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Dr Philip Johnston

Dr Philip Johnston

Senior Tutor, Hughes Hall

Philip Johnston is accepting applications for PhD students.

Office Phone: 01223 763428


Philip Johnston has studied Maths, Economics and Theology, has taught Old Testament in Belfast, St Andrews and Oxford, and now lectures and supervises in the Cambridge Faculty of Divinity. His doctoral research looked at death in the ancient Near East, and he has published material on this and other biblical topics. He has also lived and worked in Ireland, francophone Europe and East Asia.

Subject area and speciality

Old Testament specialists:
  • Biblical interpretation
  • Death and the afterlife


Hughes Hall:
Director of Studies


Key Publications


Co-editor, Interpreting Deuteronomy: Issues and Approaches (Nottingham: Apollos, 2012)

Sole editor, IVP Introduction to the Bible (Nottingham: IVP, 2006)

Author, Deuteronomy (Oxford: Bible Reading Fellowship, 2005)

Co-editor, Interpreting the Psalms: Issues and Approaches (Leicester: Apollos, 2005)

Author, Shades of Sheol: Death and Afterlife in the Old Testament (Leicester: Apollos, 2002)

Co-editor, The Land of Promise: Biblical, Theological and Contemporary Perspectives (Leicester: Apollos, 2000)

Co-author, Les Psaumes: Aide à la lecture cursive du texte hébreu (Villurbaine, France: Editions Clé, 1995)

Other Publications

Book and journal articles

‘“Traduttore traditore”, Beowulf and the Psalms: A Response to Nancy deClaissé-Walford’, in S. Gillingham, ed., Jewish and Christian Approaches to the Psalms: Conflict and Convergence  (Oxford: OUP, 2013), 204-08.

'Civil leadership in Deuteronomy', in D.G. Firth, P.S. Johnston, eds, Interpreting Deuteronomy: Issues and Approaches (Nottingham: Apollos, 2012), 139-56.

'"Now you see me, now you don't!" Jeremiah and God', in J. Day, ed., Prophecy and the Prophets in Ancient Israel (LHBOTS 531; London: T&T Clark International, 2010), 290-308.

'Amos', in J.H. Walton, ed., Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2009), 5: 54-89.

'The Psalms in their setting', in P. and D. Alexander, eds, Lion Handbook to the Bible, 4th edn (Oxford: Lion, 2009), 363-64.

'Faith in Isaiah', in H.G.M. Williamson, D.G. Firth, eds, Interpreting Isaiah: Issues and Approaches(Nottingham: Apollos, 2009), 104-21.

'Ordeals in the Psalms?', in J. Day, ed., Temple and Worship in Biblical Israel (LHBOTS 422; London: T&T Clark International, 2005), 271-92.

'Distress in the Psalms', in P.S. Johnston, D.G. Firth, eds, Interpreting the Psalms: Issues and Approaches (Leicester: Apollos, 2005), 63-84.

'Death in Egypt and Israel: A Theological Reflection', in R.P. Gordon, J.C. de Moor, eds, The Old Testament in Its World (OTS 52; Leiden: Brill, 2004), 94-116.

'Figuring out figurines' [Tyndale Fellowship Old Testament Lecture, 2002], Tyndale Bulletin 54.2 (2003), 81-104.

'Review Article: New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis', Themelios24.3 (1999), 42-45.

Dictionary articles, in

New Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible (Nashville: Abingdon, 2006-09).

Dictionary of the Old Testament (Downers Grove: IVP), all four volumes: Pentateuch (2003); Historical Books (2005); Wisdom, Poetry & Writings (2008); Prophets (2012).

New Dictionary of Biblical Theology (Leicester: IVP, 2000).

Journal co-editing

Bulletin for Biblical Research (2011-...)

Themelios (1997-2001)

Book reviews, 100+ in

Anvil, Biblical Interpretation, Evangelical Quarterly, Expository Times, Journal of Semitic Studies, Journal of Theological Studies, Society of Old Testament Study Book List, Theological Book Review, Themelios, Vetus Testamentum.

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Faculty of Divinity Moodle

Sep 26, 2016

Moodle has now replaced CamTools in the Faculty of Divinity.

Dr Jesse Zink Awarded Audrey Richards Prize

Sep 23, 2016

The Rev Dr Jesse Zink has been awarded the Audrey Richards Prize by the African Studies Association of the UK for his dissertation, “Christianity and Catastrophe: Sudan’s Civil Wars and Religious Change among the Dinka.” The prize recognizes the best doctoral dissertation in African studies examined in the UK in 2014 or 2015.

LibrarySearch will be switched off - save items and lists

Sep 16, 2016

On 28 September 2016, iDiscover - the new resource discovery system - will replace LibrarySearch. Please export saved items or lists from My Discoveries before the switch off of LibrarySearch.

Divinity Library changes to borrowing for non-current members of the University/external researchers

Sep 06, 2016

Since 1 September 2016, the policy for borrowing for non-current members of the University/external researchers has changed: unless you have a blue University card you will not be able to borrow from Divinity Library any more.

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