Lisa Cleath, PhD

Associate Professor of Biblical Studies

Lisa Cleath

Lisa Cleath has been on faculty at George Fox University since the fall of 2017. She teaches a range of Bible courses, including Old Testament, New Testament, Ezra-Nehemiah: Exile and Migration, the Psalms, Biblical Interpretation, the Dead Sea Scrolls, Social Justice and the Bible, Archaeology and the Bible, and Biblical Hebrew and Aramaic. 

Prior to coming to George Fox, Cleath was a postdoctoral researcher at the Egyptian Museum in Berlin, as the Aramaic specialist on a team that was digitizing the Elephantine papyri. This postdoctoral work expanded upon her doctoral specialization in Second Temple Judaism at UCLA.

Currently, Cleath cultivates her publication projects by bringing her teaching into conversation with her research interests. She works on ideas about textual authority in the ancient world in order to explore the origins of the idea of a “Bible” — and thus encourage conscientious usage of the Bible today.

She has published a piece on post colonial framing of Jewish identity in a Persian Egyptian colony and thereby reflects on her own hybrid, mixed-race identity. She has written on the power of narrative to promote resilience in response to trauma, by relating Ezra-Nehemiah to Indigenous American community experiences.

These pieces have been featured in journals such as the ARAM Society of Oxford University and Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel. Cleath seeks to employ analysis of the ancient world and the Bible in a way that will inspire her students and peers to bring justice and transformation to our world.

Academic Background

PhD, University of California, Los Angeles
MA, Fuller Theological Seminary