David Noel Freedman
David Noel Freedman (May 12, 1922 – 8 April 2008), son of the writer David Freedman, was a biblical scholar, author, editor, archaeologist, and, after his conversion from Judaism, a Presbyterian minister. He was one of the first Americans to work on the Dead Sea Scrolls. He died of a heart ailment.
Freedman was born Noel Freedman in New York City in 1922, the son of David and Beatrice Freedman. The elder Freedman died about 1935 and Noel adopted his name as a mark of respect. Soon after, he converted to Christianity and became a member of the Presbyterian Church. He attended the City College of New York, after which he entered Princeton Theological Seminary, where he earned a Bachelor of Theology in 1944. He then went on to study Semitic Languages and Literature at The Johns Hopkins University. In 1947, while still a graduate student, the excavation of caves near the Dead Sea was just beginning to unearth thousands of fragments of texts. He became one of the first American scholars to get access and spent twenty years painstakingly studying and translating a scroll of Leviticus, one of the books of the Torah. After earning his doctorate in 1948, he then held a series of professorial and administrative positions at various theological institutions and universities.
As the general editor of several distinguished series, including the Anchor Bible Series (1956–2008), Eerdmans Critical Commentaries (2000–2008), and The Bible in Its World (2000–2008), and as the editor and author of numerous other award-winning volumes, including the Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible (2000), Freedman has produced over three hundred and thirty scholarly books. Recent seminal works as an author include The Unity of the Hebrew Bible (1991), Psalm 119: The Exaltation of Torah (1999), The Nine Commandments (2000) and What are the Dead Sea Scrolls and Why Do They Matter? (2007). As editor of the Leningrad Codex: A Facsimile Edition (1998), Freedman and his colleagues brought the world’s oldest complete Hebrew Bible to synagogues, churches, libraries and individuals around the world for the first time in history.
- 1992-2008: Endowed Chair in Hebrew Biblical Studies at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD).
- 1989-1997: Program Director for the Study of Religion at UCSD.
- 1986-1992: Teaches at the University of Michigan and UCSD
- 1984-1992: Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Biblical Studies, Univ of Michigan, Ann Arbor
- 1971-1983: Professor of Biblical Studies, University of Michigan in Ann Arbor
- 1966-1971: Dean of Faculty at SFTS
- 1964-1971: Gray Professor of Old Testament Exegesis at San Francisco Theological Seminary (San Anselmo, CA) and the Graduate Theological Union (Berkeley, CA)
- 1961-1964: James A. Kelso Professor of Hebrew and Old Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
- 1948-1964: Professor of Old Testament, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and Western Theological Seminary, Pittsburgh, PA
- 1947-1948: Assistant Instructor at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland
- 1946-1947: Teaching Fellow, The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland
- Albright Institute of Archaeological Research (American Schools of Oriental Research), Jerusalem
- Annual Director, 1969-70, 1976-77
- Ashdod Excavation Project
- Director, 1962-64
- Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD (1945-1948), Ph.D. Semitic Languages and Literature
- Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, NJ (1941-1944), Th.B. Hebrew Bible
- University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA (1938-1939), B.A. Modern European History
- City College of New York, New York, NY (1935-1938)
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