The Oxford Handbook of the Historical Books of the Hebrew Bible

Brent A. Strawn (Co-editor)
Oxford University Press
Published Year: 
Cover image of book co-edited by Brent Strawn

Brent A. Strawn, Ph.D., professor of Old Testament at Duke Divinity School and professor of Law at Duke University, has co-edited a volume of 36 essays offering resources for the essential interpretation of the Historical Books of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. The new work aims to capture significant trends in current and future scholarship.

The book, The Oxford Handbook of the Historical Books of the Hebrew Bible, was published in November 2020 by Oxford University Press as part of its Oxford Handbooks series, which are designed to provide authoritative and up-to-date surveys of original research in a particular subject area via essays from leading figures in the discipline. Strawn co-edited the volume with the Rev. Brad E. Kelle, Ph.D., professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, Calif., which is Strawn’s undergraduate alma mater.  

The individual essays in the volume examine a range of topics from the Historical Books—Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah—to appreciate these topics’ relevance and show readers how to better interpret the Old Testament books. Each essay critically surveys prior scholarship before presenting current and prospective approaches. Extensive bibliography is included.

The handbook touches on all major interpretive issues for the Historical Books and also incorporates newer approaches and concerns such as trauma theory, gender analysis, and economic studies.

Strawn joined the Duke Divinity School faculty in 2019 after serving as the William Ragsdale Cannon Distinguished Professor of Old Testament at the Candler School of Theology and Graduate Division of Religion of Emory University, where he taught for eighteen years.

His most recent book, The Old Testament: A Concise Introduction, published in 2019 by Routledge, is a concise guide that introduces readers to the contents of the Old Testament and the most current questions in biblical scholarship. Strawn is also the author of The Old Testament Is Dying: A Diagnosis and Recommended Treatment and has edited more than 20 volumes including the award-winning The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Law. He was a member of the translation team and editorial board for The Common English Bible. His next book, Lies My Preacher Told Me: An Honest Look at the Old Testament, will be published by Westminster John Knox Press in February 2021.