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James Nati
Assistant Professor of Hebrew Bible & Old Testament Studies

Dr. Nati joined the JST community as Assistant Professor of Hebrew Bible & Old Testament Studies in 2019. He holds a PhD from Yale University (2019), MAR from Yale Divinity School (2013), and BA from the University of Michigan (2011).

His research focuses on the textual traditions of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, and more specifically on the development of these traditions in the Second Temple period (500 BCE –100 CE). His first book, Textual Criticism and the Ontology of Literature in Early Judaism: An Analysis of the Serekh ha-Yahad, takes a text from the Dead Sea Scrolls – the Community Rule – as a test case for considering how biblical texts developed, and it asks how ancient scribes might have understood the nature of their developing literature. James has published articles and book reviews in a number of peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes, and he recently completed a commentary on the Community Rule (with John J. Collins; Oxford University Press, 2024). He is in the very early stages of work on two projects. The first, tentatively titled A Biblical Philology of Wonder, explores wonder as a guiding principle for biblical philology while also focusing on wonder as an aspect of certain biblical narratives. The second, tentatively titled The Beginning of Scripture: Writing, Truth, and Presence in Early Judaism seeks to understand how ancient Jewish authors understood their own writing as an embodiment of divine truth.

James’s teaching centers on Wisdom and Apocalyptic literature, the Deuterocanonical books, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and biblical languages.

Dr. Nati is a member of the Core Doctoral Faculty in the GTU's Department of Sacred Texts and Their Interpretation, an affiliated faculty member at the Richard S. Dinner Center for Jewish Studies, and an affiliated faculty member at UC Berkeley’s Graduate Group in Ancient History and Mediterranean Archaeology.


  • Wisdom in Ancient Israel
  • What is Scripture?
  • How to Read the Book of Job
  • Advanced Biblical Hebrew: The Dead Sea Scrolls
  • The Book of Daniel: Apocalypse Amidst Empire

“Truth and Writing in Daniel: Memories of Persian Media,” (with Laura Carlson Hasler) forthcoming in Journal of Hebrew Scriptures.

The Rule of the Association and Related Texts (with John J. Collins; Oxford University Press, 2024).

“What Did Jacob Read at Bethel?: Scrolls and Scripture in Jubilees 32:21-26,” Journal of Ancient Judaism 15 (2024): 98-119.

“The Book of Jubilees and/as Commentary: A Review Essay of James C. VanderKam, Jubilees: A Commentary on the Book of Jubilees,” Revue de Qumran 35 (2023): 133-148.

“New Readings in 11Q29,” Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha 33 (2023): 134-139.

“‘But they Maintain the Fabric of the World’ (Sir 38:34): Wisdom and the Dignity of Work in the Book of Sirach,” explore Journal 23 (2023): 23-27.

Textual Criticism and the Ontology of Literature in Early Judaism: An Analysis of the Serekh ha-Yahad (JSJSupp 198; Leiden: Brill, 2022).

“‘As for the Doer of His Will, May They Ascend as a Fine Fragrance’: A Note on Jubilees 2:22,” Journal of Ancient Judaism 12 (2021): 175-184.

“Ancient Hebrew Literature Beyond ‘The Bible’:” Metatron 1.1-2 (2021). Edited by James Nati and Seth L. Sanders.

“The Rolling Corpus: Materiality and Pluriformity at Qumran, with Special Consideration of the Serekh ha-Yaḥad,” Dead Sea Discoveries 27 (2020): 161-201.

(510) 549-5031
Office hours by appointment, room 301
Curriculum vitae