Themed Study

Reformation History

Reformation History

It seems like everyone has heard of the Reformation, but have you ever wondered how this 16th century movement affected the church and the texts we read? What were the big thought shifts, what made them possible, and do they still affect us today? These are a few of the questions tackled in the first four sessions of this course as Dr. Baden and Dr. Gordon discuss the Bible and the translators who changed how we thought of it. Follow them from the influence of the Vulgate and the invention of the printing press through to vernacular translations and their effect on biblical reception.

The latter four sessions of this course look at four specific texts from the Old Testament that were of central import to the reformers as they navigated issues of and interactions between Bible and society.


Dr. Joel S. Baden

Prof. Joel Baden, Professor of Hebrew Bible at Yale Divinity School, is a specialist in the Pentateuch, Biblical Hebrew, and disability theory in biblical studies. He is the author of numerous articles, essays, and books on individual pentateuchal texts, critical methodology, and Biblical Hebrew. Future projects include commentaries on Deuteronomy and Exodus. He holds degrees in Judaic Studies (BA, Yale), Semitic Languages (MA, University of Chicago), and Hebrew Bible (PhD, Harvard).

Prof. Baden is also the Director of the Center for Continuing Education at Yale Divinity School. The foundational programs of the Center are YMI, Yale Bible Study and Yale Summer Study.

Dr. Bruce Gordon

Bruce Gordon, Titus Street Professor of Ecclesiastical History, a native of Canada, taught at the University of St Andrews, Scotland before coming to Yale Divinity School in 2008. He has written extensively on late-medieval and Reformation religious history, including a biography of John Calvin (2009) and a study of Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion (2016). He is currently completing a co-authored book on the Latin Bibles of the Reformation. He holds degrees from Dalhousie University (BA and MA) and the University of St Andrews (PhD) as well as an honorary doctorate from the University of Zurich (Switzerland).