The Hebrew Bible and its Contexts


Research activities of the Chair in the Hebrew Bible and its Contexts

Research activities are conducted primarily within the context of the West Semitic and biblical studies team.

More specifically, the Professor’s current research focuses on traditional accounts of the exodus from Egypt and the formation of the book of Exodus. A large American publishing house specializing in biblical studies has signed a contract with Thomas Römer to publish a commentary on the biblical book of Exodus that takes into account new advances in biblical research. Unlike the vast majority of commentaries, it will no longer be based on the documentary hypothesis, but will take as its starting point the hypothesis of the initial writing down of traditions regarding Moses from the Neo-Assyrian period. An extensive bibliography will require compiling a collection of documents and the help of an assistant. The various hypotheses arising from the literary and historical research will be presented in lectures at the Collège de France.

Research on the Pentateuch

Successful collaboration with the "ProPent" team from the University of Pretoria, which began in 2011, is expected to continue. Professor Römer has also received the title of "extraordinary professor" at the University of Pretoria. Seminars with South African colleagues and as well as certain European guests provide an ideal opportunity to openly address certain points in a serene setting that is sometimes lacking in the context of research on the Pentateuch. Publications by R. Rendtorff and H. H. Schmid published in 1976 radically questioned the traditional view of the formation of the Pentateuch.

In 2016, after 40 years of wandering, it is time to bring together researchers from Europe, the United States, and Israel working with different models in order to compare these varying approaches and assumptions. Such a workshop could be held on the premises of the Fondation Hugot. Researchers will propose different analyses of the same text, and subsequently we will attempt to compare these analyses and discuss methodological decisions and results.