Hugh G.M. Williamson


Emeritus Regius Professor of Hebrew 

Faculty / College Address:

Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies / Christ Church College


Research Interests:

Professor Williamson's main current research project is a multi-volumed commentary on the Hebrew text of Isaiah 1-27 for the International Critical Commentary series. Volume 1 appeared in 2006, and he is currently writing volume 2, on chapters 6-12. At a lesser level, he continues to maintain an active interest in the history and literature of the Persian period on which he previously concentrated, as well as on the history and archaeology of ancient Israel in general. As secretary of the executive committee of the Semantics of Ancient Hebrew Database project, he also remains active in research on Classical Hebrew language.

Current Projects:

  • The Hebrew text of the Book of Isaiah
  • Semantic database of Ancient Hebrew

Courses Taught:

  • Elementary and advanced classical Hebrew
  • Reading classes on a wide variety of Biblical texts
  • Ancient Israelite history

Recent Publications:

  • A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on Isaiah 1-27, 1: Isaiah 1-5 (xxxviii + 410 pp.  International Critical Commentary; London, 2006)
  • Holy, Holy, Holy: The Story of a Liturgical Formula (36 pp. Julius-Wellhausen-Vorlesung 1; Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2008)
  • Ed. (with B.T. Arnold), A Dictionary of the Historical Books of the Old Testament (xxiii + 1060 pp.  Illinois, 2005)
  • Ed. Understanding the History of Ancient Israel (xx + 432 pp.  Proceedings of the British Academy 143.  Oxford 2007)
  • Ed. (with D.G. Firth), Interpreting Isaiah: Issues and Approaches (288 pp.  Nottingham: Apollos, 2009)
  • He Has Shown You What is Good: Old Testament Justice Then and Now (115 pp. The Trinity Lectures, Singapore, 2011; Cambridge: Lutterworth, 2012)
  • ‘Scribe and Scroll: Revisiting the Great Isaiah Scroll from Qumran’, in D.J.A. Clines, K.H. Richards and J.L. Wright (eds), Making a Difference: Essays on the Bible and Judaism in Honor of Tamara Cohn Eskenazi (Hebrew Bible Monographs 49; Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2012), 329–42
  • ‘The Vindication of Redaction Criticism’, in K.J. Dell and P.M. Joyce (eds), Biblical Interpretation and Method: Essays in Honour of John Barton (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), 26–36
  • ‘Isaiah: Prophet of Weal or Woe?’, in R.P. Gordon and H.M. Bartsad (eds), “Thus Speaks Ishtar of Arbela”: Prophecy in Israel, Assyria, and Egypt in the Neo-Assyrian Period(Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 2013), 273–300
  • ‘Was There an Image of the Deity in the First Temple?’, in Sarah Pearce (ed.), The Image and its Prohibition in Jewish Antiquity (JJS Supplement Series 2.  Oxford: JJS, 2013), 28–37

Full Publications

Further Info:

  • Journal Editor: Vetus Testamentum 
  • Series editor, Oudtestamentiche Studiën
  • President, Society for Old Testament Study, 2004
  • Chairman, Anglo-Israel Archaeological Society
  • Chairman of the Humanities Group, British Academy
  • Secretary, Semantics of Ancient Hebrew Database project

Photograph of Hugh G.M. Williamson