Ryan Bonfiglio

Ryan Bonfiglio

Associate Professor in the Practice of Old Testament; Executive Director of The Candler Foundry


PhD, Emory University, 2014
MDiv, Princeton Theological Seminary, 2009
BA, Princeton University, 2001


(404) 727-3164


Dr. Ryan Bonfiglio joined the Candler faculty in 2018 as an assistant professor in the practice of Old Testament. He also serves as executive director of The Candler Foundry, a new initiative that seeks to bridge the gap between the church and the academy by making seminary-level learning accessible and engaging for the broader public. He previously taught at Columbia Theological Seminary and served as the John H. Stembler Scholar in Residence at the First Presbyterian Church (USA) of Atlanta. His work through The Candler Foundry offers opportunities for theological exploration outside of Candler’s formal degree programs, including the TheoEd Talks speaker series, in-depth courses led by Candler faculty for churches or communities, and a new initiative supported by a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. that will develop networks of clergy and lay leaders to explore ministry innovations and challenges.

Bonfiglio’s research and teaching interests include ancient Near Eastern iconography, biblical metaphors, the Sabbath, and various topics in Old Testament theology. He is the author of Reading Images, Seeing Texts: Towards a Visual Hermeneutics for Biblical Studies (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2016) and co-editor of Iconographic Exegesis and the Hebrew Bible / Old Testament (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2015). He is currently working on a book that explores the biblical theology of the Sabbath (Westminster John Knox).

Bonfiglio is chair of the Metaphor Theory and Hebrew Bible Program Unit at the Society of Biblical Literature.


Reading Images, Seeing Texts: Towards a Visual Hermeneutics for Biblical Studies, Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis series, Academic Press; Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2016

Co-editor, Iconographic Exegesis of the Hebrew Bible / Old Testament, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2015

Contributing editor, Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Law, Oxford University Press, 2015

A Study Companion to John Collins’ Introduction to the Hebrew Bible, Fortress, 2014


“Iconography and the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible,” in The Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Religion, Oxford University Press, 2019

“Ritual Objects and Artifacts,” in The Oxford Handbook of Ritual and Worship in the Hebrew Bible, Oxford University Press, 2019

“Genesis 9:8-17,” in Connections Commentary, Westminster John Knox, 2019

“Joel 2:1-2, 12-17,” in Connections Commentary, Westminster John Knox, 2019

“Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16” in Connections Commentary, Westminster John Knox, 2019

“Religious Visual Culture,” in The Dictionary of the Bible in Ancient Media, T&T Clark, 2017

“Visualizing Literacy: Images, Media, and Method,” in Biblical Interpretation vol. 25, no. 3, 2017

“God, Ancient Israel,” in Oxford Bibliographies – Biblical Studies, 2016

Co-author,”Iconographic Exegesis: Its Theory, Methods, and Practice,” in Iconographic Exegesis, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2015

“Divine Warrior or Persian King? The Archer Metaphor in Zechariah 9” in Iconographic Exegesis, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2015

“God, gods,” and “Idols, Idolatry,” in The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Theology, Oxford University Press, 2015

Elected to A Convocation of Christian Leaders, Leadership Education program at Duke Divinity School, 2018-2019

Distinguished Dissertation in the Humanities & Fine Arts Award, Emory University, 2015

Louisville Institute Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2014-2016

Mellon Foundation Doctoral Fellowship, Sawyer Seminar on Visual Exegesis, Emory University, 2013-2014

Luce Foundation Doctoral Fellowship, Society for the Arts in Religious and Theological Studies, 2012-2013

Piedmont Fellowship in Sustainability, Teaching, and Curriculum, Emory University, 2011

George W. Woodruff Doctoral Fellowship, Emory University, 2009-2014

John F. McLaren Award in Biblical Theology, Princeton Theological Seminary, 2009

Mary L. Greir-Hugh Davies Award in Preaching, Princeton Theological Seminary, 2009

Henry S. Gehman Award in Old Testament, Princeton Theological Seminary, 2008

Introduction to the Interpretation of the Old Testament

Issues in the Interpretation of the Old Testament

Old Testament Theology

The Bible and Poverty

Metaphors and the Biblical Imagination

The Pentateuch

Joshua and Judges

Biblical Hebrew

Texts of Terror

The Ten Commandments

Stranger Things: Science and Faith in Dialogue

In the media

February 3, 2021

100 Days 100 Letters Campaign: Letter 15

TheoEd Talks: Leading thinkers in the church and the academy giving the talk of their lives in 20 minutes or less

January 31, 2019

Rethinking Our Assumptions about Where Theological Education Happens

August 21, 2018

The Church as the Center of Theological Education

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