Neal H. Walls

Associate Professor of Old Testament Interpretation

BA, College of William and Mary; MA, University of Virginia; PhD, Johns Hopkins University

A scholar of the Hebrew Bible and related ancient Near Eastern texts, Walls is fascinated by the breadth, depth, and complexity of Old Testament literature. He enjoys the privilege of helping students to become skillful interpreters of scripture, to appreciate the diversity of theological perspectives within the canon, and to reclaim the Old Testament’s abundant theological imagination for the church’s ministries today. Walls is the author of The Goddess Anat in Ugaritic Myth (Scholars, 1992) and Desire, Discord and Death: Approaches to Ancient Near Eastern Myth (ASOR, 2001), and  is the editor of Cult Image and Divine Representation in the Ancient Near East (ASOR, 2005). His current research projects focus on the ancient Near Eastern context for the religion and literature of ancient Israel. Walls also enjoys leading pilgrimages and travel programs to Africa and the Middle East.

Religious Affiliation

Alliance of Baptists

Courses Taught

  • Old Testament Interpretation I and II
  • Biblical Hebrew I and II
  • Special Topics: Biblical Aramaic
  • Special Topics: Ugaritic
  • Genesis: Creation and Covenant
  • Daniel: Stories and Visions
  • Africa and the Bible
  • Myth and Scripture
  • Myths of Creation
  • Angels and Demons
  • Interfaith in Winston-Salem
  • Literary Classics of World Religions
  • World Religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam
  • Egypt and Babylon: Ancient Near Eastern Myth
  • Narrative Literature of the Old Testament: Jonah, Esther, and Tobit
  • Reading Our Common Scriptures: Jewish–Christian Dialogue
  • Sacred Music and Religious Experience in Morocco
  • Multicultural Contexts for Ministry: Egypt
  • Multicultural Contexts for Ministry: Israel and Palestine
  • Jews, Christians, and Muslims in the Holy Land


  • The Goddess Anat in Ugaritic Myth. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1992.
  • Desire, Discord, and Death: Approaches to Ancient Near Eastern Myth. Boston: American Schools of Oriental Research, 2001.
  • Cult Image and Divine Representation in the Ancient Near East, ed. Neal Walls. Boston: American Schools of Oriental Research, 2005.

Select Journal Articles, Book Chapters, Book Reviews

  •  “The Origins of the Disabled Body: Disability in Ancient Mesopotamia.” Pp. 13-30 in This Able Body, ed. H. Avalos, et al. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2007.
  • “Anath.” Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception. Brill, 2009.
  • Exegetical Perspectives on Micah 5:2-5a, Isaiah 9:2-7, and Isaiah 52:7-10.  Feasting on the Word: Preaching the Revised Common Lectionary, Year C, Vol. 1, eds. David L. Bartlett and Barbara Brown Taylor. Westminster, 2009.
  • Exegetical Perspectives on Psalms 2, 32, and 51:1-7. Feasting on the Word: Preaching the Revised Common Lectionary Year A, Vols. 1-II, eds. David L. Bartlett and Barbara Brown Taylor. Westminster, 2010.
  • “The Gods of Israel in Ancient Near Eastern Context.” Pp. 261-77 in The Blackwell Companion to Ancient Israel, ed. Susan Niditch. Blackwell, 2015.

Select Honors and Awards

Walls has received numerous research grants, program grants, and teaching awards from Emory University, Wake Forest University, the CF Foundation, the Wabash Center, AAAS, and Lilly Endowment programs, among others.

Professional Affiliations

  • Society of Biblical Literature