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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.

RSS Feed Latest news

Inspiring young people in care

Apr 20, 2017

Will Lyon Tupman, a third year undergraduate, leads a campaign to help those in foster care to reach their potential.

What is the historical evidence that Jesus Christ lived and died?

Apr 19, 2017

Read Dr Simon Gathercole's article in the Guardian newspaper

Film Competition Winners Announced

Feb 27, 2017

School students demonstrated their passion for the subject in creative and sensitive films for the 2016 Cambridge Religion on Film Competition.

Research news: astrobiology, and Zion in South Africa

Feb 24, 2017

Read about exciting research in the Faculty of Divinity, with three lecturers currently away on research trips in very different places, looking at very different things.

View all news