Dr. Robin J. DeWitt Knauth
Department of Religion, Box 3 (D-320)
1328 Woodmont Ave. Lycoming College
Williamsport, PA 17701-2052 Williamsport, PA 17701-5192
Telephone: (570)326-3822 (570)321-4298
Assistant Professor, Department of Religion, Lycoming College (see
"courses" below), 1999-present.
Director, Program in Archaeology and Culture of the Ancient Near East, Lycoming College, 1999-present.
Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Biblical Archaeology, Hebrew Language,
Ancient Near Eastern History and Literature, Biblical and ANE Law, Ethics, DSS, Luke.
Society of Biblical Literature (SBL), SBL Biblical Law Group, Biblical Archaeology Society (BAS),
American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR), Archaeological Institute of America (AIA),
Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology (North Central Chapter),
Mennonite Theological Association (Scholars Network).
Current Courses: Old Testament Faith and
History and Culture of the Ancient Near East,
Biblical Archaeology, Old Testament Women (seminar), David (seminar), Kingship Ideologies (seminar),
Exodus (seminar), Introductory Hebrew, Intermediate Hebrew. Judaism and Islam (in preparation).
Harvard University, Cambridge MA (1991-2004) Th.D. 2004 in Hebrew Bible
Regent College, Vancouver BC (1989-1991) Dip.C.S. 1990, M.T.S. 1991 in Biblical Studies
Westminster Choir Coll, Princeton NJ (1984-1989) Pt-time Special Student: Church Music, Conducting
Princeton University, Princeton NJ (1981-1985) A.B. 1985 in Politics
Honors and Awards:
Dean's Dissertation Fellowship, Harvard Divinity School, 1998-1999.
Tuition Scholarship, Harvard Divinity School, 1991-1997.
Summer Travel Grant (Israel), Endowment for Biblical Research (ASOR), 1994.
Winner of Departmental Prize for Biblical Studies, Regent College, 1991.
Benedict Foundation Scholarship, Princeton, 1981-1985.
National Merit Scholar, Princeton, 1981-1982.
HS: Valedictorian, Excellence in English Award, Student Council, TASP, AFS, Hi-Q, 4-H, etc.
Past Employment, Work Experience- )
Teaching Fellow, Harvard University:
(led discussion, did grading, prepared course materials, consulted w/ students, conducted review sessions, etc.
MR54: "Theism and Moral Reasoning" (spr 1998, under J. Harris),
FC40: "Cultural Legacy of the ANE" (spr 1996, under P. Hanson),
ANE120: "Intro to Hebrew Bible" (fall 1994, under M. Coogan).
Research Asst. for Professor Frank Moore Cross, Harvard University, 1991-1998.
Nonresident Tutor at Quincy House, Harvard College, 1996-1999.
Library Circulation Asst., Harvard Divinity School, 1991-1997, under L. Whitney.
Archaeological Dig Volunteer, Ashkelon Excavation (Israel), summer 1994, under L. Stager.
Teaching Asst., Regent College: Introductory Hebrew, 1990-1991, under D. Diewert.
Paralegal, ASARCO Legal Dept. and Smith, Stratton, Wise Law Firm, 1985-1989.
Research Asst., Princeton University Center for Energy and Environmental Studies, 1984.
1994 Ashkelon, Israel (with Harvard University, under Dr. Lawrence Stager), volunteer
2003 Canfield Island, Williamsport PA (with Lycoming College, under Robin VanAuken and Jim Bressler)
2004 Snyder Site, Williamsport PA (with the Society for PA Archaeology, under Jim Bressler)
2005 Idalion, Cyprus (with Lycoming College, under Dr. Pamela Gaber), staff
2006 Gezer, Israel (with New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, under Dr. Steven Ortiz), staff
Conference Papers and Publications:
"A Listening Heart: Meditation on the Way of the
Cross, Twelfth Station"
for Good Friday at Trinity Episcopal Church, Williamsport PA, 4/14/2006.
2005 "Israel," Dictionary of the Old Testament: Historical Books (IVP, ed. Arnold and Williamson)
"Remembering the Covenant"
(SBL Pentateuch Section; Nov. 2005 Conf., Philadelphia).
2005 "Gorging and Guzzling, Red Stew, and the Cult of the Dead: Brichto Revisited"
(SBL Biblical Law Section; Nov. 2005 Conf., Philadelphia).
2005 "Weeping Women: Meditation on Luke 23:27-28 in the Way of the Cross, Eighth Station"
for Good Friday at Trinity Episcopal Church, Williamsport PA, 3/25/2005.
"The Problem of Suffering and the Sovereignty of God:
Plagues, Tsunamis and
Other Natural Disasters" for Trinity Episcopal Church, Williamsport PA, 2/13/2005.
2004 "The Jubilee Transformation: From Social Welfare to Hope of
Spiritual Salvation in Leviticus 25" (Dissertation, Harvard Univ., adv: Hanson, Machinist).
2004 "The Child Sacrifice Debate" (seminar paper).
2004 Newspaper Article for the Williamsport Sun Gazette (3/6) on "The Passion."
2003 "Alien, Foreign Resident," Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch (4 vol., InterVarsity, ed. D. Baker).
2003 "Esau, Edomites," Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch (4 vol., InterVarsity, ed. D. Baker).
2003 "Israelites," Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch (4 vol., InterVarsity, ed. D. Baker).
2003 "Space Aliens: A 'Religious' Perspective" (Scholars Presentation).
Use of Jubilee Imagery in the 'Song of Zechariah'"
(SBL Biblical Criticism and Literary Criticism Section; Nov. 2002 Conf., Toronto).
2002 "Near Eastern Archaeology and Politics - the Example of the Dead Sea Scrolls" (Scholars Presentation).
2002 "In God We Trust: Send the Army Home!" (Sermon in Lycoming College Chapel, 9/22).
Transformation: Cyrus Edict Inspired Jubilee Pentateuch Redaction as Restoration
(SBL Pentateuch Section; Nov. 2001 Conf., Denver).
"Egyptian-Biblical Transformations of Trickery and Disaster"
(SBL Egyptology and Ancient Israel Section; Nov. 2001 Conf., Denver).
2000 "Jubilee Year," Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible (ed. Freedman, Myers).
2000 "Sabbatical Year," Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible (ed. Freedman, Myers).
2000 "Mixed Multitude," Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible (ed. Freedman, Myers).
2000 "Many Waters," Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible (ed. Freedman, Myers).
2000 "'Are There No Graves in Egypt...?' -
Supreme Irony, Grave Concern"
(ASOR Mortuary Practices Section; Nov. 2000 Conf., Nashville).
1999 "The Law of the King and the Anti-power
Struggle in Israelite Kingship Ideals"
(SBL Deuteronomistic History Section; Nov. 1999 Conf., Boston).
1998 "Debt Release: Cancelled, Suspended
or Completed? Double Payment for Sins?"
(SBL Biblical Law Section; Nov. 1998 Conf., Orlando), to be published in
Zeitschrift fur altorientalische und biblische Rechtgeschichte, Harrassowitz, ed. E. Otto.
1996 "When Fallow Follows Fallow: Economic Hardship or
Social Welfare in the Jubilee"
(on Leviticus fallow laws - SBL Exegesis of Biblical Texts on Ethical Themes Section; Nov. 1996).
1995 "A Case of Restitution vs. Retribution"
(on Exodus theft laws - SBL Hebrew Scriptures and Cognate Literature Section; Nov. 1995 Conf.).
1985 "The Arms Control Impact of the Strategic
Doctoral Examinations: Hebrew, Scholarship,
Pre-exilic Hist, ANE Law. Passed 11/95.
The dissertation is an historical-critical analysis of the Jubilee Laws
in Leviticus 25 and related passages, stretching from ANE roots up to
interpretations in the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Gospel of Luke, exploring a
concept of scriptural "transformation." It is contended that these laws reflect ancient
(pre-monarchic) social welfare measures based on practical, economically sound
principles aimed at limiting the consequences of debt in a subsistence economy.
The "fallow" (beginning with the harvest and ending with
planting) was a mechanism for providing food for the poor.
Release of debt-slaves, cancellation of debt, and land restoration were
all based on a completed schedule of repayment.
During the exile (directly following the Cyrus edict, precisely 49 years
after the destruction of the temple) these measures were reinterpreted and
edited into a political message of hope for restoration from exile.
Release of debt-slaves became release of captives, restoration of land
taken for debt became restoration of land taken in conquest.
The Jubilee became a symbol of God's favor, that the time had come to
return to Israel. The original
intent of the laws was partially obscured as a result of this editing process.
Then, as reflected in the Dead Sea Scrolls and in the Gospel of Luke,
this transformation is continued in a more spiritual and eschatological
direction, where the cancellation of debt became forgiveness of sins. Release from the slavery to sin was accompanied by a
restoration of the rightful inheritance of eternal life and the final Sabbath
rest. This sort of transformation,
whereby the scriptures maintain their relevance within the community of faith,
is a continuing and legitimate process, but must be guided by a careful,
historical-critical understanding of the passages within their own historical
contexts (defended 2004).
Church Involvement: At various times I have
prepared and led Bible Studies, Adult Sunday School classes and vacation Bible
school, planned worship, led congregational singing, given sermons, participated
in discussion and prayer, directed children's choir and handbell choirs, led
youth group, sung in the choir, sung solos, volunteered for office work or in
the food pantry, read scriptures as a lector, and served as cantor for Psalms.
I have enjoyed this involvement with a number of different churches over
the years, including Pioneer Presbyterian Church (USA) in Marinette WI, the
Princeton University Chapel, PEF and Alpha Omega, Princeton Presbyterian Church
(PCA), Princeton Alliance Church, Trinity Episcopal Church in Princeton, Point
Grey Fellowship Mennonite Church and the Menno-Simons Centre in Vancouver, the
Mennonite Congregation of Boston, the Harvard Graduate Christian Fellowship (and
the GSASCF), Park St. Church in Boston, St. James Episcopal Church in Cambridge
MA, and Trinity Episcopal Church in Williamsport PA.
French, German, Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic, Akkadian, Ugaritic, Phoenician.
Exposure to other NWSemitic and Semitic languages for Epigraphy, Comparative Semitics.
Smatterings of Spanish, Norwegian and Japanese (just for fun). Someday: Russian.
Travel and Extracurricular:
Travel: Israel, Cyprus, Greece, Germany, Austria, France, Belgium, Norway, Italy, Hungary, Yugoslavia,
Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, England, Mexico, Hawaii, Quebec, Canadian Northwest Territories.
Music: choral singing, choral conducting, folk guitar, piano, recorder, handbells, flute.
Outdoors: canoeing, sculling, xc-skiing, hiking, camping. Ran 100th Boston Marathon (4 hrs).
Family: Geoffrey, Alexander (3/97) and William (3/99) Knauth. http://knauth.org/~gsk
Frank Cross, Michael Coogan, Jo Ann Hackett, Paul Hanson, Carl Armerding, Gordon Fee.
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