Meet the Alumni - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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Meet the Alumni

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Bill T. Arnold, Ph.D. 

Paul S. Amos Professor of Old Testament Interpretation 
Asbury Theological Seminary

Please share a fond memory from your student days of HUC-JIR.

My favorite memories of my HUC days include the following:

  • an entire semester on Leviticus - really only the first few chapters of Leviticus - with Rabbi Chanan Brichto, in which Jewish and Christian students were brought together in a fascinating environment (no intellectual slackers allowed);
  • rich and sometimes heated discussions with other students on history, theology, and hermeneutics over lunch in the "cuneiform studies room";
  • lectures from some of the brightest and best scholars in the world flowing through HUC-JIR’s  Cincinnati campus (Thorkild Jacobsen, I. J. Gelb, Emanuel Tov, J. A. Emerton, Shalom Paul, etc.);
  • an amazing collection of seminars on Hebrew Bible and the ancient Near East with Greengus, Weisberg, Kaufman, and Tsevat; without doubt, the professors made the HUC experience so rich for me.

Please share 1 or 2 professional highlights and/or your professional role since leaving HUC-JIR.  This might include speaking engagements, leadership roles, publications, etc.

I joined Asbury Theological Seminary’s faculty in 1995. While at Asbury, I served as Vice President of Academic Affairs/Provost, Director of Postgraduate Studies, Chair of the Area of Biblical Studies and Director of Hebrew Studies.

I have written or edited nine books, including most recently Genesis (New Cambridge Bible Commentary Series; Cambridge University Press, 2009). I  served as editor of the Old Testament notes for The Wesley Study Bible (Abingdon, 2009), and contributed its study notes on Genesis. I also served as co-translator of Genesis for the Common English Bible (Abingdon, 2011).

In 2010, I was awarded a Lilly Faculty Fellowship for my proposal to study the oneness or singularity of God in the Old Testament. In 2003, I was named alumnus-in-residence at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Please share some advice (a pearl of wisdom) for students currently enrolled in the School of Graduate Studies.

The obvious advice is to take advantage of the rich resources of the Cincinnati campus (especially the faculty and library), and the unique environment provided by a Jewish institution of higher education.

Beyond that, stay focused and keep moving through the curriculum and program. Don't imagine yourself writing a literary magnum opus for a dissertation, but acquire the technical skills necessary for the work, and use the dissertation to lay a foundation for a lifetime of scholarly work. 

Please share a few of your publications.

Most of my papers and books are available here: