Student Essay Prizes

Award History

CSBS offers two annual student essay prizes for outstanding research: the Founders Prize (Hebrew Bible and cognate disciplines) and Jeremias Prize (New Testament studies and cognate disciplines).

The Jeremias Prize was initiated in 1984 with funds donated anonymously by a member of the CSBS, and named in honor of Joachim Jeremias. An internationally recognized biblical scholar, Jeremias was born in Dresden in 1900 and raised in part in Jerusalem. Jeremias was Professor of New Testament at Greifswald (1929-1935) and held the Chair in New Testament at Göttingen University (1935-1968).

The Founders Prize was initiated in 1985 after a major fundraising drive for that purpose by the CSBS. It was named in honour of the nine “founding fathers” of the Society: T. J. Meek, W. S. McCullough, Frederick Winnett, Richard Davidson, J. H. Michael, John Dow, H. V. Pilcher, John Lowe, and R. B. Y. Scott. These scholars met on March 3, 1933 at Emmanuel College to establish a Canadian biblical studies society. Their efforts led to the first meeting of the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies at Victoria University, Toronto on May 2-3, 1933, attended by twenty-three individuals.


Awards are each valued at $250 and winners are invited to present their papers at the Annual Meeting. Winners also receive funding to support their travel to the Annual Meeting from within North America. Submissions, including prize winners, may be nominated for awards made available by Congress, at the discretion of the CSBS Executive Committee.


Submissions must demonstrate graduate level research ability and show familiarity with the appropriate original languages and the modern languages of scholarly research. Special attention will be paid to clarity (the cogency with which the thesis of the paper is structured, articulated, developed, and defended) and originality (the contributions which the thesis makes to scholarship, e.g., by employing new methods, new comparisons and/or new bodies of evidence). Entries may be based upon work already completed at the graduate level and should be suitable for oral delivery at the CSBS Annual Meeting. Work that has been published or submitted for publication is not eligible. Entries will be judged by members of CSBS Executive, who reserve the right not to award either or both prizes in any given year. An individual may win no more than one student paper prize.


Papers should be submitted in PDF format. Entries must not be longer than 20 double-spaced pages in 12-point font (excluding notes). Students should also coordinate a short letter of support from a professor or administrator verifying the candidate’s student status. The name and email of the student should appear only on the title page. Essays may be in English or French. Students may submit a paper simultaneously to the essay competition and to the general programme. Only one paper per year for the competition is permitted.

Applicants must be student members of CSBS. Applications are made in the member login area of the CSBS website. The nomination deadline is January 15.

Previous Winners: Founders Prize

  • 2024: Xenia Ling-yee Chan (Regis St. Michael’s College, Toronto School of Theology)
    “The Disappearing Jeremiah: A Transpacific Feminist Reading of Jeremiah 15:10–21 with Kang Sǒk-kyǒng’s A Room in the Woods
  • 2023: Connor Kokot (University of Toronto):
    “Analogical Hermeneutics and the Liturgical Calendar”
  • 2022: Not Awarded
  • 2021: Not Awarded
  • 2020:  Julie Dykes (McMaster Divinity College):
    “The Genre and Metaphorical Layers of the Song of the Vineyard (Isa 5:1-7).”
  • 2019: Daniel Sarlo (University of Toronto):
    “The Well of Waters”: Yahweh’s Fresh Water Reservoir Beneath His Mountain-Palace”
  • 2018: Dylan Johnson (New York University):
    “The Ruah-Yahweh as Melammu?: The Warrior Tradition in the book of Judges and its Mesopotamian Parallels”
  • 2017: Michael B. Johnson (McMaster University):
    “One Text or Three? A Proposal for a Continuous Reading of 1QS-1QSa-1QSb.”
  • 2016: Ambrose Thompson (McMaster Divinity College):
    “Dwelling Among Them: The Tabernacle as a Confession of the Redemptive Presence of Yahweh.”
  • 2015: Alexander W. Breitkopf (McMaster Divinity College):
    “The Importance of Response in the Interpretation of Job”
  • 2014: John Screnock (University of Toronto):
    “On the Overlap of Translation and Transmission: Intralingual Translation in the Transmission of Hebrew Bible Manuscripts”
  • 2013: Emily Wilton (Huron University College):
    “The Suffering Servant: A Case of Hidden Masculinity”
  • 2012: Ian Douglas Wilson (University of Alberta):
    “Tyre,a Ship: The Metaphorical World of Ezekiel 27 in Ancient Judah”
  • 2011: Frederick Tappenden (University of Manchester):
    “Imaging Resurrection: Toward an Image Schematic Understanding of Hellenistic Jewish Conceptualizations of Resurrection”
  • 2010: Eric R. Montgomery (McMaster University):
    “Divine Knowledge as a Requisite for Communion with the Angels”
  • 2009: Danielle Duperreault (McGill University):
    “The Poetics of History and the Prophecy of Deutero-Isaiah”
  • 2008: Heather Macumber (St. Michael’s College):
    “Zechariah 1-8: A Prophecy in Transition”
  • 2007: Mark Scott (Harvard University):
    “The Wisdom of Silence: Job and the Mystery of Suffering”
  • 2006: Paul S. Evans (Wycliffe College/Toronto School of Theology):
    “Sennacherib’s 701 Invasion into Judah: What Saith the Scriptures?”
  • 2005: Ellen White (University of St. Michael’s College):
    “Motherhood and the Line of Promise: The Importance of Women in the Founding Family Narratives”
  • 2004: Kenneth A. Ristau (University of Alberta):
    “Breaking Down Unity: An Analysis of 1 Chronicles 21:1-22:1”
  • 2003: Lissa Wray Beal (Wycliffe College/Toronto School of Theology):
    “Evaluating Jehu: Narrative Control of Approval and Disapproval in 2 Kings 9 and 10”
  • 2002: Ken Penner (McMaster University):
    “The Fate of Josephus’s Antiquitates Judaicae 13.171-173: Ancient Judean Philosophy in Context”
  • 2000: Daniel Smith (Wycliffe College/Toronto School of Theology):
    “The ‘Assumption’ of the Righteous Dead in the Wisdom of Solomon and the Sayings Source Q”
  • 1998: David Bergen (University of Calgary):
    “Bakhtin Revisits Deuteronomy”
  • 1997: Nancie Erhard (Atlantic School of Theology):
    “Hosea 2: Descent and Recovery of the Feminine Divine”
  • 1996: Jane Webster (McMaster University):
    “Engendering Wisdom in Proverbs, Ben Sira and the Wisdom of Solomon”
  • 1995: Tyler Williams (Wycliffe College/Toronto School of Theology):
    “The Elohist Psalter and the Shape and Shaping of the Book of Psalms”
  • 1994: Sharon Lea Matilla (McMaster University):
    “Christo-Centric Participationist Apocalyptic Eschatology in 1 Corinthians 15”
  • 1993: Richard Ascough (University of St. Michael’s College/Toronto School of Theology):
    “From Isis to Jesus: The Formation of the Early Church at Philippi From a Women’s Voluntary Association”
  • 1992: Caroline Whelan (University of St. Michael’s College/Toronto School of Theology):
    Amica Pauli: The Role of Phoebe in the Early Church”
  • 1991: Robert MacKenzie (McGill University):
    “The Continuing Importance of the Grammatical and Stylistic Analysis of Hellenisitic Documents”
  • 1990: Jeffrey Weima (McMaster University):
    “The Function of the Law in Relation to Sin: An Evaluation of the View of H. Räisänen”
  • 1989: John L. McLaughlin (University of St. Michael’s College/Toronto School of Theology):
    “Their Hearts Were Hardened: The Use of Isaiah 6:9-10 in the Book of Isaiah”
  • 1988: Michael Knowles (Wycliffe College/Toronto School of Theology):
    “Moses, the Law and the Unity of 4 Ezra”
  • 1987: Wendy Cotter (University of St. Michael’s College/Toronto School of Theology):
    “The Young Man in the Tomb (Mark 16:5)”
  • 1986: Marion Finlayson (Yale University):
    “Jeremiah 45: The Problem of Placement”
  • 1985: David Diewert (University of Toronto) [first year offered]:
    “Job 7:12: Yam, Tannim, and the Surveillance of Job”

Previous Winners: Jeremias Prize

  • 2024: François Doyon (Université Laval)
    “Contextual and Historical Coherence in Translating ἀρσενοκοῖται in 1 Corinthians 6:9: A Hermeneutical Analysis”
  • 2023: Jihyung Kim (McMaster Divinity College)
    “Memory as a Possible Means of Hebrews’ Quotation of the Old Testament: Hebrews 1 as a Test Case”
  • 2022: Not Awarded
  • 2021: Martin Sanfridson (McMaster University):
    “‘Neither Circumcision Nor Foreskin Is Anything’: A Re-Evaluation of Paul’s Stance on Circumcision with Regards to Christ Followers.”
  • 2020: Rebecca Runesson Sanfridson (University of Toronto):
    “Centurions in the Jesus Movement? The Diffusion of the Christ Cult into Roman Military Networks.”
  • 2019: Not Awarded.
  • 2018: Jeffrey Cross (University of Minnesota):
    “’Amuletic Emigmas: Identifying P.Amh. GR. 13″
  • 2017: Ryan D. Schroeder (University of British Columbia):
    “’Make A Fence Around Torah’ (m. ‘Abot 1:1): Scriptural Authority and Religious Discourse in the Mishnah”
  • 2016: Jonathan Vroom (University of Toronto):
    “A Cognitive Approach to Copying and a Critique of David Carr’s Approach to Oral-Written Transmission.”
  • 2015: Mari Leesment (University of Toronto):
    “Instructions for Becoming a Stoic Sage: The Epistle of James and Stoic Cosmology”
  • 2014: Michelle Christian  (University of Toronto):
    “Money and the Construction of Value in Mt. 10:29-31/Lk 12:6-7″
  • 2013: Wally V. Cirafesi (McMaster Divinity College):
    “The Bilingual Character and Liturgical Function of ‘Hermenia’ in Johannine Papyrus Manuscripts: A New Proposal”
  • 2012: Courtney J.P. Friesen (University of Minnesota):
    “Dionysus and Jesus: The Incongruity of a Love Feast in Achilles Tatius’ Leucippe and Clitophon 2.2”
  • 2011: Callie Callon (University of Toronto):
    “Adulescentes and Meretrices: The Correlation between Squandered Patrimony and Prostitutes as drawn from Greco-Roman Comedy in the Parable of the Prodigal Son.”
  • 2010: James Magee (Vancouver School of Theology):
    “Jesus and Augustus – Divine Sons: Multivalent Lukan Sonship in the Light of Graeco-Roman Ruler Worship”
  • 2009: Erin Vearncombe (University of Toronto):
    “Whom did he Marry? Women, Sex and Holiness in the Book of Jubiliees”
  • 2008: Andrew Pitts (McMaster Divinity College):
    “Authoritative Citation in Greco-Roman Historiography and in Luke(-Acts)”
  • 2007: Ryan Schellenberg (University of St. Michael’s College/Toronto School of Theology):
    “Which Master? Whose Steward? Metalepsis and Lordship in the Parable of the Prudent Steward (Luke 16:1-13)”
  • 2006: Sean A. Adams (McMaster Divinity College):
    “Luke’s Preface and its Relationship to Greek Historiography”
  • 2005: Lincoln Blumell (University of Toronto):
    “A Jew in Celsus’ True Doctrine”
  • 2004: Susan Haber (McMaster University):
    “From Priestly Torah to Christ Cultus: The Re-Vision of Covenant and Cult in Hebrews”
  • 2003: Murray Baker (Wycliffe College/Toronto School of Theology):
    “Jews, God-fearers, Theos Hypsistos, and Stephen Mitchell At Miletos: An Epigraphical Application of a Novel Theory”
  • 2002: Matthew W. Mitchell (Temple University):
    “An Aborted Apostle: An Exploration of the Meaning of ektroma in Paul’s Self-Description”
  • 2001: Keir Hammer (University of Toronto):
    “Silenced by Fear: Understanding 16:8 in the Context of Mark’s Gospel”
  • 2000: Diane Wudel (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill):
    “Enticements to Community: Formal, Agonistic and Destabilizing Rhetoric in the Sermon on the Mount”
  • 1999: Zeba Antonin Crook (University of St. Michael’s College/Toronto School of Theology):
    “Saul the Client: The Reciprocity and Gratitude of Paul the Apostle”
  • 1998: Colleen Shantz (University of St. Michael’s College/Toronto School of Theology):
    “‘The Son of Man’ as a Cultural Construct”
  • 1997: Lee Johnson (Knox College/Toronto School of Theology):
    “Satan Talk in Corinth: The Language of Conflict”
  • 1996: Tony Chartrand-Burke (University of Toronto):
    “The Gospel in Miniature: The Infancy Gospel of Thomas as Children’s Story”
  • 1995: Alicia Batten (University of St. Michael’s College/Toronto School of Theology):
    “Dishonourable Passions: Paul’s View of Homoeroticism in Context”
  • 1994: Carla E. P. Jenkins (Memorial University):
    “The Samaritan Woman and the Reader in John 4:1-42”
  • 1993: Ernest Janzen (University of Toronto):
    “Numismatic Windows into the Social World of the Apocalypse”
  • 1992: Norman Collier (College of Emmanuel and St. Chad):
    “The Baptist, the Flashback, and the Reader: A Narrative Analysis of Matthew 14:1-13”
  • 1991: John Earnshaw (McMaster University):
    “Reconsidering Paul’s Marriage Analysis in Rom 7:1-14”
  • 1990: Bradley McLean (Trinity College/Toronto School of Theology):
    “The Absence of an Atoning Sacrifice in Paul’s Soteriology”
  • 1989: Gloria Neufeld Redekop (University of Ottawa):
    “Let the Women Learn: 1 Timothy 2:8-15 Reconsidered”
  • 1988: Randy Klassen (McMaster University):
    “The Quest for Centre: The Adam-Christ Typology of Romans 5:12-21”
  • 1987: Barry Henaut (University of Toronto):
    “John 4:43-54 and the Ambivalent Narrator: A Response to Culpepper’s The Anatomy of the Fourth Gospel
  • 1986: Sheila Redmond (University of Ottawa):
    “The Date of the Fourth Sibylline Oracle.”
  • 1985: Edith Humphrey (McGill University):
    “‘The Appearance of the Likeness of the Glory’: Prophetic Vision as Precedent to Apocalyptic”
  • 1984: Ian Henderson (McMaster University):
    “Wisdom’s Children: The Proverbs of Jesus”