Prof Alfred Forbes
Research Fellow
IB 28
Flippie Groenewoud Building: Block B

Short CV

A. Dean Forbes received the A. B. degree in physics (honors) from Harvard in 1962 and the M. Div. degree (honors) from The Pacific School of Religion in 1969. He studied at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in 1967 and undertook Old Testament studies at the Graduate Theological Union in 1970. He was a visiting scholar in biblical studies at Stanford University (1986-89), the University of California at San Diego (1999-2002), and the University of California at Berkeley (2005). He was an Adjunct Professor of Jewish Studies at Pennsylvania State University (1998-2003). In 2011, he accepted the invitation to become a Research Associate at the University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa.


As a US Peace Corps volunteer (1962-1964), he taught physics, mathematics, and English in central Nigeria. In his “medical research life,” he worked at Hewlett-Packard Laboratories (HPL) primarily doing and managing medical research. He was HPL’s first “SEED” student (1958-1962), a consultant (1962-1969). From 1970-1999, he was a Member of the Technical Staff, Project Manager, Group Manager, acting Department Manager, and Medical Department Principal Scientist. In 1999, he retired having been the Principal Scientist for many years. During 1971-74, he was a consultant at the Stanford School of Medicine. He was on the editorial board and was Algorithms Editor of the Journal of Clinical Monitoring and Computing for nearly twenty years. His research interests include pattern recognition, signal processing, stochastic processes, statistics, and noninvasive measurements. His medical focus was primarily on cardiac electrophysiology. He holds eight patents.


In his “biblical research life,” he has focused on Hebrew Biblical studies using mathematical, statistical, and computational methods. With Francis I. Andersen and colleagues, he entered, disambiguated, marked up, and parsed the text of the Leningrad Codex. This work created the first syntactic database of the complete Hebrew Bible, made available to students and scholars by Logos Research in 2004 and described in the book Biblical Hebrew Grammar Visualized (2012).


He has published many articles and chapters, including invited ones in the Anchor Bible Dictionary (Doubleday, 1992), the Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Literature (Brill, 2013), and several Festschriften. He has co-authored ten books (ten with F. I. Andersen and one with D. N. Freedman as well). Included are six keyword-in-context concordances (Biblical Research Associates, 1974-1995); one word-distribution study, The Vocabulary of the Old Testament (Pontifical Institute Press, 1992); two monographs on Hebrew spelling, Spelling in the Hebrew Bible (Pontifical Institute Press, 1986) and Studies in Hebrew and Aramaic Orthography, (Eisenbrauns, 1993); and one grammar, Biblical Hebrew Grammar Visualized (Eisenbrauns, 2012).


He belongs to the International Syriac Language Project, the Society of Biblical Literature, The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, and the International Brotherhood of Magicians Order of Merlin.


T: +27 51 401 2240 or

Marizanne Cloete: +27 51 401 2592

Katlego Mabulana: +27 51 401 2495
Juanita Hlongwane: +27 51 401 3269

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