Department of Biblical and Ancient Studies

Prof WJ Wessels

College of Human Sciences
School of Humanities
Department: Biblical and Ancient Studies
Tel: 012 429 4463


  • DTh  Old Testament (Unisa, 1985)

NRF Rating


Fields of academic interests

  • True and False prophets
  • Old Testament Theology
  • Leadership issues

Field of Specialisation

  • Prophetic Literature of the Old Testament
  • Jeremiah, Micah and Nahum


Book chapters:

  • Prophets and Ethics: A Study of Jeremiah 5:26-20, in Human, D J (ed), Psalmody and Poetry in Old Testament Ethics, 181-196. New York: T&T Clark, 2012.
  • Nahum, in Yee, G A, Page Jr, H R and Coomber, M J M (eds),  Fortress Commentary on the Bible: The Old Testament and Apocrypha, 885-891. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2015.
  • Wessels, W J and Barentsen, J, Crisis Leadership amidst Change: The Case of the Prophet Jeremiah, in Barentsen, Jack, Kessler, Volker & Meier, Elke (eds). Christian Leadership in a Changing World: Perspectives from Africa and Europe. Christian Perspectives on Leadership and Social Ethics (CPSLE)  vol 3, Leuven: Peeters, 2016.


Journal articles

Recent journal articles:

  • Leadership responsibility in the workplace: Exploring the Shepherd metaphor in the book of Jeremiah. Koers - Bulletin for Christian Scholarship; Vol 79, No 2 (2014), 6 pages. doi: 10.4102/koers.v79i2.2121.
  • Subversion of Power: Exploring the Lion Metaphor in Nahum 2:12-14. OTE 27, 2 (2014), 703-721.
  • Leadership in times of crisis: Nahum as master of language and imagery. Journal for Semitics (JSem), 2 (2014), 315-338.
  • Leaders and times of crisis: Jeremiah 5:1-6 a case in point. Journal for Semitics (JSem) 24/2 (2015), 657-677.
  • Prophetic sensing of Yahweh’s word,  HTS Teologiese Studies/ Theological Studies 71(3) (2015), Art. #2923, 9. Pages http:// v71i3.2923.
  • Calling Leaders to Account: A Dialogue with Jeremiah 5:1-9. OTE 28/3 (2015), 874-893.
  •  ‘Patience, presence and promise: A Study of prophetic realism’, Verbum et Ecclesia 37(1), 2016, a1584. 
  • Jeremiah 23:23-24 as polemic against prophets’ views on Yahweh’s presence. HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies 72 (3), 2016, a3162.
  • The metaphorical depiction of Nineveh’s Demise.  The use of the locust ‘marked metaphor’ in Nahum 3:15-17. Scriptura 116 (2) (2017), 246-259.
  • Rhetorical Language as a device for Jeremiah’s Authenticity Claims: His Rivalry with Adversaries in 23:9-15. Journal for Semitics 26 (1) (2017), 158-176.


  • True and false prophets
  • Power issues and the book of Nahum