Bentley Layton is Professor Emeritus of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations in the area of Coptic studies, and Goff Professor of Religious Studies. At Yale he taught the Coptic language and the literary, intellectual, and social history of ancient Christianity in the Mediterranean regions. His specializations include gnosticism and heresies, asceticism and monasticism, textual editing and manuscript studies, and Coptic linguistics. Before coming to Yale in 1976, he taught in Jerusalem at the Ecole Biblique et Archéologique Française and worked in Cairo for the UNESCO Technical Subcommittee for Publication of the Nag Hammadi Manuscripts.
Among his publications are standard critical editions of fifteen works found in the ancient Gnostic manuscripts of Nag Hammadi; various commentaries on these works; Catalogue of Coptic Manuscripts in the British Library; The Gnostic Scriptures: A New Translation with Annotations; A Coptic Grammar with Chrestomathy and Glossary: Sahidic Dialect; Coptic-Gnostic Chrestomathy; and technical articles on ancient Christian texts, literature, thought, and history.
He continues to research the social history of ancient monasteries, and editing works of the ancient monastic leader Apa Shenoute. He is past President of the International Association of Coptic Studies and has been a Fellow of the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Harvard Society of Fellows. For further information, see http://www.yale.edu/religiousstudies/facultypages/cvbl.html.