Born in Cork (Ireland) in 1943. Having completed my secondary education there, I joined the religious congregation of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart in 1961 and I was ordained priest in Rome in 1967.
After two years devoted to the study of philosophy in Ireland (1961–1963), I did my basic theological studies in the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome (1963–1967). Graduate study followed at the Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome (1967–1970) and at the Ecole Biblique et Archéologique Française, Jerusalem (1970-1971). Years of doctoral research followed at the Biblical Institute, Rome, under the supervision of Professors Dennis J. McCarthy S.J. and Luis Alonso Schökel S. J., concluding in 1977 with a Doctorate in Sacred Scripture, awarded for the dissertation Absalom, Absalom! Narrative and Language in 2 Sam 13–20 (see below for the published version).
My teaching career began in 1977 in the Theology Faculty of the Gregorian University, Rome, with various courses in the area of biblical studies (almost entirely OT topics, except for a few seminars on the Letter to the Hebrews). Promotion to the rank of Ordinary Professor came in 1987. After thirty years of academic activity, which included the supervision of thirty-eight doctoral dissertations in biblical studies (see list), I retired from university teaching in June 2007.
Now as Emeritus Professor I reside in Cork (Ireland), where I continue to be involved in biblical ministry in the form of talks and short courses as well as the ongoing development of this biblical website. I am a member of the Society for Old Testament Study and of the Irish Biblical Association.
Absalom Absalom! Narrative and Language in 2 Sam 13-20 (AnBib 81; Rome: Biblical Institute Press, 1978). [Unchanged reprint 2006]
1-2 Samuel, 1-2 Kings, with an Excursus on Davidic Dynasty and Holy City Zion (OTM 6; Wilmington, DE: Michael Glazier; Dublin: Gill & Macmillan, 1983). [Korean translation 2006]
Journeys and Servants. CBAP Lectures 2003 (Manila: Catholic Biblical Association of the Philippines, 2003).
"The Old Testament and Monasticism", in M. Dhavamony (ed.), Monasticism in Christianity and Other Religions (Studia Missionalia, 28; Roma: Università Gregoriana Editrice, 1979) 1-27.
"Hebrew Epic: Historical Notes and Critical Reflections", Bib 61 (1980) 1-30.
"A Literary Study of 2 Sm 17,1-14", in V. Collado – E. Zurro (eds.), El Misterio de la Palabra. Homenaje al profesor D. Luis Alonso Schökel (Madrid: Ediciones Cristiandad, 1983) 177-192.
"A Literary Analysis of 1 Kings i 41-53, with Methodological Reflections", in J. A. Emerton (ed.), Congress Volume Salamanca 1983 (VTSup 36; Leiden: Brill, 1985) 54-66.
"Jeremiah and Sainthood", in M. Dhavamony (ed.), Saints in World Religions (Studia Missionalia, 35; Roma: Editrice Pont. Università Gregoriana, 1986) 1-40.
"Methodological Reflections on Some Recent Studies of the 'Confessions' of Jeremiah", PIBA 12 (1989) 7-25.
"Profeti", in R. Latourelle – R. Fisichella (eds.), Dizionario di Teologia Fondamentale (Assisi: Cittadella, 1990) 861-866. [translated into several languages]
"Reflections on the Exegetical Task. Apropos of Recent Studies on 2 Kg 22-23", in C. Brekelmans – J. Lust (eds.), Pentateuchal and Deuteronomistic Studies. Papers read at the XIIIth IOSOT Congress Leuven 1989 (BETL 94; Leuven: University Press / Peeters, 1990) 255-268.
"Riflessioni metodologiche su recenti studi della pericope di Naaman (2Re 5)", in G. Marconi – G. O'Collins (eds.), Luca-Atti. Studi in onore di P. Emilio Rasco nel suo 70° compleanno. (Assisi: Cittadella, 1991) 46-71; = "Methodological Reflections on Recent Studies of the Naaman Pericope (2 Kings 5): Some Background to Luke 4:27", in G. O'Collins – G. Marconi (eds.), Luke and Acts (New York and Mahwah: Paulist Press, 1993) 32-47 and [notes] 216-221.
"Reflections on the Present State of Old Testament Studies", Greg 73 (1992) 597-609.
"Hiel between Ahab and Elijah-Elisha: 1 Kgs 16,34 in its Immediate Literary Context", Bib 77 (1996) 210-218.
"Hope in the Prophetic Literature of Israel", in Hope for a Suffering People. Proceedings of the Fourth Annual Convention, Phinma Training Center, Tagaytay City, 25-27 July 2003 (Manila: Catholic Biblical Association of the Philippines, 2003) 19-38.
"Reflections on Some Recent Studies of Second Isaiah", in V. Collado Bertomeu (ed.), Palabra, Prodigio, Poesía. In Memoriam P. Luis Alonso Schökel, S.J. (AnBib 151; Roma: Editrice Pontificio Istituto Biblico; Jávea [Alicante]: Huerto de Enseñanzas [ALAS], 2003) 145-160.
"The Biblical Work of Alexander Geddes Against the Background of Contemporary Catholic Biblical Scholarship in Continental Europe", in W. Johnstone (ed.), The Bible and the Enlightenment. A Case Study – Dr Alexander Geddes (1737-1802): (The Proceedings of the Bicentenary Geddes Conference Held at the University of Aberdeen, 1-4 April 2002) (JSOTSup 377; London: T & T Clark International, 2004) 135-156.
"The 'Four Servant Poems' in Second Isaiah in the Light of Recent Redaction-Historical Studies", in C. McCarthy – J. F. Healey (eds.), Biblical and Near Eastern Essays. Studies in Honour of Kevin J. Cathcart (JSOTSup 375; London: T & T Clark International, 2004) 80-94.
"Jonah and Nahum in the Book of the Twelve: Who Has the Last Word?", PIBA 32 (2009) 1-23.
"The Enigmatic Servant Texts in Isaiah in the Light of Recent Study", PIBA 32 (2009) 24-48.