Douglas Penney, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Ancient Languages
On Faculty since 1995

Office: Wyngarden 207
Phone: (630)752-5792


Ph.D., University of Chicago (Northwest Semitic Philology)

Arabic Language School, Amman, Jordan

B.A., Wheaton College (Ancient Languages)

Courses Taught

  • Akkadian
  • Hebrew (Beginning and Intermediate)
  • Old Testament Literature and Interpretation
  • Greek (Beginning and Intermediate)
  • Latin
  • Linguistics
  • Advanced Koine Greek - Tobit and Apocalypse of Enoch
  • Advanced Classical Greek - Plato's Apology of Socrates
  • Senior Seminar in Classics
  • Independent Studies- Sophocles: Antigone; Judges (Hebrew text); Herodotus (Ionic text); Exercises in Comparative Semitic; Feminist Koine Readings (Judith, Joseph & Aseneth, Paul and Thecia, Callirhoe)

Membership in Professional Societies

  • Society of Biblical Literature
  • Institute for Biblical Literature
  • Chicago Society for Biblical Research

Papers Published and/or Presented


"The Forgotten Nativity" (lectures on CD), mastered by Oliver Witte, pub. Books in Motion, Spokane, WA. 2009.

"4Q560 (4QExorcism ar)," 226-227 in Donald W. Parry and Emanuel Tov, eds. The Dead Sea Scrolls Reader: Additional Genres and Unclassified Texts (Leiden: Brill, 2005).

“Finding the Devil in the Details: Onomastic Exegesis and the Naming of Evil in the World of the New Testament.” in New Testament Greek and Exegesis: Essays in Honor of Gerald F. Hawthorne. Amy M. Donaldson and Timothy B Sailors, eds. (Rapids: Eerdmans, 2003).

“My Name Is Legion for We are Myriad: Mark 5:9 in the light of Psalm 91:7.” (Submitted to Novum Testamentum, Spring 2003.)

“What hath Jerusalem to do with Athens - Again?” Journal of Christianity and Foreign Languages (3:2002)

Author of the following articles for the Dictionary of Biblical Imagery (InterVarsity Press, October 1998): “Animals of the Bible, Arrow of God, Birds of the Bible, Cosmology, Demons, Dreams, Facial Gestures, Idols and Idolatry, Magic, Mythical Animals, Oracle, Ox, Pit, Plague, Serpent, Shave and Storm.”

Consulting Editor for the Dictionary of Biblical Imagery, InterVarsity Press, responsible for the final form of 110 articles, 1994-97.

“By the Power of Beelzebub: An Aramaic Incantation Formula from Qumran (4Q560),” with Michael O. Wise, Journal of Biblical Literature 113/4 (1994): 627-650. 

Review of Linguistics for Students of New Testament Greek by David Alan Black (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1988) in Religious Studies Review 15/3 (July 1989) 262.

Papers and Lectures

"Aesop's Fables as Paidagogue" presentation to the Humanities Division Brown Bag Lunch Seminar, April 11, 2014.

“Entertaining Angels Unawares in the Text” presentation to the Humanities Division Brown Bag Lunch Seminar, April 24, 2003.

“Evolution: Language as Fossil.” Wheaton College Science Division Lunch Seminar, March 18, 2003.

“Ancient Culture and Biblical Imagery,” a paper invited by Lee Ryken for the discussion of The Dictionary of Biblical Imagery at the meetings of the Evangelical Theological Society, Orlando FL, November 19, 1998.

“’My Name Is Legion for We Are Myriad’:  Mark 5:9 As Exegesis of Psalm 91:7 (90:7 LXX),” a paper arguing a Semitic alternative based on semantics and 2nd Temple angelology against the proposal of Hans-Dieter Betz that “Legion” is evidence of an “obvious” anti-Roman tendency in Mark’s Gospel, presented to the Midwest Regional Meetings of the Society of Biblical Literature, Wheaton College, February 17, 1997.

“Angels, Hubris and Worms:  Job 40:11 (LXX) as literary background to Acts 12:23,” a paper presented to the inaugural meeting of The Dead Language Society, Wheaton College, October 6, 1996.

“’This World with Devils Filled’:  Apotropaic vocabulary in Psalm 91,” a paper reconsidering the background of demonic evils in Psalm 91 presented to the Hebrew Scriptures and Cognate Literature Section, Society of Biblical Literature, Philadelphia, PA, Nov. 18-21, 1995.

“An Aramaic Incantation Formula from Qumran (4Q560),” a paper presented to the Aramaic Studies Section, Society of Biblical Literature, Washington, D.C., Nov. 21, 1993.

"By the Power of Beelzebub (4Q560)," a paper presented to the Jewish Studies Workshop, University of Chicago, January 18, 1993.

"Ancient Writing Systems," a lecture presented at the Wheaton Archaeology Conference, Wheaton College, November 1987.

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