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BYU guest lecturer considers Ancient Near Eastern law, forensics June 1

Bruce Wells, associate professor of Hebrew Bible studies at Saint Joseph’s University, will speak at a Brigham Young University lecture Wednesday, June 1, at noon in 238 Herald R. Clark Building.

The lecture, “The Whole Truth: Forensic Rituals and Forensic Evidence in Ancient Near Eastern Courtrooms,” is hosted by the David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies.

Much of Wells’ work has focused on the legal texts of the Hebrew Bible and on the legal history of the broader ancient Near East. He is principal investigator, along with two other colleagues, in a project to study several hundred cuneiform tablets that contain records from legal trials that took place in southern Mesopotamia between 600 and 450 B.C., funded in large part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. 

Wells is the author of “Law of Testimony in the Pentateuchal Codes” and co-author with Raymond Westbrook of “Everyday Law in Biblical Israel,” plus more than a dozen articles on related biblical and ancient Near Eastern topics. 

He received a doctorate in Near Eastern studies from Johns Hopkins University in 2003.

This lecture will be archived at For more information, contact Lee Simons at (801) 422-2652 or 

Writer: Mel Gardner


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