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James Harding imageSenior Lecturer
BA(Manchester), MA, PCHE, PhD(Sheffield)

Room 4S4, Arts Building
Tel +64 3 479 5392

James Harding is Senior Lecturer in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies, and an Anglican priest in the Diocese of Dunedin. He teaches an introductory paper on the Old Testament, and advanced papers on the Old Testament prophets, the problem of suffering and divine justice in the Old Testament, Judaism in the late Second Temple period, and Old Testament texts in Hebrew (and Aramaic).

In addition to a monograph on David and Jonathan, he has published articles and essays on the book of Job, theodicy, the Qumran scrolls, the reception history of biblical texts, issues of gender in the biblical prophets, and problem-based learning. He has contributed to the Dictionary of Classical Hebrew, the Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception, and the forthcoming Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Theology, and as well as serving as an editor of the journal Relegere, he serves on the editorial boards of The Bible and Critical Theory and the Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies monograph series, and on the advisory board of the Journal of the Bible and its Reception.


  • BIBS112 Interpreting the Old Testament
  • BIBS213 Hebrew Old Testament Exegesis 2
  • BIBS313 Hebrew Old Testament Exegesis 3
  • BIBS411 Hebrew Old Testament Exegesis (Advanced)
    Note: BIBS411 includes the study of all the biblical texts written in Aramaic
  • BIBS218 Judaism in the Time of Jesus
  • BIBS318 Judaism in the Time of Jesus (Advanced)
  • BIBS317 God, Suffering and Justice in the Hebrew Bible
  • BIBS413 God, Suffering and Justice in the Hebrew Bible (Advanced)

Current research interests

  • the book of Job
  • issues of gender and sexuality in the biblical texts
  • the reception history of biblical texts
  • Judaism in the Second Temple period, especially Sirach, Philo, and Qumran
  • the origins of biblical commentary

Preferred areas of supervision

I am happy to supervise in any of the areas listed under Current Research Interests above, but if you would like to study any aspect of the Hebrew Bible and related ancient literature at Masters or Doctoral level, please do contact the department, as I would be very open to considering supervising or co-supervising your project.

Current research students

  • Clare Knowles (PhD) Intratextuality as translation strategy and literary device

Completed research students

  • Rebecca Burgess (PhD) A Christian Reading of Psalm 119: An Exploration of Torah as God's Self-Revelation using a Trinitarian Hermeneutic
  • Kirsten Dawson  Violence in the Book of Job (PhD, 2013)
  • Deane Galbraith  Manufacturing Judean Myth: The Spy Narrative in Numbers 13-14 as Rewritten Tradition (PhD, 2013)
  • Miriam Bier  “Perhaps there is Hope”: Reading Lamentations as a Polyphony of Pain, Penitence, and Protest (PhD, 2012)
  • Philip Church  Wilderness Tabernacle and Eschatological Temple: A Study in Temple Symbolism in Hebrews in the Light of Attitudes to the Temple in the Literature of Middle Judaism (PhD, 2012)
  • Gillian Townsley  The Straight Mind in Corinth: Queer Readings across 1 Cor 11.2-16 (PhD, 2011)
  • Don Moffat Ezra's Social Drama: The Mixed Marriage Controversy in Ezra 9 and 10 as Social Conflict (PhD 2010)


Harding, J. (2022, December). What makes the book of Job ambiguous? Verbal presentation at the Aotearoa New Zealand Association for Biblical Studies (ANZABS) Conference, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Harding, J. E. (2021). Palestine during the Iron Age. In K. J. Dell (Ed.), The Biblical world. (2nd ed.) (pp. 452-479). London, UK: Routledge.

Harding, J. (2021). [Review of the book Friendship and virtue ethics in the book of Job]. Horizons in Biblical Theology, 43(2), 239-243. doi: 10.1163/18712207-12341437

Harding, J. E. (2020). The threat of male rape in the Hebrew Bible. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) & American Academy of Religion (AAR). Retrieved from

Harding, J. E. (2020). Reading Job between Lamentations and Deutero-Isaiah. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) & American Academy of Religion (AAR). Retrieved from

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