Brandon R. Grafius

Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies

Dr. Brandon Grafius grew up in East Lansing, Michigan and earned a BA in English from Michigan State University. He lived in California for six years, during which time he earned an MA in English from the University of California-Davis and worked as a freelance film reviewer. After moving back to Michigan, he completed the Master of Divinity program at Ecumenical Theological Seminary in 2010.  He completed his Ph.D. at Chicago Theological Seminary in the Hebrew Bible program, writing his dissertation on Numbers 25 and the problem of divinely sanctioned violence through the lens of contemporary horror theory. His dissertation was published by Lexington Books/Fortress Academic in 2018. He has taught as an adjunct professor at ETS since 2010, teaching courses in Hebrew, theory, hermeneutics, and the books of Jeremiah, Job, Isaiah, the Psalms, and Daniel. ​He was promoted to the position of Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies in 2016. Currently, he lives in Holt with his wife and two young boys.


Reading Phinehas, Watching Slashers: Numbers 25 and Horror Theory. New York: Lexington Books/Fortress Academic, 2018.


“Keeping the Other at Bay: The Witch, It Comes at Night, and Policing the Boundaries,” in Make America Hate Again: Trump-Era Horror and the Politics of Fear, Victoria McCollum, ed. New York: Routledge, 2019 (forthcoming).
“Mama and Kristeva: Matricide in the Horror Film,” Post Script 36.1 (2017): 52-64.
“Text and Terror: Monster Theory and the Hebrew Bible,” Currents in Biblical Research 16.1 (2017), 34-49.
“Ideas of Maternity in Inside,” Horror Studies 6.1 (2015): 57-68.

Book Reviews:

Dongshin Don Chang, Phinehas, the Sons of Zadok, and Melchizedek: Priestly Covenant in Late Second Temple Texts, Library of Second Temple Studies 90, Horizons in Biblical Theology 39.2 (2017): 241-244.

David J. A. Clines, Job 38-42, Word Biblical Commentary 18B, Restoration Quarterly 55 (2013).

John J. Collins, T. M. Lemos, and Saul M. Olyan, eds., Worship, Women, and War: Essays in Honor of Susan Niditch, Catholic Biblical Quarterly 79.3 (2017): 534-536.

Cynthia Edelman, Dismembering the Whole: Composition and Purpose of Judges 19-21, Catholic Biblical Quarterly 79.3 (2017): 501-04.

Anathea Portier-Young, Apocalypse Against Empire, Biblical Interpretation 20.3 (2012): 343-345.

Susanne Scholz and Pablo R. Andiñach, eds., La Violencia and the Hebrew Bible: The Politics and Histories of Biblical Hermeneutics on the American ContinentReview of Biblical Literature [] (2017).

Ada Taggar-Cohen and Roy E. Gane, eds, Current Issues in Priestly and Related Literature: The Legacy of Jacob Milgrom and Beyond, Resources for Biblical Study 82, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2017).

Marion Ann Taylor and Christiana de Groot, eds., Women of War, Women of Woe: Joshua and Judges through the Eyes of Nineteenth-Century Female Biblical Interpreters, Catholic Biblical Quarterly 79.3 (2017): 536-538.


Interests & Projects

Dr. Grafius’s research involves explorations of Violence in the Hebrew Bible, Wisdom Literature, and Horror Theory. He is currently preparing a manuscript on horror and the Hebrew Bible for Lexington Books/Fortress Academic. He also serves as co-editor for the monograph series “Horror and Scripture.” At ETS, Dr. Grafius teaches courses in Hebrew Bible, directs the Final Project in the MAPM program, and is the director of the Urban Ministry Diploma program.