Philip R. Davies

Philip R. Davies (1945–2018)[1] was a British biblical scholar. He was Professor Emeritus of biblical studies at the University of Sheffield, England.[2][3][4] In the late 1990s, he was the Director for the Centre for the Study of the Dead Sea Scrolls. He was also the publisher and editorial director of Sheffield Academic Press.[5][6] He was the author of books and articles on ancient Israelite history and religion, including Scribes and Schools (1998) in the Library of Ancient Israel. Davies promoted the theory of cultural memory.[7] He and David Clines are known for editing the Journal for the Study of the Old Testament and its Supplement Series.[5] Davies is closely associated with the movement known as The Copenhagen School dubbed biblical minimalism by detractors (other figures include Niels Peter Lemche, Keith Whitelam, and Thomas L. Thompson), a loosely knit group of scholars who hold that the Bible's version of history is not supported by any archaeological evidence so far unearthed, indeed undermined by it, and that it therefore cannot be trusted as history.

Christ myth debateEdit

In 2012, Davies weighed in on the Christ myth theory debate in the article Does Jesus Exist? at He applauded the book Is This Not the Carpenter?: The Question of the Historicity of the Figure of Jesus edited by Thomas L. Thompson writing "the rather fragile historical evidence for Jesus of Nazareth should be tested to see what weight it can bear," criticizing scholars like Bart Ehrman who write with near certainty about Jesus' existence, and concluding "I don’t think, however, that in another 20 years there will be a consensus that Jesus did not exist, or even possibly didn’t exist, but a recognition that his existence is not entirely certain would nudge Jesus scholarship towards academic respectability." [8]

Notable worksEdit

  • 1QM: the War Scroll from Qumran: Its Structure and History (Rome: Biblical Institute Press, 1977)
  • The Damascus Document (Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1982) ISBN 0-905774-51-5
  • Cities of the Biblical World: Qumran (Cambridge: Lutterworth, 1982)
  • Daniel (Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1985)
  • Scribes and Schools (Westminster John Knox, 1998) ISBN 0-664-22728-7
  • In Search Of "Ancient Israel" (London and New York: T. & T. Clark Publishers, Ltd. 1992) ISBN 0-567-08099-4
  • The Complete World of the Dead Sea Scrolls, written with George J. Brooke, Phillip R. Callaway (London: Thames & Hudson, June 2002) ISBN 0-500-05111-9
  • Whose Bible Is It Anyway? (London and New York: T. & T. Clark Publishers, Ltd. 2004) ISBN 0-567-08073-0


  1. ^ "Professor Philip Davies – SIIBS – University of Sheffield". University of Sheffield. Archived from the original on 10 August 2018. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  2. ^ Linafelt 2010, p. xi
  3. ^ EssaysJR 1995, p. 14
  4. ^ Hunter&Davies 2002, p. xviii
  5. ^ a b Exum 1998, p. 14
  6. ^ EssaysBA 2002, p. 9
  7. ^ Davies 2008, p. 183
  8. ^ Davies' article Does Jesus Exist? at


  • EssaysJR, ed. by M. Daniel Carroll R. (1995). The Bible in human society : essays in honour of John Rogerson. Sheffield: Sheffield Acad. Press. ISBN 9781850755685.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  • Exum, ed. by J. Cheryl; Moore, Stephen D. (1998). Biblical studies/cultural studies : The Third Sheffield Colloquium. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press. ISBN 9781850759706.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  • Hunter&Davies, ed. by Alastair G. Hunter & Phillip R. Davies (2002). Sense and sensitivity : essays on reading the Bible in memory of Robert Carroll. London [u.a.]: Sheffield Acad. Press. ISBN 9780826460493.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  • EssaysBA, ed. by Philip R. Davies (2002). First person : essays in biblical autobiography. London [u.a.]: Sheffield Acad. Press. ISBN 9781841272450.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  • Rogerson, John; Davies, Philip R. (2007). The Old Testament world (Repr. ed.). London [u.a.]: T & T Clark. ISBN 9780567084880.
  • Davies, Philip R. (2008). Memories of ancient Israel : an introduction to biblical history – ancient and modern. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press. ISBN 9780664232887.
  • Linafelt, edited by Tod; Camp, Claudia V.; Beal, Timothy (2010). The fate of King David : the past and present of a biblical icon. New York: T & T Clark. ISBN 9780567515469.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)

External linksEdit