Department of Biblical and Ancient Studies

Old Testament and Ancient Near Eastern Studies

The Old Testament and Ancient Near Eastern Studies unit in the Department of Biblical and Ancient Studies (including Hebrew studies and Judaica) comprises a variety of experts on the Hebrew Bible, Biblical Archaeology, Biblical Studies, Ancient Near Eastern Studies, Semitics and Judaica, whose aim is to meet  the needs of the South African and International communities through:

  • Context-oriented excellent research on the disciplines which constitute the Department.
  • Dedicated Open Distance Teaching through quality products which are geared at a diverse student constituency.
  • Commitment to be socially-engaged in special and unique ways.

We are happy to welcome any prospective students who wish to benefit from the rich and contextually relevant offerings which we as a Department present.

On account of the merger of the old University of South Africa (Unisa) with the former Technikon SA and the incorporation of the Distance Education wing of Vista (VUDEC), the face of many a department which belonged to the old Unisa had to change.  The then Department of Old Testament which had, since its inception, enjoyed thirty three years of independent existence, was also affected accordingly.  In 2004, the department was joined with the sub-discipline, Ancient Near Eastern Studies and Cultures, hence its (then) present name, the Department of Old Testament and Ancient Near Eastern Studies. 

On account of further rationalization, the department was joined in 2005 by Semitics, thus bringing in the following three additional disciplines, Classical Hebrew, Modern Hebrew and Judaica. A further merger took place in 2012 when the Department of Old Testament and Ancient Near Eastern Studies merged with the Department of New Testament and Early Christian Studies forming the Department of Biblical and Ancient Studies.

Modern Hebrew and Judaica were discontinued at the end of 2014 due to rationalization of courses. Classical Hebrew is still offered on first- and second-level - the latter is currently being phased out.

Contact us

NameOfficeTelephone numberE-mail address
Unit leader
Prof N Mtshiselwa TvW 8-120 +27 12 429 4485
Administrative staff
Mrs HM Rootman TvW 8-128 +27 12 429 4711  
Mrs LF van Vuuren TvW 8-129 +27 12 429 6812
Prof WS Boshoff TvW 8-117 +27 12 429 4527
Prof EB Farisani (COD) TvW 8-130 +27 12 429 4410
Prof IGP Gous TvW 8-116 +27 12 429 4507
Prof M le Roux TvW 8-110 +27 12 429 4389

Prof MJ Masenya TvW 8-112 +27 12 429 4863

Dr H Ramantswana TvW 8-82 +27 12 429 2898
Prof CLV Scheepers TvW 8-114 +27 12 429 4528
Prof EH Scheffler TvW 8-125 +27 12 429 4711
Prof GF Snyman TvW 8-98 +27 12 429 4642
Mr NJ van Blerk TvW 8-126 +27 12 429 6095
Prof PJ van Dyk TvW 8-125 +27 12 429 3244
Prof SW van Heerden TvW 8-104 +27 12 429 4687
Prof PS Vermaak TvW 8-81 +27 12 429 6882
Prof WJ Wessels TvW 8-125 +27 12 429 4463

Last modified: 2017/01/17