Professor of New Testament and Early Judaism
Sarah Tanzer joined the faculty of McCormick Theological Seminary in 1986.
A Delaware native, she she received a Bachelor of Arts summa cum laude from Dickinson College in 1975. She earned a Master of Theological Studies in New Testament in 1977 from Harvard Divinity School. As a recipient of the Frank D. Knox Fellowship from Harvard University, Sarah spent a year studying at Oxford University in a newly-created program, Jewish Studies in the Greco-Roman period.
She returned to Harvard University to work towards a Doctor of Philosophy in the study of religion, with major fields in New Testament and Jewish studies. During the course of her Harvard program, she spent a summer excavating at an archaeological site in Israel, Tel Anafa, and participated in two extended archaeological seminars in Greece. She also spent a year at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem as a visiting research student on a Rotary International Graduate Fellowship. Sarah was awarded the first Frances Grabow Goldman Fellowship at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, where she resided, taught and carried on her research from 1983-86. Her Ph.D. from Harvard University was awarded with highest honors in March 1987. Her dissertation was entitled: "The Sages at Qumran: Wisdom in the Dead Sea Scrolls."
While at Harvard, Sarah held several positions. She was the assistant tutor for the study of Religion, helping to guide the undergraduate program. She worked with Helmut Koester as the research assistant to the Archaeology Research Team and she was also an editorial assistant for the Harvard Theological Review.
Sarah has published "Ephesians," in Searching the Scriptures: A feminist Commentary (ed. Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza, Vol. 2, 1994), "The Historically Jewish Jesus Encounters One Modern Catholic Theologian: A Cautionary Tale," in The Proceedings of the Catholic Theological Society of America (1994), "Judaisms of the First Century," in The Oxford Companion to the Bible (1993), and "Salvation is for the Jews: Secret Christian Jews in the Gospel of John," in The Future of Early Christianity (1991). Currently underway is a book from her revised dissertation.
She is also a member of the International Dead Sea Scrolls Team which has been working to produce the first official edition of those texts which remain unpublished from the Qumran scrolls. Her other scholarly interests include the Gospel of John, Jewish-Christian relations in the first centuries and feminist critical approaches to early Judaism and Christianity.
Sarah is married to Rabbi Scott Looper and they have two sons.
B.A., Dickinson College
M.A.T.S., Harvard Divinity School
Ph.D., Harvard University
B 324: Introduction to Greek Exegesis I
B 325: Introduction to Greek Exegesis II
B 450: The Gospels
B 489: Greek Exegesis III
B 490: Jewish and Christian Difference
B 498: The Bible and Human Sexuality