Lawrence H. Schiffman is the Judge Abraham Lieberman Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University and Director of the Global Institute for Advanced Research in Jewish Studies. He has served as the Chair of the Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University and Ethel and Irvin A. Edelman Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies. Between 2011 and 2014, he served as Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Professor of Judaic Studies at Yeshiva University.
He received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees from the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis University. He is a specialist in the Dead Sea Scrolls, Judaism in Late Antiquity, the history of Jewish law, and Talmudic literature.
His publications include The Halakhah at Qumran (E. J. Brill, 1975); Sectarian Law in the Dead Sea Scrolls: Courts, Testimony, and the Penal Code (Scholars Press, 1983); Who Was a Jew? Rabbinic Perspectives on the Jewish-Christian Schism (Ktav, 1985); From Text to Tradition: A History of Second Temple and Rabbinic Judaism (Ktav, 1991); a Hebrew book entitled Halakhah, Halikhah u-Meshihiyut be-Khat Midbar Yehudah (Law, Custom, and Messianism in the Dead Sea Sect) (Merkaz Shazar, 1993); the jointly authored monograph, Hebrew and Aramaic Magical Texts from the Cairo Genizah (Sheffield, 1992); Reclaiming the Dead Sea Scrolls (Jewish Publication Society, 1994; Doubleday paperback, in the Anchor Research Library, 1995) and more than 200 articles on the Dead Sea Scrolls and Rabbinic Judaism.
His most recent books are The Courtyards of the House of the Lord: Studies on the Temple Scroll (Brill, 2008) and Qumran and Jerusalem: Studies in the Dead Sea Scrolls and the History of Judaism (Eerdmans Publishing, 2010). His long-awaited edition of the Temple Scroll has been published (with A.D. Gross and M.C. Rand, et al.; in J.H. Charlesworth, ed., The Dead Sea Scrolls: Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek Texts with English Translations, vol. 7: Temple Scroll and Related Documents (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck; Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2011). Most recently he co-edited Outside the Bible: Ancient Jewish Writings Related to Scripture; 3 vols. (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, Lincoln: University of Nebraska, 2013).
He has been a visiting professor at Yale University, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Duke University, the University of Toronto, the Johns Hopkins University, the Russian State University for the Humanities (Moscow), the University of Hartford, Queens College, Pontifical Gregorian University (Rome), Yeshiva University, and the University of Vienna.
During the academic year 1989/90 he was a Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Studies of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem as part of a research group dealing with the Dead Sea Scrolls and was on the International Editorial Team for Publication of the Dead Sea Scrolls. In 1992‑93 he was a Fellow at Annenberg Research Institute, Philadelphia in the Dead Sea Scrolls research group. He was a member of the academic committee for the celebrations of the 50th and 60th anniversaries of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls held in Jerusalem. Together with a colleague, he served as editor-in-chief of the Oxford Encyclopedia of the Dead Sea Scrolls (2000) and for ten years as one of the editors of the journal Dead Sea Discoveries. In 2006 he was the recipient of the National Foundation for Jewish Culture Scholarship Award.
Active in many professional societies, Dr. Schiffman served as President of the Association for Jewish Studies and is currently on the Board of Directors of the American Friends of the Bible Lands Museum, Jerusalem and past Chair and Representative of the Orthodox Union for the International Jewish Committee on Interreligious Consultations (IJCIC), the Jewish liaison committee to the Vatican and other religious groups. He is a member of the steering committee of the Orthodox Forum of Yeshiva University and has edited several volumes in the Orthodox Forum Series.
Dr. Schiffman was featured in the PBS Nova series documentary, “Secrets of the Dead Sea Scrolls,” four BBC documentaries on the scrolls, a Discovery special, the series “Mysteries of the Bible” (A&E) and “Kingdom of David” (PBS) and other documentaries. He recorded two audio lecture series for Recorded Books, The Dead Sea Scrolls: The Truth behind the Mystique and The Hebrew Bible. He has lectured widely in universities, academic conferences, and for community organizations and is a contributing editor of the Long Island Jewish World newspaper. More recently he served as the academic advisor to the exhibition at Discovery Times Square entitled, The Dead Sea Scrolls: Life and Faith in Biblical Times.