David A. Skelton

PhD, Religions of Western Antiquity, FSU

Intro to Hebrew Bible

This course is an introduction to the critical study of this assorted literature and the world in which the Hebrew Bible was produced. We will examine individual texts of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament within their historical contexts while taking into consideration other methodological approaches such as literary criticism and theology.

Jewish-Christian RElations

This course explores the history of relations between Jews and Christians from the first century CE to the present, tracing 2000 years of developments across the Near East,North Africa, Europe, and the Americas. It encourages students to think broadly about forms of intolerance, to appreciate the fruits of cross-cultural collaborations, and to contemplate the complexity and malleability of religious identity. This course consists of four main sections: (1) Adversus Judaeos literature in early Christianity and early Jewish rebuttals; (2) the Middle Ages; (3) Judaism and the nationalism; and (4) the State of Israel

Wisdom Literature

This course will examine the role of the Wisdom tradition in the Hebrew Bible, particularly the books of Proverbs, Job, and Ecclesiastes. Besides the literary and thematic contents of these books, we will examine larger thematic questions such as the definition of the wisdom genre, if the wisdom tradition is distinctive or exists, and if so, what is its relationship to other 'traditions' in the Hebrew Bible and larger ancient Near Eastern world. We will also briefly examine wisdom literature from the Apocrypha and Dead Sea Scrolls in order to gain an appreciation of the continuing influence and growth of this tradition outside of the core 'canonical' texts.



This course will explain the content of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Qumran community, and the importance this discovery has made and is continuing to make on our understanding of the history of early Judaism and Christianity, the text of the Hebrew Bible, and the development of early Jewish liturgy. We will pay particular attention to how the Scrolls illuminate early Jewish and Christian practice along with questions of messianism, eschatology, and knowledge. We will also overview central debates regarding the Qumran community and technical subjects relative to the Dead Sea Scrolls. 



The course examines the historical evidence for how both Jewish and Christian audiences received and read particular texts and then collected and circulated these texts as Scripture. We will examine in particular the concept of "Rewritten Bible," biblical interpretation in Ben Sira Josephus, and the New Testament, the allegorical intepretation of the Bible in both Philo and Origen, and the development of midrash among rabbinical interpretations of Scripture.

Language classes


Intro and Intermediate Hebrew

Elementary Greek

Elementary Syriac