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Yamauchi, Edwin Masao (b. 1937)

  1. Jeffrey L. Morrow

Published Online: 25 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470670606.wbecc1487

The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization

How to Cite

Morrow, J. L. 2011. Yamauchi, Edwin Masao (b. 1937). The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 NOV 2011


Edwin Masao Yamauchi was born in Hawaii, USA, in 1937. He was raised nominally Buddhist, and in high school became an evangelical Protestant Christian. He earned a B.A. in Hebrew and Hellenistics from Shelton College (1960) and an M.A. (1962) and Ph.D. (1964) from Brandeis University in Mediterranean Studies. Yamauchi studied 22 languages including Akkadian, Arabic, Aramaic, Egyptian, Italian, Latin, Minoan Linear A, Minoan Linear B, Russian, and Ugaritic. He also participated in archaeological excavations in Israel. Cyrus H. Gordon, the Jewish scholar of the Bible, Mediterranean, and ancient Near East, directed Yamauchi's doctoral work. His doctoral dissertation, “Mandaic Incantation Texts,” considered magic incantation texts written on clay bowls in the Mandaic dialect of Aramaic, which is used by the Mandean Gnostics found in Iran and Iraq. After completing his doctoral work, Yamauchi taught in the History Department of Rutgers University. In 1969 he began teaching in the History Department of Miami University, in Oxford, Ohio, from which he eventually retired in 2005. At Miami, Yamauchi directed master's theses and doctoral dissertations examining such diverse topics as Gnosticism, ancient Rome, and Egyptology. He taught courses in ancient languages including Greek, Coptic, and Syriac, and he taught courses spanning the wide field of ancient Near Eastern and Mediterranean history, including ancient Egypt and Africa, Mesopotamia, Greece, and Rome. While at both Rutgers and Miami, Yamauchi served as an advisor to Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship. At Miami University, Yamauchi cofounded the Oxford Bible Fellowship, where he serves as an elder. In 2006 he served as the president of the Evangelical Theological Society. Yamauchi is one of the more prolific evangelical Bible scholars in the US. He has over 430 publications to his name, including 17 books, and continues to publish more. His scholarly articles have appeared in evangelical venues such as Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society and Westminster Theological Journal, but he has also published widely in the mainstream scholarly world, including Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Journal of Biblical Literature, Church History, Journal of the American Oriental Society, Journal of Near Eastern Studies, and Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft.


  • Yamauchi, Edwin Masao (b. 1937);
  • Buddhist, becoming an evangelical protestant christian;
  • “Mandaic incantation texts”;
  • biblical archaeology