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School of Theology and Ministry

Richard J. Clifford, S.J.

visiting professor of old testament


Contact Information:
Office: 324
Office Phone: 617-552-6529

Boston  College
School of Theology and Ministry
140 Commonwealth Ave.
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

Areas of Interest:
Among his professional scholarly interests are the ancient Near Eastern background of the Bible, the Wisdom Literature, Psalms, Genesis and the interpretation of the Christian Bible in contemporary culture. His hobbies are hiking, reading, and classical music especially opera.

Richard J. Clifford, S.J., a native of Lewiston, Maine, is Professor of Old Testament. He taught biblical studies at Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge from 1970 to 2008. He was ordained as a Jesuit priest in 1966. He is a graduate of Boston College (A.B., M.A.), Weston Jesuit School of Theology (S.T.L.) and Harvard University (Ph.D.). He was General Editor of the Catholic Biblical Quarterly and is a former President of the Catholic Biblical Association. As well as teaching and lecturing in scholarly circles, he is also active in adult education in various New England dioceses.

Fall 2013
TM 515- The Core Narrative OT: Genesis to Kings

Spring 2013

TM 759- Seminar: Genesis

Other Courses
TM 520- Great Themes of the Bible
TM 535- Wisdom Literature
TM 641- The Prophets
TM 704- Prayer in the Bible
TM 812- Social Justice and the Bible
TM 826- Intro to the Old Testament

Recent Publications:
Fair-Spoken and Persuading: An Interpretation of Second Isaiah
(Mahwah: Paulist, 1984).

Creation Accounts in the Ancient Near East and in the Bible (Catholic Biblical Quarterly Monograph Series 26; Washington, D.C.: Catholic Biblical Association, 1994).

The Wisdom Literature (Interpreting the Biblical Text; Nashville: Abingdon, 1998)

Proverbs: A Commentary (Old Testament Library; Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1999).

Psalms 1-72 and Psalms 73-150 (Abingdon Old Testament Commentary; Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2002 and 2003).

Editor and contributor, Wisdom Literature in Mesopotamia and Israel (Society of Biblical Literature Symposium Series 36; Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2007).

"Psalms as Liturgical Prayer" and "Covenant" in The New Dictio¬nary of Sacramental Worship (ed. P. Fink; Wilmington: Glazier, 1990)

"Genesis 1-25" and "Exodus" in The New Jerome Biblical Commentary (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1989).

"Isaiah 40-66" in Harper's Bible Commentary (San Francisco: Harper, 1988).

"II Isaiah" in Anchor Bible Dictionary (Garden City: Doubleday, 1992).

"The Hebrew Scriptures and the Theology of Creation," Theological Studies (46 (1985) 507-23.

"Cosmogonies in the Ugaritic Texts and in the Bible," Orientalia 53 (1984) 183-201.

"In Zion and David A New Beginning: An Interpretation of Psalm 78," in Traditions and Transformations: Turning Points in Biblical Faith (eds. B. Halpern and J. Levenson; Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 1981), pp. 121-141.

"The Bible and the Environment," in Preserving the Creation: Environmental Theology and Ethics (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown, 1994), 27-32.

"Introdution to Wisdom Literature," New Interpreter's Bible. Vol. 5.  (Nashville: Abingdon: 1997.  Pp. 1-16.

"The Origin and Early Development of Themes of Apocalyptic" in the Encyclopedia of Apocalypticism (ed. J. J. Collins; New York: Continuum, 1998) Vol. 1.

“Inclusive Language in the Lectionary,” Church 16.2 (2000) 21-24.
“The Exodus in the Christian Bible: the Case for “Figural” Reading,” Theological Studies 63.2 (2002) 345-61.

“Genesis 38: Its Contribution to the Jacob Story,” The Catholic Biblical Quarterly 66 (2004) 519-32.

“Psalm 90: Wisdom Meditation or Communal Lament,” in The Book of Psalms: Composition and Reception (VTSup 99; ed. P. W. Flint & P. D. Miller; Leiden: Brill, 2005), 190-205.

With Khaled Anatolios, “Christian Salvation: Biblical and Theological Perspectives,” Theological Studies 66 (2005): 739-69.

“Did It Happen? Is It True? Historicity in the Bible,” America 194.1 (Jan. 2-9, 2006):17-19.

“The Major Prophets, Baruch, and Lamentations,” in The Catholic Study Bible (2nd ed.; ed. John J. Collins and Donald B. Senior; New York: Oxford University Press, 2006), pp. 280-335.

“The Original Testament,” America Sept 9, 2008.

“Wisdom of Solomon,”
(commentary) The Collegeville Bible Commentary (Collegevill, Minn.: Liturgical Press).

New American Bible, 2nd ed. Revision of translation and new notes of Genesis and of Proverbs.

“Isaiah,” 16,000 word article on Isaiah, New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible.

“Psalms,” The New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocrypha (New York: Oxford, 2009).

“Proverbs,” New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible.