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School of Theology and Ministry

Richard J. Clifford, S.J.

professor emeritus of old testament

Richard J. Clifford, S.J.

Contact Information | (617) 552-6529
Carney Hall 214


A.B., M.A., S.T.L., Ph.D. (Harvard)

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, Professor of Old Testament, and Jesuit priest, taught biblical studies at Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge from 1970 to 2008. 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. A former President of Weston Jesuit School of Theology, he was Founding Dean of the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry from 2008-2010. As well as teaching and lecturing in scholarly circles, he is also active in adult education in various New England dioceses.


Fall 2017
Directed Readings Hebrew (TMOT7101)
Great Themes of the Bible (TMNT 8005)

Spring 2018
Great Themes of the Bible (TMNT 8005)

Other Courses
Intro to the Old Testament
Prayer in the Bible
The Prophets
Social Justice and the Bible
Wisdom Literature


Selected Publications

 “Learning from Our (First) Parents,” America - Online Edition (Oct. 24, 2014).

Enjoying the Old Testament. (Rockville, MD: NowYouKnow Media, 2013). 24 half-hour lectures on the Old Testament on DVD and CD format with a study guide.

 “The Gift of the Word,” America 209.14 (Nov. 11, 2013) 15-19.

“Election in Genesis 1,” The Call of Abraham (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame, 2013) 1-22.

“Genesis 37-50: Joseph Story or Jacob Story?” The Book of Genesis (Leiden: Brill, 2012) 213-30.

Apocalyptic Gladness: Do Not Fear Those End-of-the-Year Lectionary Readings!” America, 207 (18 Dec. 12, 2012) 17-19.

“Genesis” and “Proverbs,” revision of translation, preparation of a new introduction and annotations. New American Bible, revised edition (NABRE). (New York: Oxford University Press [and various publishers], 2011).

“The Psalms,” Introductions and annotations, The New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocrypha (4 ed.; New York: Oxford, 2009) 773-894.

“Isaiah, Book of,” New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2008) 3.75-91.

“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,” inThe Catholic Study Bible (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006), pp. 280-335.

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

“The Exodus in the Christian Bible: the Case for “Figural” Reading,” Theological Studies 63.2 (2002) 345-61

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