I received my PhD from the University of Exeter 2020, where I am wrote my doctoral dissertation under the supervision of Francesca Stavrakopoulou. My dissertation treats the concept of divine agency in the Hebrew Bible through the methodological lenses of cognitive linguistics and the cognitive science of religion. More specifically, it interrogates the notion of communicable agency as represented by the ark of the covenant and the messenger of YHWH. A revised version of my dissertation was published by SBL Press as an open-access book entitled YHWH’s Divine Images, and it can be accessed here: https://www.sbl-site.org/assets/pdfs/pubs/9781628374407.pdf

My thesis at Trinity Western University interrogated the conceptualization of deity in the Hebrew Bible through the application of cognitive linguistic frameworks. Among other things, it concluded that the conceptual category of deity was not clearly delineated and extended well beyond the traditional dichotomous view of deity as “Wholly Other.” My thesis at the University of Oxford, “Anti-Anthropomorphism and the Vorlage of LXX Exodus,” examined the case for translator exegesis in the so-called anti-anthropomorphic variants in the Septuagint. It was awarded the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies’ annual award for “Best Dissertation.”

While my primary areas of specialization are early Israelite religion, textual criticism, and Second Temple Judaism, my work in cognitive linguistics and the cognitive science of religion has expanded my research interests into broader studies of religion, religious identity, and linguistics.

I currently work for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a scripture translation supervisor, and for Brigham Young University as an adjunct instructor of ancient scripture.


PhD, Theology and Religion, University of Exeter, 2020
MA, Biblical Studies, Trinity Western University, 2013
MSt, Jewish Studies, University of Oxford, 2010
BA, Ancient Near Eastern Studies, Brigham Young University, 2009

Other Publications

“Forming Divine Bodies.” Life and Death: Social Perspectives on Biblical Bodies. Edited by Francesca Stavrakopoulou. Bloomsbury/T&T Clark (forthcoming).

“‘As Far as It Is Translated Correctly’: Bible Translation and the Church.” Religious Educator 20.2 (2019): 53–83.

“The Use of the Old Testament in the New Testament.” Pages 497–513 in The New Testament:History, Culture, and Society. Edited by Lincoln H. Blumell. BYU Religious Studies Center, 2019.

“The Gods-Complaint: Psalm 82 as a Psalm of Complaint.” Journal of Biblical Literature 137.4 (2018): 833–51.

“Religion and Description.” Pages 106–13 in Method Today: Redescribing Approaches to the Study of Religion. Edited by Brad Stoddard. Sheffield; Equinox, 2018.

“Cognitive Perspectives on Early Christology.” Biblical Interpretation 25.4–5 (2017): 647–62.

“Review of Susan Niditch, The Responsive Self: Personal Religion in Biblical Literature of the Neo-Babylonian and Persian Periods.” Journal of Hebrew Scriptures 17 (2017): 1–2.

“Review of Thomas Römer, The Invention of God.” Journal of Hebrew Scriptures 17 (2017): 1–2.

“Review of James S. Anderson, Monotheism and Yahweh’s Appropriation of Baal.” Scandinavian Journal of the Old Testament 30.2 (2016): 297–302.

Blog Posts


    Society of Biblical Literature
    North American Association for the Study of Religion

    Daniel McClellan

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