RULES of The Society for Old Testament Study


  1. The name of the Society shall be “THE SOCIETY FOR OLD TESTAMENT STUDY”.
  2. Statement of Aims:

(a)  The Society for Old Testament Study is a learned society of professional scholars and others committed to the study of the Old Testament.

(b)  The Society for Old Testament Study takes a neutral, non-confessional stance towards religious beliefs, but regards itself also as an enabling organization for special interest groups within Old Testament studies to develop and present their own scholarly work.

(c)  The Society is conscious of the diversity, interests and international character of its Membership, and sees its task as serving their varying needs for support of their scholarly activities in Old Testament studies.

(d)  The Society regards itself as having special responsibility for promoting Old Testament studies in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, and carries out that responsibility by organizing meetings, by commissioning and promoting publications, by monitoring the extent, the nature and development of teaching and research in Old Testament studies being carried out in universities, colleges and other institutions, and by representing scholars of the Old Testament on other academic bodies.

  1. The Society shall hold at least one meeting in each calendar year.


  1. There shall be:

(a) Members, comprising Ordinary Members, Life Members and elected Life Members;

(b) Honorary Members.

(a) Members

  1. Membership of the Society shall be open to suitably qualified persons, who will normally be expected to have knowledge of Biblical Hebrew.
  2. Every nomination or application for election to Membership shall be supported by two Members of the Society, and shall be considered by the Committee. Each name approved by the Committee shall be submitted to the next following business session of the Society, which shall accept or reject the Committee’s recommendation.
  3. Members shall pay annually such subscription as the Society shall from time to time determine. Subscriptions shall be due each year on 1st January, or, in the case of new Members, on election. Retired Members, student Members, unemployed Members and any other Members whom the Committee may nominate will be entitled to pay half the amount of the annual subscription to the Society. No further subscriptions shall be required from those Members who have paid thirty annual subscriptions, who thus become Life Members.
  4. Members may be elected Life Members without further subscription in recognition of distinguished service to the Society.
  5. The Membership of anyone whose subscription is in arrears at the end of the calendar year shall be deemed to have lapsed. However, membership will automatically be restored when any missing subscriptions are made good.
  6. Members shall have the right to attend and to vote at any business session of the Society, and shall receive such publications as the Society may determine.

(b)  Honorary Members

  1. Persons ordinarily resident within Great Britain and Ireland shall not normally be eligible for election to Honorary Membership.
  2. The number of Honorary Members shall not at any time exceed twenty.
  3. Not more than one Honorary Member shall normally be elected in one year, though, in exceptional circumstances, the Society may elect two.
  4. Honorary Members shall pay no subscription.
  5. Honorary Members shall, at the discretion of the Committee, receive copies of any publication of the Society free of cost.
  6. Honorary Members shall have the right to attend any general meeting of the Society but shall have no vote in a business session.


  1. The Officers of the Society shall be a President, a Treasurer, one or more General Secretaries and the Book ListEditor. The term of office of the President is one calendar year. Other Officers will normally be expected to perform their duties for no less than three years and no more than eight.
  2. The Committee shall consist of the Officers, the ex-President and the President-elect, together with a number of ordinary Members not less than eight and no more than ten, amongst whom shall be an Information Officer and an Archivist.

19.1  An ordinary Committee Member, having served four years continuously, shall not be eligible for re-election to that position before the expiry of one year.

19.2  Notwithstanding 19.1, any ordinary Committee Member may be elected to an Officer position at any time, subject only to 19.3.

19.3  No-one, having served continuously in any capacity for twelve years, shall be eligible for election to any position (save that of President) before the expiry of one year.

  1. The Officers and Committee shall be elected annually at the meeting immediately preceding that at which they take office, but, if any vacancy should occur in the interval, the Society may fill it by election at its next ensuing meeting.In an emergency situation the President and Officers will have the power to elect another Officer for a six month period.


  1. No new rule, or alteration of any existing rule, shall be made unless notice of motion, setting out the change proposed, shall have been given at a business session of the Society held at least three calendar months before that at which such change is proposed. The Committee shall consider and report on each such proposal which shall require for its acceptance approval by a majority of not less than two thirds of the Members present and voting at the business session. No new rule or alteration of existing rule shall become effective unless and until it shall have been confirmed by a simple majority at a business session held not less than three calendar months after that at which the new rule or alteration of existing rule has been approved by the Society.

The above rules of the Society were adopted at a meeting of the Society held in London on 2nd January 1935, and were revised at meetings of the Society held in Bangor on 21st July 1949, London on 5th January 1950, Cardiff on 19th July 1956, London on 2nd January 1957, Cambridge on 24th July 1969, Manchester on 25th July 1973, Bangor on 25th July 1974, London on 18th December 1975, Durham on 22nd July 1976, London on 3rd January 1980, Sheffield on 22nd July 1980, Cambridge on 7th January 1998, Oxford on 23rd July 2008 and London on 19th July, 2017.