Dive Deeply into the Study of Ancient Languages and Literatures

Ancient Israel arose in the midst of an ancient Near Eastern world whose cultural legacy changed human civilization. This emphasis gives students an informed familiarity with the history, languages, and literatures of these ancient cultures, fostering a deeper understanding of the Bible and its cultural context. As students survey ancient history and religions, study such languages as Aramaic, Ugaritic, and Akkadian, and even have the option of learning on site in Israel, they are equipped to interpret the text of the Old Testament with keener insight.


I'm Interested in Ancient Near Eastern Studies at Fuller

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Ancient Near Eastern History, Literature, and Culture

This introductory survey helps students understand the influences of surrounding cultures on Israel and Judah from prehistoric times to Alexander’s conquest

Experiencing the Land of the Bible

This on-site immersion course gives new dimension to the biblical narrative as participants visit sites in Jerusalem, Galilee, the Dead Sea area, and Bethlehem

Language Courses

Options that include beginning and advanced Ugaritic, Akkadian, and Aramaic give students the language facility needed for informed study of Old Testament texts

History and Historiography of Ancient Israel

This seminar grounds students in the scholarly conversation about the history of Israel as a foundation for critical approaches to Old Testament scholarship


This emphasis is available exclusively at Fuller’s Pasadena campus.


The professors and students in this emphasis are serious about biblical studies, willing to spend time on studying every detail about the past—a past that is crucial for understanding the Old Testament, our mission today, and our human history. For me, ANE Studies has unquestionably been a rewarding journey in not only better understanding the Old Testament context, but also learning how mission can be carried out effectively in cross-cultural contexts.Anna Lo (MA in Theology ’15)
Studying with this emphasis has opened up a world of understanding and deepened my ability to read the Bible. Now when I read a story from Genesis, a psalm, or a prophetic oracle, I see more than words—I can access the cast of history, of the world around the text; I can envision the symbols and images that inspired a metaphor; I can hear echoes of the languages that influenced the speech and writings of the biblical authors.Jason Riley (PhD in Theology, current student)
Interpreting the Bible at the highest academic level requires advanced preparation. With its strong program in Semitic languages and critical methods, Fuller has a tradition of preparing students for top doctoral programs and future teaching opportunities. The Ancient Near Eastern Studies emphasis brings together a tight-knit group of focused students mentored by leading scholars.Christopher Hays
D. Wilson Moore Associate Professor of Ancient Near Eastern Studies


Christopher B. Hays, D. Wilson Moore Associate Professor of Ancient Near Eastern Studies

J. Andrew Dearman, Professor of Old Testament

Marianne Meye Thompson, George Eldon Ladd Professor of New Testament

Marilyn Lundberg, Affiliate Associate Professor of Old Testament


Professor Chris Hays makes the case for deep-dive learning through an immersion course in the Holy Land: It’s not just about information. Read his article