Robert A. Kraft

Berg Professor of Religious Studies, Emeritus
227 Logan Hall
(215) 898-5827

Robert A. Kraft is Emeritus Professor specializing in early varieties of Judaism and Christianity in the Department of Religious Studies. He is now "semi-retired," having taught at Penn since 1963, following two years as Assistant Lecturer at the University of Manchester in England. He holds a PhD in "Christian Origins" from Harvard (1961), and is the designated President of the Society of Biblical Literature in 2006. Kraft continues to conduct one graduate level seminar each term and to work on various scholarly projects as noted on his home page, especially the computerization of the textual variants for the ancient Jewish scriptures in Greek (as part of the CATSS project, "Computer Assisted Tools for Septuagint/Scriptural Studies") and the digitization and description of the papyri and related documents in the Penn collections (as part of the APIS project, "Advanced Papyrological Information System"). Also of special interest for Jewish Studies is his "New M. R. James" project, to update and expand the "Lost Apocrypha of the Old Testament" (published in 1920), or as Kraft prefers to say, "Parabiblical Literature and Traditions of Early Judaism" and similar materials from early Christianity.

Courses Taught: 
  • RELS 435: Sources for the Life of Jesus
  • RELS 436: The Life and Letters of Paul
  • RELS 525: Varieties of Judaism in the Greco-Roman Era
  • RELS 535: Varieties of Christian Thought before Irenaeus
  • RELS 735: Seminar in Judaism and/or Christianity in the Hellenistic Era
Jewish Studies Program
711 Williams Hall, 255 S. 36th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305
215-898-6654 / 215-573-6026 fax / jsp-info@sas.upenn.edu