portrait of Dr. Vivian Johnson

Vivian Johnson

Professor of Old Testament

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs


Vivian enjoys the craft of teaching to leaders of the Church. Her current research distills the Book of Leviticus to lay readers to illustrate how its arcane topics are still relevant for Christians. Other research interests pertain to female characters in the book of Judges, namely, a little-known woman called, “Achsah.” The story of Joseph and how it illuminates characteristics of human trafficking is also a research interest.



BA, Wesleyan University

MTS, Harvard Divinity School

PhD, Harvard University (2005)




David in Distress: His Portrait through the Historical Psalms (London: T & T Clark International), 2009.



“Esther, The Greek Additions,” The Apocrypha: Fortress Commentary on the Bible Study Edition. Gale A. Yee, Hugh R. Page Jr., Matthew J. M. Coomber, eds. (Fortress Press, 2016).

“The Letter of Jeremiah,” The Africana Bible. Hugh R. Page, Jr., ed. (Fortress Press, 2010).

Review of Jeroboam’s Wife, by R. Gallagher Branch. Biblical Interpretation 18 (2010): 452-54.



“#Say Her Name, Black Women and State Sanctioned Violence,” United Theological Seminary, Plenary Speaker. DMin Intensive, (Jan 2016).

“Teaching Biblical Hebrew in a ‘Flipped Classroom’,” National Association of Professors of Hebrew (SBL), 2013.

Review of A Basic Introduction to Biblical Hebrew, by Jo Ann Hackett. National Association of Professors of Hebrew (SBL), 2010.

“Job’s Wife and the Wise Women of Ancient Israel,” Wisdom and Cognate Language Section (SBL), 2009.

Book Reviews—Daughters of Miriam: Women Prophets in Ancient Israel by Wil Gafney and Gender, Power, and Persuasion: The Genesis Narratives and Contemporary Portraits by Mignon Jacobs. African American Biblical Hermeneutics Section (SBL), 2008.

“Was Michal Responsible for David’s Escape from Saul?” Hebrew Bible Section (SBL Regional, MA), 2005.

“David in Distress: Psalms as Biography.” College of Wooster. 40th Annual Fall Academy of Religion, 2008.

“King David’s Story Divinely Rewritten.” Herbert May Lecture Speaker, Oberlin College, 2008.



In her personal time, Vivian enjoys taking walks in the beautiful town in which she lives. She has one daughter who is pursuing a career in child advocacy. Vivian is a worship leader and a lay member of The United Methodist Church.

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