Claire Pfann

Claire Pfann

Contact: [email protected]

Academic Dean

Expertise: New Testament

Biography: Claire Ruth Pfann is Academic Dean and Instructor in New Testament at the University of the Holy Land in Jerusalem. She received her Master of Arts in Bible from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley and has studied for the Ph.D. under the direction of Prof. Michael Stone at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is a popular lecturer for short-term study groups coming to Jerusalem, speaking frequently on the Jewish world of Jesus and the earliest Christians, women in the Bible, and society and daily life in New Testament times.

She has been featured in numerous television shows and documentaries on CNN, CBN, the BBC, and the History Channel.

Mrs. Pfann worked with Prof. Emanuel Tov, Editor-in-Chief of the Dead Sea Scrolls Publication Project from 1991-1997, serving as the Production Coordinator for Discoveries in the Judean Desert (Oxford University Press), the official publication series for the Dead Sea Scrolls. With her husband Stephen, an editor of the Scrolls written in Cryptic (or esoteric) scripts, she is producing the Comprehensive Concordance to the Scrolls as well as a web-based, Multimedia Educational Suite on Qumran and the Scrolls.

She is a contributor to the newly revised Encyclopedia Judaica (2006). Her most recent publication is “A Note on 1Q19,” in M. Stone, A. Amitai and V. Hillel, eds. Noah and His Book(s) (SBL, 2010).

With her husband, she wrote and compiled the database for the CD-ROM From Nazareth to Jerusalem: A Disciple’s Diary, and with the staff of the Center for the Study of Early Christianity, she contributed to the CD-ROM Christian Pilgrimage to the Holy Land, produced for the Ministry of Tourism of Israel by UHL/CSEC.

In addition to her teaching and administrative duties, she is a member of the research team and content advisor for the Nazareth Village, a historical museum experience in Nazareth which recreates Jewish town life in the first century AD based on literary and archaeological sources and contemporary ethno-anthropological studies.

A native of San Jose, California, she has made her home in Jerusalem for the past thirty- four years together with her husband of thirty-nine years Stephen.

Education (cont.):

  • Ph.D. cand., Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Dept. of Comparative Religions; Prof. Michael Stone, Dissetation Advisor. Dissertation Topic: “Levites in the Late Second Temple Period: Their Presence and Social Functions in Eretz Israel and the Diaspora.”
  • Post-graduate Studies, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Dept. of Comparative Religions, Prof. Michael Stone, Program Director; area of research: “The Belief in Angels in Second Temple Period Literature,” 1985-1988
  • M.A. Graduate Theological Union (Franciscan School of Theology), Berkeley, California, 1985. Area of specialization: Bible. Thesis topic: “Who is My Brother? A Study of the Term adelphos in the Acts of the Apostles.”
  • Visiting Graduate Student, Hebrew University. Course work in the Departments of Ancient Semitic Languages, Bible, and Archaeology, 1982-1983.
  • B.Th. Northern California Bible College, San Jose, California, 1978. Major: Bible. Santa Clara University, 1971-1972.

Linguistic Background:

  • Ancient Languages:
    • Reading knowledge of Hebrew, Aramaic, Syriac, Ugaritic, Koine Greek.
    • Studied for purposes of comparative linguistics: Modern Egyptian.
  • Modern Languages:
    • Hebrew, French.



  • Production team, accountant, and database in-put Chrisitian Pilgrimage to the Holy Land (UHL/CSEC and Israel Government Ministry of Tourism, 1998).
  • Co-author (in collaboration with Click! Multimedia, Inc., Tel Aviv, Israel), From Nazareth to Jerusalem: A Disciple’s Diary (Palphot and Thomas Nelson/Word, 1996).
  • Contributor (in collaboration with Click! Multimedia, Inc., Tel Aviv, Israel), The Illustrated Dictionary and Concordance of the Bible (Bitan, Pub., in press).


  • Review of In the Master’s Steps: The Gospel in the Land (The Carta New Testament Atlas, Vol. 1) by R. Steven Notley (Jerusalem: Carta, 2014), BAR 41 (2015) 68-70.
  • “A Note on 1Q19” in The Book of Noah, M. Stone, A. Amihay, R. Clements, eds. (SBL, 2011).
  • “Popes,” Encyclopedia Judaica Second Edition (New York: Keter and Macmillan Publishers, 2006).
  • “Protestants Encyclopedia Judaica Second Edition (New York: Keter and Macmillan Publishers, 2006).
  • Contributor, The Comprehensive Concordance to the Dead Sea Scrolls. 1997-present (Eisenbrauns, in preparation).
  • Production Editor, Discoveries in the Judaean Desert XXVII (Oxford University Press, 1997).
  • Contributor, The Illustrated Dictionary and Concordance of the Bible, Jerusalem Publishing House/MacMillan Press, 1986.
  • Contributor, Hebrew University Bible Project: “The Alignment of the Aramaic and Greek Texts of Ezra and Daniel,” 1982-1983, Prof. E. Tov, Project Director.

Contact Claire Pfann

[email protected]