Paul H. and Grace L. Stern Chair in Old Testament Studies
Professor of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament
B.A., Wake Forest University, 1981
M.Div., Duke, 1984
Ph.D., Duke, 1988
Julia M. O'Brien is Paul H. and Grace L. Stern Professor of Old Testament at Lancaster Theological Seminary, where she has taught since 1997.
Dr. O'Brien received her B.A. in religion from Wake Forest University in 1981. She earned her M.Div from Duke Divinity School in 1984, and her Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible from Duke University in 1988, where her areas of study included the history and archeology of the Old Testament, as well as Judaism and Literary Criticism.
Dr. O'Brien specializes in the prophetic literature of the Old Testament. She is the author of a commentary on Nahum for Sheffield Academic Press (2001) and a commentary on Nahum through Malachi in the Abingdon Old Testament Commentary series (2004). Her most recent book, Challenging Prophetic Metaphor, was released by Westminster John Knox Press (2008). Julia writes regularly for Bible dictionaries, commentaries, and journals on other prophets as well. She is interested in issues of violence and how Christians might ethically and respectfully respond to the "difficult" parts of the Bible.
Introducing the Old Testament
Women & the Old Testament
Ruth and Esther
Prophets of Divine Wrath
Ethical Issues in Reading the Hebrew Bible:
Violence and Constructions of Families
Literary approaches to the Bible
Challenging Prophetic Metaphor: Theology and Ideology in the ProphetsWestminster John Knox, 2008.
“Nahum-Habakkuk-Zephaniah: Reading the ‘Former Prophets’ in the Persian Period.” Interpretation 61 (2007): 168-183.
Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, MalachiAbingdon Old Testament Commentaries(Abingdon Press, 2004)
Nahum Readings: A New Biblical Commentary (Sheffield Academic Press, 2002)
“On Saying `No’ to a Prophet.” Semeia 72 (1997): 111-124. Reprinted in Prophets and Daniel. A Feminist Companion to the Bible (second series), ed. Athalya Brenner. Sheffield Academic Press, 2001.
“Judah as Wife and Husband: Deconstructing Gender in Malachi.” Journal of Biblical Literature 115 (1996): 243-252.
Priest and Levite in Malachi
Society of Biblical Literature Dissertation Series, no. 121 (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1990)
Interpreting the Books of the Old Testament (especially the prophetic materials)
Gender in the Bible and in Biblical Interpretation
Ways of Reading the Bible
The Bible as Literature
The Bible and the Family
To go to Dr. O'Brien's website please click here.