Robert Miller

Academic Areas

  • Biblical Studies
  • Religion and Culture
  • School

  • School of Theology and Religious Studies
  • Expertise

  • The History and archeology of ancient Israel/Palestine
  • The Bible and Theology
  • The ancient Near Eastern influences that have shaped the development of the Old Testament
  • The books of Genesis; Judges; Psalms; and Song of Songs
  • Anthropological methods (especially dealing with orality and comparative myth)
  • Biography

    Robert D. Miller II, a Secular Franciscan, taught at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary from 1999-2009. In 2009, he took up an appointment at Catholic University. He is Affiliated Faculty at the University of Pretoria and a Life Member of St John’s College, Cambridge.

    Professor Miller is a scholar of the history, literature, religion, and archaeology of Ancient Israel in the First Temple Period. His books, Chieftains of the Highland Clans: A History of Israel in the 12th and 11th Centuries BC (2005), Oral Tradition in Ancient Israel (2011), and related articles made him a recognized authority on Early Israel. He is also greatly interested in Biblical Theology, having organized several conferences on the subject, and published Syriac and Antiochian Exegesis and Biblical Theology for the 3rd Millennium (2008), Covenant and Grace in the Old Testament: Assyrian Propaganda and Israelite Faith (2012), Between Israelite Religion and Biblical Theology: Essays on Archaeology, History, and Hermeneutics (2016), and Many Roads Lead East: Overtures to Catholic Biblical Theology (2016). His most recent book is The Dragon, the Mountain, and the Nations: An Old Testament Myth, Its Origins and Afterlives (2018), and he is working on an aesthetic commentary on the Song of Songs. Professor Miller has also worked in the interface of science and theology as recipient of two major grants, Religion and Science in Pastoral Ministry (www.atompluseve.com) and Science for Seminarians (www.scienceforseminaries.org). He is also active in Jewish-Christian and Muslim-Christian dialogue at the local and international levels. A practicing archaeologist, Professor Miller is a former member of the Board of Trustees of the American Schools of Oriental Research and serves on the Board of Control of the New American Bible for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

    Publications

    • Syriac and Antiochian Exegesis and Biblical Theology for the 3rd Millennium

      Syriac and Antiochian Exegesis and Biblical Theology for the 3rd Millennium

      Syriac and Antiochian Exegesis and Biblical Theology for the 3rd Millennium

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    • The Dragon, the Mountain, and the Nations: An Old Testament Myth, Its Origins and Afterlives

      The Dragon, the Mountain, and the Nations: An Old Testament Myth, Its Origins and Afterlives

      The Dragon, the Mountain, and the Nations: An Old Testament Myth, Its Origins and Afterlives

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    • Many Roads Lead East: Overtures to Catholic Biblical Theology

      Many Roads Lead East: Overtures to Catholic Biblical Theology

      Many Roads Lead East: Overtures to Catholic Biblical Theology 

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    • Covenant and Grace in the Old Testament

      Covenant and Grace in the Old Testament

      Covenant and Grace in the Old Testament: Assyrian Propaganda and Israelite Faith

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    • Oral Tradition in Ancient Israel

      Oral Tradition in Ancient Israel

      Oral Tradition in Ancient Israel

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    • Chieftains of the Highland Clans

      Chieftains of the Highland Clans

      Chieftains of the Highland Clans: A History of Israel in the 12th and 11th Centuries BC

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    Edited Volumes

    • His Words Soar Above Him”: Biblical and Northwest Semitic Studies Presented to Charles R. Krahmalkov, ed. R. M. Kerr, R. D. Miller II, and P. C. Schmitz. 2018. And in this volume, “A Tale of Two Villages: A Microhistory of Early Israel
    • Between Israelite Religion and Biblical Theology: Essays on Archaeology, History, and Hermeneutics (Contributions to Biblical Exegesis and Theology 80; Leuven: Peeters, 2016). And in this volume: “Iron Age Medicine Men and Old Testament Theology.”
    • The Highest Form of Wisdom:  A Memorial Book in Honor of Professor Saul S. Friedman (1937-2013), ed. J. C. Friedman and R. D. Miller II (New York: Ktav, 2015). And in this volume, “God and the Asiatic Mode of Production,”
    • Syriac and Antiochian Exegesis and Biblical Theology for the 3rd Millennium, (Gorgias Eastern Christian Studies 6; Piscataway: Gorgias Press, 2008).

    Articles and Book Chapters (since 2007)

    • “Dragon Myths and Biblical Theology,” Theological Studies 80 (2019): 37-56
    • “What the Old Testament Can Contribute to an Understanding of Divine Creation,” Heythrop Journal 60 (2019): 29-40.
    • “Mythic Dimensions of the Sources of the Jordan,” Aram 29 (2017): 207-234
    • “The Witch at the Navel of the World,” Zeitschrift für die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 129 (2017): 98-102.
    • “Iconographic Links between Indic and Ancient West Asian Storm Gods,” Zeitschriften der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft 166 (2016): 141-52.
    • “The Hebrew Bible’s Concept of Life,” Communio Viatorum 57 (2015): 223-39.
    • “Performance of Oral Tradition in Ancient Israel,” pp. 175-96 in Contextualizing Israel's Sacred Writing: Ancient Literacy, Orality, and Literary Production, ed. Brian B. Schmidt (Atlanta: SBL Press, 2015).
    • “Myth as Revelation,” Laval théologique et philosophique 70 (2014) : 539-61.
    • “Shamanism and Totemism in Early Israel,” Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences 100 (2014): 21-58.
    • “The Baals of Bashan,” Revue Biblique 121 (2014): 506-15.
    • “Early Israel and Its Appearance in Canaan,” chapter 5 in Ancient Israel’s History: An Introduction to Issues and Sources, ed. Bill T. Arnold and Richard S. Hess (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2014).
    • “Tracking the Dragon across the Ancient Near East,” Archiv Orientální 82 (2014): 225-45.
    • “The Roles of Moses in the Pentateuch," pp. 19-36 in Illuminating Moses: A History of Reception, ed. Jane Beal (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2014).
    • “What are the Nations Doing in the Chaoskampf?” pp. 206-216 in Creation and Chaos: Reconsideration of Hermann Gunkel's Chaoskampf Hypothesis, ed. Joanne Scurlock and Richard H. Beal (Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 2013).
    • “Shamanism in Early Israel,” Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde des Morgenlandes101 (2011): 309-42.
    • “The Song of Songs: A Plea for an Aesthetic Reading,” Sacra Scripta 10 (2012):113-19.
    • “Orality and Performance in Ancient Israel,” Revue des Sciences Religieuses 86 (2012) : 181-92.
    • “Oral Performance in Ancient Israel,” in “My Spirit at Rest in the North Country” (Zechariah 6.8), ed. H. M. Niemann and M. Augustin (Beitrage zur Erforschung des Alten Testaments und des Antiken Judentums 57; Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 2011), 229-240.
    • “Solomon the Trickster,” Biblical Interpretation 191 (2011): 496-504.
    • “Once More: Minimalism, Maximalism, and Objectivity,” Bible and Interpretation (online journal at www.bibleinterp.com), May 2011.
    • “Handmaid of the LORD; Slave of Yahweh,” TheoForum 40 (2010): 209-220.
    • “The Zion Hymns as Instruments of Power,” Ancient Near Eastern Studies 47 (2010): 217-39.
    • “A ‘New Cultural History’ of Early Israel,” chapter 8 in Israel in Transition: From Late Bronze II to Iron IIA (c. 1250-850 BCE): Volume 2, ed. Lester L. Grabbe (European Seminar in Historical Methodology 8; New York: T & T Clark International, 2010).
    • “The Origin of the Zion Hymns,” pp. 667-75 in The Composition of the Book of Psalms, ed Erich Zenger (Bibliotheca Ephemeridum Theologicarum Lovaniensium 238; Leuven: Peeters, 2010).
    • “Gentiles in the Zion Hymns: Canaanite Myth and Christian Mission,” Transformation: An International Journal of Holistic Mission Studies 26 (2009) 232-46.
    • “Israel’s Covenant in Ancient Near Eastern Context,” Biblische Notizen 139 (2008) 5-18.
    • “When Pharaohs Ruled: On the Translation of Judges 5:2,” Journal of Theological Studies 59 (2008): 650-54.
    • “Gentiles in the Psalter: Universalism without Mission,” STULOS Theological Journal 16.1 (May 2008): 25-34.
    • “Samuel the Chief,” Polish Journal of Biblical Research 7 (2008): 1-17.
    • “Crossing the Sea:  A Reconsideration of the Source Criticism of the Exodus,” Zeitschrift für Altorientalische und Biblische Rechtgeschichte 13 (2007): 187-93.
    • “The Triumph of Grace in the Old Testament,” Incarnate Word 2 (2007): 455-84.