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Faculty of Divinity



Proverbs, Job Ecclesiastes, wisdom literature, prophets, psalms, creation, ecological readings of texts, musical interpretation of biblical texts, intertextuality. Dr Dell is currently working on a commentary on Ecclesiastes, a theology of Proverbs and a wider biblical theology - The Lord by wisdom founded the earth” (Prov 3:19):  Pursuing ‘Old Testament Theology’ through the lens of wisdom. 


Key publications: 


The Book of Job as Sceptical Literature, BZAW 197, Berlin & New York: Walter de Gruyter, 1991.

Values, Conflict and the Environment  (joint editor with R Attfield), Ian Ramsey Centre, Oxford, 1989, Second Edition, Avebury, 1996.

Shaking a Fist at God: Understanding Suffering through the Book of Job, London: Harper Collins, 1995; Ligouri, Missouri: Triumph Books, 1996.

Get Wisdom, Get Insight: An Introduction to Israel’s Wisdom Literature, London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 2000.

Job, The People’s Bible Commentary, Oxford: Bible Reading Fellowship, 2002.

Seeking a life that matters: Wisdom for today from the book of Proverbs, London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 2002.

Wisdom: The Collected Articles of Norman Whybray, eds. K. J. Dell & M. Barker, SOTS Monograph Series, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2005.

The Book of Proverbs in Social and Theological Context, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006.

Opening the Old Testament, Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2008.

Genesis, Isaiah and Psalms: A Festschrift to honour John Emerton for his eightieth birthday, eds. Katharine J. Dell, Graham I. Davies and Yee Von Koh, SVT, Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2010.

Ethical and Unethical in the Old Testament: God and humans in dialogue, ed. Katharine J. Dell, LHBOTS 528, London: T & T Clark International, 2010.

On Stone and Scroll: Essays in honour of Graham Ivor Davies, eds. James K. Aitken, Katharine J. Dell and Brian A. Mastin, BZAW 420, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2011.

Reading Job Intertextually, eds. Katharine Dell and Will Kynes, LHBOTS 574, London: Bloomsbury, 2012.

Job: Where shall Wisdom be Found?, Phoenix Guides to the Old Testament, ed. A. Curtis, Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2013; 2nd edition:  T & T Clark Study Guides to the Old Testament, ed. A. Curtis, London: Bloomsbury, 2016.

Biblical Interpretation and Method:  Essays in honour of Professor John Barton, eds. Katharine J. Dell and Paul M. Joyce, Oxford: OUP, 2013.

Interpreting Ecclesiastes: Readers Old and New, Critical Studies in the Hebrew Bible 3, Winona Lake: IN: Eisenbrauns, 2013.

Reading Ecclesiastes Intertextually, Katharine Dell and Will Kynes (eds.), LHBOTS 587, London: Bloomsbury, 2014.

Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Theology, Samuel Balentine, Clifton Black, Katharine J. Dell, Andreas Schuele and Jerry Sumney (eds),  Oxford and New York: OUP, 2015.

Who needs the Old Testament?: its enduring appeal and why the New Atheists don’t get it, London: SPCK, and Eugene, Oregon: Wipf and Stock (Cascade books), 2017.

Reading Proverbs Intertextuality, eds. Katharine Dell and Will Kynes, LHBOTS 634, London: Bloomsbury, 2018. 

Main Articles

‘Ecclesiastes as Wisdom: Consulting Early Interpreters’, Vetus Testamentum XLIV, No 3, July 1994, pp 301-332.

‘Green Ideas in the Wisdom Tradition’, Scottish Journal of Theology 47/4 (1994), pp 423-451.

‘The misuse of forms in Amos’, Vetus Testamentum  XLV, No 1 (January 1995), pp 45-61.

‘Reinventing the wheel: the shaping of the book of Jonah’ in After the Exile: Essays on Biblical History and Interpretation in Honour of Rex Mason, eds. J. Barton and D. Rymer (Mercer University Press/ Kok/Pharos, Kampen), 1996, pp 85-101.

‘On the development of wisdom in Israel’ in Congress Volume: Cambridge 1995, ed. J. A. Emerton, Leiden: Brill, 1997, pp 135-151.

‘The King in the Wisdom Literature’ in King and Messiah in Israel and the ancient Near East, ed. J. Day, JSOTS 270, Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1998, pp 163-186.

‘Wisdom in Israel’ in Text in Context, ed. A. D. H. Mayes, Oxford: OUP, 2000, pp 348-375.

‘The Use of Animal Imagery in the Psalms and Wisdom Literature of Ancient Israel’, SJT 53/3 (2000), pp 275-291.

‘Plumbing the Depths of Earth: Job 28 and Deep Ecology’ in The Earth Story in Wisdom Traditions (The Earth Bible, Volume 3), eds. N. C. Habel and S. Wurst, Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2001, pp 116-125.

‘Wisdom Literature’ in The Blackwell Companion to the Hebrew Bible, ed. L. G. Perdue, Oxford: Blackwell, 2001, pp 418-431.

‘Wisdom’ in The Biblical World, ed. J. Barton, London and New York: Routledge, 2002, pp 107-128.

‘Covenant and Creation in relationship’ in Covenant as Context: Essays in Honour of E. W. Nicholson, eds. A. D. H. Mayes and R. B. Salters, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003, pp 111-133.

‘Job’ in Eerdmans Commentary on the Bible, eds. J. Rogerson and B. Metzger, Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 2004, pp 337-363.

‘How much Wisdom Literature has its Roots in the Pre-exilic period?’ in In Search of Pre-Exilic Israel, ed. J. Day, London and New York: T & T Clark International, 2004, pp 251-271.

‘“I will solve my riddle to the music of the lyre (Psalm XLIX 4 [5])”:  A cultic setting for wisdom psalms?’ Vetus Testamentum LIV/4 (2004), pp 445-458.

‘Does the Song of Songs have any connections to wisdom?’ in Perspectives on the Song of Songs, ed. A. C. Hagedorn, BZAW 346, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2005, pp 8-26.

‘Wisdom’ in Oxford Handbook of Biblical Studies, eds. J. W. Rogerson and J. M. Lieu, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006, pp 409-419.

‘God, Creation and the contribution of wisdom’ in The God of Israel, ed. R. P. Gordon, Cambridge: CUP, 2007, pp 60-72.

‘Job: Sceptics, Philosophers and Tragedians’, in Das Buch Hiob und seine Interpretationen:  Beiträge zum Hiob-Symposium auf dem Monte Verita vom 14-19 August, 2005, eds. T. Krüger, M. Oeming, K Schmid, C. Uehlinger, AThANT 88, Zurich: Theologischer Verlag, 2007, pp 1-19.

‘Reviewing Recent Research on the Wisdom Literature’, Expository Times 119/6 (2008) pp 261-269.

‘Scribes, Sages and Seers in the First Temple’ in Scribes, Sages and Seers: The Sage in the Eastern Mediterranean World, ed. L. G. Perdue, FRLANT 209, Göttingen:Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2008, pp 125-144.

‘The Cycle of Life in Ecclesiastes’, Vetus Testamentum 59 (2009), pp 181-189.

‘Job’ in Theological Bible Commentary, eds. G. R. O’Day and D. L. Petersen, Louisville KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2009, pp 167-176.

‘Proverbs 1-9:  Issues of social and theological context’, Interpretation, 63/3 (2009), pp 229-240. ‘Wisdom in the Old Testament’ in Katharine Doob Sakenfeld, (ed),  New Interpreters’ Dictionary of the Bible, Volume 5, Nashville TN: Abingdon Press, 2009, pp 869-875.

‘Proverbs’ in The New Oxford Annotated Bible (4th Edition), M. D. Coogan (ed.), Oxford: OUP, 2010, pp 895-934.

‘The Suffering Servant: Jeremiah revisited’ in Genesis, Isaiah and Psalms: A Festschrift to honour John Emerton for his eightieth birthday, eds. K. J. Dell, G. I. Davies and Y. V. Koh, Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2010, pp 119-134.

‘Old Testament Theology in Ecological Focus’ in Weisheit und Schöpfung: Festschrift für James Alfred  Loader zum 65. Geburtstag, eds. S. Fischer und M. Grohmann, Wiener Alttestamentliche Studien 7, Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2010, pp 59-77.

‘The Significance of the Wisdom Tradition in the Ecological Debate’ in Ecological Hermeneutics: Biblical, Historical and Theological Perspectives eds. D. G. Horrell, C. Hunt, C. Southgate and F. Stavrakopoulou, London: T & T Clark International, 2010, pp 56-69.

‘Ecclesiastes’ in New Interpreters’ Bible, One Volume Commentary (NIBOVC), Nashville TN: Abingdon Press, 2010, pp 368-374.

‘Does God behave unethically in the book of Job?’ in Ethical and Unethical in the Old Testament: God and humans in dialogue, ed. K. J. Dell, LHBOTS 528, London: T & T Clark International, 2010, pp 170-186.

‘Solomon’s wisdom and the Egyptian connection’ in The Centre and the Periphery: Festschrift for W. Brueggemann, eds D. J. A. Clines, J. Middlemas and E. Holt, Sheffield: Phoenix Press, 2010, pp 21-36.

‘Amos and the earthquake: judgement as natural disaster’ in Aspects of Amos, eds. A. Mein and A. Hagedorn, LHBOTS 536, London: T & T Clark International, 2011, pp 1-13.

‘Psalms’ in The Oxford Handbook to the Reception History of the Bible, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011, pp 37-51.

‘Hosea, creation and wisdom: an alternative tradition’ in On Stone and Scroll, Essays in honour of Graham Ivor Davies, eds. J. K. Aitken, K. J. Dell, and B. A. Mastin, BZAW 420, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2011, pp 409-424.

‘Incongruity in I Samuel 9-15:  a methodological survey’ in Studies on the Texts and Versions of the Hebrew Bible in honour of Robert Gordon, eds G. Khan and D. Lipton, Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2011, pp 49-64.

‘Proverbs’ in Oxford Encyclopaedia of the Bible, 2 vols, ed. M. Coogan, Oxford and New York: OUP, 2011, pp 183-192.

‘“Cursed be the day I was born”: Job and Jeremiah revisited’ in Reading Job Intertextually, eds. Katharine Dell and Will Kynes, LHBOTS 574. London: Bloomsbury, 2012, pp 106-117.

‘The Interpretation of Proverbs in the Nineteenth Century’ in Hebrew Bible / Old Testament: The History of its Interpretation 3, ed. M. Saebo, Berlin: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2012, pp 603-624.

‘The Bible and Music: hearing Elijah through the oratorio tradition’ in Biblical Interpretation and Method:  Essays in honour of Professor John Barton, Oxford: OUP, 2013, pp 285-296.

‘The Book of Job in 19th century British oratorio’ in Interested Readers: Essays on the Hebrew Bible in Honor of David J. A. Clines, eds. James K. Aitken, Jeremy M. S. Clines and Christl M. Maier, Atlanta: SBL, 2013, pp 415-429.

‘Biblical texts in new contexts: The Book of Job in the English choral tradition’ in Leshon Limmudim: Essays on the language and literature of the Hebrew Bible in Honour of A. A. Macintosh, eds. David A. Baer and Robert P. Gordon, LHBOTS 593, London: Bloomsbury, 2014, pp 204-217.

‘Exploring intertextual links between Ecclesiastes and Genesis 1-11’ in Reading Ecclesiastes Intertextually, eds. Katharine Dell and Will Kynes, LHBOTS 587, London: Bloomsbury, 2014.

‘A Time to Dance:  Music, the Bible and the Book of Ecclesiastes’, Expository Times 126/3 (Dec 2014), pp 114-121.

‘Deciding the Boundaries of Wisdom: Applying the Concept of Family Resemblance’ in Was there a Wisdom Tradition?: New Prospects in Israelite Wisdom Studies, ed. Mark R. Sneed, Ancient Israel and its Literature, Atlanta: SBL Press, 2015, pp 145-160.

‘Wisdom Literature’ for Oxford Encyclopaedia of the Bible and Theology, Oxford and New York: OUP, 2015, pp 427-432.

‘Jeremiah, Creation and Wisdom’ in Perspectives on Israelite Wisdom, ed. John Jarick, LHBOTS 618, London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2015, pp 375-390.

‘Janus Sayings: A Linking Device in Qoheleth’s Discourse’, with Tova Forti, ZAW 128/1 (2016) pp. 115-128.

‘Ecclesiastes as Mainstream Wisdom (without Job)’ in Goochem in Mokum/Wisdom in Amsterdam: Papers on Biblical and Related Wisdom Read at the Fifteenth Joint Meeting of The Society of Old Testament Study and the Oudtestamentisch Werkgezelschap, Amsterdam July 2012, eds. George J. Brooke and Pierre Van Hecke, Oudtestamentische Stüdien (OTS) 68, Leiden:Brill, 2016, pp. 43-52.

‘Oratorio’ in Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and the Arts, ed. Timothy Beal, Oxford: OUP, 2016, Volume 2, pp 175-184.

‘Job’ in The History of Evil in Antiquity, Vol 1, T. Angier (ed), London: Acumen Press, 2016, pp 24-33.

‘Reading Ecclesiastes with the scholars’ in Exploring Old Testament Wisdom, eds. David Firth and Lindsay Wilson, London: SPCK/IVP, 2016, pp 81-99.

‘The laughter of fools: the relevance of wisdom in today’s world’ in The Wayfinders: Why Ancient Wisdom matters in the modern world, Special issue for electronic journal Religions (co-editor of Special issue, with Arthur Keefer), 2016.

‘What Was Job’s Malady?’ JSOT 41, Sept 2016, 61-77.

‘Wisdom and Folly in the city: exploring urban contexts in the book of Proverbs’, Scottish Journal of Theology 69 (4), 2016, 389-401.

“A Snapshot of SOTS at 100: Collegiality and Diversity in the Membership of the Society for Old Testament Study, for SOTS at 100: Centennial Essays of the Society for Old Testament Study, LHBOTS 650, ed. John Jarick, London: Bloomsbury, 2017, 137-158.

‘The Book of Job and Two Twentieth century British oratorios’ in "When the Morning Stars Sang": Essays in Honor of Choon Leong Seow on the Occasion of his Sixty-Fifth Birthday, eds. Scott C. Jones and Christine Roy Yoder, BZAW 500, Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2017, 115-126.

‘Job’ in The History of Evil in Antiquity, Vol 1, T. Angier (ed), London: Routledge, 2018, pp 24-33.

'Reflections on Methodological Matters regarding Wisdom Influence and on the Relationship between Wisdom and Prophet' in Riddles and Revelations: Explorations into the Relationship between Wisdom and Prophecy in the Hebrew Bible, eds. Mark Boda, Russell Meeks and William Osborne, LHBOTS 636, London: Bloomsbury/ T & T Clark, 2018, pp. 233-245.

‘Didactic Intertextuality:  Proverbial wisdom as illustrated in Ruth’ in Reading Proverbs Intertextuality, eds. Katharine Dell and Will Kynes, LHBOTS 634, London: Bloomsbury, 2018, pp. 103-114. 

‘The Book of Job in the Context of the Writings’ for The Oxford Handbook of the Writings of the Hebrew Bible, ed. Donn Morgan, Oxford: OUP, 2019, pp. 169-180.

In Press

The Biblical World, ed. Katharine Dell, second edition, London: Taylor and Francis/Routledge, 2019. 

‘All is Decay: Intertextual links between Lamentations 5 and Ecclesiastes 12:1-7’ for Reading Lamentations Intertextually, eds Brittany Melton and Heath Thomas, LHBOTS, London: Bloomsbury, 2019

‘Enjoying the tension:  Qoh 2:25 in the context of Qoh 2:24-6’ with Tova Forti.  Vetus Testamentum (forthcoming).

‘Genre versus Intertextuality: linking wisdom texts, themes and contexts with the wider OT and with the sayings of Jesus’ for invited talk at Hawarden Gladstone Library  and for Methodology in the Use of the Old Testament in the New, eds. Steve Smith and David Allen, LNTS, Bloomsbury: T & T Clark, 2019.

‘Solomon and the Solomonic Collection’ for Oxford Handbook for Wisdom and Wisdom Literature, ed. Will Kynes, Oxford: OUP, 2019.

‘“When a bird flies through the air”:  enigmatic paths of birds in wisdom literature.’ With Tova Forti, in Networks of Metaphors in the Hebrew Bible, eds. Danilo Verde and Antje Labahn, BETL, 2019.

‘Job and integrity’ for Portraits of Integrity, ed. Charlotte Alston, London: Bloomsbury, 2019.

Teaching and Supervisions

Research supervision: 

Current and recent topics being pursued by PhD students include Proverbs, Job, Song of Songs, Solomon, Ecclesiastes, environmental ethics in the prophets, the Megilloth.

Professor of Old Testament Literature and Theology; Fellow and Director of Studies in Theology, Religion and Philosophy of Religion, St Catharine's College
Dr Katharine Julia Dell

Contact Details

Email address: 
01223 763038
Takes PhD students
Not available for consultancy