Spencer Allen

Spencer Allen


J. William Fulbright College of Arts & Sciences

(MEST)-Middle East Studies Program

Phone: 479-575-4373

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Dr. Spencer L. Allen, Ph.D., teaches at the King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies in the Fulbright College at the University of Arkansas. He holds a doctorate in Hebrew Bible and Assyriology from the University of Pennsylvania (2011), a Master’s of Theological Studies in Scripture and Interpretation from Harvard Divinity School (2001), and a B.A. in Psychology from Hendrix College (1999), and he spent a year studying Semitic languages at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem (2001-2002). Allen previously taught in the Division of Biblical Studies at John Brown University and in the critical writing program at the University of Pennsylvania. He teaches Monday mornings classes at First Presbyterian Church, Rogers, and occasional Wednesday evening classes at First United Methodist Church, Rogers, as well as occasional classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) within the University of Arkansas. Allen has published articles on the use of rhetorical questions in Amos; Assyrian political treaties; the grammar of divine names in the biblical world; the biblical dimension of rock superstar Bruce Springsteen’s music and lyrics; and local cult leader Tony Alamo’s views on Christian polygamy. His book, The Splintered Divine: A Study of Ishtar, Baal, and Yahweh Divine Names and Divine Multiplicity in the Ancient Near East, came out in 2015 as the fifth volume in the De Gruyter series Studies in Ancient Near Eastern Records (SANER). 

Biblical History and Theology, Religio- and Geo-Politics of Ancient Israel, Near Eastern History, Ancient Conceptions of the Divine, Comparative Study of Cuneiform and Biblical Civilizations, Modern/Popular Interpretation of Scripture

Current Projects:

Books In Preparation

Twelve Sermons your Pastor Won’t Give: Academic Views on the Gospels Presented from the Pulpit. (first draft of manuscript completed; in preparation for proposal submission)

Israelite Antagonism, Samarian Superiority, and the Judahite Rejoinder: The Interaction of Religion and Geopolitics of Israel in the Iron Age

Articles In Preparation

“Geographic Epithets and Mythical Homelands: Extrapolating From Mount Zaphon.” (submitted to the Journal of Near Eastern Studies; submission date July 8, 2016) 

“Another Foreign Word in Ezra 7:13–26? daena as an Iranian Load Word into Aramaic” (in preparation for Vetus Testamentum; anticipated submission date August 2016)

“Rearranging the Curses in Esarhaddon’s Succession Treaty: A look to the West.” (in preparation for Die Welt des Orients; anticipated submission date September 2016)

Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Israelite Religious History, Assyriology, Northwest Semitic Languages, Near Eastern Religions, Historical Geography and Biblical History, Judaism, New Testament and Early Christian History, Church History to 1600, Ancient and Modern Biblical Interpretation, Western Religions

MEST 2203/H Introduction to Christianity (Fall 2016)

MEST 4103/H Hebrew Language and Literature I (Fall 2016)

MEST 4103/H Hebrew Language and Literature II (Spring 2017)

MEST 4103/H The Life and Times of King David (Spring 2017)

MEST 4103/H The New Testament (Spring 2017)

HIST 3853/MEST 4003/H The Rise of Monotheism (Spring 2016)

MEST 4003/H Early Christian History: The First 300 Years (Spring 2016)

MEST 4003/H Women of the Bible (Spring 2016)

HIST 3983/MEST 4003 The Apostle Paul and His Legacy (January 2016)

MEST 4003/H The Bible and the Koran: Characters Common to Islam, Christianity and Judaism (Fall 2015)

2011           University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Ph. D., Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (Hebrew Bible and Assyriology); Dissertation title: The Splintered Divine: A Study of Ištar, Baal, and Yahweh Divine Names and Divine Multiplicity in the Ancient Near East

2002           The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel. Visiting Student, Rothberg International School (The Bible and its World)

2001           Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Masters of Theological Studies (M.T.S.), Harvard Divinity School (Scripture and Interpretation)

1999           Hendrix College, Conway, Arkansas. B.A. Psychology (Magna Cum Laude with distinction)

1995           Arkansas School for Mathematics and Sciences, Hot Springs, AR.


The Splintered Divine: A Study of Ištar, Baal, and Yahweh Divine Names and Divine Multiplicity in the Ancient Near East. Studies in Ancient Near Eastern Records (SANER) 5. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2015. http://www.degruyter.com/view/product/185993


“The Anomaly of Tony Alamo Christian Ministries:  A New Testament-Based Call for Christian Polygamy.” Nova Religio: Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions 17 (2014):61-82.

“There’s a New World Coming: The Eschatology of Wrecking Ball.Journal of Religion and Popular Culture 26 (2014): 202-214.

“An Examination of Northwest Semitic Divine Names and the Bet-locative.” Journal for the Evangelical Study of the Old Testament 2 (2013): 61-82.

“Rearranging the Gods in Esarhaddon’s Succession Treaty.” Die Welt des Orients 43 (2013): 1-24.

“Aššur and Enlil in Neo-Assyrian Documents.” Pages 397-409 in Organization, Representation, and Symbols of Power in the Ancient Near East Proceedings of the 54th Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale at Würzburg 20–25 July 2008. Edited by Gernot Wilhelm. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2012. 

“Understanding Amos 6:12 in Light of his other Rhetorical Questions.” Vetus Testamentum 58 (2008): 437-448.

2015-present:    Lecturer, King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR

2013-present:    Theologian-in-Residence, First Presbyterian Church, Rogers, AR

2013-present:    Reviewer, The Journal of Religion and Popular Culture (University of Toronto Press)

2012:                  Adjunct Instructor, Division of Biblical Studies, John Brown University, Siloam Springs, AR

2008-2009:         Visiting Scholar, King Fahd Center for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR

2007-2008           Critical Writing Fellow, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Abraham M. Ellis Fellowship, University of Pennsylvania (2010).

Critical Writing (“Chimicles”) Fellowship, University of Pennsylvania (2007-2008).

William Penn Fellowship, University of Pennsylvania (2002-2007).

Summer fellowship to Universität Wien for German Studies, ÖsterreichischesKulturforum (Austrian Cultural Forum) at the Hebrew University (2002).

Harvard-Hebrew University Fellowship, Harvard and Hebrew Universities (2001-2002).