Abraham Winitzer

Abraham Winitzer

Jordan H. Kapson Associate Professor of Jewish Studies

Primary Field of Study: Christianity and Judaism in Antiquity


Ph.D. Harvard University

Research and Training Interests

Biblical Demythologization of Mesopotamian Myth: Conceptions of Myth In the Ancient World.

Reception of Mesopotamian traditions in Judaism and Islam. 

The Spirit of Scholarship: Catholic Clergy at the Dawn of Ancient Near Eastern Studies, 1875-1965.

Sumerian and Old Babylonian miscellaneous texts in the Yondorf Collection (with Walter Farber).

Selected Publications

Listenwissenschaft and Ordnungswille from a Jewish Perspective: A. L. Oppenheim on Ancient Mesopotamia before ‘A Dead Civilization', in ‘Semitische Wissenschaften’? Ägyptologie und Altorientalistik im ‘Dritten Reich’, Ed. Th. Gertzen (De Gruyter) (Forthcoming, 2023).

"Toward Leo Oppenheim's Dead Civilization and Stream of Tradition," in Towards a History of Assyriology, ed. S. Fink and H. Neumann (IO 4; Münster, Zaphon), 376-95 (2023).

“Mesopotamian Mythology and Genesis 1-11,” in Oxford Bibliographies in Biblical Studies, ed. C. Matthews (New York: Oxford University Press) (with Kacie Klamm) (2023).

 The Worlds of Yesterday: A. Leo Oppenheim and Ancient Mesopotamia in Light of the Twentieth Century (500 pp.; forthcoming in 2023).

Atrahasīs, behind the First Sin that Cried to Heaven and Related Matters,” Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions: Special Editors’ Issue 23/1 (2023).

 “Messages and Messengers of Kings and Gods: Anzû in the Light of the Diplomatic Correspondence from the Amorite/Old Babylonian Age,” in Dieux, rois et capitales dans le Proche-Orient ancien: Compte rendu de la LXVe Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale (Paris, 8-12 juillet 2019), ed. M. Béranger, F. Nebiolo, and N. Ziegler (Leuven: Peeters), 1065-82 (2023). 

 “Conceptions of Mesopotamian Divination,” Archiv für Orientforschung 54: 321-42 (2021).

 “World Literature as a Source for Israelite History: Gilgamesh in Ezekiel 16,” in Writing and Rewriting History in Ancient Israel and Near Eastern Cultures, ed. I. Kalimi (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz), 103-20 (2020).

 History as Scholarship in the Early Babylonian Divination Literature (Part I),” KASKAL 16: 259-77 (2019).

 Early Mesopotamian Divination Literature: Its Organizational Framework and Generative and Paradigmatic Characteristics (AMD 12; Boston: Brill; 489+xxi pp.) (2017).

Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions. (2015-)


Winitzer teaches ancient Near East languages (primarily Akkadian, Aramaic, and Hebrew), but his interests deal more broadly with the intellectual and religious history of the ancient Near East and its reflection in the literature from this region. More particularly, it is the Akkadian literature from ancient Mesopotamia that forms the focus of his work, though a second major area involves Israel’s principal literary achievement, the Hebrew Bible, in its ancient Near Eastern context. His writings have centered on Akkadian divination, the subject of his 2017 book (Brill), along with contemporary Near Eastern historiography, the subject of his forthcoming volume on A. L. Oppenheim. He is presently turning to a project concerning and the reception of Mesopotamian mythic traditions in the Hebrew Bible.



343 Malloy
(574) 631-0921