Our use of cookies

Some cookies are necessary for us to manage how our website behaves while other optional, or non-necessary, cookies help us to analyse website usage. You can Accept All or Reject All optional cookies or control individual cookie types below.

You can read more in our Cookie Notice


These cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility. You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.

Analytics cookies

Analytical cookies help us to improve our website by collecting and reporting information on its usage.

Third-Party Cookies

These cookies are set by a website other than the website you are visiting usually as a result of some embedded content such as a video, a social media share or a like button or a contact map



Director of Postgraduate Studies & Senior Lecturer in Biblical Studies

Dr T Desmond Alexander


It has been my joy and privilege to undertake teaching and research on the Bible for over forty years. I took up my present appointment in September 2009, having been Director of Christian Training for the Presbyterian Church in Ireland from 1999 to 2009. 

Previously I had lectured for 18 years in Semitic Studies at the Queen’s University of Belfast. My career in third level education has spanned a period of considerable change in how the Bible is approached with greater emphasis being placed on understanding the literary dimension of the biblical books. Over the years many and varied opportunities have arisen to write and edit a wide variety of academic and reference books on the Bible (see below). Within the general field of Biblical Studies, I have concentrated my attention primarily on the Pentateuch and secondarily on Biblical Theology. Outside of my academic studies, I have been an elder in Fitzroy Presbyterian Church for thirty–five years. I am married to Anne, and we have two adult children, Jane and David, who are married to Ross and Alana respectively. And I now have two very young granddaughters, Martha and Maggie. To keep fit, I enjoy swimming and walking.


Biblical Theology: series editor for commentary series: ‘The Evangelical Biblical Theology Commentary’ (Lexham Press) (2017 to present)

On editorial board of Tyndale Bulletin (2017 to present); Journal for the Evangelical Study of the Old Testament (2016 to present); Bulletin for Biblical Research (2016–2018)

OT editor for Reformation Study Bible (2017)

General editor for Zondervan Study Bible/Biblical Theology Study Bible (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2015)

Co–editor ofDictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch (Downers Grove, Illinois: Inter–Varsity Press, 2003).

Co–editor ofNew Dictionary of Biblical Theology (Leicester: Inter–Varsity Press, 2000).

Book Chapters

Face to Face with God: a Biblical Theology of Jesus Christ as Priest and Mediator (Downers Grove, Illinois: Inter–Varsity Press, forthcoming 2022)

From Paradise to the Promised Land: an Introduction to the Pentateuch (4th edition; Grand Rapids: Baker, forthcoming 2022).

The City of God and the Goal of Creation (Grand Rapids: Crossway, 2018). (Translation in Korean; Portuguese and Spanish translations in preparation.)

Exodus (Apollos OT Commentary; London: Apollos, 2017). (Chinese translation in preparation.)

Exodus (Teach the Text; Grand Rapids: Baker, 2016). (Portuguese translation in preparation.)

From Paradise to the Promised Land: an Introduction to the Pentateuch (3rd edition; Grand Rapids: Baker, 2012). (Chinese translation in preparation.)

Discovering Jesus: Why Four Gospels to Portray One Person? (Wheaton: Crossway; Nottingham: Inter–Varsity Press, 2010). (Arabic translation in preparation.)

From Eden to the New Jerusalem (Nottingham: Inter–Varsity Press, 2008; Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2009). (Translations in Chinese and Korean.)

Heaven on Earth: the Temple in Biblical Theology (co–editor) (Carlisle: Paternoster; 2004).

Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch (co–editor) (Downers Grove, Illinois: Inter–Varsity Press, 2003). (Translations in Spanish and Korean.)

From Paradise to the Promised Land: an Introduction to the Pentateuch (Revised edition; Carlisle: Paternoster Press, 2002; Grand Rapids: Baker, 2002). (Translations in Chinese, Korean and Portuguese.)

The New Dictionary of Biblical Theology (co–editor) (Leicester: Inter–Varsity Press, 2000). (Translations currently available in Chinese, French, Korean and Portuguese; in preparation: Arabic, Italian.)

The Servant King: The Bible’s Portrait of the Messiah (Leicester: Inter–Varsity Press, 1998; Vancouver: Regent College Publishing, 2003). (Translations in Danish, Khmer and Polish)

Pentateuchal Criticism Today: A Guidebook for Beginners (Leicester: Religious and Theological Students Fellowship, 1998).

Abraham in the Negev: A Source–critical Investigation of Genesis 20:1–22:19 (Carlisle: Paternoster Press, 1997).

From Paradise to the Promised Land: an Introduction to the Main Themes of the Pentateuch (Carlisle: Paternoster Press, 1995; Grand Rapids: Baker, 1998). 

 Jonah (Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries; Leicester: Inter–Varsity Press, 1988). (Translations currently available in Chinese; Japanese; Portuguese; in preparation: Bulgarian.)


Exodus, book of’, ‘Holiness’, ‘Jerusalem’, in G. K. Beale, D. A. Carson, B. L.Gladd and A. D. Nasalli (eds.) Dictionary of the New Testament Use of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, forthcoming). (13,700 words in total)

‘[Notes on] Exodus’, in A. Mohler (gen. ed.), The Grace and Truth Study Bible (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2021) (15,000 words).

‘The Old Testament’ in Andreas J. Köstenberger, Salvation to the ends of the earth: a Biblical Theology of Mission (Second Edition; New Studies in Biblical Theology; Downers Grove: Apollos, 2020), pp. 18–38.

‘Biblical Theology’, ‘Jesus as Messiah’, ‘The Messianic Hope’ for Concise Theology project (Internet dictionary) (7,500 words in total) 




  ‘Genesis 12:1–3; 22:16–18; The Covenant with Abraham.’ In The Moody Handbook of Messianic Prophecy: Studies and Expositions of the Messiah in the Hebrew Bible, edited by M. Rydelnik and E. Blum (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2019), pp. 259–270.

‘Pentateuch’ in A. J. Johnston (ed.) T&T Clark Companion to Atonement (London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2017), pp. 677–684.

Articles on ‘Law’, ‘Temple’, ‘Kingdom/kingship’, ‘Zion/Jerusalem’, ‘Introduction to the OT’, ‘Introduction to the Pentateuch’, ‘Introduction to the Wisdom Books’, ‘[Notes on] Genesis 11:27–50:26’, ‘[Notes on] Jonah’ for NIV Zondervan Study Bible (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2015) (50,000 words).

‘Biblical Theology’ in J. Beilby and C. Meister (eds.) The Routledge Companion to Modern Christian Thought (London: Routledge, 2013), pp.  728–738.

Articles on ‘The Five Books’; ‘The Tabernacle’; ‘The Calendar of Israel’s Worship’ in G.D. Fee and R.L. Hubbard (gen. eds.) The Eerdmans Companion to the Bible, (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2011).

“[Notes on] Genesis”, in W. Grudem (gen. ed.), English Standard Version Study Bible (Crossway, 2008), pp. 1495–1580 (45,000 words).

‘The Regal Dimension of the תלדות־יעקב: Recovering the Literary Context of Genesis 37–50’ in Reading the Law: Studies in Honour of Gordon J. Wenham, eds. J. G. McConville and K. Möller (Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies, 461; Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 2007) 196–212.

‘Pentateuch’ in P. Johnston (ed.) IVP Introduction to the Bible: Story, Themes and Interpretation (IVP: Nottingham, 2006) 49–67.

‘Old Testament Story’ in P. Johnston (ed.) IVP Introduction to the Bible: Story, Themes and Interpretation (IVP: Nottingham, 2006) 19–27.

‘Dead Sea Scrolls’ in C. Campbell–Jack and G.J. McGrath (eds.) New Dictionary of Christian Apologetics (IVP: Leicester, 2006) 205–207.

 ‘Epilogue’ in T. D. Alexander and S. Gathercole (eds.), Heaven on Earth, (Carlisle: Paternoster, 2004) 267–278.

Articles on ‘Authorship of Pentateuch’; ‘Book of the Covenant’; ‘Promises, Divine’ in Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch (Downers Grove, Illinois: Inter–Varsity Press, 2003).

‘The Future of Christian Training: Some Personal Reflections’ in M. Halteman and A. Thomson (eds.), Seek the Welfare of the City (Centre for Contemporary Christianity in Ireland: Belfast, 2002) 143–150.

‘Beyond Borders: the Wider Dimension of Land’ in P. Johnston and P. Walker (eds.) The Land of Promise: Biblical, Theological and Contemporary Perspectives  (Leicester: Apollos, 2000) 35–50.

Articles on ‘Genesis to Kings’, ‘Abraham’, ‘Seed’ in New Dictionary of Biblical Theology(Leicester: Inter–Varsity Press, 2000).

‘The Old Testament view of life after death’ in C.R. Trueman, T.J. Gray, C.L. Blomberg (eds.) Solid Ground: 25 Years of Evangelical Theology (Leicester: Apollos, 2000) 120–133.

‘The composition of the Sinai Narrative in Exodus xix 1–xxiv 11’, Vetus Testamentum 49 (1999) 2–20.

‘A Religious Book in a Secular University’ in R.S. Hess and G.J. Wenham (eds.) Making the Old Testament Live: From Curriculum to Classroom (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998) 93–100.

‘Royal Expectations in Genesis to Kings: Their Importance for Biblical Theology’, Tyndale Bulletin 49:2 (1998) 191–212.

‘Further Observations on the Term “Seed” in Genesis’, Tyndale Bulletin 48.2 (1997) 363–367.

Articles on 32 Hebrew words in W. Van Gemeren (ed.) New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1997), vol. 1, pp. 475–476, 487, 484, 823, 834–836, 1133–1134; vol. 2, pp. 18–19, 287, 311–312, 323–324, 358, 592–593, 840, 857, 870–871, 1058; vol. 3, pp. 14–15, 226, 438–440, 446, 507–508, 577, 609, 825, 865–868, 1003, 1120, 1206, 1207, ; vol. 4, pp. 255–256, 287–288.

Introductory articles on the books of Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Lamentations for The NIV Thematic Study Bible (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1996), pp. 533–34; 571–2; 666–7; 701–2; 863.

‘Messianic Ideology in the Book of Genesis’ in P.E. Satterthwaite, R.S. Hess and G.J. Wenham (eds.) The Lord’s Anointed: Interpretation of Old Testament Messianic Texts (Grand Rapids/Carlisle: Baker/Paternoster, 1995) 19–39.

‘The Passover Sacrifice’ in R.T. Beckwith and M. Selman (eds.), Sacrifice in the Bible(Carlisle/Grand Rapids: Paternoster/Baker, 1995) 1–24.

‘Exodus’ in D.A. Carson, R.T. France, J.A. Motyer, G.J. Wenham, New Bible Commentary: 21st Century Edition (Leicester: Inter–Varsity Press, 1994) 92–120.

‘Genealogies, Seed and the Compositional Unity of Genesis,’ Tyndale Bulletin 44.2 (1993) 255–270.

‘Abraham Re–assessed Theologically: The Abraham Narrative and the New Testament Understanding of Justification by Faith’ in R.S. Hess, P.E. Satterthwaite and G.J. Wenham (eds.) He Swore an Oath: Biblical Themes from Genesis 12–50 (Cambridge: Tyndale House, 1993) 7–28.

‘Are the Wife/sister Incidents of Genesis Literary Compositional Variants?’ Vetus Testamentum 42:2 (1992) 145–153.

‘Jonah – God’s Missionary to Nineveh?’ Asian Challenge 21 (1991) 12–13.

‘The Hagar Traditions in Genesis xvi and xxi,’ in J.A. Emerton (ed.) Studies in the Pentateuch (Supplements to Vetus Testamentum, 41; Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1990, 131–148.

‘Justice and the Old Testament Laws,’ Christian Arena 42, No. 3, (1989) 2–5.

‘The Wife/Sister Incidents of Genesis: Oral Variants?’ Irish Biblical Studies 11 (1989) 2–22.

‘From Adam to Judah: the Significance of the Family Tree in Genesis,’ Evangelical Quarterly 61 (1989) 5–19.

‘The Psalms and the Afterlife,’ Irish Biblical Studies 9 (1987) 2–17.

‘The Old Testament View of Life After Death,’ Themelios 11 (1986) 41–46.

‘Jonah and Genre,’ Tyndale Bulletin 36 (1985) 35–59.

‘Lot’s Hospitality: A Clue to His Righteousness,’ Journal of Biblical Literature 104 (1985) 289–291.

‘Genesis 22 and the Covenant of Circumcision,’ Journal for the Study of the Old Testament25 (1983) 17–22.