar)

History and Historiography of Ancient Israel (PhD seminar)


Manfred Lautenschlaeger Symposium Grant, 2016 (15,000€)

Emory University Research Grant, 2013-14 ($5,000, with Brent A. Strawn and Joel M. LeMon)

Manfred Lautenschlaeger Award for Theological Promise, 2013 ($10,000)

ECF Endowment, Global Studies and Research, 2012 ($5000)

Louisville Institute Sabbatical Grant for Researchers, 2010-11 ($31,000)

Society of Biblical Literature Regional Scholar, Pacific Coast Region nominee, 2010

Fuller Theological Seminary Education/Culture Fellowship Grant, Summer 2010 ($5,000)

Solomon Fellowship Travel Grant, Board of Rabbis of Southern California, Summer 2010

Areas of Expertise

Old Testament, Prophets, Semitic languages, Ancient Near Eastern context

Current Research

Isaiah: A Commentary. Old Testament Library. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, in preparation.

“The Scriptures are exceedingly ‘respiratory’: they breathe in the culture of their times, and breathe it back out in a different form. To the reader who learns to breathe the same air—the one who becomes familiar with the context—it is increasingly hard to believe that he or she once read the Bible without it. Reading the Hebrew Scriptures in context is intoxicating, like breathing pure oxygen: everything is clearer and sharper, and the energy is immeasurably higher.”


Dr. Hays, in his book Hidden Riches: A Sourcebook for the Comparative Study of the Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East


Christopher Hays joined the Fuller faculty in 2008. He is also a research associate of the University of Pretoria, South Africa. He will serve as the US State Department Educational and Cultural Affairs Annual Professor at the Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem for 2022–23, and he served as president of the Pacific Coast Region of Society of Biblical Literature in 2017–18.

Dr. Hays is the author of Hidden Riches: A Textbook for the Comparative Study of the Old Testament and the Ancient Near East (2014), The Origins of Isaiah 24–27 (2019), and Death in the Iron Age II and in First Isaiah (2011). The latter won the Manfred Lautenschlaeger Award for Theological Promise in 2013.

He has written the Isaiah commentary in the New Oxford Bible Commentary, and is working on the Isaiah commentary in the Old Testament Library series, having translated the book for the Common English Bible.

Hays teaches courses in Old Testament and directs the master’s program in Ancient Near Eastern Studies in the School of Mission and Theology. He has participated in archaeological research in Israel and conducts study trips there. His languages include Hebrew, Akkadian, Ugaritic, Aramaic, Greek, and Latin. In 2022, he completed a master’s degree in Egyptology at UCLA.

Hays is ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA).

View Hays’s CV, which includes a list of his current publications.

Featured Publications