Joseph Blenkinsopp


Emeritus Faculty


John A. O’Brien Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies


B.A. History Honours, University of London,  D.Phil.  University of Oxford.

Recent Publications


Abraham: The Story of a Life. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2015.

David Remembered: Kingship and National Identity in Ancient Israel. Eerdmans, 2013

Creation Un-Creation Re-Creation. A Discursive Commentary on Genesis 1-11 (New York & London: Continuum, 2011)  

Judaism. The First Phase (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2008);

Opening the Sealed Book. Interpretations of the Book of Isaiah in Late Antiquity (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2006)

Treasures Old  and New.  Essays in the Theology of the Pentateuch (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2004).  Italian translation Tesori Vecchi e Nuovi (Brescia: Paideia, 2008)

Isaiah 56-66. A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (Anchor Bible; New York: Doubleday, 2003)

Judah and Judeans in the Babylonian Period (Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbrauns, 2003; edited with Oded Lipschits

Isaiah 40-55. A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (Anchor Bible; New York: Doubleday, 2002)

Isaiah 1-39. A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (Anchor Bible; New York: Doubleday, 2000)

Families in Ancient Israel with L. G. Perdue, J. J. Collins, C. Meyers (Louisville: Westminster/John Knox, 1997)

Sage, Priest, Prophet. Intellectual Leadership in Ancient Israel (Louisville: Westminster/John Knox, 1995). Italian translation Sapiente, sacerdote, profeta (Brescia: Paideia, 2005)

The Pentateuch. An Introduction to the First Five Books of the Bible (Anchor Bible Reference Library; New York: Doubleday, 1992). Italian, Spanish, Korean translations.

Ezekiel (Interpretation series; Louisville:John Knox, 1990). Japanese translation 1992; Italian translation (Torino: Claudiana, 2006).

Ezra-Nehemiah. A Commentary (Old Testament Library series; Louisville: Westminster, 1988)

Wisdom and Law in the Old Testament (Oxford: University Press, 1983); second edition 1995; Japanese translation.

The History of Prophecy in Israel (Louisville: Westminster/John Knox, 1983), second edition 1996.  translations: Italian 1997, Japanese 1997, German  1998, Chinese 2000, Spanish (date?)

Prophecy and Canon (Notre Dame, Indiana: Notre Dame Press, 1977). National Religious Book Award

Gibeon and Israel (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1972). Digital paperback version, 2009.


Contributions to edited volumes,  Festschriften, commentary series:

“The Servant of the Lord, the Teacher of Righteousness, and the Exalted One of 4Q491c”,Festschrift for Philip Davies (Sheffield: Equinox Press, 2012), 31-42.

“Ideology and Utopia in 1-2 Chronicles” in E. Ben  Zvi and Diana  V. Edelman (eds.), What Was Authoritative for Chronicles?   (Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbrauns, 2011), 89-103.

“Judaeans, Jews, Children of Abraham” in Oded  Lipschits et al.  (eds.), Judah and the Judeans in the Achaemenid Period (Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbrauns, 2011), 461-482.

“Why does the Deuteronomistic History make no mention of the Prophets to whom books are attributed?”  in J. K. Aitken et al.  (eds.), On Stone and Scroll. Essays in Honour of Graham Ivor Davies (Berlin: de Gruyter), 2011), 343-356.

“Footnotes to the Rescript of Artaxerxes (Ezra 7:11-26)” in P. R. Davies and D. V. Edelman (eds.), The Historian and the Bible. Essays in Honour of Lester L. Grabbe (New York & London: T.& T. Clark, 2010), 150-158.

“Isaiah, Book of” in Daniel Patte (ed.), The Cambridge Dictionary of Christianity  (Cambridge: University Press, 2010), 616.

“The Mystery of the Missing ‘Sons of Aaron’” in G. N. Knoppers and L. L. Grabbe (eds), Exile   and Restoration Revisited (London & New York: T. & T. Clark, 2009), 65-77.

“Ezra-Nehemiah: Unity or Disunity?”  in M. J. Boda and P. L. Redditt (eds.), Unity and Disunity in Ezra-Nehemiah  (Sheffield: Phoenix Press, 2008), 306-314.

“The Development of Jewish Sectarianism from Nehemiah to the Hasidim” in O. Lipschits and G. N. Knoppers (eds.), Judah and the Judeans in the Fourth Century B.C.E.  (Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbrauns, 2007), 385-404.

“Latter Prophets” in S. E. Porter (ed.), Dictionary of Biblical Criticism and Interpretation (London & New York: Routledge, 2007), 188-191.

“Post-mortem Existence in the Old Testament” in M. Labahn and M. Oeming (eds.), Lebendige   Hoffnung - Ewiger Tod?  (Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 2007), 33-51.

“Benjamin Traditions Read in the Early Achaemenid Period” in O. Lipschits and M. Oeming (eds.), Judah and the Judeans in the Persian Period (Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbrauns, 2006), 629-645.

“Hezekiah and the Babylonian Delegation: A Critical Reading of Isaiah 39:1-8" in Yairah Amit    et al.  (eds.),Essays on Ancient Israel in its Near Eastern Context. A Tribute to Nadav   Na$aman (Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbrauns, 2006), 107-122.

“Who is the Teacher in Isa 30:20 who will no longer remain hidden?”  in W. G. Jeanrond and A. D. H. Mayes (eds.), Recognising the Margins. Developments in Biblical and Theological Studies (Dublin: Columba Press, 2006), 9-23.

“Who is the Saddiq of Isaiah 57:1-2?”  in P. W. Flint et al.  (eds.), Studies in the Hebrew Bible,   Qumran, and the Septuagint Presented to Eugene Ulrich (Leiden: Brill, 2006), 109-120.

“The Qumran Sect in the context of Second Temple Sectarianism” in J. G. Campbell et al. (eds.), New Directions in Qumran Studies (London & New York: T. & T. Clark, 2005), 10-25.

“Bethel in the Neo-Babylonian Period” in O. Lipschits and J. Blenkinsopp (eds.), Judah and the Judeans in the Neo-Babylonian Period (Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbrauns, 2003), 93-107.

“The One in the Middle” in J. C. Exum and H. G. M. Williamson (eds), Reading from Right to Left. Essays on the Hebrew Bible in Honour of David J. A. Clines (Sheffield: Academic Press, 2003), 63-75.

“The Formation of the Hebrew Bible Canon: Isaiah as a Test Case” in L. Martin Mcdonald and J. A. Sanders (eds.), The Canon Debate (Peabody, Mass: Hendrickson, 2002), 53-67.

“The Age of the Exile” in John Barton (ed.), The Biblical World. Volume 1 (London & New York: Routledge, 2002), 416-439.

“A Post-exilic lay source in Genesis 1-11" in J. C. Gertz et al.  (eds.), Abschied vom Jahwisten. Die Komposition des Hexateuch in der jüngsten Diskussion (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2002), 49-61.

“Saul and the Mistress of the Spirits (1 Samuel 28:3-25)” in A. G. Hunter and P. R. Davies (eds.), Sense and Sensitivity. Essays on Reading the Bible in Memory of Robert Carroll  (Sheffield: Academic Press, 2002), 49-62.

“Was the Pentateuch the Civil and Religious Constitution of the Jewish Ethnos in the Achaemenid Period?”  in J. W. Watts (ed.), Persia and Torah. The Theory of Imperial Authorization of the Pentateuch (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2001), 41-62.

"The Household in Ancient Israel and Early Judaism” in L. G. Perdue (ed.), The Blackwell Companion to the Hebrew Bible (Oxford: Blackwell, 2001), 169-185.

“Cityscape to Landscape: The ‘Back to Nature’ Theme in Isaiah 1-35" in L. L. Grabbe and R. D. Haak (eds),‘Every City Shall Be Forsaken’: Urbanism and Prophecy in Ancient Israel and the Near East (Sheffield: Academic Press, 2001), 35-44.

“Prophecy and the Prophetic Books” in A. D. H. Mayes (ed.), Text in Context. Essays by Members of the Society for Old Testament Study (Oxford: University Press, 2000), 323-347.

“The Prophetic Biography of Isaiah” in Erhard Blum (ed.), Mincha. Festgabe für Rolf Rendtorff zum 75. Geburtstag (Neukirchen: Neukirchener Verlag, 2000), 13-26.

“Deuteronomic  Contributions to the Narrative in Genesis-Numbers: A Test Case” in L. S. Schearing and S. L. McKenzie (eds.), Those Elusive Deuteronomists (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1999), 84-115.

"Miracles: Elisha and Hanina ben Dosa” in J. C. Cavadini (ed.), Miracles in Jewish and Christian Antiquity (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1999), 57-81.

“The Pentateuch” in J. Barton (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Biblical Interpretation (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), 181-197.

“Propheticism and Prophets” in W. R. Farmer (ed.), The International Bible Commentary Minneapolis: Liturgical Press, 1998), 981-986.

“The Servants and the Servant in Isaiah and the Formation of the Book” in C. C. Broyles and C. A. Evans (eds.),Writing and Reading the Scroll of Isaiah. Studies of an Interpretive Tradition. Volume One (Leiden: Brill, 1997), 155-175.

“Structure and Meaning in the Sinai-Horeb Narrative” in E. E. Carpenter (ed.), A Biblical Itinerary.  Essays in Honor of George W. Coats (Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1997), 109-125.

“Global Stewardship: Towards an Ethic of Limitation” in M. Ryan and T. D. Whitmore (eds.), The Challenge of Global Stewardship (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1997), 38-53.

“The ‘Servants of the Lord’ in Third Isaiah: Profile of a Pietistic Group in the Persian Epoch” in R. P. Gordon (ed.),The Place is Too Small for Us. The Israelite Prophets in Recent Scholarship (Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbrauns, 1995), 392-412.

“P and J in Genesis 1:1-11:26: An Alternative Hypothesis” in A. Beck et al.  (eds), Fortunate the Eyes that See. Essays in Honor of David Noel Freedman (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995), 1-15.

“Ahab of Samaria and Jehoshaphat of Jerusalem” in Jack Sasson (ed.), Civilizations of the  Ancient Near East. Volume 2 (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1995), 1309-1321.

“The Nehemiah Autobiographical Memoir” in S. E. Balentine and J. Barton (eds.), Language, Theology and the Bible.  Essays in Honour of James Barr (Oxford: Clarendon, 1994), 199-212.

“Pentateuch” in New Interpreter’s Bible (Nashville: Abingdon, 1994), 305-319.

“The Second Temple as House of Prayer” in Jean-Clause Petit (ed.), Ou demeures-tu? La maison depuis le monde biblique (Quebec: Fides, 1994), 109-122.

“The Documentary Hypothesis in Trouble” in H. Minkoff (ed.), Approaches to the Bible. The Best of Bible Review. Volume 1. Composition, Transmission and Language (Washington, D.C.: Biblical Archaeology Society, 1994), 10-21.

“Wisdom in the Chronicler’s Work” in L. G. Perdue et al. (eds.), In Search of Wisdom. Essays in Memory of John G. Gammie (Louisville: Westminster/John Knox, 1993), 19-30.

“Temple and Society in Achaemenid Judah” in P. R. Davies (ed.), Second Temple Studies. 1. Persian Period(Sheffield: Academic Press, 1991), 22-53.

“The Sage, the Scribe, and Scribalism in the Chronicler’s Work” in J. G. Gammie and L. G. Perdue (eds.), The Sage in Israel and the Ancient Near East (Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbrauns, 1990), 307-315.

“Deuteronomy” in R. E. Brown et al.  (eds.), The New Jerome Biblical Commentary (Englewood Cliffs, N.J: Prentice-Hall, 1990), 110-131.

“Theological Honesty through History” in R. Brooks and J. J. Collins (eds.), Hebrew Bible or       Old Testament?  (Notre Dame: Notre Dame University Press, 1990), 147-152.

“The Literary Evidence” in V. Tsaferis et al.Excavations at Capernaum. Volume 1 1978-1982 (Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbrauns, 1989), 201-211.

“Biblical Studies (OT)” in New Catholic Encyclopedia.  Volume XVIII. Suppl.  (Jack Heraty & Associates, 1989), 42-46.

“Introduction to the Prophetic Books” in J. L. Mays (ed.), Harper-Collins Bible Commentary (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1988; revised edition, 2000), 480-488.

“‘We Pay No Heed to Heavenly Voices: The ‘End of Prophecy’ and the Formation of the Canon” in Linda B. Elderet al. (eds.), Biblical and Humane. A Festschrift for John F. Priest (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1986), 19-32.

“Interpretation and the Tendency to Sectarianism: An Aspect of Second Temple History” in E. P. Sanders (ed.),Jewish and Christian Self-Definition (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1981), 1-26.

“Tanakh and the New Testament: A Christian Perspective” in L. Boadt et al.  (eds.), Biblical Studies. Meeting Ground for Jews and Christians (New York: Paulist Press, 1980), 96-119.

“The Quest of the Historical Saul” in J. W. Flanagan and A. W. Weisbrod Robinson (eds.), No Famine in the Land. Studies in Honor of John L. McKenzie (Missoula, Montana: Scholars Press, 1975), 75-99.

“The Historical Books of the Old Testament” and “1 and 2 Samuel: Introduction and Commentary” in R. C. Fulleret al.  (eds.),  A New Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture (London: Nelson, 1969), 277-281, 305-327.

“Deuteronomy” in R. E. Brown et al. (eds.), The Jerome Biblical Commentary (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1968), 101-122. Second edition 1990 (see above).

“I-II Samuel, I-II Kings, I-II Chronicles” Translation in A. Jones (ed.), The Jerusalem Bible.English Language Version (London: Darton, Longman, Todd), 1966.


Articles (selected):

“The Baal Peor Episode Revisited”, Biblica 93.1 (2012), 86-97.

“The Cosmological and Protological Language of Deutero-Isaiah”, Catholic Biblical Quarterly 73 (2011), 493-510

“Abraham as Paradigm in the Priestly History in Genesis”, Journal of Biblical Literature 128 (2009), 225-241.

“The Midianite-Kenite Hypothesis Revisited and the Origins of Judah”, Journal for the Study of t           he Old Testament 33 (2008), 131-153.

“Reconciliation in the Middle East: A Biblical Perspective”, Theology Today 65 2008), 344-355.

“The Bible, Archaeology and Politics: The Empty Land Revisited”, Journal for the Study of the   Old Testament 27 (2002), 169-87.

“The Babylonian Gap Revisited”, Biblical Archaeology Review 28 (2002), 36-39.

 “Did the second Jerusalemite Temple possess land?”. TranseuphratPne 21 (2001), 61-68.

“The Social Role of Prophets in Early Achaemenid Judah”, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 93 (2001), 39-58.

“Judah’s Covenant with Death (Isaiah xxviii 14-22)”, Vetus Testamentum 8. ½ (2000), 129-36.

“A Case of Benign Imperial Neglect and its Consequences”, Biblical Interpretation 8. 1.2 (2000), 129-136.

“The Judean Priesthood during the Neo-Babylonian and Achaemenid Periods: A Hypothetical Reconstruction”,Catholic Biblical Quarterly 60 (1998), 25-43.

“Life Expectancy in Ancient Palestine”,  Scandinavian Journal of  Theology 11 (1997), 44-55.

“Memory, Tradition, and the Construction of the Past in Ancient Israel”  Biblical Theology Bulletin (1997)

“An Assessment of the Alleged Pre-Exilic Date of the Priestly Material in the Pentateuch”, Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 108 (1996), 495-518.

“Ecclesiastes 3:1-15: Another Interpretation”, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 66 (1995), 55-64.

“Deuteronomy and the Politics of Post-mortem Existence”, Vetus Testamentum 45 (1995), 1-16.

“The Social Context of the ‘Outsider Woman’ in Proverbs 1-9", Biblica 72 (1991), 457-473.

“A Jewish Sect of the Persian Period”, Catholic Biblical Quarterly 52 (1990), 5-20.

“The Judge of All the Earth: Theodicy in the Midrash on Genesis 18:22-33", Journal of Jewish Studies 41 (1990), 1-12.

“A Theological Reading of Ezra-Nehemiah”, Proceedings of the Irish Biblical Association 12 (1989), 26-36.

“Second Isaiah, Prophet of Universalism?”, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 41 (1988), 83-103.  Reprinted in P. R. Davies (ed.), The Prophets. A Sheffield Reader (Sheffield: Academic Press, 1996), 186-206; and in Studia Biblica Athanasiana 9 (Budapest: Harmattan, 2006), 37-55.

“The Mission of Udjahorresnet and Those of Ezra and Nehemiah”, Journal of Biblical Literature 106 (1987), 409-421.

“Yahweh and Other Deities: Conflict and Accommodation in the Religion of Israel”, Interpretation 40 (1986), 354-366.

“Biblical Law and Hermeneutics: A Reply to Professor Gaffney”, The Journal of Law and Religion 4.1 (1986), 97-101.

“Old Testament Theology and the Jewish-Christian Connection”, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament28 (1984), 3-15.

“The ‘Servants of the Lord’ in Third Isaiah”, Proceedings of the Irish Biblical Association 7 (1983), 1-23.

“Abraham and the Righteous of Sodom”, Journal of Jewish Studies 33 (1982), 119-32.

“Fragments of Ancient Exegesis in an Isaian Poem (Jes. 2,6-22)”, Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 93 (1981), 51-62.

“Biographical Patters in Biblical Narrative” , Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 20 (1981), 27-46.

“Prophecy and Priesthood in Josephus”, Journal of Jewish Studies 25 (1974), 239-262. Japanese translation in L. H. Feldman and Gohei Hata (eds.), Josephus Studies III (Tokyo: Yamamoto Shoten, 1985), 69-104.

“Judaism and Teaching Old Testament”, The Living Light 13 (1976), 415-427.

“The Structure of P”, Catholic Biblical Quarterly 38 (1976), 275-292.

“The Search for the Prickly Plant: Structure and Function in the Gilgamesh Epic”, Soundings 58 (1975), 200-220.

“Did Saul attempt to make Gibeon his capital?”, Vetus Testamentum 24 (1973), 1-7.

“Reflections on Teaching Old Testament”, The Living Light 10 (1973), 102-131.

“The Prophetic Reproach”, Journal of Biblical Literature 90 (1971), 267-278.

“Immortality and Resurrection: Theological Synthesis and Hermeneutical Conclusions”,  Concilium 10.6 (1970), 115-126.

“Kiriath -jearim and the Ark”, Journal of Biblical Literature 88 (1969), 143-156.

“Theme and Motif in the Succession History (2 Sam xi 2ff) and the Yahwist Corpus”, Vetus Testamentum Supplements 15 (1966), 44-57.

“Are there traces of the Gibeonite covenant in Deuteronomy?”, Catholic Biblical Quarterly 28 (1966), 207-219.

“Old Testament Studies at Geneva”, The Month 220 (December 1965), 352-359.

"Jonathan’s Sacrilege: 1 Sm 14,1-46: A Study in Literary History”, Catholic Biblical Quarterly 26 (1964), 423-449.

“Biblical and Dogmatic Theology: The Present Situation”, Catholic Biblical Quarterly 26 (1964), 70-85.

“Structure and Style in Judges 13-16", Journal of Biblical Literature 82 (1963), 65-76.

“The Unknown Prophet of the Exile”, Scripture 14 (1962), 81-90.

“Apropos of the Lord’s Prayer”, Heythrop Journal 3.1 (1962), 169-171.

“The Lord’s Prayer and the Hill of Olives”, Heythrop Journal 3.2 (1962), 169-171.

“Ballad Style and Psalm Style in the Song of Deborah: A Discussion”, Biblica 42 (1961), 61-76.

“The Oracle of Judah and the Messianic Entry”, Journal of Biblical Literature 80 (1961), 55-64.

“The Hidden Messian and his Entry into Jerusalem”, Scripture 13 (1961), 51-56, 81-88.

“The Quenching of Thirst: Reflections on John 7:37-39", Scripture 12 (1960), 39-48. Reprinted in M. R. Ryan (ed.), Contemporary New Testament Studies (Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1965), 304-311.                                                                                                                                                        

“Some Notes on the Saga of Samson and the Heroic Milieu”, Scripture 11 (1959), 81-89.


Born Durham, England. Taught at International Theological College, Romsey, U.K., Chicago Theological Seminary, Vanderbilt University and University of Notre Dame from 1970; Guest-Professor at Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome, 1998.  Member of several learned societies including Society of Biblical Literature, Society for the Study of the Old Testament (U.K., President 1999-2000), Catholic Biblical Association (President 1988-1989), European Association of Biblical Studies.  ATS Research grant 1978, Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford 1982-1983 with NEH grant, Mellon Retiree Research Grant 2005-2006.  Excavated at Tel Dan, Israel 1977 and at Capernaum, Israel  with Notre Dame University support 1980-1987. Rector of Ecumenical Institute, Tantur, Israel, 1978.