Brent A. Strawn

William Ragsdale Cannon Distinguished Professor of Old Testament
Brent A. Strawn
Phone: 404.727.4153
    • PhD, Princeton Theological Seminary, 2001
    • MDiv, Princeton Theological Seminary, 1995
    • BA, Point Loma Nazarene College, 1992

    Brent Strawn is on sabbatical for the 2018-19 academic year.

    The Rev. Dr. Brent A. Strawn joined the Candler faculty in 2001. He previously taught at Rutgers University and Asbury Theological Seminary, held a visiting lecturer position at Princeton Theological Seminary and taught as a visiting professor at Columbia Theological Seminary.

    Strawn conducts research in ancient Near Eastern iconography, the Dead Sea Scrolls, Israelite religion, legal traditions of the Old Testament, and Old Testament theology. Within the Old Testament proper, he works in the Pentateuch and poetry, focusing especially on Deuteronomy, the Psalms, and theological exegesis.

    Strawn has published over 200 articles, contributions to reference works, and reviews. He is the author of What Is Stronger than a Lion? Leonine Image and Metaphor in the Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2005) and The Old Testament Is Dying: A Diagnosis and Recommended Treatment (Baker Academic, 2017). Strawn is also a prolific editor, editing or co-editing 20 volumes to date, including The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Law (Oxford Univ. Press, 2014), for which he served as editor-in-chief and received the 2016 Dartmouth Medal for most outstanding reference work. He co-edits the Old Testament Theology series for Cambridge University Press and sits on the editorial boards of the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, the Journal of Biblical Literature, the Old Testament Library, the series Explorations in Ancient Near Eastern Culture, and the series Interpretation: Resources for the Use of Scripture in the Church. He also serves on the editorial board of the Common English Bible as academic editor and translator. 

    Within the Emory community, Strawn is associated with the college of arts and science’s department of Middle Eastern and South Asian studies and is a senior fellow in the Center for the Study of Law and Religion.

    Strawn is an ordained elder in the North Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church and regularly speaks and preaches at churches across the country. He has also appeared frequently on CNN on matters ranging from Easter celebrations to Pope Francis to gun violence.

    Selected Publications

    • Faculty Publication
    • Faculty Publication
    • Faculty Publication


    Editor,Jerusalem and the One God: A Religious History. Fortress, 2017

    The Old Testament is Dying: A Diagnosis and Recommended Treatment. Baker Academic, 2017

    Co-editor,The World Around the Old Testament: The People and Places of the Ancient Near East. Baker Academic 2016

    Co-editor,Iconographic Exegesis of the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible: An Introduction to Its Theory, Method, and Practice. Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, 2015

    Co-editor,What Kind of God? Collected Essays of Terence E. Fretheim. Eisenbrauns, 2015

    Editor-in-chief,The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Law. Oxford University Press, 2015

    Editor,The Bible and the Pursuit of Happiness: What the Old and New Testaments Teach Us about the Good Life. Oxford University Press, 2012

    Co-author,Psalms for Preaching and Worship: A Lectionary Commentary. Eerdmans, 2009

    What Is Stronger Than a Lion? Leonine Image and Metaphor in the Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East. Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, 2005

    Chapters and Articles

    "On Brueggemann, Money, and Possessions," Journal for Preachers, vol. 41, no. 2 (Lent 2018), January 02, 2018

    "What Is Cush Doing in Amos 9:7? The Poetics of Exodus in the Plural." Vetus Testamentum, January 01, 2013

    "A Woman at Prayer (Psalm 131,2b) and Arguments 'from Parallelism.'" Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft, October 25, 2012

    Selected Awards

    "On Eagle's Wings" Excellence in Teaching Award, Candler School of Theology, 2011-2012 and 2017-2018.

    Candler Teaching and Research Grant, 2013, 2015, and 2017.

    2016 Dartmouth Medal for Excellence in Reference for Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Law, American Library Association

    Alumnus of the Year Award, Point Loma Nazarene University

    Distinguished Teaching Scholar, Emory University's Center for Faculty Development and Excellence, 2009-2010.

    Participant, Emory Piedmont Project

    Catholic Biblical Association Fellowship

    Participant in Wabash Center Workshop on Teaching Exegesis in Theological Schools, 2006-2007.

    Lilly Theological Research Grant: Faculty Sabbatical Grant, The Association of Theological Schools, 2004-2005.

    "A Gentle Reminder that the Old Testament is Part of Our Bible and You Can’t Avoid It" - "The Bible for Normal People" Podcast, October 8, 2018

    "The Old Testament Is Dying: An Interview with Brent A. Strawn" - Bible Gateway, April 19, 2018

    "The Greatest Story Never Told: Re-Thinking the Bible as Poetry" - TheoEd Talk, First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta, September 24, 2017

    TheoEd Talk Q&A, First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta, September 24, 2017

    Service of Word and Table, Cannon Chapel, September 14, 2017

    Dr. Strawn's Profile and Contributions on

    10,000 Fathers Podcast, Aaron Keyes with Dr. Strawn: Part 2, September 11, 2017

    10,000 Fathers Podcast, Aaron Keyes with Dr. Strawn: Part 1, September 8, 2017

    Religion in Life: Season 5, Episode 8, Appalachian State University Religion Department, April 6, 2017

    "The Old Testament is Dying" - OnScript, April 14, 2017

    Service of Word and Table, Cannon Chapel, August 30, 2016

    "The Ten Commandments in situ" - 2015 Reformation Day Lecture, Pitts Theology Library

    Service of Word, Cannon Chapel, September 1, 2015

    Service of Word, Fall Centennial Celebration, Cannon Chapel, October 23, 2014

    Pope Francis Trip to the U.S., CNN Newsroom, July 27, 2014

    Selected courses

    Interpretation of the Old Testament

    Moses Amends the Constitution: The Book of Deuteronomy

    A Skeptic in Scripture: The Book of Ecclesiastes

    The Bible and/as Poetry

    Hebrew Exegesis