John Hilber

Professor of Old Testament

Faculty Positions:

Grand Rapids Theological Seminary - Bible, Theology & Ministry

Contact John Hilber


Dr. John Hilber, professor of Old Testament, brings a pastoral heart to the classroom, encouraging seminarians to grow in grace by encountering the Living Word through the written word. He teaches graduate-level courses in the Hebrew language, biblical hermeneutics, Christian spiritual formation and biblical exegesis, guiding students in his classes toward greater confidence in their skills to interpret, appreciate and engage the texts of the Old Testament.

A graduate of the University of Cambridge, the bulk of Dr. Hilber's research has focused on ancient Near Eastern religion as it relates to Old Testament prophecy. A more recent research agenda emerged during his sabbatical as a Senior Research Fellow of the Henry Center for Theological Understanding where he engaged questions of science and the Bible.

Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Dr. Hilber joined the faculty of Grand Rapids Theological Seminary in 2012. His professional memberships include the American Oriental Society, American Schools of Oriental Research, Evangelical Theological Society, Institute for Biblical Research and Society of Biblical Literature.


Articles and Book Chapters

"Prophetic Ritual in the Egyptian Royal Cult" in Prophecy and Its Cultic Dimensions, edited by Lena-Sophia Tiemeyer (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2019).

"Prophecy, Divination, and Magic in the Ancient Near East" in Behind the Scenes of the Old Testament: Historical, Cultural, and Social Contexts of Ancient Israel, edited by Jonathan S. Greer, John W. Hilber and John H. Walton (Baker Academic, 2018).

"The Relationship of Prophecy and Wisdom in the Ancient Near East" in Riddles and Revelations: Explorations into the Relationship between Wisdom and Prophecy in the Hebrew Bible, edited by M. J. Boda, R. L. Meek and W. R. Osborne (Bloomsbury T. & T. Clark, 2018).

"Isaiah as Prophet and Isaiah as Book in their Ancient Near Eastern Context" in Bind Up the Testimony: Explorations in the Genesis of the Book of Isaiah, edited by Daniel I. Block and Richard Schultz (Hendrickson, 2015).

"Royal Cultic Prophecy in Assyria, Judah, and Egypt" in 'Thus Speaks Ishtar of Arbela': Prophecy in Israel, Assyria and Egypt in the Neo-Assyrian Period, edited by Robert P. Gordon and Hans M. Barstad (Eisenbrauns, 2013).

"Liturgy and Cult, Prophets and" in Dictionary of the Old Testament: Prophets, edited by Mark J. Boda and J. Gordon McConville (InterVarsity, 2012).

"The Culture of Prophecy and Writing in the Ancient Near East" in Do Historical Matters Matter to Faith, edited by James K. Hoffmeier and Dennis Magary (Crossway, 2012).

"Egyptian Royal Cultic Prophecy" in On Stone and Scroll: Essays in Honour of Graham Ivor Davies, edited by James K. Aitken et al. (Walter de Gruyter, 2011).

"Cultic Prophecy in Assyria and in the Psalms," Journal of the American Oriental Society 127 (2007): 29-40.

"Cultic Prophecy in the Psalms in the Light of Assyrian Prophetic Sources," Tyndale Bulletin 56 (2005): 141-45.

"Psalm CX in the Light of Assyrian Prophecies," Vetus Testamentum 53 (2003): 353-66.

"Old Testament Wisdom and the Integration Debate in Christian Counseling," Bibliotheca Sacra 155 (1998): 411-22.

"Theology of Worship in Exodus 24," Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 39 (1996): 177-89.

"Diversity of OT Prophetic Phenomena and NT Prophecy," Westminster Theological Journal 56 (1994): 243-58.


  • Ph.D., Old Testament, University of Cambridge (2004)
  • Th.M., Semitics and Old Testament, Dallas Theological Seminary (1984)
  • B.S., Geology, University of Washington (1977)


—Outdoor recreation


—The Old Testament and its ancient Near Eastern religious and literary context
—Science and the Bible