The Old Testament and Ethics

A Book-by-Book Survey

Cover Art Request Exam Copy

Where to Purchase


The acclaimed Dictionary of Scripture and Ethics (DSE), written to respond to the movement among biblical scholars and ethicists to recover the Bible for moral formation, offered needed orientation and perspective on the vital relationship between Scripture and ethics. This book-by-book survey of the Old Testament features key articles from the DSE, bringing together a stellar list of contributors to introduce students to the use of the Old Testament for moral formation. It will serve as an excellent supplementary text.


Introduction    Joel B. Green
1. Overview
Ethics in Scripture     Allen Verhey
Scripture in Ethics: Methodological Issues   Bruce C. Birch
Old Testament Ethics    M. Daniel Carroll R.
2. Pentateuch
Ethics of Torah    Dennis T. Olson
Genesis    Dennis T. Olson
Exodus    Dennis T. Olson
Leviticus    Robin C. McCall
Holiness Code Robin C. McCall
Numbers    Dennis T. Olson
Deuteronomy    Dennis T. Olson
3. Historical Books
Ethics of Deuteronomistic History    Stephen B. Chapman
Joshua    L. Daniel Hawk
Judges    L. Daniel Hawk
Ruth    Jacqueline E. Lapsley
1-2 Samuel    Bruce C. Birch
1-2 Kings    Craig Vondergeest
1-2 Chronicles    Ralph W. Klein
Ezra    Michael W. Duggan
Nehemiah    Michael W. Duggan
Esther    Linda Day
4. Wisdom and Psalms
Ethics of Wisdom Literature    Leo G. Perdue
Job    Choon-Leong Seow
Psalms    Joel M. LeMon
Proverbs    Timothy J. Sandoval
Ecclesiastes    Eunny P. Lee
Song of Songs    Chip Dobbs-Allsopp
5. Prophets
Isaiah    Eunny P. Lee
Jeremiah    Else K. Holt
Lamentations    Chip Dobbs-Allsopp
Ezekiel    Andrew Mein
Daniel    Anathea Portier-Young
Hosea    Brad E. Kelle
Joel    D. N. Premnath
Amos    M. Daniel Carroll R.
Obadiah    D. N. Premnath
Jonah    Barbara Green
Micah    M. Daniel Carroll R.
Nahum    D. N. Premnath
Habakkuk    D. N. Premnath
Zephaniah    D. N. Premnath
Haggai    Mark J. Boda
Zechariah    Mark J. Boda
Malachi    D. N. Premnath
6. Deuterocanonical/Apocryphal Books
Ethics of the Deuterocanonical/Apocrypha Books    David A. deSilva
Tobit    Micah D. Kiel
Judith    Daniel J. Harrington
Additions to Esther    Daniel J. Harrington
Wisdom of Solomon    Samuel L. Adams
Sirach (or Ecclesiasticus)    Samuel L. Adams
Baruch    Daniel J. Harrington
Letter of Jeremiah    Daniel J. Harrington
Additions to Daniel    Daniel J. Harrington
1 Maccabees    Anathea Portier-Young
2 Maccabees    Anathea Portier-Young
7. Selected Topics in Old Testament Ethics
Biblical Accounts of Creation William P. Brown
Dead Sea Scrolls    Amy C. Merrill Willis
Ethics of Exile Daniel Smith-Christopher
Ethics of Priestly Literature Jacqueline E. Lapsley
Law Dennis T. Olson
Poetic Discourse and Ethics Chip Dobbs-Allsopp
Ten Commandments Jacqueline E. Lapsley

The Authors

  1. Joel B. Green

    Joel B. Green

    Joel B. Green (PhD, University of Aberdeen) is provost, dean of the School of Theology, and professor of New Testament interpretation at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. He is the author or editor of numerous books, including the...

    Continue reading about Joel B. Green

  2. Jacqueline E. Lapsley

    Jacqueline E. Lapsley

    Jacqueline E. Lapsley (PhD, Emory University) is associate professor of Old Testament at Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey. She is the author or editor of several volumes on the Old Testament and ethics.

    Continue reading about Jacqueline E. Lapsley


"This book is an abridged version of the much larger Dictionary of Scripture and Ethics. . . . The editors of this volume should be applauded. It is commendable to make biblical scholarship more widely accessible, and producing a shorter, more manageable volume like this accomplishes that task. This book does a good job helping readers identify some of the key ethical issues and concerns touched on in various OT books. As numerous contributors observe, many OT books do not address ethical issues explicitly or in any systematic way. Thus, a book such as this that teases out ethical concerns is quite useful. . . . This book provides a convenient guide to OT ethics that will be useful for those wishing to gain an overview of the ethical issues raised by various books of the OT."

Eric A. Seibert,

Catholic Biblical Quarterly

"The book is introduced with three excellent overview essays--'Ethics in Scripture,' 'Scripture in Ethics: Methodological Issues,' and 'Old Testament Ethics'--providing a solid introduction to this subfield. . . . These essays are helpful entry points into thinking about the intersection ethics and Scripture."

Tyler Mayfield,

Religious Studies Review

"A collection of essays originally published in the Dictionary of Scripture and Ethics, this book makes some of the most pertinent articles available to students, pastors, and laypeople. The contributors teach at a variety of institutions, but the editors note that they all consider the Bible normative for faith and ethics today. . . . In addition, this book seeks to provide a needed corrective to the misappropriation and mishandling of Scripture in relation to ethics by way of flawed methodology or ignorance. . . . The comprehensive treatment of each OT book, including all of the Minor Prophets in separate sections, gives a wholeness and comprehensiveness when compared to solely theme-based books. . . . The book reflects the ethical diversity found within the OT itself, with a variety of authors working with different methods, but seeking the same purpose and in harmony with each other overall."

A. Rahel Schafer,


"A fine example of the intersection of two theological disciplines: biblical theology and ethics."

Dianne Bergant, CSA,

The Bible Today

"There is much to commend this work to the preacher, student/researcher, and lecturer as a starting point for study of an OT or Apocryphal book. It provides economical access to a significant set of DSE [Dictionary of Scripture and Ethics] articles. These articles, in turn, call the reader's attention to ethical questions and contributions to ethical formulation raised by the particular biblical books. . . . Several writers provide not only excellent coverage of a book's ethical content, but also serendipitous introductions to the books as a whole. . . . Contributors of articles dealing with predominantly narrative books deftly assist readers to see the ethical emphases presented indirectly through a book's plot and characterization."

Mark Hahlen,

Stone-Campbell Journal

"Recommend to customers taking Old . . . Testament courses."

CBA Retailers + Resources