The Bible and Ancient Mesopotamia

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444). This special issue belongs to the section "Religions and Humanities/Philosophies".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 December 2024 | Viewed by 179

Special Issue Editor

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. School of History, Archaeology and Philosophy, University of Winchester, Winchester SO22 4NR, UK
2. Fellow of University College London, London WC1E 6BT, UK
3. Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Western Ontario, London, ON N6A 5B9, Canada
Interests: biblical textuality; assyriology; the Bible (Hebrew Bible and New Testament) and ancient Mesopotamia; ancient esotericism

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

I am delighted to announce the call for papers for a Special Issue of Religions devoted to the subject of “The Bible and Ancient Mesopotamia”.

In a paper published in 1987, Moshe Yitzhaki presented a citation analysis of scholarly publications issued between 1920 and 1980 to gauge the degree of cross-fertilization between biblical and ancient Near Eastern studies. His data show that it was surprisingly modest. In the past four decades, however, the landscape has changed dramatically. One of the most vibrant fields of current biblical research is investigation of the relationships between Sumerian, Babylonian, and Assyrian theological speculation and literary and scientific practice together with Hebrew biblical textuality, including the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha. Alongside this focus on the biblical text, scholars have probed how Mesopotamian culture affected Judean modes of intellectual enquiry and the worldview that they produced. In the era of the Mesopotamian domination of Syro-Palestine, and particularly during the exile, Judean intellectuals—the scribal community—were exposed to Mesopotamian epistemology. This research is currently bringing to light the breadth, depth, and character of its impact.

By marked contrast, the impact of Mesopotamian theological conceptions and rhetorical devices on the writers of the New Testament has received little attention. Generally, New Testament commentators have focused on the corpus’s relationship with Graeco-Roman and Second Temple Jewish material. However, recognition is growing of the fact that substantial portions of the New Testament display an imprint of ideas that originated beyond the Roman Empire’s eastern borders. This is a field ripe for extensive investigation.

We are therefore pleased to invite you to contribute to this Special Issue. Its aims are as follows:

  1. To showcase leading-edge research on the relationship of the biblical record, predominantly the Hebrew Bible but also including the New Testament, apocryphal and pseudepigraphic writings, and the Dead Sea Scrolls, with ancient Mesopotamia.
  2. To disseminate this research rapidly to a wide readership.

In line with the journal’s focus, papers are invited that examine this comparative topic of the transmission of ideas in the ancient Near East through one or more of the following lenses: theology, religion and literature, religion and linguistics, religion and science, religion and art, the role of religion in culture and society, and the history and ideology of religions.

We request that, prior to submitting a manuscript, interested authors initially submit a proposed title and an abstract of 200–300 words summarizing their intended contribution. Please send it to the Guest Editor ([email protected]) or to the Editorial Office of Religions ([email protected]). Abstracts will be reviewed by the Guest Editor for the purpose of ensuring proper fit within the scope of the Special Issue. Full manuscripts will undergo double-blind peer review.

Deadline for abstract submission: 30 June 2023

Deadline for full manuscript submission: 15 December 2024

We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Prof. Dr. Robin Baker
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Sumer
  • Babylon
  • Assyria
  • Hebrew Bible
  • New Testament
  • Apocrypha
  • Pseudepigrapha
  • Dead Sea Scrolls
  • comparative religion
  • religious transmission in the ancient Near East

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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