Mark S. Smith - Princeton Theological Seminary
Mark S. Smith PhD

Mark Smith

Helena Professor of Old Testament Literature and Exegesis


322 Lenox House



Mark S. Smith is the Helena Professor of Old Testament Literature and Exegesis at Princeton Theological Seminary. After obtaining master’s degrees from Catholic University of America, Harvard University, and Yale University, he earned his PhD at Yale. Prior to coming to Princeton Seminary, he served as the Skirball Professor of Hebrew Bible and Ancient Near Eastern Studies at New York University, and also taught at Yale and Saint Joseph’s University. A Roman Catholic layman, Smith also served as a visiting professor at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome and at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

Smith specializes in Israelite religion and the Hebrew Bible, as well as the literature and religion of Late Bronze Age Ugarit. He is the author of 15 books and more than 100 articles. His current research includes a commentary on the book of Judges co-authored with Elizabeth M. Bloch-Smith, which is to appear in the Hermeneia commentary series.

Select Publications

  • Where the Gods Are: Spatial Dimensions of Anthropomorphism in the Bible World (Yale University Press, 2016)
  • Poetic Heroes: The Literary Commemoration of Warriors and Warrior Culture in the Early Biblical World (Eerdmans, 2014)
  • God in Translation: Deities in Cross-Cultural Discourse in the Biblical World (Eerdmans, 2008)
  • The Origins of Biblical Monotheism: Israel’s Polytheistic Background and the Ugaritic Texts (Oxford University Press, 2001)
  • The Pilgrimage Pattern in Exodus, with contributions by the archaeologist Elizabeth M. Bloch-Smith (Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 1997)
  • The Early History of God: Yahweh and the Other Deities in Ancient Israel (Eerdmans, 1990, second edition, 2002)