Cook, Stanley Arthur°

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COOK, STANLEY ARTHUR ° (1873–1949), English Semitic scholar and historian of religion. Cook taught religion, Hebrew, and Aramaic at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, and was regius professor of Hebrew at Cambridge from 1932 to 1938. He served on the editorial staff of The Cambridge Ancient History and The Encyclopaedia Britannica, and was editor of the Palestine Exploration Fund Quarterly (1902–32).

Cook's main contribution was his archaeological, philological, and comparative religion studies. In a series of articles that appeared in 1903 he discussed the then oldest Hebrew biblical manuscript written in square Hebrew, the *Nash Papyrus. His A Glossary of the Aramaic Inscriptions (1898) was a study of Semitic epigraphy and Hebrew philology. The importance of historical methodology and archaeological research in the treatment of religious data was emphasized in his Schweich lectures of 1925, which were published as The Religion of Ancient Palestine in the Light of Archaeology… (1930). The fruit of his erudition was contained in copious notes to the third edition of W. Robertson *Smith's Lectures on the Religion of the Semites which Cook annotated in 1927. His views of the Bible and its religion as a whole were summed up in The Old Testament: A Reinterpretation (1936), a historical and anthropological assessment of the Israelite religion. He wrote important works on the study of religious methodology (1914), and he analyzed in the light of comparative religion the prophetic ideal of ethical monotheism (1932). He compared the laws of the Pentateuch with the Code of Hammurapi (1903), edited the Book of i Esdras in R.H. Charles' The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament (1913), and wrote an introduction to the Bible (1945).


H.F. Hahn, The Old Testament in Modern Research (1956), 77–78, 81; Essays and Studies Presented to S.A. Cook… (1950), includes bibliography. add. bibliography: odnb online.

[Zev Garber]