Stephen B. Chapman

Stephen B. Chapman

Associate Professor of Old Testament

External address: 
051 Langford, Durham, NC 27708
Internal office address: 
Duke Box 90967, Durham, NC 27708-0967
(919) 660-3408

A proponent of theological interpretation of the Bible, Professor Chapman has studied, lectured, and taught internationally in a variety of academic and church settings. His work focuses on the formation of the biblical canon, the nature of the Old Testament as scripture, the dynamics of biblical narrative, the challenge of biblical violence, and the history and use of the Old Testament within the Christian tradition and Western culture. He is the author of 1 Samuel as Christian Scripture (Eerdmans, 2016) and The Law and the Prophets (Mohr Siebeck, 2000; paperback edition 2009). He coedited The Cambridge Companion to the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament (CUP, 2016) and Biblischer Text und theologische Theoriebildung (2001). He is an affiliate faculty member with Duke's Center for Jewish Studies and Director of Graduate Studies for Duke's PhD program in religion. He serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Theological Interpretation and the monograph series Siphrut: Literature and Theology of the Hebrew Scriptures (Eisenbrauns). He is also an ordained American Baptist minister. His current project is titled The Theology of the Book of Joshua, under contract with Cambridge University Press.


  • Ph.D., Yale University 1998
  • M.Phil., Yale University 1994
  • M.Div., Yale University 1990
  • B.A., Yale University 1984

Chapman, Stephen B., and Marvin A. Sweeney. The Cambridge Companion to the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. Cambridge University Press, 2016.

Chapman, Stephen B. 1 Samuel as Christian Scripture A Theological Commentary. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2016.

Chapman, S. B., C. Helmer, C. Landmesser, and A. Beutel. Biblischer Text und theologische Theoriebildung. Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 2001.

Chapman, S. B. The law and the prophets: a study in Old Testament canon formation. Vol. 27. Tubingen: J C B Mohr (Paul Siebeck), 2000.

chapman, S. B., and M. Sæbø. “Modernity’s Canonical Crisis: Historiography and Theology in Collision.” In Hebrew  Bible / Old Testament: The History of Its Interpretation. Volume 3: From Modernism to  Post-Modernism (The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries), Part 1: The Nineteenth  Century – A Century of Modernism and Historicism, 651–87. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2013.

chapman, S. B. “Martial Memory, Peaceable Vision: Divine War in the Old Testament.” In Holy War in  the Bible: Christian Morality and an Old Testament Problem, edited by H. A. Thomas, J. Evans, and P. Copan, 47–67. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2013.

chapman, S. B. “Perpetual War: The Case of Amalek.” In The Bible and Spirituality: Exploratory Essays  in Reading Scripture Spiritually, edited by A. T. Lincoln, J. G. McCOnville, and L. K. Pietersen, 1–19. Eugene, OR: Cascade, 2013.

Chapman, S. B. “Second Temple Jewish Hermeneutics: How Canon is Not an Anachronism.” In Invention, Rewriting, Usurpation: Discursive Fights over Religious Traditions in  Antiquity, edited by J. Ulrich, A. Jacobsen, and D. Brakke, 281–96. Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 2012.

Chapman, S. B. “Food, Famine, and the Nations: A Canonical Approach to Genesis.” In Genesis and  Christian Theology, edited by M. W. Elliot and G. Macaskill, 323–33. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2012.

Chapman, S. B. “Joshua son of Nun: presentation of a prophet.” In Thus Says the Lord, 13–26. New York: T & T Clark, 2009.

Chapman, S. B. “Saul/Paul: onomastics, typology, and Christian scripture.” In Word Leaps the Gap, 214–43. Grand Rapids: William B Eerdmans, 2008.

Chapman, S. B. “Interpreting the Old Testament in Baptist Life.” In The Scholarly Vocation and the  Baptist Academy: Essays on the Future of Baptist Higher Education, edited by R. A. Ward and D. P. Gushee, 87–107. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 2008.

Chapman, S. B. “Reclaiming inspiration for the Bible.” In Canon and Biblical Interpretation, 167–206. Milton Keynes: Paternoster, 2006.

Chapman, S. B. “Imperial Exegesis: When Caesar Interprets Scripture.” In Anxious About Empire:  Theological Essays on the New Global Realitie, edited by W. Avram, 91–102. Grand Rapids: Brazos Press, 2004.


Chapman, S. B. “The Old Testament and the Church after Christendom.” Journal of Theological Interpretation 9 (2015): 159–83.

Chapman, S. B. “Studying the Word of God.” Christian Reflection 52 (2014): 29–36.

Chapman, S. B. “The canon debate: what it is and why it matters.” Journal of Theological Interpretation 4, no. 2 (September 1, 2010): 273–94.

Chapman, S. B. “What are we reading? Canonicity and the Old Testament.” Word & World 29, no. 4 (January 1, 2009): 334–47.

Chapman, S. B., and L. Warner. “Jonah and the imitation of God: rethinking evangelism and the Old Testament.” Journal of Theological Interpretation 2, no. 1 (March 1, 2008): 43–69.

Stephen B Chapman, M. “How scripture speaks.” The Christian Century 124, no. 18 (2007).

Chapman, S. B. “Sons of entitlement.” Christian Century 123, no. 21 (October 17, 2006): 20–20.

Chapman, S. B. “Haunting voices: the Old Testament in contemporary consciousness.” Perspectives in Religious Studies 31, no. 2 (June 1, 2004): 117–21.

Chapman, S. B. “Reading the Bible as witness: divine retribution in the Old Testament.” Perspectives in Religious Studies 31, no. 2 (June 1, 2004): 171–90.


Selected Grants

Fostering a culture of Teaching awarded by Wabash Center (Principal Investigator). 2017 to 2021

Doctoral Students Teaching program awarded by Wabash Center (Principal Investigator). 2013 to 2014