John F.A. Sawyer

Emeritus Professor of Biblical and Jewish Studies, Lancaster University, UK.

Dipartimento di Linguistica, Università di Firenze.





Biblical Hebrew, Semantics in Biblical Research, Reception History, Isaiah.



Authored Books

1972 Semantics in Biblical Research, SCM Press, London

1976 A Modern Introduction to Biblical Hebrew, Oriel Press (Routledge), London

1977 From Moses to Patmos. New Perspectives in the Study of the Old Testament, SPCK

1983 Isaiah, Vol.I, Westminster Press, Philadelphia/St Andrew Press, Edinburgh

1984 Isaiah, Vol.I (Westminster Press/St Andrew Press), Chinese transl., Hong Kong

1985 Isaiah, Vol.II, Westminster Press, Philadelphia/St Andrew Press, Edinburgh

1986 Isaiah, Vol.II (St Andrew Press), Chinese translation, Hong Kong

1987 Prophecy and the Prophets of the Old Testament, Oxford U.P.

1988 Izaya-Sho I (Japanese transl. of Isaiah I), Shinkyo Shuppansha Press, Tokyo

1993 Prophecy and the Biblical Prophets (Revised edition, OUP)

- Prophecy and the Biblical Prophets (Japanese transl.), Tokyo

1996 The Fifth Gospel. Isaiah in the History of Christianity, CUP

1999 Sacred Languages and Sacred Texts, Routledge

Edited Books

1982 ed., Midian, Edom and Moab. Studies in Late Bronze Age History and Archaeology, JSOT Press, Sheffield

1982 ed., Perspectives on Suffering (audiocassettes with handbook) Audio Visual Centre, Newcastle University

1994 Religion editor (78 articles by 69 authors) for Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics (10 volumes), ed.R.Asher, Pergamon Press/Aberdeen University Press

1995- (with D.F. Sawyer) series eds., Religion in the First Christian Centuries, Routledge

1996 (ed) Reading Leviticus. A Conversation with Mary Douglas, Sheffield Academic Press

2001 (with J.M.Y.Simpson), eds, Concise Encyclopedia of Language and Religion, Pergamon/ Elsevier, Amsterdam


1964 "Notes on the Keret Text" (with J.Strange) Israel Exploration Journal 14, 96-99

- "The Qumran reading of Isaiah 6.13" Ann Swed Theol Inst 3, 111-4

1965 "What was a Moshia'?" Vetus Testamentum 15, 475-86

1967 "Root-meanings in Hebrew" Journ of Semitic St 12, 37-50

- "Context of Situation and Sitz im Leben" Proc Newcastle U Phil Soc 137-47

1968 "Spaciousness. An important feature of language about salvation" Ann Swed Theol Inst 6,20-34

1970 "An analysis of the context and meaning of the Psalm-headings" Trans Glasg Univ Orient Soc 22, 26-38

- "Those priests in Damascus (Amos 3.12 LXX)" Ann Swed Theol Inst 8, 123-30

1970 "Literary and astronomical evidence for a total eclipse of the sun observed in ancient Ugarit on 3 May 1375 BC" (with FR Stephenson) Bull School of Orient & Afr St 33, 469-89

1972 "Why is a solar eclipse mentioned in the Passion Narrative (Luke 23.45)?" Journ Theol St 23, 124-28

1972 "Joshua 10.12-14 and the solar eclipse of 30 September 1131 BC" Palestine Exploration Quarterly 139-46

1973 "Hebrew terms for the resurrection of the dead" Vet Test 218-34

- "The place of folk-linguistics in Biblical Interpretation" Proc Fifth World Congr.of Jew St, Jerusalem 1969, 109-113

1974 "A historical description of the Hebrew root ys’ " Hamito-semitica, edd J & T Bynon, 142-54

- "The 'original meaning of the text' and other legitimate subjects for semantic description", Questions disputées de l'Ancien Testament, Leuven, 63-70

1974 "The meaning of 'in the divine image' in Genesis 1-11" Journ Theol St 25, 418-26

1975 "The ruined house in Ecclesiastes 12. A reconstruction of the original parable" Journ Bibl Lit 94, 519-31

1976 "A note on the etymology of sara'at 'leprosy'" Vet Test 26, 241-5

Articles on qbs, shaw', ta'ah in Theol Handwört zum Alt Test II., ed. E.Jenni and C.Westermann, 583-6, 882-4, 1055-7

- "Response to three reviews of A Modern Introduction to Biblical Hebrew" in Journ for the Study of Old Testament 1, 72-5

1977 "David's treatment of the Ammonites in 2 Samuel 12.31" Trans Glasgow Univ Orient Soc 25, 96-107 (reported in The Times 9 May 1977, pp. 1-2)

1978 "The teaching of Classical Hebrew. Options and Priorities" General Linguistics and the Teaching of Dead Hamito-Semitic Languages ed.J.H.Hospers, 37-50

1978 "The meaning of barzel in Hebrew expressions for 'iron-chariots' etc." in Midian, Edom and Moab, ed.JFA Sawyer, 180-9

1978 "The proverb of the partridge in Jeremiah 17.11" Vet Test 38,324-9

- "The Old Testament and the Hebrew Bible" Assoc for Relig Educ Bull 11, 17-19

1979 "The authorship and structure of the Book of Job" Journ for the Study of the Old Testament Suppl 11, 253-57

1980 "Types of prayer in the Old Testament" Semitics 7, 131-43

- "A note on Judges 5.20" Vet Test 30, 87-90

1982 "Was Jeshua ben Sira a priest?" Proc.of Eighth World Congress of Jewish Studies, Jerusalem, 1981, 65-71

1982 "Some Biblical views of suffering" in Perspectives on Suffering, ed. J.F.A.Sawyer, 32-41

- "A change of emphasis in the study of the prophets" Israel's Prophetic Tradition, edd.R.J.Coggins et al., 233-49

1983 Article on YS' in Theol Wort des Alt Test, edd. J.Botterweck and H.Ringgren, 3, 8/9, cols 1035-59

- "The role of Jewish Studies in Biblical Semantics" in Scripta signa vocis ed.H.L.J. Vanstiphout, 201-8

1984 "Islam and Judaism" in Islam in the Modern World. ed.D.M.MacEoin, 143-53

1984 "Biblical alternatives to monotheism" Theology, 87, 172-80

1986 "Blessed be Egypt, my people. A commentary on Isaiah 19.16-25" A Word in Season, ed.J.D.Martin, 21-35

1987 "Cain and Hephaestus. Relics of metalworker traditions in Genesis 4" J.Bowman Festschrift, ed. T.Muraoka, 57-71

1989 "Haggai, Zechariah" Guidelines edd.C.C.Rowland & J.Rogerson, vol. 5,1, 112-26

1989 "Interpretations of Isaiah 45:8" Bibl Ephem Theol Lovan 37, 319-323

"Daughter of Zion and Servant of the Lord in Isaiah. A Comparison" J. Stud of the OT.44, 89-107

1990 "Etymology" article in Dictionary of Biblical Interpretation, edd R.J. Coggins & J.L. Houlden, SCM Press, 212-214

- "History of Interpretation", op.cit., 316-320

- "Linguistics", op.cit., 398-401

- "Semantics" article in op cit, 616-618

- "The 'original meaning of the text' and other legitimate subjects for semantic description", Continuing Questions in Old Testament Method and Theology, revised M.Vervenne, Leuven, 63-70, 210-12

1991 "Combating prejudices about the Bible and Judaism" Theology, 94, 269-278

1992 "The image of God, the wisdom of serpents and the knowledge of good and evil" in A Walk in the Garden, edd.D.F.Sawyer & P.Morris, Sheffield, 64-73

1993 "Radical images of Yahweh in Isaiah 63" in Among the Prophets, ed PR Davies (Sheffield Academic Press), 72-82

- "'My secret is with me' (Isaiah 24.16): semantic links between Isaiah 24-27 and Daniel" in Understanding Poet and Prophet: Essays in Biblical Interpretation, ed AG Auld (Sheffield Academic Press), 307-317

1993 "Isaiah" article in Oxford Companion to the Bible, edd.B.M.Metzger and M.Coogan (OUP, New York), 325-329

- "Messiah" article in op. cit., pp. 513-4

1994 "Babel", Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics (Pergamon Press/ Aberdeen Univ.Press), vol. 1, pp. 295-6

- "Christianity in Europe", op cit, vol. 2, pp. 546-8

- "Hymns", op cit., vol. 3, pp. 1622-3

- "Names, Religious beliefs about", op cit., vol. 5, pp. 2672-4

- "Prayer", op cit., vol. 6, pp. 3293-4

- "Religion", op cit., vol. 7, pp. 3531-4

- "Word of God", op cit., vol. 9, pp. 4989-90

- "Isaiah as a source-book for scriptural texts about death and mourning" in Ritual and Remembrance. Responses to Death in Human Societies, ed.J.G.Davies, Sheffield Academic Press, 86-102

1995 "The ethics of comparative interpretation", Currents In Research. Bibl. Studies 3, 153-68

1996 "The language of Leviticus" in Reading Leviticus, ed. JFA Sawyer (Sheffield), 16-20

1997 "King David's Treatment of the Ammonites" (2 Sam.12:31) in Law, Morality and Religion. Global Perspectives, ed.A.Watson, Univ. of Georgia Press, Athens/London, 165-178

1999 "Judaism": introduction, 18 articles, "tree diagram" and bibliography (11,500 words), Taiwan Museum "Contemporary Religions" project: Eng. version published on internet:

1999 "Isaiah" in Dictionary of Biblical Interpretation ed.J Hayes, Abingdon Press, Atlanta, pp. 549-555

2000 "Reading other people’s readings of scripture", in Spirituality and the Jewish-Christian Dialogue (The Way. Supplement 97), ed. M.Barnes, S.J., pp. 11-20

  1. "Isaiah" in Oxford Companion to Christian Thought, ed.Adrian Hastings, pp. 329-330
  2. "The Gospel according to Isaiah", Expository Times 113, 2, 40-43
  3. "Allegory", Concise Encyclopedia of Language and Religion (Pergamon/Elsevier), p. 238

- "Apocrypha, Christian", op cit., p. 100

- "Driver, Godfrey Rolles", op.cit., p. 423

- "Oracle", op .cit.,p.276

- "Pseudepigrapha", op. cit., p. 131

- "Introductions", op. cit., pp. 3, 99, 153, 237, 285, 321

In press

2003 "Isaiah and Zionism" in Memorial Volume for Robert Carroll, edd. P.R.Davies (Sheffield Academic Press)

- "Isaiah and the Jews. Some Reflections on the Church’s Use of the Bible" in David Clines Festschrift, edd. C.Exum & H.Williamson (Sheffield Academic Press)

In Preparation

2003 ed., Sacred Texts and Sacred Meanings. Essays in Hebrew and Biblical Interpretation (Sheffield Academic Press): 110,000 word collection of my own articles, most of them previously published, some in obscure journals or Festschrifts

2003 Concise Dictionary of Biblical Interpretation (Westminster/John Knox, Kentucky): 150,000 words, 500-600 articles

2001- with C.C.Rowland (Oxford) & J.Kovacs (University of Virginia) edd., Blackwell Bible Commentary Series, Blackwell Publishers, Oxford

2003 Isaiah, volume in the Blackwell Bible Commentary Series (see above)

2003 ed., Blackwell Companion to the Bible and Culture (Blackwell, Oxford).






 Materia giudaica