Cynthia Shafer-Elliott, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament
- Ph.D., Biblical Studies, the University of Sheffield, England.
- M.A., Biblical Studies, Ashland Theological Seminary, Ohio.
- B.A., History, Social Science, & Biblical Archaeology, Simpson University, California.
Area of Specialization
Dr. Shafer-Elliott specializes in the historical, cultural, and social contexts of ancient Israel and Judah, particularly within domestic contexts, which she then uses as a lens for reading biblical narratives set in the monarchic period.
Dr. Cynthia Shafer-Elliott joined the Religion Department at Baylor University in 2022 from her native California. Her expertise and research focus on the historical, cultural, and social contexts of ancient Israel and Judah as reflected within both the archaeological record and the Hebrew Bible (with a particular interest in the Former Prophets). More specifically, Dr. Shafer-Elliott’s research emphasizes household archaeology and issues of food, gender, religion, and social memory. She is an experienced field archaeologist and is part of the archaeological excavations at Tel Halif and Tel Abel Beth Maacah in Israel. In 2018 she was the Ernest S. Frerichs Annual Professor at the W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research (Jerusalem). Furthermore, Dr. Shafer-Elliott is involved with the American Society of Overseas Research (ASOR), the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL), and the Albright Institute of Archaeological Research (AIAR) in Jerusalem.
Previous Academic Positions
Associate Dean of the Faculty of Theology and Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible and Archaeology at William Jessup University, Rocklin, California
Grants and Fellowships
Ernest S. Frerichs Annual Professor at the W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research (Jerusalem).
Cynthia Shafer-Elliott. Food in Ancient Judah: Domestic Cooking in the Time of the Hebrew Bible. Sheffield: Equinox/Acumen, 2013 (now with Routledge, September 2014, 2019).
Cynthia Shafer-Elliott, ed. The 5 Minute Archaeologist in the Southern Levant. Sheffield: Equinox, 2016.
Janling Fu, Cynthia Shafer-Elliott, and Carol Meyers, eds. The T & T Clark Handbook of Food in Ancient Israel and the Hebrew Bible. London: Bloomsbury/ T&T Clark, 2022.
Cynthia Shafer-Elliott, Kristin Joachimsen, Ehud Ben Zvi, and Pauline A. Viviano, eds. The Hunt for Ancient Israel: Essays in Honour of Diana Edelman. London: Equinox, 2022.
Selected Articles and Book Chapters
Cynthia Shafer-Elliott. “The Reality of Gender in the Ancient Israelite Household.” Pages 12-21 in A Gender Study: The Real Lives of Women and Men in the Bible series. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2022.
Cynthia Shafer-Elliott. “Putting One’s House in Order: Household Archaeology at Tell Halif, Israel.” Pages 233 257 in The Hunt for Ancient Israel: Essays in Honour of Diana Edelman; edited by Cynthia Shafer-Elliott, Kristin Joachimsen, Ehud Ben Zvi, and Pauline A. Viviano; Sheffield: Equinox, 2022.
Cynthia Shafer-Elliott. “Fruits, Nuts, Vegetables, and Legumes”. Pages 139-155 in The T & T Clark Handbook of Food in Ancient Israel and the Hebrew Bible. Edited by Janling Fu, Cynthia Shafer-Elliott, and Carol Meyers; London: T&T Clark, 2022.
Cynthia Shafer-Elliott. "The Heroines of Every Day Life: Ancient Israelite Women in Context." Pages 1-14 in Jews and Gender: Tradition and Change. Edited by Leonard Greenspoon. Studies in Jewish Civilization series; West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University Press, 2021.
Cynthia Shafer-Elliott. “Coming Home Again: Household Archaeology at Judahite Gath”. Pages 424-435 in Tell it in Gath: Studies in the History and Archaeology of Israel. Essays in Honor of A. M. Maeir on the Occasion of his Sixtieth Birthday. I. Shai; J.R. Chadwick, L. Hitchcock, A. Dagan and J. Uziel eds. Ägypten und Altes Testament; Wiesbaden, 2018.
Cynthia Shafer-Elliott. “Food and Feasting in 8th Century Judah”. Pages 279-298 in Eighth Century Judah and Its Cultural Context: A Festschrift Honoring Professor Oded Borowski. Edited by Jacob L. Wright and Zev I. Farber, eds. Atlanta: SBL Press, 2018.
Cynthia Shafer-Elliott. “Food Preparation in Iron Age Israel”. Pages 456-463 in Behind the Scenes of the Old Testament. Edited by Jonathan S. Greer, John W. Hilber, and John Walton; Ada, MI: Baker Academic and Brazos Press, 2018.
Cynthia Shafer-Elliott. “All in the Family: Ancient Israelite Families in Context”. Pages 33-43 in Mishpachah: The Jewish Family in Tradition and in Transition. Edited by Leonard Greenspoon. Studies in Jewish Civilization series; West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University Press, 2016.
Cynthia Shafer-Elliott. “The Role of the Household in the Religious Feasting of Ancient Israel and Judah”. Pages 199-221 in Feasting in the Archaeology and Texts of the Hebrew Bible and Ancient Near East. Edited by Peter Altmann and Janling Fu. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2014.
Eliyahu-Behar, A., Yahalom-Mack, N., S. Zuckerman, A., Shafer-Elliott, C., Maeir, A., Boaretto, E., Finkelstein, I., and Weiner, S. “Iron and Bronze Production in Iron Age IIA Philistia: New Evidence from Tell es-Safi/Gath, Israel.” Journal of Archaeological Science 39(2): 255-67, 2011.
Courses Taught at Baylor
- REL 1310 The Christian Scriptures
- REL 3303 Archaeology and the Bible
- REL 3307 Former Prophets
- REL 4305 Topics from Old Testament Studies
- REL 4399 Senior Seminar
- REL 5301 Contemporary Issues in Old Testament Study
- REL 5303 Seminar in the Former Prophets
- REL 5309 Documents from the Hebrew Scripture
- HEB 1301 Introductory Hebrew I
- HEB 1302 Introductory Hebrew II