Robert Cargill

Professor Robert R. Cargill
Assistant Professor
209 Jefferson Building
Curriculum Vitae: 
Research Interests: 
Hellenistic/Second Temple Judaism, Pseudepigrapha and Apocrypha, archaeology

Professor Cargill joined the University of Iowa faculty in 2011.

Dr. Cargill's research program focuses on Second Temple Jewish literature and archaeology from the Persian period to the rise of early Christianity. He specializes in Hebrew Bible, the Dead Sea Scrolls and other Pseudepigrapha, Aramaic Targums, the Bar Kokhba Rebellion, Melchizedek traditions, issues of faith and science, and teaches Biblical Hebrew, Aramaic, Syriac, and Hellenistic Greek.

Hired as part of the University's Public Humanities in a Digital World initiative, Dr. Cargill also has done much research in the Digital Humanities, having authored a 3D, virtual reality reconstruction of the archaeological remains of Qumran, near to where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. 

Dr. Cargill recently published The Cities that Built the Bible (HarperOne, 2016) and has also done extensive work in television, appearing on ABC's "Good Morning America", "Inside Edition", CNN's "Newsday", and serving as the Jerusalem host for CNN's "Finding Jesus", Consulting Producer on History's "Bible Secrets Revealed", and Discovery's "Biblical Mysteries Explained", and hosting the NatGeo documentary "Writing the Dead Sea Scrolls." He is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature, American Schools of Oriental Research, Biblical Archaeology Society, Archaeological Institute of America, American Humanist Association, American Mensa, and the American Civil Liberties Union.


  • “Biblical Archaeology: Its Rise, Fall, and Rebirth as a Legitimate Science,” Chap. 6 in Christianity in the Light of Science: Critically Examining the World’s Largest Religion, ed. by John W. Loftus. Prometheus Books, 2016.
  • The Cities that Built the Bible. HarperOne, 2016.
  • “The Rule of Creative Completion: Neofiti’s Use of שכלל,” Aramaic Studies 10/2 (2012): 173-191.
  • “The State of the Archaeological Debate at Qumran,” Currents in Biblical Research 10/1 (2011): 1-18.
  • “The Benefit of Blogging for Archaeology,” Bulletin for the Study of Religion 39/3 (2010): 12-16.
  • “The Qumran Digital Model: An Argument for Archaeological Reconstruction in Virtual Reality” and “A Response to Magness,” Near Eastern Archaeology 72/1 (2009): 28-47.
  • Qumran through (Real) Time: A Virtual Reconstruction of Qumran and the Dead Sea ScrollsGorgias Press, 2009.
  • “The Fortress at Qumran: A History of Interpretation,” Bible and Interpretation, May 2009.

Dr. Cargill teaches the following courses:

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