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David Baker

Dr. David W. Baker, PHD

Professor of Old Testament and Semitic Languages

Dr. David W. Baker, PhD is a prolific scholar, editor, and brilliant professor, whose classes are stretching and informative. He is the author of a long list of works and is recognized as an international Old Testament scholar. One of his most fulfilling academic achievements is as an editor, helping others achieve publishing success.

In addition to serving as Professor of Old Testament and Semitics at Ashland, he has taught in a visiting capacity at institutions in Australia, South America, and Europe. Dr. Baker works extensively with Mobile Ed. His courses include “Introducing the Old Testament: It Poetry and Prophecy” (OT 102); “A Survey of Amos, Joel, Obadiah, and Malachi” (OT 232); and “Theology of Genesis” (OT 303), with further courses projected on “Introducing the Old Testament: The Pentateuch,” “The Literary World of the Old Testament,” and “The Social World of the Old Testament.”

In his 30+ years at Ashland Theological Seminary, Dr. Baker finds that he most appreciates the diversity of ATS. In one of his hermeneutics classes, he had the privilege of studying with Protestant, Catholic and Greek Orthodox students. Discussing a topic such as canon was enriched through having at least three different canons and perspectives within the same class.

Dr. Baker had an interesting journey leading up to his position at ATS. At the end of the apartheid era, Dr. Baker was teaching in South Africa. Unfortunately, the social and political situation was deteriorating and he feared for the safety of his family. That’s when God opened the door for them to migrate to Ashland, where, among cornfields and Amish buggies, there wasn’t much of a safety threat!

Beyond teaching and writing, Dr. Baker enjoys traveling, particularly to New Zealand, the Pacific Northwest and Salzburg, Austria. He also finds time to watch British dramas and police procedurals, read, listen to a bit of classical or soft rock music and spend time with his family, including four adorable grandchildren. Since now his teaching is mainly online, he is able to reside near the beach in Wilmington, NC.


  • “Division Markers and the Structure of Leviticus 1-7”, Studia Biblica 1978, ed. E. A. Livingstone (Sheffield, 1979), 9-15
  • “Further Examples of the Waw Explicativum”, Vetus Testamentum 30 (1980), 129-136
  • “Diversity and Unity in the Literary Structure of Genesis”, Essays on the Patriarchal Narratives, ed. D. J. Wiseman and A. R. Millard (Leicester, 1980), 189-205; reprinted Winona Lake, 1983.
  • “The Uniqueness of the Mosaic Covenant”, Proceedings of the Seventh S. A. Judaica Conference Held at the University of the Witwatersrand 1983 (Johannesburg, 1983), 1-11
  • “The Old Testament and Criticism”, Journal of Theology for Southern Africa 48 (1984), 13-20
  • “Biblical Colophons: Gevaryahu and Beyond”, Studies in the Succession Narrative, ed. W. C. van Wyk, OTWSA 27 (1984) and OTWSA 28 (1985): Old Testament Essays (Pretoria, 1986), 29-61
  • “Leviticus 1-7 and the Punic Tariffs: A Form Critical Comparison”, Zeitschrift für die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 99 (1987), 188-198
  • Obadiah’ in Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries (Leicester, UK/Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1988)
  • Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries (Leicester, UK/Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1988)
  • “The Mosaic Covenant Against its Environment”, Ashland Theological Journal 20 (1988), a modification of 4 above
  • “Keeping My Brother: Social Responsibility in the Old Testament”, Brethren Evangelist 110:5 (May, 1988), 4-5
  • “Reverse Archaeology – Disconstruction of Texts: A Critique of Jeffrey Tigay”, Proceedings: Eastern Great Lakes Biblical Society 9 (1989), 34-48 13.
  • “Each Day Should be ‘Children’s Day'”, Ashland Times Gazette (6.23.90) 14.
  • “Sharing the Burden; Sharing the Joy”, The Brethren Evangelist (December, 1990), 6- 9
  • “Translation and Literary Style: Appreciating Biblical Literature,” Ashland Theological Journal 22 (1990), 8-10
  • “In Search of Excellence,” Interest 57/5 (1991), 12-13
  • “Piety in the Pentateuch,” in Alive to God: Studies in Spirituality presented to James Houston, ed. J. I. Packer and L. Wilkinson (Downers Grove: IVP, 1992), 34-40 18.
  • “An Investigation of Biblical Language Study from 1986-1991 at Ashland Theological Seminary,” Bulletin of Higher Hebrew Education 5-6 (1992-1993), 56-75
  • “Scribes as Transmitters of Tradition,” Faith, Tradition and History: Old Testament Historiography in its Near Eastern Context, eds. A. R. Millard, J. K. Hoffmeier, D. W. Baker (Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 1994), 65-78
  • “Obadiah,” “Habakkuk,” “Zephaniah” in New Bible Commentary: 21st Century Edition, ed. D. A. Carson, et al. (Leicester/Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1994), 809-813, 840-847, 848-856 Arabic translation of 9 above, (Cairo: Dar El-Thaqafa, 1994)
  • “Zephaniah, Theology of” and “Obadiah, Theology of” in Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology, ed. W. A. Elwell (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1996), 851-2; 572-3
  • Translation, ‘Leviticus’, New Living Bible (Wheaton: Tyndale House, 1996) 27. Guest editorial, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 39/1 (1996) 1-2 28.
  • “Reading the Old Testament: Tools and Techniques,” Ashland Theological Journal 28 (1996), 87-111
  • “Bible Computer Resources,” ibid, 112-125
  • “Aspects of Grace in the Pentateuch,” Ashland Theological Journal 29 (1997), 7-22 31.
  • “Christian Computer Resources,” ibid, 99-110
  • “Annotated Bibliography: Pentateuch, Prophets, Ancient Near Eastern Background,” ibid, 67-75
  • “Studying the Original Texts: Effective Learning and Teaching of Biblical Hebrew,” in Make the Old Testament Live: From Curriculum to Classroom, ed. Richard S. Hess and Gordon J. Wenham (Grand Rapids, MI/Cambridge, UK: Eerdmans, 1998), 161-172.
  • More Light on the Path: Daily Scripture Readings in Hebrew and Greek, with Elaine A. Heath and Morven R. Baker (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1999). 35.
  • “Building an Old Testament Library: Hosea-Malachi,” Catalyst 25/4 (April, 1999) 3-4.
  • “Israelite Prophets and Prophecy,” pp. 266-294 in The Face of Old Testament Study, ed. D. W. Baker and Bill Arnold (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1999). 37.
  • “Obadiah,” “Nahum,” “Habakkuk,” “Zephaniah,” pp. 245-6; 251-5 in T. D. Alexander and Brian Rosner, ed., New Dictionary of Biblical Theology (Leicester/ Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2001).
  • “Language and Text of the Old Testament,” pp. 63-83 in Craig C. Broyles, ed., Interpreting the Old Testament: A Guide to Exegesis (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 2001).
  • “Old Testament Prophecy: Recent Publications,” Ashland Theological Journal 33 (2001) 57-76.
  • “Agriculture,” “Arts and Crafts,” “God, Names of,” “Source Criticism” in David W, Baker and T. D. Alexander, ed., Dictionary of Old Testament Pentateuch: A Compendium of Contemporary Biblical Scholarship (Downers Grove: Leicester: InterVarsity Press, 2002).
  • “God’s Faithfulness through Time: Zephaniah: What is the Source of Evil?,” Decision 43/9 (2002) 36-39.
  • “Joel”, “Obadiah”, “Malachi” in NIV Application Commentary Series (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2006)
  • Contributor, Daily Dose of Knowledge: Bible (Lincolnwood: Publications International Ltd, 2008)
  • “Leviticus” in Cornerstone Biblical Commentary, vol. 2, ed. P. W. Comfort (Carol Stream: Tyndale House Publishers, 2008)
  • “Isaiah” in Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary–Old Testament, ed. John Walton (Zondervan; Nov. 2009)
  • “Evil”, “Nahum” in Dictionary of the Old Testament: Prophets, ed. Mark J. Boda and J. Gordon McConville (Downers Grove/Leicester: InterVarsity Press, 2012), 193- 196, 560-563
  • Genesis 37-50: A Handbook on the Hebrew Text (Waco: Baylor University Press, 2014)
  • “Obadiah” and “Joel” in New International Version Study Bible, ed. D. Carson (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2015)
  • Contributor, NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible, ed. John Walton and Craig Keener (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2016)
  • Video courses, Mobile Ed, Logos Bible Software, Bellingham, WA “Theology of Genesis”
  • “Are Business People the Bad Guys?: Person and Property in the Pentateuch,” Southwestern Journal of Theology 59/2 (2017), 135–156.
  • “Law and Legal Systems in Ancient Israel” in Behind the Scenes of the Old Testament, ed. Jonathan S. Greer, John W. Hilber, and John Walton (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2018).
  • “Weal and Woe in Genesis” in The Seed of Promise: The Sufferings and Glory of the Messiah: Essay in Honor of T. Desmond Alexander, ed. Paul R. Williamson and Rita F. Cefalu, GlossaHouse Festschrift Series (Wilmore: GlossaHouse, 2020), 35–49.