Wray Beal, Lissa M.

Lissa Wray Beal-cropped.jpg
College: Wycliffe College
Degrees: PhD (St. Michael's)
Email: lissa.wraybeal@wycliffe.utoronto.ca
Phone: 416-946-3806
Teaching Category:
Regular Tenure Stream
Appointment Status:
Basic Degree


The Rev. Dr. Lissa Wray Beal grew up near Vancouver. Her ministry and studies took her to the Northwest Territories, Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Toronto. Her years of pastoral ministry revealed her love of preaching and teaching from the Old Testament as she responded to parishioners’ desire to understand its role in Christian faith and life. This informed her decision to pursue a PhD in Old Testament at Wycliffe College. Upon graduation, she taught for many years at Providence Theological Seminary near Winnipeg. During that time, she made an ecclesial transition from the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada to the Anglican Church of Canada, and ministers as an ordained priest.

Her research focuses on Israel’s life in the land, and exile from it. Her interest in narrative and canonical readings, and the insights of trauma studies are evident in her commentaries on 1–2 Kings and Joshua and inform her many articles on topics in 1–2 Kings, Joshua, Psalms, and Jeremiah.  She is currently preparing a commentary on Jeremiah.

She lives in Toronto with her husband, Steve. They enjoy travelling, often feeling more like pilgrims than tourists as they like to visit cathedrals and trace the lives of the saints.

  • Specializations

    • Deuteronomistic History (particularly Joshua and 1-2 Kings); Ruth
    • Jeremiah
    • Psalms
    • Old Testament Theology
    • Theological Interpretation of Scripture
    • Narrative Criticism
    • Trauma and Moral Injury
    • Old Testament Ethics and Justice Lenses
  • Publications

    • 2022 - “Prophetic Ministry in Jeremiah 20.7–18: ‘Violence and Destruction,’ and Paradoxical Hope for a Shattered Community” in Violent Biblical Texts: New Approaches. Eds. Helen Paynter and Trevor Laurence. Sheffield Phoenix Press.
    • 2019 - Joshua. The Story of God Commentary Series. Grand Rapids: Zondervan (454 pp).
    • 2019 - “Dancing with Death; Dancing with Life: Ahab between Jezebel and Elijah,” Characters and Characterization in the Book of Kings. Eds. Keith Bodner, Benjamin J. M. Johnson. LHBOTS 670. London / New York: T & T Clark.
    • 2018 - “The Past as Threat and Hope: Reading Joshua with Numbers,” Bulletin for Biblical Research 27.4.
    • 2018 - “Setting the Table for Christ: Food and Drink in the Ministry of Elisha,” Interpreting the Old Testament Theologically: Essays in Honor of Willem A. VanGemeren. Ed. Andrew T. Abernethy. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
    • 2017 - “Land Entry and Possession in Origen’s Homilies on Joshua: Deep Reading for Christian Life,” Explorations in Interdisciplinary Reading: Theological, Exegetical, and Reception-Historical Perspectives. Eds. Darian Lockett, Robbie Castleman, Stephen Presley. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock.
    • 2014 - 1 and 2 Kings.  Apollos Old Testament Commentary Series.  Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press (614 pp).
    • 2007 - The Deuteronomist’s Prophet: Narrative Control of Approval and Disapproval in the Story of Jehu (2 Kings 9 and 10).  LHBOTS 478. London/New York: T & T Clark/Continuum (216 pp).