Criteria: This award recognizes an outstanding book in the areas of Hebrew Bible and/or the Ancient Near East written in English or French by a member of the CSBS and published during the previous two years (currently those with a copyright date of 2016 or 2017). Collections of essays, whether by a single author or by multiple authors, are not eligible for the award.

Selection Process: The three-person Adjudication Committee is appointed from among members of CSBS with a publishing record in at least one of the areas covered by the award.

Nominations: Nominators need to be members of the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies; self-nominations are acceptable. Nominations must reach the Society’s Communications Officer by DECEMBER 31st in order to be considered for the following year’s prize. Please direct queries, and send nominations, to:

Paul Evans
McMaster Divinity College
Divinity Room 236
1280 Main St. West
Hamilton, ON, L8S 4K1
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The award of $500 is announced each year at the Annual General Meeting (usually late May - early June).

This award has been established in honour of Robert Balgarnie Young Scott, one of Canada’s most renowned Old Testament Scholars. He was born in Toronto in 1899 and educated at University College of the University of Toronto and Knox College; during his graduate studies he was also a visiting student at New College, Edinburgh and Westminster College, Cambridge. Scott was ordained in the United Church of Canada in 1926 and held a pastorate for two years. He taught at Union College in Vancouver (1928-31), United Theological College in Montreal (1931-48), the Faculty of Divinity at McGill University (1948-55; he also served as the Faculty’s first Dean for 1948-49) and as the William H. Danforth Professor at Princeton University (1955-68); he was Chair of the Department of Religion at Princton from 1963-65 and named Professor emeritus upon his retirement. R. B. Y. Scott died November 1, 1987.

Scott participated in a number of archaeological excavations in Jordan, and in 1951 purchased several fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls for McGill University; these fragments are now in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. His own antiquities collection consisting of coins, weights, seals and small pieces of pottery and glass is housed in the Redpath Museum at McGiill University as the R. B. Y. Scott Collection.

Scott was a founding member of the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies, served as the secretary-treasurer for its first seven years, and was named President of the Society in 1971; he was also President of the Society of Biblical Literature in 1960. Among his numerous articles and monographs are The Relevance of the Prophets, The Way of Wisdom and Proverbs/Ecclesiastes in the Anchor Bible commentary series. He also composed 10 hymns, including one for Canada’s Centennial in 1967.

Previous Winners:

  • 2017: Mark J. Boda The Book of Zechariah. (NICOT) Eerdmans, 2016.
  • 2016: Iain Provan Seriously Dangerous Religion: What the Old Testament Really Says and Why It Matters. Baylor University Press, 2014.
  • 2015: John Kessler, Old Testament Theology: Divine Call and Human Response. Waco, TX: Baylor, 2013.
  • 2014: Gary N. Knoppers. Jews and Samaritans: The Origins and History of Their Early Relations. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.
  • 2013: Keith Bodner, Jeroboam's Royal Drama. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.
  • 2012: not awarded
  • 2011: Joel N. Lohr, Chosen and Unchosen: Conceptions of Election in the Pentateuch and Jewish-Christian Interpretation. Siphrut: Literature and Theology of the Hebrew Scriptures 2. Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbrauns, 2009.
  • 2010: Paul S. Evans, The Invasion of Sennacherib in the Book of Kings: A Source-Critical and Rhetorical Study of 2 Kings 18-19. Supplements to Vetus Testamentum 125. Leiden: Brill, 2009.
  • 2009: Keith Bodner, 1 Samuel: A Narrative Commentary. Hebrew Bible Monographs 19; Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2008.
  • 2008: Gordon J. Hamilton, The Origins of the West Semitic Alphabet in Egyptian Scripts. CBQMS 40. Catholic Biblical Association of America: Washington, DC, 2006.
  • 2007: William S. Morrow, Protest against God: The Eclipse of a Biblical Tradition. Hebrew Bible Monographs 4. Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2006.
  • 2006: Isaac Kalimi, The Reshaping of Ancient Israelite History in Chronicles. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2005.
  • 2005: Gary N. Knoppers, I Chronicles: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (2 volumes). Anchor Bible 12 and 12A. New York: Doubleday, 2004.
  • 2004: John Van Seters, A Law Book for the Diaspora: Revision in the Study of the Covenant Code. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.
  • 2003: John L. McLaughlin, The marzeah in the Prophetic Literature: References and Allusions in Light of the Extra-Biblical Evidence. VTSup 86. Leiden/Boston/Köln: E. J. Brill, 2001.
  • 2002: Baruch Halpern, David’s Secret Demons: Messiah, Murderer, Traitor, King. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2001.
  • 2001: Geoffrey H. Parke-Taylor, The Formation of the Book of Jeremiah: Doublets and Recurring Phrases. SBLMS 51. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2000.