Greenberg received his Ph.D. from University of Pennsylvania in 1954 and studied post-Biblical Judaica at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, where he was ordained as a rabbi. He taught Bible and Judaica at the University of Pennsylvania from 1954-1970 and, after immigrating to Israel in 1970, at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem from 1970-1996.
In 1994, along with a colleague, Greenberg became the first person to win Israel's highest civilian award, the Israel Prize, for Bible research. According to his colleague at Hebrew University, Prof. Israel Kohl, Greenberg's Bible scholarship bridged the gap between the commentary of ancient Jewish sages and modern-day religious studies.
Greenberg died on May 15, 2010 in Jerusalem.
Greenberg's published works:
The Hab/piru. New Haven: American Oriental Society, 1955
The Religion of Israel, abridged English translation of vols. 1-7 Yehezkel Kaufmann's Toldot ha'Emuna ha-Yisre'lit. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1960
Introduction to Hebrew. Englewood, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1965
Understanding Exodus New York: Behrman House, 1969
Ezekiel 1-20 and Ezekiel 21-37 (Anchor Bible. Garden City: Doubleday, 1983, 1997)
Biblical Prose Prayer. University of California, 1983
Studies in the Bible and Jewish Thought (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1995) includes many of Greenberg's essays. Most notable are the following:
"Three Conceptions of the Torah in Hebrew Scriptures."
"Some Postulates of Biblical Criminal Law."
"Biblical Attitudes toward Power: Ideal and Reality in Law and Prophets"
"On the Refinement of the Conception of Prayer in Hebrew Scriptures."
"Religion: Stability and Ferment."
"The Stabilization of the Text of the Hebrew Bible: Reviewed in the Light of the Biblical Materials from the Judean Desert."
"The Use of the Ancient Versions for Interpreting the Hebrew Text."
"Reflections on Interpretation."
"To Whom and For What Should a Bible Commentator Be Responsible."
"Another Look at Rachel's Theft of the Teraphim."
"The Decalogue Tradition Critically Examined."
"Reflections on Job's Theology."
"Rabbinic Reflections on Defying Illegal Orders: Amasa, Abner, and Joab."
"Jewish Conceptions of the Human Factor in Biblical Prophecy."
"Bible Interpretation as Exhibited in the First Book of Maimonides' Code."