Above, we see Henri Vidal's 1896 statue of Cain from the Tuileries Garden in Paris. It depicts Cain just moments after he killed Abel. This epidsode, recounted in Gen. 4:1-16, is just one of many biblical texts concerned with emotion.
I provide an overview to the importance of emotions in the Bible in “The Central Role of Emotions in Biblical Theology, Biblical Ethics, and Popular Conceptions of the Bible.” Pages 43-59 in Mixed Feelings and Vexed Passions in Biblical Literature: Emotions of Divine and Human Figures in Interdisciplinary Perspective. Edited by Scott Spencer. Atlanta: SBL, 2017.
I explore the emotion of jealousy in "Jealousy or Furnace Remelting? A Response to Nissim Amzallag." Journal of Biblical Literature 136 (2017): 513–28 (lead article). This piece replies to an earlier article questioning whether Hebrew words typically associated with jealousy do in fact refer to that emotion.
I explore God's emotion in "Different Perspectives on Divine Pathos: An Examination of Hermeneutics in Biblical Theology," The Catholic Biblical Quarterly 69.4 (Oct. 2007): 673-694. A key question I ask is how similar God's emotions are to humanity's.
In Review of Deena E. Grant, Divine Anger in the Hebrew Bible (CBQMS, 52; Washington, D.C.: The Catholic Biblical Association of America, 2014), I examine an important recent work dealing with the similarities and differences between divine and human anger.
In Genesis 4:7, just before Cain kills Abel, God warns Cain about the dangers posed by his anger. Unfortunately, this verse has proven one of the most difficult to translate. In "At Sin’s Entryway (Gen 4,7): A Reply to C. L. Crouch," Zeitschrift für die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 124, no. 3 (2012): 409-415, I argue that the phrase is best rendered, "Is it not true that if you do good, then a lifting up? But if you do not do good, then at sin’s entryway is a creature crouching down. Its craving is for you, but you must rule over it."
In Review of Robert C. Roberts, Spiritual Emotions: A Psychology of Christian Virtues, Edification: The Interdisciplinary Journal of the Society for Christian Psychology 4 (2010): 79-80, I review a volume by a pioneer in the field of Christian emotion.
I also serve as co-chair of the Society of Biblical Literature's Consultation on "The Bible and Emotion" with New Testament scholar F. Scott Spencer.
Biblical emotions often call for ethical reflection. Anger, for example, often leads to violence.