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Professor John Day

John Day is Emeritus Professor of Old Testament Studies in the University of Oxford, and Emeritus Fellow & Tutor of Lady Margaret Hall. He holds a Ph.D degree from Cambridge (where his original studies were undertaken) and a D.D degree from Oxford. Having previously held Fellowships at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Durham he has been at Oxford since 1980.

Much of his earliest work centred on the Canaanite background of the Hebrew Bible with books on God’s Conflict with the Dragon and the Sea, Molech: A God of Human Sacrifice, Yahweh and the Gods and Goddesses of Canaan, and a prize-winning essay on the goddess Asherah. He also wrote a popular introduction to the Psalms and edited the 3rd edition of the Oxford Bible Atlas.

His middle years were much involved with editing books on a wide range of subjects, including four Oxford seminar volumes (King and Messiah, In search of Pre-Exilic Israel, Temple and Worship, and Prophecy and the Prophets), and three years of editing the SOTS Book List. He also co-edited a Festschrift for John Emerton on Wisdom and the Wise and published his edited version of the 19th century scholar William Robertson Smith’s 2nd and 3rd series of Lectures on the Religion of the Semites, the manuscript of which he discovered but which had been presumed lost.

In more recent years, apart from editing a volume examining David Winton Thomas’s theories on Hebrew Philology (The Recovery of the Ancient Hebrew Language), his research has mainly centred on Genesis 1-11. This has resulted in two volumes of essays, From Creation to Babel: Studies in Genesis 1-11 and From Creation to Abraham: Further Studies in Genesis 1-11. These are both spin-offs from his ongoing research for a major commentary, the ICC commentary on Genesis 1-11, which he hopes to finish in the coming years.