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Peter Kirk

Oh dear, John, I don't think you realise what you have written. You have accused KJV, RSV, TNIV, and indeed probably almost all English versions of "gross inaccuracy". For in these verses all these versions "avoid[] any reference to God’s justice. The result is gross inaccuracy."

Or perhaps not. Because perhaps, as understood by most exegetes and Bible translators, δικαιοσύνη θεοῦ in this context does not mean "God's justice", whether restorative, Robin Hood type justice or not. Perhaps it means "God's righteousness", his divine attribute of being righteous, which is what most translations seems to mean even if that is not really what they intend. Or perhaps it means "justification from God", as the CEV translators seem to have taken it.

Now you just may be right. Your evidence from the Hebrew Bible and LXX looks impressive. But in that case your argument is not only with CEV but with every other translation, and it is an exegetical issue which is nothing to do with naturalness in translation.

David Ker

I love CEV. It's such a great translation for reading out loud and with children and when you just want to read the Scriptures without a lot of mangled English. Having said that I agree that there are oversimplifications and quite often explicit connections between phrases in a complex chain of logic are underspecified.

If I could make a recommendation: begin with the CEV for the general flow of a book or strophe and then dive into some of the difficulties through the footnotes. They're usually quite consistent in indicating where there is an alternative. Then before you preach or teach or engage in deeper Bible study hit a study Bible. That way you are leveraging a massive collective knowledge of the Bible rather than one person's eclectic approach to the original language.

Even for someone with a good handle of Biblical languages I think that is a better path than muddling through on your own.

When I read the Bible I'm being aided by Barclay Newman and gang as well as the whole team of the NLT study Bible. I use the NET notes quite a lot as well for passages like this one in Romans and they almost always point out the difficulty behind the text.

JohnFH

Peter,

Virtually all translations of the Bible whose first priority is not "normal, idiomatic" English a la Mark Strauss, but fidelity to the source text and a tradition of interpretation, translate δικαιοσύνη θεοῦ with "righteousness of God," "justice of God" (NAB), or "saving justice" (NJB).

I have nothing against "righteousness of God" as a translation so long as the attribute of being righteous (tzaddiq) is rightly explained.

A tzaddiq by definition is someone who provides help to the defenseless, to those who are exposed to the elements, the harm-doing of others, the negative consequences of inherited and personal sin, etc.

This is the case with God no less than human beings. The tzedeqah of each resolves itself in restorative justice: compassion and generosity toward those in need (Pss 111-112). "Restorative justice" is short-hand for all of the above, but of course, that is only evident after explanation.

That's the issue: "righteousness of God" and "justice of God" are opaque and require explanation. A no-no according to DEers. With a clarificatory adjective, "restorative justice" and "saving justice," the situation is only somewhat improved.

It is also essential that concordance in translation is preserved. If one chooses "righteousness" in Romans and Galatians, one had better choose the same term in the relevant passages in the Psalms (examples above).

DE translations pay relatively little attention to the preservation of concordance across Old and New Testaments. For this reason alone, CEV is not a good choice for a study translation, and a poor choice as a basis for translating into minority languages.

The Bible's inner coherence is reduced to tatters by CEV, and to a lesser but still unacceptable extent by NLT1 and NLT2. Sorry, but I call them as I see them.

J. K. Gayle

Peter,
Is it possible that "most exegetes and Bible translators" don't get also that Paul's Greek speaks not only to the Jews but also to the Greek-reading Hellenes, in this very context? John can vouch for the Jewish Hebraic meanings (i.e., from Hebrew poetry). But isn't the cultural literacy of the 1st century Mediterranean steeped in the concept of Justice (i.e., a legal-theological concept in Δίκας)? Whether Paul intends to invoke the images of the Greek world of law and of heaven, how could all of his readers not?

And so lonely minority English translator Julia E. Smith renders Romans 3 this way:

21 But now without law the justice of God has been made apparent, being testified by the law and by the prophets;
22 And the justice of God by faith of Jesus Christ to all and upon all believing: for there is no distinction:

Her Psalms:

V.9 O Jehovah, guide me into thy justice, for sake of mine enemies;

XXXI.2 In thee, O Jehovah, I put my trust, I shall not be ashamed forever: in thy justice deliver me.

CXIX.40 Behold, I desired for thy charges: make me alive in thy justice.

And minority translator Mary Sidney, Countess of Pembroke, uses "justice" in her rendering of Psalm 119. (She didn't translate many of the earlier Psalms or the NT as far as we know).


Peter Kirk

"I have nothing against "righteousness of God" as a translation so long as the attribute of being righteous (tzaddiq) is rightly explained."

Fair enough, John, but who is to do the right explaining? If even the experts can't agree on what this means, what chance the ordinary reader reading a version like this? For sure they are not going to understand this phrase in the sense you want to take it. Of course you as a religious professional can profit from explaining to people what is not clear in their translations. But if you are going to advocate that, the Reformation was in vain and we might just as well go back to reading the Bible in Latin. Ironic, isn't it, that it's the Catholic Bibles (also the original JB) who join Julia Smith in giving the clearer (on your exegesis) rendering "justice".

JohnFH

David,

Is it actually the case that you regard REB, NRSV, NAB, and NJB on the one hand and HCSB and (T)NIV on the other as written in mangled English? Isn't that an overly harsh judgment? Sure, they are not written with the comprehension level of your children in mind, the first group especially, but I don't see why that is a strike against them.

I leave ESV off the list only because I realize ESV may be, as it is for Peter Kirk, your whipping boy of choice. I smell a rat if that is the case, but I digress.

In the case of expressions like "righteousness of God," CEV's notes are too short to be helpful. Or else they are lacking. I don't follow you here. Generally speaking, notes in Bibles explain the point of view of the person who wrote them without supporting argument. I do more than that in my post. Perhaps that is a bug in your eyes, not a feature.

I did not do what NET's note at Romans 1:17 does: list three different takes on the meaning of the expression "righteousness of God" without adjudicating between them. NET's note on "faithfulness of Jesus Christ" at Romans 3:22 also concentrates on laying out options.

I agree that NET's notes are a helpful point of departure, but at some point, it is essential to retrace the steps of Augustine and Luther, who came to understand God's justice as pro nobis, on our behalf, as saving presence and saving activity, based on the use of the expression in the Psalms and a rereading of Romans and Galatians in that light.

BTW, you cannot do that based on CEV and NLT. They do not translate the relevant terms with sufficient consistency.

For the rest, I think evangelicals shoot themselves in the foot by being so parochial in their choice of reference materials. My advice: buy a decent scholarly commentary by a non-evangelical: Kasemann, for example, or Schlier on Galatians, and work through the arguments carefully. The Catholic Study Bible (NAB) is an excellent resource. So is the generally liberal Protestant NISB.

No, I am not recommending CSB and NISB because they understand the expression "righteousness of God" as referring to God's saving activity - as I do. But of course, that is where they come down.

Kurk,

I do not see anything unusual about Smith and Sidney's translations except that they strive for formal equivalence. That's fine, but then the unpacking must begin. Think of it as Christmas morning.

Peter,

I'm fine with your remarks about "religious professionals" if the intent is to deflate the pretensions of same. On the other hand, if your model of reading of scripture is that of an autodidact, I object with every fiber of my being.

Interpretation takes place in a community; in a Christian setting, a community to which God has given apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers (Ephesians 3). In that community, according to Matthew, there are scholars who draw from treasures old and new.

Apparently you want to bypass all of that and treat the Bible as a kind of self-help manual. You are looking a stand-alone translation. An absurd demand in my view. Acts 8:31 will always apply. What nonsense if you are suggesting otherwise.

You have not yet explained how you justify "the righteousness of God" as TNIV and many other translations have it. Field-test the expression and you will see why, on your principles, the phrase must be rejected.

Peter Kirk

John, if it is "nonsense" to suggest that Acts 8:31 does not always apply, then tell that to the Gideons, and to the Bible Societies, and to the publishers of study Bibles etc, including the non-evangelical ones you recommend, who are precisely marketing their products as stand-alone translations - and in the case of some evangelical ones, also as self-help manuals.

Yes, I am trying to deflate your pretensions! I am not trying to deny the role of community in interpreting the Bible. But that community is broader than a few specialists, whether scholars or priests - it is the community of all faithful believers.

danielandtonya

John,

I recently took a stab at Rom 3.21-22 in a post in our Jesus faith series. Our translations are pretty similar. One question though - how do you get the concessive sense "though" in line 3?

thanks,
danielandtonya

Peter Kirk

By the way, I note (see my comment http://exploringourmatrix.blogspot.com/2008/12/fidelity-of-christ.html?showComment=1229714580000#c8167197194005209633 which may make you wish you had proper links in comments enabled) that the NIV translation team originally went for "a righteousness from God", but in TNIV reverted to "the righteousness of God". This was clearly a deliberate decision and implies a rejection of CEV's exegesis "how God does make us acceptable to him" in favour of something like "God's attribute of being righteous".

Peter Kirk

Your comment form lies. It says "URLs automatically linked" but they are not. Perhaps they can be embedded like this?

J. K. Gayle

That's fine, but then the unpacking must begin. Think of it as Christmas morning.

Such gifts can mean many things.

JohnFH

Daniel and Tonya,

Your translation reads:

The righteousness of God, witnessed to by the law and the prophets, has now been revealed, independent of (the) law- the righteousness of God through the Jesus Christ faith for all believers.

I think that's excellent. The concessive is unmarked in the Greek from the syntactic point of view, but is present, I think, on the semantic level insofar as the Law is a witness to God's righteousness though said righteousness is revealed apart from the Law. Your structuring of the whole obviates the need for a syntactic marker of concessivity. There is an upside and a downside to that.

Peter,

It looks like you figured out how to link. TNIV does well to reject a limitation of the sense of Romans 1:17 and 3:21 to imputed righteousness. ESV as a translation goes one way, ESVSB tilts in the direction of imputed righteousness. NLT and NLTSB go whole hog in the direction of imputed righteousness.

BTW, imputed righteousness (Luther's iustitia passiva) is one very important dimension of God's restorative justice the believer receives through faith in Christ. But it is not the only one.

Tzedaqah stands behind δικαιοσύνη, hence "justice" rather than "God's attribute of being righteous" (tzaddiq). Either way, it has to be explained that justice is Robin Hood justice in the Bible, as in ripping prey from the jaws of lions, and being righteous involves acts of restorative justice of the same kind.

Study Bibles are not stand-alone translations. They contain the wisdom of the scholars you wish to do without. Even Gideons know that the stand-alone translations they distribute are useless unless they draw people into fellowship and study within the context of community of which Ephesians 32 speaks.

There really is no such thing as a stand-alone translation. The attempt to produce one is subject to criticism on theological grounds.

Jim Getz

John,

Off on a tangent:

I'll grant the translation of A tzaddiq as "someone who provides help to the defenseless, to those who are exposed to the elements, the harm-doing of others, the negative consequences of inherited and personal sin, etc." for Dtr(H) and Paul.

But is that necessarily the case for the Tehillim as well?

Clearly the idea entails some cultic dimensions in the Hebrew Bible --- PT HS and Ezekiel all use the term as well. Ezek 18 is a great text showing the importance of both personal piety and cultic fidelity.

While I think you can push for this sense of righteousness in the book of Hebrews, I'm never sure how much of this element to import into Paul.

John Hobbins

Jim,

I love tangents like these. In PT HS Ezekiel, what LBH terms the chasadim of an individual (Neh 13:14; 2 Chr 32:32, 35:26) belong to relatively undifferentiated sphere consisting of both socioethical and cultic obligations. In the narrative frame of Job as well, BTW.

Is this appreciably different from the 'oseh tzedeqah of Ps 106:3? Perhaps not. Still, Pss 15, 24, 50, 51, put a premium on socioethical obligations. If unfulfilled, proximity to God is downright dangerous. People understand this. It's one reason they won't worship even though they dearly want to.

In Ps 9+10, God who shofets with tzedeq hangs right together with his teshu'a. Justice and judgment are pro nobis, *on behalf of* the supplicant.

In Ps 11, we have a Tanakh version of blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God - in the cult. Holiness, seeing, and righteousness come together in a way I have not seen explained well in Ps 11:4-7 (cf. Ps 50:23).

Ps 145:15-20 contextualizes the confession that the Lord is tzaddiq in terms of beneficence, nearness to the one who calls for help (a cultic concept), and watching. Is that different from Dtr(H) and Paul?

Tzedaqah = restorative justice is what the psalmist will celebrate once he receives it (Ps 51:16). It is no wonder that tzedaqah is translated by "beneficience" on numerous occasions in NJPSV (e.g. Ps 71:15, 19).

Justice received by those who lack it is necessarily understood as a benevolent, saving act.

As you know, tzedeqah comes to have a specialized meaning of charitable benevolence, giving of alms.

That was pretty random, but fun nevertheless.

David Ker

John, I'm so out of my league here that I should just keep my mouth shut. But I'm not very good at that!

Regarding your comment about the naturalness of the REB I responded on my blog. It is written in high class literary prose. The rest on that list seem to have little ability to recognize that a translation in English should use English rules or syntax and a vocabulary understood by modern readers. Is our English language so poor that we have to resort to high-falutin' latinisms like "expiate" and "propitiation" to make Biblical truths understandable?

And as for the ESV, I have never read it in detail because just a few lines have always been sufficient to turn me off. For that register of translation I'd much rather read the NRSV.

Again I have to stick to my guns here and say that CEV is a great entry point to the Scriptures. But I'm playing the barbarian here and you're playing the snob so I don't expect you to agree with me on that.

Finally, "restorative justice" is a highly eclectic and odd sounding translation to my ear. To then insist on concordance throughout a translation is going to be weird. It reminds me of I think it's the NET that keeps using "covenant loyalty" all over the place just because that's their interpretation of a particular word in Hebrew.

JohnFH

David,

For a barbarian, you have a very good ear. Here are a few points:

(1)The NEB/REB tradition of translation is deserving of many accolades. Along with NJPSV for the Old Testament, it occupies a tier of its own in English Bible translations.

Neither REB nor NJPSV are perfect, but at least they do not reduce the complexity of the source text for the sake of barbarians. At least not on principle. This sets them apart from translations on the DE end of the spectrum.

(2) Is it a good thing or a bad thing for a Bible translation to contain words like "atonement," "expiation," "propitiation," "justification," and "righteousness," none of which have anything to do with "normal, idiomatic English"?

Professional minority language Bible translators, I imagine, have their own reasons for disliking these words - as in, what are the equivalents, but I remain convinced that these words, or words very much like them, are best retained. For example, all serious translations of Leviticus 4:26 read more or less as follows:

All its fat he shall turn into smoke on the altar . . . Thus the priest shall make atonement on his behalf for his sin, and he shall be forgiven. (NRSV)

NJPSV is identical, except that it has "shall make expiation" instead of "shall make atonement."

REB and NJB have "expiation," whereas ESV, TNIV, NLT1, and NLT2 continue the KJV tradition of "atonement."

It is only thoroughly dumbed down translations - GNB, NCV, and your beloved CEV - that avoid the technical terminology of sacrifice.

CEV is especially pathetic in this instance. "Priest," "sin," the vicarious nature of the act "on his behalf" - these elements of the text are simply removed by the scissor hands of Freddy Krueger / Barclay Newman.

(3) David, I realize that the book of Leviticus is not your cup of tea in the first place. Perhaps you do not care that CEV takes a chain saw to Leviticus. At least it is written in natural English!

But I assume you read the gospels, Paul, Hebrews, and 1 John on occasion. Serious translations seek to preserve concordance across the relevant passages. For example, 1 John 2:2:

He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. (NRSV)

The really smart versions that have "atone" in Leviticus have "atone" in 1 John: NRSV and (T)NIV. Or "expiate" in both: NJB.

In the case of NLT1, Nida and Newman got their way in 1 John but not Leviticus: "atone" in Leviticus, and "sacrifice" in 1 John. What a mess.

ESV and NLT2, to be on the safe side, return to KJV's "propitiation" in 1 John. Another mess.

Esteban, where are you? Stick with the Greek. LXX + Greek New Testament preserve concordance here.

Concordant translations are great precisely because they help the reader make important semantic connections. So, thank you thank you NRSV, (T)NIV, and NJB. "Atone" or "expiate" across the board.

KJV (after Jerome), RSV, REB, NAB, ESV, and NLT2 at least conserve the technical terminology, but get lower marks because they do not maintain concordance. "Atone," "expiate," and/or "propitiation" are mixed and matched.

The example is typical of the need to correct Jerome on occasion, based on the Greek. Right, Esteban?

And you thought people just sat down and translated directly from the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, without reference to a history of translation and interpretation? Phoney baloney, except - relatively speaking - in the cases of Nida and Newman.

It really does seem on occasion that Nida and Newman looked out on the linguistic edifice that is Christianity and said, "Not one stone shall remain on top of another." It's not going to happen, which is precisely why it's no problem to suffer these emergent children. They do not replace the pre-existent soup, just add more flavor to it.

As for "restorative justice," my barbarian ears don't like it either. NJB has "saving justice" for tzedaqah in the Psalms where Luther already saw it, and in Romans and Galatians, at least in key instances.

Leave to the Catholics to out-Luther Protestants.

(4) I think you are wrong to argue against preserving concordance in translation. Granted, it can be taken too far. But translations like your beloved CEV, by not pursuing concordance beyond the level of the sentence or paragraph, take a butcher knife to the coherence of scripture with itself and with its history of interpretation.

Wayne Leman

John, I'll repeat here my response to you on Better Bibles Blog about the natural language of the CEV:

John, as I’ve said many times before, our English translations should be no more natural nor less natural than were the original biblical texts. Far too many English Bible versions use English that is far less natural than was the language of the biblical texts. Few, if any, people in the word communicate with the odd kind of dialect found in Biblish. If people in any language spoke or wrote that way, others would wonder what was going on with them, why they were speaking or writing so strangely.

Obviously, as I have also stated many times, naturalness of language is not the only goal of Bible translation. There are several others, including exegetical accuracy, faithfulness to genre equivalence (including poetry), same register.

I praise the CEV for having natural English. Granted, it has some exegetical flaws, but so do every other version, including the literal ones. I also wish that the CEV paid more attention to the different genres of the Bible.

David Ker

John, as always I'm glad you are holding the bar high for our translations. My populist stance is often times at odds with my desire to see translations better handle concordance, discourse level features and register. Another strong point in your argument is that of arguing for a continuous tradition of English Bible translation. Finally, pragmatically I don't think the kind of translation Wayne is speaking of is possible which is why I'd be willing to consider a more "foreign" translation, in essence bringing the reader to the text. But most of the possibilities you suggest achieve their foreignness through archaic English which then has to act as some sort of bridge dialect between the modern reader and the ancient text.

Finally, is Leviticus anyone's cup of tea?!?

JohnFH

Wayne,

You say:

“Few, if any, people in the world communicate with the odd kind of dialect found in Biblish.”

Except for the hundreds of millions of people to whom the Word of God is communicated when one person reads the Bible to another in a non-DE translation. Sure, KJV, NKJV, NASB, and ESV users get a higher dosage of Biblish in such communication than do (T)NIV and NRSV users, or RSV and NAB users (Catholics). But the difference is only one of degree.

Except for the tens of thousands of people in seminary who still learn to parse the meaning of Biblish. And the hundreds of millions of people who then learn to do so in the pews and Bible studies of their synagogues and churches.

Except for the millions of people around the world who, when they pray, use the language of a traditional Bible translation to do so, the KJV in English, the Diodati in Italian, etc. This bilingualism ought to be fascinating to a linguist. Your “few if any” statement sweeps all of this under a rug.

I know you better so I’m confident that your statement does not reflect cultural imperialism on the part of “we know better” linguists. In any case, “few if any” is inaccurate.

I just returned from reading “The Night before Christmas” with my 5 year old. Anna adores the poem and knows it by heart. Down to the last “‘Twas,” “ere,” and “alongside of his nose.” Field-test “had settled our brains,” “the down of a thistle,” and see what happens.

BTW, I realize that my Anna does not use these expressions outside of the world of “The Night before Christmas.” I don’t think that is a strike against the expressions. I would not change one word of Clement Moore’s classic.

None of these observations settle the question as to what kind of Bible translation is best for what setting. But surely you will concede that “strange language” fills the world of children no less than adults. The old man goes on snoring and bumping his head on a roller bed, even if no one knows what a roller bed is.

It’s a beautiful, wonderful thing. It’s a beautiful, wonderful thing that with each passing year, Anna understands a little bit more of the poem she loves, down to the last “courser” and “droll little mouth.” Someday, if she takes German, a light will go on when she reads “Donder and Blitzen.” In the meantime, she understands the poem perfectly. It is literally a part of her existential self, weird syntax and otherwise unknown vocabulary included. The question is: how much “strange language” do we want in our Bibles, and why.

At funerals, I always recite Psalm 23 by heart from the KJV. You would not pretend, I imagine, that I read it from the “natural English” of CEV. For the record, I also know Psalm 23 by heart in Hebrew. But here is where I come down. Psalm 23 is scripture for me in both the Hebrew and KJV. Don’t ask me to choose between them.

If you want Psalm 23 to be scripture for you in the CEV, be my guest. I will not follow you for cultural, theological, and ecclesiological reasons.

For the rest, I think you exaggerate the extent to which the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek of the Bible was similar to the way people talked between themselves in the marketplace or other everyday settings in Jerusalem and Corinth.

The Bible is written in temply, synagoguey and churchy language. The language of historians and bards, priests and prophets, rabbis and apostles, not to mention John the Divine whose language oozes with biblical allusions and defies the rules of ordinary grammar.

Church people talk funny, especially when they talk about their faith. You know that. What you seem to deny is that they always have. Always.

Peter Kirk

John, not one stone of the edifice of traditional church culture will remain on another, and it won't be Nida and Newman who make sure of that. Only what is built of the gold, silver and precious stones which God provides will stand, 1 Corinthians 3:12,13. Our temporary human structures have their purposes for now, but when completeness comes they will all disappear, 13:8.

I have answered your last comment at BBB where you have also posted it. But what I didn't say is that I know plenty of Christians who don't talk funny when they talk about their faith, but they are probably not the ones who would describe themselves as "Church people". As for your claim that "The Bible is written in temply, synagoguey and churchy language", you are going right against the consensus of scholars of Greek, so perhaps you ought to stick to Hebrew.

JohnFH

Peter,

Thanks for being so clear about your anti-traditionalism. It explains your rejection of translations that maintain continuity with Tyndale-Geneva-KJV, but not your preference for TNIV, a relatively traditional translation, over against GNB, NCV, and CEV, all of which excel in natural English. TNIV by comparison is full of Biblish.

Why do you prefer TNIV? It really is a churchy translation. I can even name the ethos of which churches it reflects: the moderate to trendy evangelical crowd.

I think you misunderstand the consensus about New Testament Greek. For example, if you think Paul, Peter, and John are not speaking "churchy" in their letters, you are sorely mistaken. The letters are written with church people in mind and presuppose a deep knowledge of scripture (the OT) and accumulated Christian tradition of a kind no non-church member would have had.

Surely you do not mean to suggest that people in a marketplace in Corinth or Rome, filled with non-Jews and non-Christians, would be able to understand a passage like this without considerable explanation:

My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father - Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:1-2 TNIV)

BTW, I agree that the syntax of this could be cleaned up. But even if you put it in dumbed-down, simplified, award-winning natural English, it still would have stumped the Corinthian butchers and candlestick makers:

My children, I am writing this so that you won't sin. But if you do sin, Jesus Christ always does the right thing, and he will speak to the Father for us. Christ is the sacrifice that takes away our sins and the sins of all the world's people. (CEV)

The truth is this: even though CEV scissors out traditional language:

"Advocate" is gone;
"The Righteous One" is replaced with the ridiculous "always does the right thing" (I admit that "Righteous One" makes no sense at all unless you know your Old Testament very well: precisely my point);
"Propitiation" is sacrificed, without atonement or expiation offered;

CEV still doesn't make sense unless you know in advance what it has to mean. Field test to your heart's content if you think I'm off base. Surely Acts 8:31 is all you would hear among any group of non-churched people in the world, whether 1 John 2:1-2 is read in an excellent but still improvable translation like TNIV, or a translation for the non-literate like CEV.

Peter Kirk

John, I answered your last comment, essentially cross-posted on BBB, here.

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    thoughts on the Bible, Africa, Kenya, aid, and social justice, by Ben Byerly, a PhD candidate at Africa International University (AIU), in Nairobi, Kenya working on “The Hopes of Israel and the Ends of Acts” (Luke’s narrative defense of Paul to Diaspora Judeans in Acts 16-20)
  • Berit Olam
    by a thoughtful Matt Morgan, Berkeley CA resident, grad student in Old Testament at Regent University, Vancouver BC (archive)
  • Better Bibles Blog
    Discussion of translation problems and review of English Bible translations by Wayne Leman, Iver Larsen, Mike Sangrey, and others
  • Bibbia Blog
    A Bible blog in Italian and English by former students of the PIB and PUG
  • Bible Background research and commentary
    by Craig Keener, professor of New Testament, Asbury Theological Seminary
  • Bible Design & Binding
    J. Mark Bertrand's place
  • BiblePlaces Blog
    a spotlight on the historical geography of the Holy Land, by Todd Bolen, formerly, Assistant Professor at the Israel Bible Extension campus of The Master's College, Santa Clarita CA
  • Biblicalia
    The riches of orthodoxy brought online by Kevin Edgecomb, a seminarian at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology (Brookline MA)
  • Biblische Ausbildung
    by Stephen L. Cook, professor of Old Testament / Hebrew Bible at Virginia Theological Seminary
  • C. Orthodoxy
    Christian, Contemporary, Conscientious… or Just Confused, by Ken Brown, a very thoughtful blog (archive). Ken is currently a Dr. Theol. student at Georg-August-Universität in Göttingen, part of The Sofja-Kovalevskaja Research Group studying early Jewish Monotheism. His dissertation will focus on the presentation of God in Job.
  • Catholic Bibles
    a thoughtful blog about Bible translations by Timothy, who has a degree in sacred theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome (Angelicum) and teaches theology in a Catholic high school in Michigan
  • Chrisendom
    irreverent blog with a focus on the New Testament, by Chris Tilling, New Testament Tutor for St Mellitus College and St Paul's Theological Centre, London
  • Claude Mariottini
    a perspective on the Old Testament and current events by a professor of Old Testament at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary, Chicagoland, Illinois
  • Codex: Biblical Studies Blogspot
    by Tyler Williams, a scholar of the Hebrew Bible and cognate literature, now Assistant Professor of Theology at The King's University College in Edmonton, Alberta (archive)
  • Colours of Scripture
    reflections on theology, philosophy, and literature, by Benjamin Smith, afflicted with scriptural synaesthesia, and located in London, England
  • Complegalitarian
    A team blog that discusses right ways and wrong ways Scripture might help in the social construction of gender (old archive only; more recent archive, unfortunately, no longer publicly available)
  • Connected Christianity
    a place to explore what it might be like if Christians finally got the head, heart, and hands of their faith re-connected (archive)
  • Conversational Theology
    Smart and delightful comment by Ros Clarke, a Ph.D. student at the University of the Highlands and Islands, at the (virtual) Highland Theological College (archive)
  • Daily Hebrew
    For students of biblical Hebrew and the ancient Near East, by Chip Hardy, a doctoral student at the University of Chicago
  • Daniel O. McClellan
    a fine blog by the same, who is pursuing a master of arts degree in biblical studies at Trinity Western University just outside of Vancouver, BC.
  • Davar Akher
    Looking for alternative explanations: comments on things Jewish and beyond, by Simon Holloway, a PhD student in Classical Hebrew and Biblical Studies at The University of Sydney, Australia
  • Deinde
    News and Discussion by Danny Zacharias
  • Discipulus scripturae
    Nathan Stitt's place
  • Dr. Claude Mariottini
    balanced comment by a professor of Old Testament at Northern Baptist Seminary, Lombard IL
  • Dr. Platypus
    insightful comment by Darrell Pursiful, editor at Smyth & Helwys Publishing, on the New Testament faculty of Mercer University
  • Dust
    A diary of Bob MacDonald's journey through the Psalms and other holy places in the Hebrew Bible
  • Eclexia
    The heart and mind of this Bible and theology blogger sing in unison
  • Eat, Drink, and be Merry
    The journey of a grad student with a love for ancient languages at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary (archive)
  • Elizaphanian
    Rev Sam tussles with God, and limps away
  • Emerging from Babel
    Stephen investigates the potential of narrative and rhetorical criticism as a tool for expounding scripture
  • Evangelical Textual Criticism
    A group blog on NT and OT text-critical matters
  • Evedyahu
    excellent comment by Cristian Rata, Lecturer in Old Testament of Torch Trinity Graduate School of Theology, Seoul, Korea
  • Exegetica Digita
    discussion of Logos high-end syntax and discourse tools – running searches, providing the downloads (search files) and talking about what can be done and why it might matter for exegesis, by Mike Heiser
  • Exegetisk Teologi
    careful exegetical comment by Stefan Green (in Swedish)
  • Exploring Our Matrix
    Insightful reflections by James McGrath, ass't. professor of religion, Butler University
  • Faith Matters
    Mark Alter's place
  • Ferrell's Travel Blog
    comments of biblical studies, archaeology, history, and photography by a tour guide of Bible lands and professor emeritus of the Biblical Studies department at Florida College, Temple Terrace (FL)
  • Fors Clavigera
    James K. A. Smith, professor of philosophy at Calvin College, thinks out loud.
  • Friar's Fires
    an insightful blog by a pastor with a background in journalism, one of three he pens
  • Gentle Wisdom
    A fearless take on issues roiling Christendom today, by Peter Kirk, a Bible translator
  • Giluy Milta B‘alma
    by Ezra Chwat and Avraham David of the Institute of Microfilmed Hebrew Manuscripts, Jewish National and Hebrew University Library, Jerusalem
  • He is Sufficient
    insightful comment on Bible translations, eschatology, and more, by Elshaddai Edwards
  • Higgaion
    by Chris Heard, Professor of Religion, Pepperdine University
  • Idle Musings of a Bookseller
    by James Spinti of Eisenbrauns
  • if i were a bell, i'd ring
    Tim Ricchiuiti’s place
  • Imaginary Grace
    Smooth, witty commentary by Angela Erisman (archive). Angela Erisman is a member of the theology faculty at Xavier University
  • James' Thoughts and Musings
    by James Pate, a doctoral student at HUC-JIR Cincinnati
  • Jewish Philosophy Place
    by Zachary (Zak) Braiterman, who teaches modern Jewish thought and philosophy in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University
  • kata ta biblia
    by Patrick George McCollough, M. Div. student, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena CA
  • Ketuvim
    Learned reflection from the keyboard of Jim Getz
  • Kilbabo
    Ben Johnson’s insightful blog
  • Kruse Kronicle - contemplating the intersection of work, the global economy, and Christian mission
    top quality content brought to readers by Michael W. Kruse
  • Larry Hurtado's blog
    emeritus professor of New Testament Language, Literature & Theology, University of Edinburgh
  • Law, Prophets, and Writings
    thoughtful blogging by William R. (Rusty) Osborne, Assistant Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies as College of the Ozarks and managing editor for Journal for the Evangelical Study of the Old Testament
  • Lingamish
    delightful fare by David Ker, Bible translator, who also lingalilngas.
  • Looney Fundamentalist
    a scientist who loves off-putting labels
  • Menachem Mendel
    A feisty blog on rabbinic literature and other Judaica by Michael Pitkowsky, Rabbinics Curriculum Coordinator at the Academy for Jewish Religion and adjunct instructor at Jewish Theological Seminary (New York)
  • mu-pàd-da
    scholarly blog by C. Jay Crisostomo, grad student in ANE studies at ?
  • Narrative and Ontology
    Astoundingly thoughtful comment from Phil Sumpter, a Ph.D. student in Bible, resident in Bonn, Germany
  • New Epistles
    by Kevin Sam, M. Div. student at the Lutheran Theological Seminary, Saskatoon SK
  • NT Weblog
    Mark Goodacre's blog, professor of New Testament, Duke University
  • Observatório Bíblico
    wide-ranging blog by Airton José da Silva, Professor de Bíblia Hebraica/Antigo Testamento na Faculdade de Teologia do CEARP de Ribeirão Preto, Brasile (in Portuguese)
  • Observatório Bíblico
    Blog sobre estudos acadêmicos da Bíblia, para Airton José da Silva, Professor de Bíblia Hebraica / Antigo Testamento na Faculdade de Teologia do CEARP de Ribeirão Preto, SP.
  • Occasional Publications
    excellent blogging by Daniel Driver, Brevard Childs' scholar extraordinaire
  • old testament passion
    Great stuff from Anthony Loke, a Methodist pastor and Old Testament lecturer in the Seminari Theoloji, Malaysia
  • Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Blog
    A weblog created for a course on the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, by James Davila (archive)
  • On the Main Line
    Mississippi Fred MacDowell's musings on Hebraica and Judaica. With a name like that you can't go wrong.
  • p.ost an evangelical theology for the age to come
    seeking to retell the biblical story in the difficult transition from the centre to the margins following the collapse of Western Christendom, by Andrew Perriman, independent New Testament scholar, currently located in Dubai
  • PaleoJudaica
    by James Davila, professor of Early Jewish Studies at the University of St. Andrews, St Andrews, Scotland. Judaism and the Bible in the news; tidbits about ancient Judaism and its context
  • Pastoral Epistles
    by Rick Brannan and friends, a conceptually unique Bible blog
  • Pen and Parchment
    Michael Patton and company don't just think outside the box. They are tearing down its walls.
  • Pisteuomen
    by Michael Halcomb, pastor-scholar from the Bluegrass State
  • Pseudo-Polymath
    by Mark Olson, an Orthodox view on things
  • Purging my soul . . . one blog at a time
    great theoblog by Sam Nunnally
  • Qumranica
    weblog for a course on the Dead Sea Scrolls at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, taught by James R. Davila (archive)
  • Ralph the Sacred River
    by Edward Cook, a superb Aramaist
  • Random Bloggings
    by Calvin Park, M. Div. student at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, South Hamilton MA
  • Resident aliens
    reflections of one not at home in this world
  • Revelation is Real
    Strong-minded comment from Tony Siew, lecturer at Trinity Theological College, Singapore
  • Ricoblog
    by Rick Brannan, it's the baby pictures I like the most
  • Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
    Nick Norelli's fabulous blog on Bible and theology
  • SansBlogue
    by Tim Bulkeley, lecturer in Old Testament, Carey Baptist College (New Zealand). His Hypertext Commentary on Amos is an interesting experiment
  • Ancient Near Eastern Languages
    texts and files to help people learn some ancient languages in self study, by Mike Heiser
  • Midrash, etc.
    A fine Hebrew-to-English blog on Midrash, by Carl Kinbar, Director of the New School for Jewish Studies and a facultm member at MJTI School of Jewish Studies.
  • Phil Lembo what I'm thinking
    a recovering lawyer, now in IT, with a passion for a faith worth living
  • Roses and Razorwire
    a top-notch Levantine archaeology blog, by Owen Chesnut, a doctoral student at Andrews University (MI)
  • Scripture & Theology
    a communal weblog dedicated to the intersection of biblical interpretation and the articulation of church doctrine, by Daniel Driver, Phil Sumpter, and others
  • Scripture Zealot
    by Jeff Contrast
  • Serving the Word
    incisive comment on the Hebrew Bible and related ancient matters, with special attention to problems of philology and linguistic anthropology, by Seth L. Sanders, Assistant Professor in the Religion Department of Trinity College, Hartford, CT
  • Singing in the Reign
    NT blog by Michael Barber (JP University) and Brad Pitre (Our Lady Holy Cross)
  • Stay Curious
    excellent comment on Hebrew Bible and Hebrew language topics, by Karyn Traphagen, graduate, Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia PA (archive)
  • Sufficiency
    A personal take on the faith delivered to the saints, by Bob MacDonald, whose parallel blog on the Psalms in Hebrew is a colorful and innovative experiment
  • The Sundry Times
    Gary Zimmerli's place, with comment on Bible translations and church renewal
  • Sunestauromai: living the crucified life
    by a scholar-pastor based in the Grand Canyon National Park
  • ta biblia
    blog dedicated to the New Testament and the history of Christian origins, by Giovanni Bazzana
  • Targuman
    by Christian Brady, targum specialist extraordinaire, and dean of Schreyer Honors College, Penn State University
  • Targuman
    on biblical and rabbinic literature, Christian theology, gadgetry, photography, and the odd comic, by Christian Brady, associate professor of ancient Hebrew and Jewish literature and dean of the Schreyer Honors College at Penn State
  • The Biblia Hebraica Blog
    a blog about Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, the history of the Ancient Near East and the classical world, Syro-Palestinian archaeology, early Judaism, early Christianity, New Testament interpretation, English Bible translations, biblical theology, religion and culture, philosophy, science fiction, and anything else relevant to the study of the Bible, by Douglas Magnum, PhD candidate, University of the Free State, South Africa
  • The Forbidden Gospels Blog
    by April DeConick, Professor of Biblical Studies, Rice University
  • The Naked Bible
    by Mike Heiser, academic editor at Logos Bible Software
  • The Reformed Reader
    by Andrew Compton, Ph.D. student in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures (focus on Hebrew and Semitic Languages) at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
  • The Sacred Page
    a blog written by three Catholic Ph.D.s who are professors of Scripture and Theology: Michael Barber, Brant Pitre and John Bergsma
  • The Talmud Blog
    a group blog on Talmud News, Reviews, Culture, Currents, and Criticism
  • Theological German
    a site for reading and discussing theological German, by Mark Alter
  • theoutwardquest
    seeking spirituality as an outward, not an inward quest, by David Corder
  • This Lamp
    Incisive comment on Bible translations in the archives, by Rick Mansfield
  • Thoughts on Antiquity
    By Chris Weimer and friends, posts of interest on ancient Greek and Roman topics (archive). Chris is a graduate student at the City University of New York in Classics
  • Threads from Henry's Web
    Wide-ranging comment by Henry Neufeld, educator, publisher, and author
  • Tête-à-Tête-Tête
    smart commentary by "smijer," a Unitarian-Universalist
  • Undeception
    A great blog by Mike Douglas, a graduate student in biblical studies
  • What I Learned From Aristotle
    the Judaica posts are informative (archive)
  • Bouncing into Graceland
    a delightful blog on biblical and theological themes, by Esteban Vázquez (archive)
  • Weblog
    by Justin Anthony Knapp, a fearless Wikipedian (archive)
  • Writing in the Dust
    A collection of quotes by Wesley Hill, a doctoral student in New Testament studies at Durham University (UK), and a Christian who seeks the charism of chastity
  • גֵּר־וְתוֹשָׁב
    by David Miller, Associate Professor of New Testament and Early Judaism, Briercrest College & Seminary, Caronport, Saskatchewan, Canada
  • ואל-תמכר
    Buy truth and do not sell: wisdom, instruction, and understanding - a blog by Mitchell Powell, student of life at the intersection of Christ, Christianity, and Christendom
  • משלי אדם
    exploring wisdom literature, religion, and other academic pursuits, by Adam Couturier, M.A. in Old Testament/Hebrew Bible (graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary)

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  • Ancient Hebrew Poetry is a weblog of John F. Hobbins. Opinions expressed herein do not reflect those of his professional affiliations. Unless otherwise indicated, the contents of Ancient Hebrew Poetry, including all text, images, and other media, are original and licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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    Copyright © 2005 by John F Hobbins.