Rabbi S. David Sperling, Ph.D.

Rabbi Julian Morgenstern Chair in Bible; Professor Emeritus of Bible

Contact Information

campus: New York

Dr. S. David Sperling is Professor Emeritus of Bible and the Rabbi Julian Morgenstern Chair in Bible at HUC-JIR/New York. Among his scholarly interests are the religion of ancient Israel, the history of modern Jewish biblical scholarship, and comparative Semitic languages.

Dr. Sperling earned his B.A. at Brooklyn College, was ordained at The Jewish Theological Seminary, and holds a Ph.D. in Ancient Semitic Languages from Columbia University. He is a member of the Central Conference of American Rabbis. 

Before coming to HUC-JIR, Dr. Sperling taught at SUNY-Stony Brook and then at Barnard College. He has served as visiting professor at New York University, Syracuse University, The College of William and Mary, and The Jewish Theological Seminary.

Among his publications are Students of the Covenant (a history of modern Jewish biblical scholarship in America) and The Original Torah: The Political Intent of the Bible’s Writers. He was the editor of the Bible division of the revised Encyclopaedia Judaica (2007) to which he contributed about 145 articles. Dr. Sperling also served as consulting editor to The Haftarah Commentary by Rabbi Gunther Plaut and Rabbi Chaim Stern, as well as to the new URJ Torah Commentary. His current project is a book on the Hallel Psalms (Psalm 113-118).

Dr. Sperling is married to Rabbi Jennifer Jaech, Senior Rabbi of Temple Israel of Northern Westchester.

The Original Torah, Encyclopedia Judaica (2nd edition) Bible division.

“Is the Bible Historical?”

“Magic in the Bible”

“Sex in the Bible”

“The Bible and Women”