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Dr T Desmond Alexander


Senior Lecturer in Biblical Studies

Dr T Desmond Alexander



Dr Desmond (Desi) Alexander took up this appointment in September 2009, having been Director of Christian Training for the Presbyterian Church in Ireland for ten years. He had previously lectured for 19 years in Semitic Studies at the Queen’s University of Belfast.He has written and contributed to a wide variety of academic and reference books on the Bible. His areas of expertise are the Pentateuch and Biblical Theology.An elder in Fitzroy Presbyterian Church, he is married to Anne, and they have two adult children, Jane and David.

Teaching experience and current responsibilities 

Teaching courses in Old Testament and New Testament to undergraduate and postgraduate students; supervising MRes and PhD students. Present and previous PhD students have come from Australia, Singapore and USA, as well as UK.Chairman of the Tyndale Fellowship for Biblical and Theological Research (2009 to present).On editorial board of Tyndale Bulletin; Journal for the Evangelical Study of the Old Testament.Recent publications  


The City of God and the Goal of Creation (Grand Rapids: 2018)

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

Exodus (Teach the Text; Grand Rapids: Baker, 2016).

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)

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

Heaven on Earth (co–editor) (Carlisle: Paternoster; 2004)

Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch (co–editor) (Downers Grove, Illinois: Inter–Varsity Press, 2003). (Translation 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 French, Korean and Portuguese; in preparation: Arabic, Chinese, 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.)


‘Pentateuch’ in T&T Clark Companion to Atonement, edited by A. J. Johnston (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 The Eerdmans Companion to the Bible, general editors G.D. Fee and R.L. Hubbard (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, 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. VanGemeren (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 Bulletin44.2 (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 Literature104 (1985) 289–291.

‘Genesis 22 and the Covenant of Circumcision,’ Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 25 (1983) 17–22.