Christopher Hays joined the Fuller faculty in 2008, as occupant of the D. Wilson Moore Chair of Ancient Near Eastern Studies. In 2013, he was one of ten scholars around the world to receive the Manfred Lautenschlaeger Award for Theological Promise. He has previously held teaching and research positions at Emory University, Princeton Theological Seminary, and the University of Notre Dame Tantur Ecumenical Institute in Jerusalem. He has participated in archaeological research in Israel and conducts study trips there.
Hays is the author of Hidden Riches: A Textbook for the Comparative Study of the Old Testament and the Ancient Near East (Westminster John Knox, 2014) and Death in the Iron Age II and in First Isaiah (Forschungen zum Alten Testament 79; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2011). He is working on the Isaiah commentary for the Old Testament Library series, having translated the book for the Common English Bible and written the entry on Isaiah for the Oxford Encyclopedia of the Books of the Bible.
Hays has published articles on diverse topics in journals such as the Journal of Near Eastern Studies, the Journal of Biblical Literature, Vetus Testamentum, Biblica, Zeitschrift für die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft, Ugarit-Forschungen, Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections, and the Journal of Theological Interpretation. He has also contributed essays to various edited volumes.
Hays teaches courses in Old Testament and directs the master’s program in Ancient Near Eastern Studies in the School of Theology. His languages include Hebrew, Akkadian, Ugaritic, Aramaic, Greek, and Latin.
Hays is ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA).
- OT854/554: Israelite Religion in its Ancient Near Eastern Context
- OT883/583: History and Historiography of Ancient Israel
- OT506: Old Testament Exegesis: Isaiah 1–39
- OT506: Old Testament Exegesis: Isaiah 40–66
- LG533-534: Ugaritic I and II
- LG535-536: Akkadian I and II
Areas of Expertise, Research, Writing, and Teaching
The Old Testament in its ancient Near Eastern context; ancient Near Eastern languages, history, and religion; new critical perspectives such as literary theory and postcolonialism; ways in which comparative and theological approaches to Scripture are compatible and mutually informing.
- Death in the Iron Age II and in First Isaiah. Forschungen zum Alten Testament 79. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2011. Published under a new title: A Covenant with Death: Death in the Iron Age II and Its Rhetorical Uses in Proto-Isaiah. Eerdmans, 2015.
- Hidden Riches: A Sourcebook for the Comparative Study of the Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East. Westminster John Knox, 2014.
Articles in peer-reviewed journals
Articles in edited volumes
- “‘My Beloved Son, Come and Rest in Me’: Job’s Return to His Mother’s Womb (Job 1:21a) in Light of Egyptian Mythology.” Vetus Testamentum 62 (2012): 607-21.
- “The Egyptian Goddess Mut in Iron-Age Palestine: Further Data From Amulets and Onomastics.” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 71 (2012): 299-314.
- “An Egyptian Loanword in the Book of Isaiah and the Deir ᶜAlla Inscription: Heb. nṣr, Aram. nqr and Eg. nṯr as ‘[Divinized] Corpse,’” Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections 4 (2012): 17-23.
- “The Book of Isaiah in Contemporary Research.” Religion Compass 5 (2011): 549-66.
- “Re-Excavating Shebna’s Tomb: A New Reading of Isa 22:15–19 in its Ancient Near Eastern Context.” Zeitschrift für die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 122 (2010): 558-75.
- “Bard Called the Tune: Whither Theological Exegesis in the Post-Childs Era?” Journal of Theological Interpretation 4 (2010): 139-52.
- “The Covenant with Mut: A New Interpretation of Isaiah 28:1-22.” Vetus Testamentum 60 (2010): 212-40.
- “What Sort of Friends? A New Proposal Regarding (רפאי(ם and (טפלי(ם in Job 13:4.” Biblica 90 (2009): 394-99.
- “The Dead and Their Images: An Egyptian Etymology for Hebrew ᵓôb” (first author, with Joel M. LeMon). Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections 1 (2009): 1-4.
- “Damming Egypt / Damning Egypt: The Paronomasia of skr and the Unity of Isa 19:1-15.” Zeitschrift für die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 120 (2008): 612-16.
- “The Silence of the Wives: Bakhtin’s Monologism and Ezra 7-10.” Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 33 (2008): 59-80.
- “Chirps From the Dust: The Affliction of Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4:30 in Its Ancient Near Eastern Context.” Journal of Biblical Literature 126 (2007): 303-23.
- “‘Lest Ye Perish in the Way’: Ritual and Kinship in Exodus 4:24-26.” Hebrew Studies 48 (2007): 237-52.
- “Kirtu and the ‘Yoke of the Poor’: A New Interpretation of an Old Crux (KTU 1.16 VI:48).” Ugarit-Forschungen 37 (2005): 361-70.
- “How Shall We Sing? Psalm 137 in Historical and Canonical Context.” Horizons in Biblical Theology 27.2 (December 2005): 35-55.
- “‘Blessed Be Egypt My People’: Karl Barth and the Election of the Outsider in the Old Testament.” Princeton Theological Review 10 (2003): 30-41.
- “Assyria,” (first author, with Peter Machinist) in The World Around the Old Testament, Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2016.
- “A Story Told Backwards: Daniel’s Apocalypse,” in Apocalypses in Context: Apocalyptic Currents Throughout History. Edited by Kelly J. Murphy and Justin P. Jeffcoat Schedtler; Fortress Press, 2016.
- “Revelation, Interpretation, Combat, and Judgment: ‘Proto-Apocalyptic’ Constellations in the Bible and the Ancient Near East” in Apocalypses in Context: Apocalyptic Currents Throughout History. Edited by Kelly J. Murphy and Justin P. Jeffcoat Schedtler; Fortress Press, 2016.
- “Claims About Solomon’s Empire in Light of Egyptian Royal Ideology of Territory.” in Israel’s Exodus in Transdisciplinary Perspective—Text, Archaeology, Culture, and Geoscience, edited by Thomas E. Levy, Thomas Schneider and William H. C. Propp. Quantitative Methods in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Springer: 2014.
- “The Date and Message of Isaiah 24-27 in Light of Hebrew Diachrony.” Pages 7-24 in Intertextuality and Formation of Isaiah 24-27. Ancient Israel and Its Literature. Edited by J. Todd Hibbard and Paul Kim. Atlanta: SBL, 2013.
- “Isaiah as ‘Colonized Poet’: The Rhetoric of Death in Resistance Literature.” Pages 51-70 in Isaiah and Imperial Context: The Book of Isaiah in Times of Empire. Edited by Mark G. Brett, Andrew Abernethy, Tim Bulkeley, and Tim Meadowcroft. Eugene, Or.: Pickwick Publications, 2013.
- “‘You Destroy a Person’s Hope’: Job as a Conversation About Death.” Pages 219-33 in Reading Job Intertextually. Edited by Katharine Dell and Will Kynes. Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies 574. London: T & T Clark, 2012.
- “Religio-Historical Approaches: Monotheism, Method, and Mortality.” Pages 169-93 in Method Matters: Essays on the Interpretation of the Hebrew Bible in Honor of David L. Petersen. Edited by Joel M. LeMon and Kent H. Richards. Atlanta: SBL, 2009.
- “Echoes of the Ancient Near East? Intertextuality and the Comparative Study of the Old Testament.” Pages 20-43 in The Word Leaps the Gap: Essays on Scripture and Theology in Honor of Richard B. Hays. Edited by J. Ross Wagner, C. Kavin Rowe, and A. Katherine Grieb. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2009.
Articles in reference works
- Cuneiform artifacts. Lead scholar-mentor for research group, Green Scholars Initiative, 2013-present.
- The Book of Isaiah (co-translator) in the Common English Bible. Edited by David L. Petersen and Joel B. Green. Abingdon, 2011.
- “Death.” In Dictionary of the Old Testament: Prophets. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2012.
- “Isaiah.” Pages 384-409 in The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Books of the Bible, edited by Michael D. Coogan. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.
- Essays on Lev. 19:1-18, Micah 3:5-12 and Rev 7:9-17 in Feasting on the Word: Perspectives on the Common Lectionary, Year B. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2008.
- Essays on Exod 12:1-14, Isa 52:13–53:12, and Lam 3:1-24 in Feasting on the Word: Perspectives on the Common Lectionary, Year C. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2008.
- Essays on Isa 60:1-6, 61:10-62:3 and Jer 31:7-14 in Feasting on the Word: Perspectives on the Common Lectionary, Year B. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2008.
- “Amariah,” “Amasai,” “Amashsai,” “Amasiah,” and “Ashhur.” In vol. A of the Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception, edited by L. Seow and H. Spieckermann. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2007.