Skip to Content
Faculty
Contact Information
Office
TODD 219
Phone
214-841-3771

Gordon H. Johnston

Professor of Old Testament Studies

BA, University of Nebraska, 1981; ThM, Dallas Theological Seminary, 1985; ThD, 1992.

Dr. Johnston possesses a generalist’s breadth and a specialist’s depth. He is known for thorough research and meticulous detail, as well as ability to pull together all the pieces so students can see the whole of Scripture in all its color and beauty. Dr Johnston has degrees in Classical Greek (BA), Biblical Greek and Hebrew (ThM), as well as Hebrew and Semitic languages (ThD). During his 2010-11 sabbatical, he was visiting research professor at the University of Chicago, where he studied Hittite. He has participated in archaeological excavations in Israel and has taught overseas in India. His research, writing and teaching interests include the wisdom literature (Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs), selected topics in Old Testament biblical theology (Biblical Covenants, Law of God), and special issues in hermeneutics (Messianic Prophecy, Use of the Old Testament in the New Testament). Dr. Johnston has published many scholarly articles and essays; regularly presents papers at national meetings of academic societies; and has published a book on the Messiah in the Old Testament. Gordon and his wife Danielle have been married more than thirty years; they have three children.

Courses Taught

  • OT101 - Elements of Hebrew I
  • OT102 - Elements of Hebrew II
  • OT103 - Hebrew Exegesis and Old Testament Introduction I
  • OT104 - Hebrew Exegesis and Old Testament Introduction II
  • OT420 - Exegesis of Ecclesiastes
  • OT725 - Biblical Theology of Covenants
  • OT730 - Biblical Theology of the Law
  • BS1001 - OT Backgrounds
  • OT1004 - Exegesis in the Torah
  • OT1006 - Exegesis in the Writings

Interests

Academic Interests

Hebrew Exegesis
Biblical Theology
Old Testament Backgrounds

Personal Interests

Working Out (Exercise Machines, Swimming)
Watching Sports (Nebraska Cornhuskers football, Boston Red Sox baseball)
Listening to Music (Progressive Rock of the 70s)

Books

Contributions to Books

  • “Old Testament Community and Spiritual Formation,” in Foundations of Spiritual Formation: A Community Approach to Becoming Like Christ. Pp. 71‐102. Edited by Paul Pettit. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 2008.
  • "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gallows! Irony, Humor, and Other Literary Features of the Book of Esther," in Giving the Sense: Understanding and Using Old Testament Historical Texts, pp. 380‐406. Edited by David Howard Jr. and Michael A. Grisanti. Grand Rapids: Kregel Books, 2003.
  • "Exodus," in Bible Knowledge Commentary: Word Study Edition, 1:155‐257. Edited by Eugene H. Merrill. Grand Rapids: Cook Communications, 2003.
  • "Proverbs," Bible Knowledge Commentary: Word Study Edition, Volume 4. Edited by Eugene H. Merrill. Grand Rapids: Cook Communications, 2007.
  • "Ecclesiastes," Bible Knowledge Commentary: Word Study Edition, Volume 4. Edited by Eugene H. Merrill. Grand Rapids: Cook Communications, 2007.
  • "Song of Songs," Bible Knowledge Commentary: Word Study Edition, Volume 4. Edited by Eugene H. Merrill. Grand Rapids: Cook Communications, 2007.

Short Articles

  • "אָדוֹן (lord, master)," in The New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis, 5 vols. 1:256‐261. Edited by Willem A. VanGemeren, et al. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1997.
  • "אַלּוּף (tribal chief, prince)," in The New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis, 5 vols. 1:406‐410. Edited by Willem A. VanGemeren, et al. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1997. 
  • "בָּדָא (empty speech)," in The New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis, 5 vols. 1:598‐600. Edited by Willem A. VanGemeren, et al. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1997.
  • "בָּטָה (vow rashly)," in The New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis, 5 vols. 1:642‐644. Edited by Willem A. VanGemeren, et al. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1997.
  • "גָּשַׁשׁ (touch, grope)," in The New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis, 5 vols. 1:902‐903. Edited by Willem A. VanGemeren, et al. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1997.
  • "הָבַל (vain, empty speech)," in The New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis, 5 vols. 1:1003‐1005. Edited by Willem A. VanGemeren, et al. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1997.
  • "הָמֻלָה (noisy crowd)," in The New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis, 5 vols. 1:1044‐1046. Edited by Willem A. VanGemeren, et al. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1997
  • "לָפַת (grasp, touch)," in The New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis, 5 vols. 2:810‐811. Edited by Willem A. VanGemeren, et al. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1997.
  • "מָשַׁשׁ (examine, search, grope)," in The New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis, 5 vols. 2:1145‐1147. Edited by Willem A. VanGemeren, et al. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1997.
  • "סָךְ (ritual procession)," in The New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis, 5 vols. 3:247‐248. Edited by Willem A. VanGemeren, et al. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1997. 
  • "סָרִיס (commander, eunuch)," in The New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis, 5 vols. 3:288‐295. Edited by Willem A. VanGemeren, et al. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1997. 
  • "סֶ֫רֶן (Philistine prince)," in The New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis, 5 vols. 3:295‐298. Edited by Willem A. VanGemeren, et al. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1997.
  • "פֶּחָה (provincial governor)," in The New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis, 5 vols. 3:599‐608. Edited by Willem A. VanGemeren, et al. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1997.
  • "פָּקִיד (commander, governor, appointee)," in The New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis, 5 vols. 3:667‐670. Edited by Willem A. VanGemeren, et al. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1997.
  • "רַב (commander, captain)," in The New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis, 5 vols. 3:1028‐1034. Edited by Willem A. VanGemeren, et al. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1997.
  • "רִגְמָה (festive throng)," in The New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis, 5 vols. 3:1050‐1052. Edited by Willem A. VanGemeren, et al. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1997.
  • "תָּפַס // תָּפַשׁ (feel, touch)," in The New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis, 5 vols. Edited by Willem A. VanGemeren, et al. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1997.
  • "The Eschatology of Isaiah," in Dictionary of Premillennialism, pp. 184‐190. Edited by Mal Couch. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1997. 
  • "The Eschatology of Jeremiah," in Dictionary of Premillennialism, pp. 204‐207. Edited by Mal Couch. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1997. 
  • "Old Testament Descriptions of the Kingdom," in Dictionary of Premillennialism, pp. 267‐272. Edited by Mal Couch. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1997. 
  • "Antiochian Hermeneutics," in Dictionary of Premillennialism, pp. 144‐147. Edited by Mal Couch. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1997.
  • "Reformation Hermeneutics," in Dictionary of Premillennialism, pp. 163‐171. Edited by Mal Couch. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1997.
  • "Post‐Reformation Hermeneutics," in Dictionary of Premillennialism, pp. 154‐162. Edited by Mal Couch. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1997.
  • "Antiochian Hermeneutics," "Reformation Hermeneutics," "Post‐Reformation Hermeneutics," in Dictionary of Premillennialism, pp. 184‐190. Edited by Mal Couch. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1997.
  • "Reformation Hermeneutics," "Post‐Reformation Hermeneutics," in Dictionary of Premillennialism, pp. 184‐190. Edited by Mal Couch. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1997.
  • "The Book of Nahum," in The Baker Illustrated Bible Background Commentary.  Edited by J. Daniel Hays and  J. Scott Duvall.  Grand Rapids: Baker Academic Books, forthcoming 2018.
  • "The Song of Songs," in The Baker Illustrated Bible Background Commentary.  Edited by J. Daniel Hays and  J. Scott Duvall.  Grand Rapids: Baker Academic Books, forthcoming 2018.

Papers Presented at Academic Societies

  • "The Messiah in the Pentateuch," Invited Paper Presented to the Pentateuch Section, National Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society, San Antonio, 2016.
  • "What Biblicists Need to Know about Hittite Treaties and Royal Grants," Invited Paper Presented to the Old Testament Backgrounds and Ancient Near East Section, National Meeting of Evangelical Theological Society, San Antonio, 2016.
  • "What Biblicists Need to Know About Ancient Hittite Treaties," Paper Presented at the Southwest Regional Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society, Dallas, 2016.
  • "God's Creation of Adam from Soil/Clay/Dust (rp;[;): Does Genesis 2:7 Point to a Particular Model of Creation?"  Paper Presented to the Department of Theology at LeTourneau University for the Annual Theological Symposium Series, February 2013.
  • "Hermeneutics and Reading Biblical Creation Accounts," Paper Presented to the Department of Theology at LeTourneau University for the Annual Theological Symposium Series, February 2013.
  • "Creation and Sabbath: Genesis 1:1—2:3 in the Light of Exodus 20:8—11 and 31:12—17," Invited Paper presented to the Templeton Genesis 1 Workshop, Boca Raton: September 2011.
  • "The Nature of the Davidic Covenant in the Light of Intertextual Analysis," Invited Paper Presented to the Old Testament Narrative Literature Study Group, National Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society, San Francisco: 2011.
  • "A Critical Evaluation of Moshe Weinfeld's Approach to the Davidic Covenant in the Light of Ancient Near Eastern Royal Grants: What Did He Get Right & What Did He Get Wrong?" Paper presented to the Old Testament and Ancient Near East Study Group, National Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society, San Francisco: 2011.
  • "What Did the Hebrew Prophets Know about the Messiah and When Did They Know It?"  Paper presented to the Jeremiah and Ezekiel Section, National Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society, Atlanta: 2010.
  • "Contextual and Canonical Readings: Messianic Trajectories in the Old Testament," Paper presented to the Book Review Session, National Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society, Atlanta: 2010.
  • "Revisiting Moshe Weinfeld's Comparative and Traditio-Historical Analysis of the Promissory and Obligatory Passages Related to the Abrahamic Covenant," Paper presented to the Pentateuch Section, National Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, Atlanta: 2010.
  • "The Promissory and Obligatory Features of God's Covenant with Abraham in the Light of Ancient Near Eastern Royal Grants and Grant Treaties," Paper presented to the Hebrew Scriptures and Cognate Literature Section, National Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, Atlanta: 2010.
  • “The Smoking Brazier and Flaming Torch in Genesis 15:17 in the Light of Ancient Near Eastern Literature and Ritual,” Paper Presented to the Cognate Languages and Literature Study Group, National Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, November 2008
  • “The ‘Unconditional’ and ‘Conditional’ Passages in the Abrahamic Covenant In the Light of Ancient Near Eastern Royal Land Grants & Grant Treaties,” A Paper Presented to the Pentateuch Study Group Section, National Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, November 2008
  • The ‘Unconditional’ and ‘Conditional’ Features of the Davidic Covenant in the Light of Ancient Near Eastern Grants and Grant Treaties,” Paper Presented to the Historical Literature Study Group, National Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society, November 2008
  • “Just An Old Fashioned Love Song? Literary Archetypes & Trajectories in Song of Songs” Paper Presented to the Wisdom Literature Study Group; National Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society, November 2008
  • “What Did the Ancient Israelites Know About the Messiah and When Did They Know It?” Plenary Paper #1 Presented at the Midwest Regional Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society, March 2007
  • “What Did the Postexilic Community Know About the Messiah and When Did They Know It?” Series of Four Plenary Papers Presented at the Midwest Regional Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society, March 2007
  • “Abrahamic Covenant, Contingently Unconditional Covenants of Grant, and Covenant Nomism,” Paper Presented at the Southwest Regional Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society, March 2006
  • “A Test‐Case for the Integration of Secular Wisdom and Biblical Counsel: The Integration of Instruction of Amenemope into Proverbs 22:17‐23:11,” Paper Presented at Southwest Regional Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society, March 2006
  • “The Oven and Torch Passing Between the Pieces (Genesis 15:17): Unilateral Covenant Ritual or Prophetic Symbol Dream?” Paper Presented at the Southwest Regional Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society, March 2005
  • “The Passing between the Disjecta Membra in Genesis 15:17 in the Light of Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Rituals,” Paper Presented at Southwest Regional Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society, March 2006
  • "The Abrahamic and Davidic Covenants in the Light of Hittite Grant-Treaties: A Critical Re-Evaluation of Moshe Weinfeld's Approach," Invited Paper Presented to the Annual Theological Symposium of Biblical Division Faculty of Lancaster Bible College, Spring 2006
  • "Genesis 1:1—2:3 in the Light of Ancient Egyptian Creation Myths," Paper Presented to the Annual Theological Symposium of Biblical Division Faculty of Lancaster Bible College, Spring 2006
  • "God's Covenant with Abraham in Genesis 15: A Contingently Unconditional Royal Grant?" Paper Presented at the National Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society, November 2004
  • "The Torch and Brazier Passing between the Pieces (Gen 15:17): Does It Really Symbolize Unilateral and Unconditional Covenant?" Paper Presented at the National Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society, November 2004
  • "God's Covenant with Abraham (Gen 15) in the Light of ancient Near Eastern Oath‐Taking Rituals," Paper Presented at the Regional Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society, March 2004 
  • "The Efficacy of Petitionary Prayer: An Old Testament Test‐Case," Paper Presented at the National Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society, November 2003. 
  • "The Enigmatic Literary Structure of the Song of Songs," Paper Presented at the National Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society, November 2001.
  • "The Rhetorical Function of the Half‐Acrostic of Nahum 1," Paper Presented at the National Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society, November 2000. 
  • "Unlocking the Enigma of the Song of Songs: Contributions of the Past Generation of Scholarship," Paper Presented at the Regional Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society, March 2000.

Bible Translations 

  • Translator: "Ecclesiastes," "Song of Songs," "Lamentations," "Hosea," "Nahum," in The NET (New English Translation) Bible. Dallas: Biblical Studies Press, 2005.
  • Editor: "Ezra," "Nehemiah," "Esther," "Proverbs," "Ruth," "Joel," "Obadiah," "Jonah," Jeremiah," "Micah," "Joel," "1‐2 Chronicles," in The NET (New English Translation) Bible. Dallas: Biblical Studies Press, 2005.
  • Translator: "Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Nahum," in The Lexham English Bible.  Bellingham, WA:  Logos Bible Software, 2011.

DTS Voice Videos

Stewardship and the Creation Mandate - Classic
Cultural Engagement Chapel: Treaties, Covenants, and Moses
Cultural Engagement Chapel: The Exodus
Stewardship and the Creation Mandate
Validating Genesis
Chapel: Genocide in the Old Testament
Recent Archaeological Finds
Archaeology and the Bible
The Problem of Waiting On God
Genocide in the Old Testament
Taste and See!
How To Overcome Evangelphobia
God's Sovereign, Yet Unseen Intervention

DTS Voice Articles

Journal Articles

  • "The Enigmatic Genre and Structure of the Song of Songs." Bibliotheca Sacra (166:3). 2009. 289‐305.
  • "The Enigmatic Genre and Structure of the Song of Songs, Part 2." Bibliotheca Sacra (166:2). 2009. 163‐180.
  • "The Enigmatic Genre and Structure of the Song of Songs, Part 1." Bibliotheca Sacra (166:1). 2009. 36‐52.
  • "Genesis 1 and Ancient Egyptian Creation Myths." Bibliotheca Sacra (165:2). 2008. 178‐194.
  • "Nahum's Rhetorical Allusions to Neo-Assyrian Conquest Metaphors." Bibliotheca Sacra (159:633). 2002. 21-45.
  • "Nahum's Rhetorical Allusions to Neo-Assyrian Treaty Curses." Bibliotheca Sacra (158:632). 2001. 415-436.
  • "Nahum's Rhetorical Allusions to the Neo-Assyrian Lion Motif." Bibliotheca Sacra (158:631). 2001. 287-307.
  • Review of "Old Testament Theology." Bibliotheca Sacra (157:627). 2000. 367-368.
  • Review of "The Flood Myth." Bibliotheca Sacra (146). 1989. 231-232.