The Rev. John A. O’Brien Professor of Theology
The mid-20th Century discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls forever changed the study of the Hebrew Bible. The scrolls date back to 1st Century BCE and, as such, bear witness to the books of the Hebrew Bible during the time of Jesus Christ. Before the Scrolls came to light, the oldest Hebrew manuscripts of the Bible were from around the 10th Century.
The study of the Scrolls—which are highly significant to myriad disciplines—has become the life’s work of Eugene Ulrich, a scholar of the Old Testament and Hebrew Bible and fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is one of the leaders of the international team of researchers editing and publishing the scrolls. He serves as chief editor of the biblical Dead Sea Scrolls for Discoveries in the Judaean Desert, was a member of the editorial board for The Encyclopedia of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and has contributed to three modern translations of the Bible.
Having studied a dozen languages, Ulrich has taught courses and edited biblical manuscripts in Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, and Latin and has contributed to numerous newspapers, television programs, and radio.
The O’Brien Professorships were established with a bequest from Rev. John A. O’Brien, a 40-year member of the Notre Dame faculty. A popular Catholic apologist who reached millions of readers, O’Brien was a leader of the Newman Club movement and an early advocate of Church renewal through the Second Vatican Council.