Areas of Expertise
Topics that Dr. Klein is available to address at adult forums and other congregational events
Archaeology and the Bible (3-4 sessions)
Books of Chronicles (3-4 sessions)
Daniel--Living in an Impossible World (3-4 sessions)
Great Love Stories of the Bible (3-4 sessions)
How the Bible has been Read over the Centuries--and How it Might be Read Today (3-4 sessions)
Homosexuality and the Bible (2-3 sessions)
Saying Yes to Exile--and No! The Prophet Jeremiah (3-4 sessions)
Messiah in the Old Testament (3-4 sessions)
Old Testament Stories as Seen by Artists (3-4 sessions)
Ten Commandments for Today (2 sessions)
Yahweh Faithful and Free--The Prophet Ezekiel (3-4 sessions)
B.A. Concordia Senior College
M.Div. Concordia Seminary, St. Louis
Th.D. Harvard University
Additional study at University of Michigan, Ecole Biblique, Jerusalem; Cambridge University; Humboldt Fellow at the University of Göttingen, Kirchliche Hochschule, Berlin, and Marburg University.
SermonsView sermon list
Ralph W. Klein is Christ Seminary-Seminex professor of Old Testament at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC). A member of the faculty since 1983, Klein served as Dean from 1988-99 and again in the spring semester of 2005. Prior to joining the Seminary's faculty he was professor and chair of the department of exegetical theology at Christ Seminary-Seminex, St. Louis, Mo.; assistant professor at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis; and an instructor at Concordia Senior College, Fort Wayne, Ind. In 1998, he was a guest professor at the University of Chicago Divinity School.
An ordained pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Klein is committed to the church-at-large. He was a member of the St. Louis Task Force on Soviet Jewry, the stewardship committee for the Metropolitan Chicago Synod, ELCA, and a member of the board of directors and chair of the Social Policies Committee of Lutheran Family and Children's Services, St. Louis.
He founded and chaired the Chronicles-Ezra-Nehemiah Group for the Society of Biblical Literature, and served on the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools and as a member and chair of visiting accreditation teams to other seminaries. He recently directed the LSTC self-study in preparation for the renewal of the seminary's accreditation by the Association of Theological Schools and the North Central Association.
Widely published, Klein has written for the Christian Century, Concordia Theological Monthly, Currents in Theology and Mission, Harvard Theological Review, Interpretation, Journal of Biblical Literature, Journal of Hebrew Scriptures, Word and World and the Zeitschrift fuer die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft. He has been editor of Currents in Theology and Mission since 1974 and is an associate editor of the Catholic Biblical Quarterly. His books include Textual Criticism of the Old Testament, Israel in Exile, a commentary on 1 Samuel in the Word Biblical Commentary; Ezekiel: the Prophet and his Message; and the commentary on Ezra and Nehemiah in the New Interpreter's Bible. He has completed an extensive commentary on 1 Chronicles for the Hermeneia Commentary Series, (scheduled for publication by Fortress press in 2006) and will complete an equally comprehensive commentary on 2 Chronicles in the next few years. Over the years he has published more than 1300 book reviews and short notices. At the annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature in Atlanta, November 22, 2003, he was presented with a Festschrift: The Chronicler as Theologian: Essays in Honor of Ralph W. Klein.
Klein received the Bachelor of Arts degree from Concordia Senior College, Fort Wayne, and the Master of Divinity degree from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. At Harvard University, he received the Doctor of Theology degree and was a Teaching Fellow and Rockefeller Fellow. During recent sabbatical leaves, Klein has studied at the Albright Institute of Archaeological Research and the Ecole Biblique in Jerusalem, at Cambridge University in England, and at Philipps University in Marburg, Germany.
Klein chaired the joint technology committee for the Lutheran School of Theology and McCormick Theological Seminary and was the project director for a $300,000 Lilly Foundation grant to LSTC that has enhanced the use of technology in the teaching-learning process. He has also developed a web site on the Old Testament and the Ancient Near East that provides links to more than 10,000 internet sites and access to a substantial number of his own articles, including comments on the Old Testament lessons for every Sunday in the Revised Common Lectionary. You may visit this site at http://prophetess.lstc.edu/~rklein.
Klein and his wife, Marilyn, are parents to two grown daughters and grandparents to five grandsons. On almost every Sunday during the academic year he teaches adult forums in Chicago area congregations. He also is a tennis player and an avid golfer.
You can view Klein's curriculum vitae by going to his website, and clicking on curriculum vitae under the drop down menu "Documents by RWK." Under the drop down menu "Old Testament" click on "Commentary recommendations" to see his advice on which are the best commentaries on each Old Testament book.
"The Messages of the Prayer of Azariah and the Song of the Three Jews," in Where the Wild Ox Roams: Essays in Honour of Norman C. Habel, Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2013, pp. 255-269
Review of “Mothers of Promise. Women in the Book of Genesis” by Tammi J. Schneider in Currents in Theology and Mission, Vol. 40, No. 5 (October, 2013) 361
Review of “Great Prayers of the Old Testament” by Walter Brueggemann in Currents in Theology and Mission, Vol. 40, No. 5 (October, 2013) 361
Review of “Isaiah 40-66: Translation and Commentary” by Shalom M. Paul in Currents in Theology and Mission Vol.40 No. 3 (June 2013) 205-206
Review of “Psalms 3: A commentary on Psalms 101 – 150” by Frank Lothar Hossfeld and Eric Zenger in Currents in Theology and Mission Vol.40 No. 3 (June 2013) 208-209
Review of “The Sin of the Calf: The Rise of the Bible’s Negative Attitude Toward the Golden Calf” by Young Ho Chung in Currents in Theology and Mission Vol.40 No. 3 (June 2013) 213
Review of “The Book of Judges” by Barry G. Webb in Currents in Theology and Mission, Vol. 40, No. 4 (August, 2013) 281-282
Review of “Jeremiah: Pain and Promise” by Kathleen M. O’Connor in Currents in Theology and Mission, Vol. 40, No. 4 (August, 2013) 282-283
Leader and participant booklets for Augsburg Adult Bible Studies: God's People Worship (July-September 2013)
2 Chronicles. Hermeneia Commentary. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2012
”Competing Contemporary Lutheran Study Bibles, Currents for Theology and Mission Vol.39, No. 5 (October, 2012) 368 – 373
Review of “Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible” by Emanuel Tov in Currents for Theology and Mission Vol.39, No. 5 (October, 2012) 392-393
Review of “Introducing the Qur’an for Today’s Reading” by John Kaltner in Currents for Theology and Mission Vol.39, No. 5 (October, 2012) 397-398
Review of “Recent Research on the Major Prophets” edited by Alan J. Jauser in Currents for Theology and Mission Vol.39, No. 5 (October, 2012) 401
Review of “The Pentateuch as Torah; New Models for Understanding Its Promulgation and Acceptance” edited by Gary N. Knoppers and Bernard M. Levinson in Currents for Theology and Mission Vol.39, No. 5 (October, 2012) 401
Review of “Exodus” by Thomas B. Dozeman in Currents for Theology and Mission Vol.39, No. 5 (October, 2012) 402
Review of “Painting the Text: The Artist as Biblical Interpreter” by Martin O’Kane in Currents for Theology and Mission Vol.39, No. 5 (October, 2012) 402
Review of “The Real Luther” by Franz Posset in Currents for Theology and Mission Vol.39, No. 5 (October, 2012) 402
Review of “Introduction to the Historical Books: Strategies for Reading” by Steven L. McKenzie in Currents for Theology and Mission Vol.39, No. 5 (October, 2012) 402
"In Memoriam: Frederick W. Danker" in CBQ 74 (2012): 773-774
“The Messages of the Prayer of Azariah and the Song of the Three Jews” Catholic Biblical Association, University of Notre Dame, July 2012.
Review of “Freeing the Dead Sea Scrolls and Other Adventures of an Archaeology Outsider” by Hershel Shanks in Currents in Theology and Mission, Vol. 39, No. 4 (August 2012) 328
Review of “The Book of Hosea” by J. Andrew Dearman in Currents in Theology and Mission, Vol. 39, No. 4 (August 2012) 328
“Israel in Exile after Thirty Years” in By the Irrigation Canals of Babylone: Approaches to the Study of Exile (London: T & T Clark, 2012) 9 – 19
Review of “The Rising of Bread for the World. An Outcry of Citizens Against Hunger” by Arthur Simon in Currents in Theology and Mission Vol. 38, No. 5 (October, 2011) 382
Review of “God’s Word in Human Words: An Evangelical Appropriation of Critical Biblical Scholarship” by Kenton Sparks in Currents in Theology and Mission Vol. 38, No. 4 (August, 2011) 293.
“How My Mind Has Changed” Currents in Theology and Mission, Vol 38, No 2 (April, 2011) 126 - 127.
“Tribute” Currents in Theology and Mission, Vol 38, No 2 (April, 2011) 144 - 146
Review of “Psalms, Volume 3: Psalms 90 – 150 by John Goldingay in Currents in Theology and Mission, Vol 38 No 3 (June, 2011) 214.
Review of “Interpreting Isaiah: Issues and Approaches” edited by David G. Firth and H.G.M. Williamson in Currents in Theology and Mission, Vol 38 No 3 (June, 2011) 214
Review of “History and the Hebrew Bible” by Hans M. Barstad in Currents in Theology and Mission, Vol 38 No 3 (June, 2011) 215.
"The Chronicler's Theological Rewriting of the Deuteronomistic History: Amaziah a Test Case." In Pages in Raising up a Faithful Exegete. Essays in Honor of Richard D. Nelson. Edited by K. L. Noll and Brooks Schramm. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2010: 237-246
Review of 1 & 2 Kings by Marvin A. Sweeney in Currents in Theology and Mission Vol 37 No 5 (October, 2010) 419
Review of The Architecture of Herod the Great Builder by Ehud Netzer in Currents in Theology & Mission, vol. 37, no. 4 (August, 2010) 340-341
Review of Jeroboam’s Wife: The enduring Contributions of the Old Testament’s Least-Known Women in Currents in Theology & Mission, vol. 37, no. 4 (August, 2010) 341
Review of Judaism of the Second Temple Period, Volume 1: Qumran and Apocalypticism by David Flusser in Currents in Theology & Mission, vol. 37, no. 4 (August, 2010) 341
"Textual Criticism in the Old Testament," in Method Matters (Festschrift for David L. Petersen); Notes on 1 and 2 Kings in Lutheran Study Bible.
“Stewardship in the Old Testament,” Currents in Theology and Mission Vol.36 No. 5 (October 2009): 330-334
“1 Samuel,” Word Biblical Commentary 10, Second Edition
Review of Dictionary of Major Biblical Interpreters, edited by Donald K. McKim in Currents in Theology & Mission, vol. 36, no. 4 (August, 2009): 303
Review of The TNIV Reference Bible, published by Zondervan in Currents in Theology & Mission, vol. 36, no. 4 (August, 2009): 303
“For the Wonders that Astound Us,” Currents in Theology and Mission Vol. 35 No. 6 (December 2008): 402-404
“Peggy Blomenberg – With Deep Appreciation,” Currents in Theology and Mission, Vol. 35, No. 5 (October 2008): 326
“Mark P. Bangert: Professor of Worship and Church Music,” Currents in Theology and Mission, Vol. 35 No 3. (June 2008): 162-164
Introduction to Old Testament Readings, Sundays and Seasons, Year A 2008. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2007
"Promise and Fulfillment," pp. 47-63, in Contesting Texts: Jews and Christians in Conversation about the Bible. 2007
"No Easy Answers." Keynote Address at 2007 LSTC Leadership Conference, February 12, 2007
"Response to Donald Hagner." Hein-Fry Lectures at LSTC, March 16, 2007.
"Reading the Bible as Lutherans in the Twenty-First Century." Essay at the New Jersey Synod Ministerium Day, April 18, 2007.
Gary N. Knoppers, ed. Expatriates, Repatriates, and the Question of Zion's Status. A Conversation with Melody D. Knowles by Deirdre N. Fulton, David Janzen, and Ralph W. Klein. 2007
1 Chronicles. Hermeneia Commentary Series. Minneapolis: Fortress. 2006
"The Book of Ezra and Nehemiah" in Old Testament Survey. Nashville: Abingdon. 2006
Participant in discussion of I. Kalimi, An Ancient Israelite Historian: Studies in the Chronicler, his Time, Place and Writing. Journal of Hebrew Scriptures 6. 2006
Studies on the Lessons for the Lenten and Easter Seasons. Select. ELCA Vocation and Education Unit.
"Taking our Ethics from the Bible." The Network Letter 15, 1, 1-6.
Notes on "1 Chronicles" and "2 Chronicles" for the revised version of the HarperCollins Study Bible.
"Seeing the Pentateuch: Reading the Text through the Eyes of Artists." Invited Address, Catholic Biblical Association of America, Loyola University of Chicago, August 6. 2006
Invited Reviews of Melody Knowles, Centrality Practiced: Jerusalem in the Religious Practice of Yehud and the Diaspora in the Persian Period, and Jacob Wright, Rebuilding Identity: The Nehemiah Memoir and its Earliest Readers. Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, Washington, DC.
Articles on "Ariel," "Artaxerxes," and "Branch" in The New Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible A-C. 2006
"The God of the Chronicler." Essays in Honor of Terence E. Fretheim. Word and World Supplement Series.
"Promise and Fulfillment." Old Testament Colloquium at Catholic Theological Union and Contesting Texts Conference at LSTC
"The Last Words of David" in Essays in Honor of Sara Japhet (Jerusalem: Mosad Bialik, 2006)
Notes on "1 and 2 Chronicles" in Renovare Study Bible 2005
"Africa and Africans in the Book of Chronicles," CurTM 32 (2004):274-281.
Notes for "Ezra, Nehemiah, and 1 Esdras" in New Interpreter's Study Bible 2003
"Narrative Texts: Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah" in The Blackwell Companion to the Bible 2001
"Isaiah for Advent," CurTM 28 (2001):560-566.
"The Faith and the World." Currents in Theology and Mission, 28 (2001) 335-340.
Commentary on "Ezra," "Nehemiah," "1 Esdras." In The HarperCollins Bible Commentary. Revised Edition. San Francisco: Harper San Francisco, 2000. Pp. 338-52 and 698-704.
"The Ironic End of Joash in Chronicles." In For a Later Generation. Nickelsburg Volume. Philadelphia: Trinity Press International, 2000. Pp. 116-127.
"Ezekiel in the Twenty-first Century." In The Book of Ezekiel: Theological and Anthropological Perspectives. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2000. Pp. 1-21.
"Ezekiel, Book of." In Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000. Pp. 446-448.