Christopher G. Frechette, Th.D., studies the Bible with a view to its theological meaning, the contexts of languages and cultures from which it emerged, and the ways it is received in the spiritual lives of the faithful. His scholarship focuses mainly on interpreting the Old Testament/ Hebrew Bible and related ancient texts. However, in his teaching he stresses that both the Old Testament and New Testament constitute for Christians a single canon, and he attempts to help students see relationships among particular texts across both testaments.
His work in the languages, literature, history and cultures of the ancient Near East is aimed at interpreting biblical texts in ways that are grounded in the human realities from which they emerged and in which they were employed in antiquity. He also attempts to draw analogies between contemporary human experience and what is reflected in the biblical texts. In this regard, he is particularly interested in employing insights from the social sciences into how people experience, respond to, and recover from loss and trauma.
Frechette is an associate editor for the Catholic Biblical Quarterly. He also serves in the Society of Biblical Literature as co-chair of the section, “Biblical Literature and the Hermeneutics of Trauma,” and as a steering committee member for the section “The Formation of the Book of Isaiah.”
Mesopotamian Ritual-prayers of “Hand-lifting” (Akkadian Šuillas): An Investigation of Function in Light of the Idiomatic Meaning of the Rubric. Alter Orient und Altes Testament 379. Münster: Ugarit-Verlag, 2012.
Frechette, Christopher G., Christopher R. Matthews, and Thomas D. Stegman, SJ, eds. Biblical Essays in Honor of Daniel J. Harrington, SJ and Richard J. Clifford, SJ: Opportunity for No Little Instruction. New York, Paulist: 2014.
Boase, Elizabeth and Christopher G. Frechette, eds. Bible through the Lens of Trauma. Semeia Studies 86. Atlanta, GA: SBL Press, 2016.
“Reading Guide to the Pentateuch.” In The Catholic Study Bible. 3rd ed. Edited by D. Senior, J. J. Collins, and M. A. Getty, 107-78. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.
“Two Biblical Motifs of Divine Violence as Resources for Meaning-making in Engaging Self-blame and Rage after Traumatization,” Pastoral Psychology, Dec. 6, 2016, DOI 10.1007/s11089-016-0745-x.
“The Old Testament as Controlled Substance: How Insights from Trauma and Disaster Studies Illuminate Healing Capacities in Potentially Harmful Texts.” Interpretation 69 (2015):20–34
“The Ritual-prayer Nisaba 1 and its Function.” With an edition of Nisaba 1 by Ivan Hruša. Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions 11 (2011): 70-93.
“Chiasm, Reversal and Biblical Reference in 1QH 11.3-18 (= Sukenik Column 3): A Structural Proposal.” Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha 21 (2000):71–102.
“Destroying the Internalized Perpetrator: A Healing Function of the Violent Language Against Enemies in the Psalms.” In Trauma and Traumatization in Individual and Collective Dimensions: Insights from Biblical Studies and Beyond. Edited by E.-M. Becker, J. Dochhorn, and E. Holt, 71–84. Studia Aarhusiana Neotestamentica 2. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht: Göttingen, 2014.
“Blessing the Lord with the Angels: Allusion to Jubilees 2.2 in the Song of the Three Jews.” In Biblical Essays in Honor of Daniel J. Harrington, SJ, and Richard J. Clifford, SJ: Opportunity for No Little Instruction. Edited by C. Frechette, C. Matthews, and T. Stegman, 118–34. New York, Paulist: 2014.
“Why bless God?” In Reading the Old Testament: Pastoral Essays in Honor of Lawrence Boadt, C.S.P. Edited by C. Carvalho, 111–19. New York: Paulist, 2013.
“‘Happy are Those Who Fear the LORD’: Hope, Desire, and Transformative Worship.” In Hope: Promise, Possibility, and Fulfillment. Edited by R. Lennan and N. Pineda-Madrid, 128–41. New York: Paulist, 2013.
The section “Shuillas” (pp. 24-35) in Alan Lenzi, Christopher Frechette, and Anna Zernecke. “Introduction.” In Reading Akkadian Prayers and Hymns: An Introduction. Edited by A. Lenzi, 1-68. Ancient Near East Monographs 3. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2011.
“A Shuilla: Nisaba 1.” In Reading Akkadian Prayers and Hymns: An Introduction. Edited by A. Lenzi, 351-66. Ancient Near East Monographs 3. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2011.
“Reconsidering ŠU.IL2.LA(2) as a Classifier of the Ašipu in Light of the Iconography of Reciprocal Hand-Lifting Gestures.” In Proceedings of the 51st Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale Held at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, July 18-22, 2005. Edited by R. Biggs, J. Myers and M. Roth, 39-46. Studies in Ancient Oriental Civilization 62. Chicago: Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago.
“Blessings and Curses.” In The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Law. Edited by B. Strawn. 1:59–63. New York: Oxford University Press, 2015.
“Blessing 1: Ancient Near East.” In The Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception. Edited by H.-J. Klauck, B. McGinn, P. Mendes-Flohr, et al., 4:130-33. Berlin: de Gruyter, 2012.
“The Catholic Biblical Association of America.” In The Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception. Edited by H.-J. Klauck, B. McGinn, P. Mendes-Flohr, et al., 4:1067-68. Berlin: de Gruyter, 2012.
“Lamentations.” In The Paulist Bible Commentary. Edited by J. Aguilar, R. Clifford, D. Harrington†, et al. New York, Paulist: in press.
“The Prayer of Manasseh” and “Psalm 151.” In The Fortress Commentary on the Bible. Edited by G. Yee et al., 1083–85, 1087–89. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2014.