Ziony Zevit, PhD

Ziony Zevit

Ziony Zevit

Distinguished Professor in Bible Northwest Semitic Languages


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University of Southern CA, B.A. 1964
University of California, Berkeley, M.A. 1967
University of California, Berkeley, Can. Phil. 1970
University of California, Berkeley, Ph.D. 1974


Ziony Zevit, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Biblical Literature and Northwest Semitic Languages, joined the faculty of American Jewish University in 1974.
Prior to joining AJU's faculty, Dr. Zevit taught at the University of Haifa, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and U.C. Berkeley. He also participated in archaeological excavations at Tel Lachish and at Tel Dan.
In 1987, Dr. Zevit was designated the first Avraham Biran Fellow in Biblical Archaeology at the Nelson Glueck School of Biblical Archaeology in Jerusalem. He has been awarded fellowships by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Lady Davis Fellowship Trust, and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation (2003); in 2004, he was awarded the Frank Moore Cross Award by the American Schools of Oriental Research for substantial publications in Near Eastern and Eastern Mediterranean epigraphy, texts, and traditions.


Dr. Zevit has published studies in almost every major American, European, and Israeli scholarly journal in his fields of interest and his bibliography lists more than 100 publications. 


In his first book, Matres Lectionis in Ancient Hebrew Epigraphs, he studied the development of Hebrew spelling in the biblical period. This enables scholars to date ancient writings on the basis of how words are spelled.

In 1998, he published a second book, The Anterior Construction in Classical Hebrew, clarifying problems in the verbal system of classical Hebrew.

The Religions of Ancient Israel: A Parallactic Approach, published in 2001, is a study of popular and folk religion in ancient Israel on the basis of both biblical and archaeological evidence. This book has now entered its third reprinting.

He recently completed a book entitled, What Really Happened In the Garden of Eden?

His current research focuses on how the Israelite religion of the biblical period evolved into proto-Judaism during the Persian and early Greco-Roman periods.