Skip navigation to content

William A. Tooman

Senior Lecturer in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament

Research Interests

The object of my research is to recover, as fully as possible, the full spectrum of literary conventions used by ancient Jewish writers (> c. 250 ce) and the competencies of ancient Jewish readers. This aim has theoretical-methodological and descriptive-historical dimensions. In terms of theory and method, this requires integration of synchronic and diachronic methodologies: poetics, inner-biblical interpretation, historical-criticism, textual-criticism, and history of interpretation. In descriptive-historical terms, it is my goal to create descriptions (including comprehensive typologies) of the structural features and compositional strategies of this body of literature as they change through time, as well as pursuing precise descriptions of how meaning was constituted by its ancient readers.


  • Ph.D. Hebrew and Semitic Studies , University of Wisconsin--Madison, 2006.
  • M.A. Hebrew and Semitic Studies , University of Wisconsin--Madison, 2001
  • M.A. Old Testament and Semitic Languages , Trinity, 1995
  • B.A. Biblical Literature , Multnomah University, 1992



Standards of (In)coherence in Ancient Jewish Literature. Edited with D. Andrew Teeter. Hebrew Bible/Ancient Israel. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2017 (forthcoming).

Ezekiel: Current Debates and Future Directions. Forschungen zum Alten Testament I: 112. Tübingen: Mohr-Siebeck, 2017. Edited with Penelope Barter.

The Temple Scroll: Papers Presented at the Society of Biblical Literature International Meeting, St Andrews, July 7–11, 2013. Henoch: Historical and Textual Studies in Ancient and Medieval Judaism and Christianity 36/1. Brescia: Morcelliana, 2017. Editor.

Gog of Magog: Reuse of Scripture and Compositional Technique in Ezekiel 38–39. Forschungen zum Alten Testament II/52. Tübingen: Mohr-Siebeck, 2011

Transforming Visions: Transformations of Text, Tradition, and Theology in Ezekiel.  Editor and contributor. Princeton Theological Monograph Series 127. Eugene, OR: Pickwick Press, 2010

 Select Articles and Chapters

“Wiles of the Wicked Woman: The Reuse of proverbs in 4Q185,” chap. in Reading Proverbs Intertextually. Edited by Will Kynes and Katharine Dell. Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 2017 (forthcoming).

“Literary Unity, Empirical Models, and the Compatibility of Synchronic and Diachronic Reading,” chapter in Ezekiel: Current Debates and Future Directions. Forschungen zum Alten Testament I. Tübingen: Mohr-Siebeck, 2017.

“The Hermeneutics of Scribal Rewriting in Targum Jonathan Ezekiel,” Journal of Ancient Judaism, 5 (2014): 393–414.

“To do the Will of their Master: Re-envisioning the Ḥayyôt in Targum Jonathan of Ezekiel,” pages 221–33 in ‘I Lifted my Eyes and Saw’: Reading Dream and Vision Reports in the Hebrew Bible, edited by Lena Sofia Tiemeyer and Elizabeth Hayes. Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies 584; Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 2014.

“Wisdom and Torah at Qumran: Evidence from the Sapiential Texts,” pages 203–232 in Wisdom and Torah: The Status of Torah and its Reception in Wisdom Literature in the Second Temple Period, edited by Bernd Schipper and D Andrew Teeter, Journal for the Study of Judaism Supplement Series. Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2013.

“Covenant and Presence in the Composition and Theology of Ezekiel,” pages 151–82 in Divine Presence and Absence in Exilic and Post-Exilic Judaism, edited by Nathan MacDonald and Izaac J de Hulster, Forschungen zum Alten Testament II/61; Studies of the Sofja Kovalevskaja Research Group on Early Jewish Monotheism 2 Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2013.

“Between Imitation and Interpretation: Reuse of Scripture and Composition in Hodayot (1QHa) 11.6–19,” Dead Sea Discoveries 18/1 (2011): 54–73.

“Of Puritans and Prophets: Interpretation of Ezekiel in Cotton Mather’s Biblia Americana” pages 203–228 in After Ezekiel: Essays on the Reception of a Difficult Prophet, edited by Paul Joyce and Andrew Mein; Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies 535; T & T Clark, 2011.

“On the Meaning of דבר ודם in Ezekiel,” Vetus Testamentum 60/4 (2010): 666–668.

“Ezekiel’s Radical Challenge to Inviolability,” Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 121/4 (2009): 498–514.

In addition to numerous conference presentations at IOSOT, SBL, ISBL, NAPH, and EABS, I have delivered invited lectures at Harvard University, Oxford University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Durham, University of Edinburgh, Humboldt Universität Berlin, Georg-August Universität Göttingen, University of Manchester, Edgewood College, and the National Association of Professors of Hebrew, and the Society of Old Testament Study.

Editorial Activities

Founder and co-editor: Texture: Structure and Composition of Ancient Jewish Literature, Mohr-Siebeck Verlag, Tübingen

Co-editor: Society for Old Testament Study Monograph Series, Cambridge University Press

Advisory board: Mundus Orientis: Studies in Ancient Near Eastern Cultures, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Berlin

Research Supervision

I currently supervise research students working on a range of topics. I am happy to discuss potential research proposals with applicants for PhD study, particularly those who are interested in working on scriptural reuse, early Jewish interpretation, scripturalization, scribal composition and interpretation, or poetics, particularly in the Torah, the Prophets, or the Second Temple literature.

Contact details

Dr. William A. Tooman

St Mary's College
South Street St Andrews
St Andrews
KY16 9JU
Scotland, United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)1334 462848

Contact details

Dr. William A Tooman

Senior Lecturer in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament

St Mary's College
The School of Divinity
University of St Andrews
South Street
St Andrews
Fife KY16 9JU
Scotland, United Kingdom

+ 44 (0)1334 462848