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N. T. Wrong

Here's die Sache.

Jacques Ellul’s writing on propaganda is more incisive
- John

Maybe it is. How so? And what points does Ellul make that make his writing on propaganda more incisive? And how are these points relevant to countering the specific points Chomsky and Crossley make? While it may be nice to cite names, I don't quite see how it gets this discussion anywhere. Or was your post not so locutive as illocutive: did you just intend a pooh-pooh ("I pooh-pooh you, Noam Chomsky!") Now, that much was clearly communicated to me by what you wrote. But beyond your pooh-pooh, there was only the vacuous void of non-response. If I were to follow you down this track, I would pooh-pooh your pooh-pooh! But that really wouldn't get us anywhere at all. Das tut nichts zur Sache.

it isn’t difficult to put one’s finger on the fundamental problem with the anti-imperialism of much of what passes for the Left on university campuses.... standard-issue Leftists end up aiding and abetting the butchers of Baghdad of this world
- John Hobbins

Hot damn! Now, that is a point of criticism. And, not being an absolute pacificist, I don't have any absolute objection. That is, there may be times when aggression is required in order to stop greater evils. I wouldn't want to live in the middle of such times, but I suspect they do come along. To refuse to be 'involved' directly in violence to stop violence, particularly when you're a country which is already involved in aiding and abetting the existing violence, is culpable.

But must we start so late in the history of the invasion of and genocide in East Timor? In your example of East Timor, the U.S. was deeply involved in aiding and abetting the violence long before any intervention was touted. The U.S. government aided and abetted the coup that brought General Suharto to power in 1965. On top of all this, U.S. government propaganda concerning General Suharto was parroted by the media. While he killed hundreds of thousands of peasant farmers, the U.S. media aided and abetted the U.S. government and Suharto by describing him as a 'moderate'. In fact, the propaganda model was so successful that while we all know how evil Pol Pot was for mass killing, Suharto probably gets a "who?". Aiding and abetting. These things, too, must be pointed out.

And when Indonesia invaded East Timor, and the U.S. were warned of the impending genocide, what was the U.S. response? It was condoned. And, as we might suspect having acquainted ourselves with Chomsky's propaganda model, it was condoned by the Western media too. It didn't really happen. Aiding and abetting.

The aiding and abetting didn't arise out of the failure to act, either. The Indonesian genocidal military has been provided with more than $1 billion worth of equipment and training of its troops since its occupation of East Timor. Aiding and abetting. And again, with the usual media complicity.

So, when one points to the 5,000 Kurds gassed by Saddam Hussein, one might also point to the tens of thousands killed by the Turks since then. That is, one might mention it if Turkey weren't our allies. And the media might mention it, if they didn't replicate the propaganda of the U.S. government. And when one points to Iraq's military horrors, one might also mention the millions killed in conflicts around the world without U.S. intervention, or, worse, as the result of U.S. sponsorship and assistance. One might mention it, but one finds that it hasn't been brought to our attention by the media responsible for doing so. Aiding and abetting.

This way in which the propaganda model does it work turns out to be a useful way of understanding representations of world politics, doesn't it? I think its rather simple theoretical structure, together with the horrific excess of examples to support it (in Manufacturing Consent, Jesus in an Age of Terror, etc) make it worth a little more than a passing pooh-pooh. But maybe I'm just being politically correct.

Bob MacDonald

Richard Beck has a series on sorting here

Which of you is shouting the loudest?

BTW - my son-in-law wrote his dissertation on Chomsky and the man himself said it was the best he had read on the history of transformational generative grammars.

I find it difficult to support N.T. Wrong (cause I have no idea who he is) - but John - you are not able to justify Bush's and Blair's WMD's by my forgetfulness. Iraq was and is a disaster. It is not a nuanced model for governance of a complex international world.

JohnFH

N.T.,

I think you will find Ellul's work on propaganda of great interest. It would be valuable to make some detailed comparisons between his work on the subject and that of Chomsky.

Ellul was just as outspoken on specific issues as Chomsky has been. Much of that is chronicled in a French journal entitled Foe et Vie. I don't have it in my own library. It would be instructive to compare how Ellul and Chomsky, both committed to a version of anarchism, both convinced of the absolute importance of propaganda in shaping modern public opinion, nonetheless came down on different sides on a whole host of geopolitical questions.

But you don't have to wait for me to tease out commonalities and disagreements. A great deal of Ellul's output is available in English translation. Excellent places to start include: The Technological Society; Propaganda; The Betrayal of the West. Its biblical commentary is also fascinating. His Politics of God and Politics of Man remains an excellent read; also, the Meaning of the City; and his commentary on the Apocalypse of John.

For the rest, precisely insofar as I am a US citizen, I am appalled by many past and present acts of the US government, sins of commission and sins of omission. For example, the history of US and Australian engagement in Indonesia, East Timor, etc., has a few bright spots - none of which you thought worthy of mention - but is, without a doubt, a catastrophic tale. The only people who have hurt the Indonesians more than Americans are fellow Indonesians.

At the same time, the alternative Chomsky offers, that of cozying up to the butchers of North Vietnam or of Gaza, is a cure worse than the disease. In his book, The Betrayal of the West, Ellul deals with this kind of nonsense. Of course, so have many, many others.

Bob,

There are not many bright spots in the history of British and US involvement, not only in Iraq, but in the Middle East generally. You can be sure, however, that Bush and Blair will fare much better than Saddam Hussein in the annals of Kurdish and Shia history. Historically, those were the alternatives. A third way exists only in the pipedreams of Osama bin Laden. Perhaps I am oversimplifying, but it is not clear to me that I really am.

War will never look like a nuanced model of anything, not even chaos. But you might consider these words of Michael Walzer (who has also written incisively on the Bible):

"The most successful interventions in the last 30 years have been acts of war by neighboring states: Vietnam in Cambodia, India in East Pakistan (now Bangla Desh), Tanzania in Uganda. These are useful examples for testing our ideas about intervention because they don't involve extraneous issues like the new (or old) world order; they don't require us to consult Lenin's, or any other, theory of imperialism. In each of these cases, there were horrifying acts that should have been stopped and agents who succeeded, more or less, in stopping them. So let's use these cases to address the two questions most commonly posed by critics of the Kosovo war: Does it matter that the agents acted alone? Does it matter that their motives were not wholly (or even chiefly) altruistic?"

You see my point? The Kosovo war does not exemplify a nuanced model for governance of a complex international world either.

Yet the only political party I've ever actually belonged to, the Italian Communist Party (to be precise, the successor party thereto), supported the US-led bombing of Serbia. That's because, in the real world, Isa 2:1-5 remains a distant horizon.

N. T. Wrong

But you don't have to wait for me to tease out commonalities and disagreements...
- John

But I do - I do have to wait for you to explain why you cited Ellul against Chomsky. Why? Because only you can give me a reason to defend your claim that Chomsky's analysis is poor in comparison to Ellul's. All I've got from this part of the exchange is an assertion and names of answers that lie in books somewhere. Did you have a reason? Can't you state it? Was there substance to your claim? Or was your comparison with Ellul merely a device to pooh-pooh Chomsky? I really can't tell. About 9/10ths of your posts have been substanceless, and as a Sachkritic I am a discerning critic of the lack of substance.

the alternative Chomsky offers, that of cozying up to the butchers of North Vietnam or of Gaza, is a cure worse than the disease
- John

Your phrase "cozying up to butchers" is high on rhetoric, but again low on substance. If we take out the empty rhetoric about "butchers", you seem to be repeating your claim that American and American-backed imperalistic invasions of Vietnam and Palestine were better than the alternatives. What were those alternatives? The rule of Vietnam by... Vietnamese, and the rule of Palestine by... Palestinians. And what was the 'better' result of American imperialism? The deaths of millions of Vietnamese at the hands of U.S. soldiers, not to mention the widespread destruction of the farmland and countryside. And Palestine? It was eliminated, except for a little box or two for Palestinians to 'live' within.

It seems that there is a large amount of butchery that was carried out as the result of American imperialism. Funnily enough, the massacres were all carried out in American-controlled 'South Vietnam' (largely on the ones the U.S. were 'defending', who didn't much like being 'defended') and Palestine, invaded by Israelis (after forcing the majority of the land to be given to a minority 6% of the population).

But maybe there is a case to be made for American and Israeli troops killing and raping the locals. I'm all for hearing it. How would things have been worse off than what happened in the 'good' imperialistic wars? Fill me in.

Jordan Wilson

What’s Wrong with N. T. Wrong’s Anti-Imperialism? How about starting with the Imperialist are the ones protecting his freedom to cowardly blog under a pseudonym. I’m sure though he would be more courageous if he were living under a dictatorship led by Kim Jong Il, King Fahd, or Lukashenko. Then he’d probably blog under his true name and tell us what he really thinks.

JohnFH

Hey N.T.,

You are turning out to be stereotypical in your leftist views. To be honest, I expected better.

Are you really that ignorant about Uncle Ho? A jolly old fellow in your book, it would seem. Never hurt a flea. Like Chomsky, I can only assume at this point that you once, and perhaps still do, believe in the gospel according to Le Duan.

Your take on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is no less one-sided. Like Chomsky, I can only assume at this point that you are a de facto supporter of Hezbollah and Hamas.

If only your positions lacked substance. If only.

Instead, they are chock full of the worst substance imaginable. The leaders who get a free pass from you make the leaders of the United States and Israel look rather good by comparison. It is this simple, unassailable fact that you seem unable to fathom.

You fool yourself if you think that Americans, when choosing sides between Hezbollah, Hamas, and the PA on the one hand, and Israel, Egypt, and Jordan on the other, they choose the latter on the basis of manufactured consent alone. One read through the Hamas charter is enough to convince most people who they will never ever support. I've blogged about the Charter before. Perhaps I need to again.

For the rest, I am happy to give you a first orientation to Ellul. In the end of course, you will have to read Ellul for yourself to understand all the reasons why his analysis of propaganda is far superior to that of Chomsky. All I can do here is whet your appetite.

First of all, Ellul's data-set crosses ideological boundaries in a way that Chomsky, who obsesses about propaganda as practiced by one side, does not match. Ellul's focus in his classic treatise is on National Socialist, Maoist, Soviet and US cold war propaganda. In Foi et Vie and elsewhere, he went on to identify examples of the use of propaganda by darlings of the Left as well as darlings of the Right. I don't remember hearing, reading, or seeing Chomsky in the role of an equal opportunity offender in this sense. For this reason alone, Chomsky's work is vastly inferior.

In the words of a fellow blogger (Nathaniel): The answer to the question, "What type of propaganda do you analyze?" should be, "All types of propaganda." Anything other than this answer and one can be sure that he's slipped knowingly or blindly into the realm of a Propagandist.

Simply put, Chomsky is a Propagandist himself.

Secondly, Ellul is clear that propaganda is dehumanizing, necessary, and inevitable at the same time.

This is the kind of almost amoral clarity that is not that unusual in a Calvinist. It is lacking in Chomsky. Chomsky is in fact a starry-eyed dreamer of sorts, a Zionist of the old school. It's charming in a way. But it does not make for precise analysis.

Just getting started here. If you want more, I'm happy to oblige.

JohnFH

Jordan,

I don't agree. Monsieur Wrong is welcome to comment under a pseudonym, to self-destruct at will, and to disassociate himself from his own person. It suits his political views, when all is said and done. He is being consistent. I wouldn't want it any other way.

N. T. Wrong

What made you think I would support one murdering government or another? I have disdain for them all. But what I asked was whether you thought that the U.S. murdering millions of people was better than the Vietnamese and Palestinian governments' murders. I just wondered how you'd make the case for a comparison. You seem to think that the U.S. Empire provides a better world than the alternative. I'm interested in seeing a defence of that idea. Particularly because I was surprised to find that the U.S. had Vietnamese or Palestinian interests in mind at all. To accuse me of supporting the alternative is just more silly rhetoric.

And these things didn't happen in a vacuum. Vietnamese and Palestinian military governments evolved in reaction to French and American-Israeli colonialism. It's all a tangled web. Do we blame the obvious violent results the most, or do we blame the less explicit violent causes primarily? Do we blame the ones at the bottom of the chain of violence, or the one at the top? There might be a reason that Chomsky has to point out the violence which gets occluded by the hegemon, but not the violence that gets spotlighted: because of its very occlusion. And he also points out the dynamics by which this occlusion occurs. That's where the critical gap is, so that's why he seeks to fill it.

JohnFH

NT,

I have many of the same questions you do. I don't pretend to have all the answers. The answers I have may remain unstated for the time being - the structure of the answers, if not the specific substance, can already be found in Ferguson, Gaddes, and Mead. In another way, in authors like Mazower and Walzer. Your questions are real and deserve to stand.

"What made you think I would support one murdering government or another? I have disdain for them all."

Your pattern of exemplification makes anyone who doesn't share your pet peeves think that. It's the main reason Chomsky's approach is tractionless as well.

For the rest, I think that your justification of the violence of the ones at the bottom of the chain of violence is a fundamentally racist, classist position whose chief victims are precisely those at the bottom of the chain.

Please don't take the comment personally. I may be wrong on the matter. It is however, what I passionately believe.

It's as if Romans 13 is not totally off-base. A hard-sell, I know. I was touched by Ernst Kasemann's public disavowal of Romans 13 as I imagine you were. Given what was done to his daughter, the disavowal makes perfect existential sense and I would never criticize him for it. Still, it's only one piece in the puzzle.

Phil Sumpter

John said:
>The most vital form of biblical criticism has always been Sachkritik, that is, straightforward engagement, disagreement not excluded, with the substance of a biblical text.

The word Sachkritik and its emphasis on substance has become so central to me over the past couple of years, yet, apart from Childs, I've not come accross anyone who uses it. So thanks, you made may day!

N. T. Wrong

...your justification of the violence of the ones at the bottom of the chain of violence...
- John Hobbins

I have provided no "justification." You confuse my descriptive and pragmatic mode of discourse with a prescriptive mode. To explain more fully is not "to justify" - it is to identify reasons and explanations which have so far been overlooked, occluded, suppressed. No objective violence happens without a complex array of causes: material, political, individually willed perhaps, maybe even chance. The reduction of explanations always tends to privilege one of these explanations over the others. And that's what mut be continually be opposed -- by a critic. Explanations are always beyond us, always demanding more complexity. To simply blame Palestinians for violence is always insufficient. To not blame them at all is simply wrong. What about the fact that they have been given no proper life, locked up in a box? What about the history of Israeli, American, and British and French colonialism in the region and its impact, etc, etc. To point out this complexity is not to "support butchery" or to "justify", but to attempt to understand some more. Thing are never as simple as 'You are either for us or against us', a saying repeated by the butchers Bush and bin Laden in October 2001. The night is far gone.

JohnFH

And the day is near. How much I desire to believe that. Thanks for the conversation, N.T.

I think you expose yourself rather often, though not as blatantly as Chomsky, to the accusation that you must be a supporter of Hezbollah and Hamas. I appreciate your disclaimers to the effect that you are not.

It might be instructive to have further dialogue on these issues online, among biblical bloggers, with a wide variety of positions represented.

scott gray

john—

do you know about the computer game ‘civilization 3?’ each player, whether a real person or computer generated, is in control of a civilization that begins on a giant map with a single settler and a worker/farmer. at the beginning of the game, the scramble is to settle on good land, build explorers, more settlers (for more cities), and simple military units. as the game progresses, you meet explorers from other civilizations, develop science, find resources (like iron and gems and grapes), develop roads (for movement and trade), and gradually fill up all available land.

there are several ways to ‘win.’ in the advanced civilizations, if you play long enough, you can win with a space race victory (first civilization to build all the components of a space station win), a ‘wonders’ victory (person who builds the most ‘wonders’ wins), a cultural victory (person with the most ‘cultured influence’ in the world wins), or a diplomatic victory (player popularly elected as the head of the united nations wins).

but by far, the most straightforward way to win is a domination victory.

in a domination victory, whoever holds two thirds of the dirt, and two thirds of the world population, wins the game. and the methods for getting there are pretty clear and direct: using (primarily) military coercion, take as much land, as many cities, and as many resources away from the other civilizations of the world as you can. so one’s industry, one’s science, and one’s diplomatic connections are all geared toward military and geographic domination.

if you are one of the smaller civilizations on the map, your struggle to ‘win,’ or to just break even and keep from being gobbled up by another larger civilization, consumes all of your gaming efforts. you can’t build anything fast enough, because others have better industry and more access to resources than you do. you can’t develop science fast enough, because others have greater research resources. you can’t keep your population happy with amenities (luxuries), because you can’t convince other civilizations to trade with you—you have little to offer. and so you form frustrating, shaky, uncertain, unhealthy alliances, filled with ethical compromise, then steal science when you can, sow dissent between nations as opportunity presents itself, all just to stay in the game.

a situation that comes up often: you are a small civilization, wedged between two much larger ones on your east and west. like ancient israel between assyria and egypt, for instance. even farther to the east is another large civilization. say, persia. these three civilizations are constantly at war with each other for domination, and you are right smack in the middle. troops from each of these three civilizations are constantly moving through your civilization, and there is little you can do about it. if you challenge them, you will be eaten whole by the hordes of foreign troops. they clog your farmland and your roads. often, battles between these civilizations are fought on your sacred soil.

sooner or later, one of them will demand that you enter a military alliance against one of the other civilizations. if you refuse, you will be consumed. if you agree, you will suffer soil, resource, productivity, and military losses. what’s a(n ethical) leader to do?

or you see troops from persia amassing on your eastern border with assyria. are they just passing through on their way to thump egypt, or are you the target of this military build up? if you ask them to leave, you will become the target, that’s for sure. so what’s a(n ethical) leader to do? protective alliance with assyria? alliance and rights of passage of troops with egypt against persia? alliance with persia against assyria, to tie up the persian troops? let them pass through and hope you aren’t at risk?

ask god for protection and hope he will oblige?

and through all of this, what is one to make of a deep, deep desire on your part, no matter how unethical, filled with relief and schadenfreude, to have the big boys warring with each other, especially to a military standstill, and leaving you alone?

so i make several observations about the ancient israel situation, and the leadership choices, and the god centered worldview piece:

god need not be part of this dynamic. algorithms, based on survival and domination, will do. although one can see where an understanding of god’s hand in protecting israel through natural disaster, plague, famine, and domination scraps between the big players on the board would develop in the ancient israel worldview.

ethics, in the wake of survival as a civilization, becomes a struggle between principle and pragmatics. justification for one’s unethical pragmatic behavior becomes an interesting civilization identity in a world where the only victory available is a domination victory. a defensive emic identity, as it were. which in the long run, leads to an unethical god and an unethical civilization underpinning (god says i’m entitled to this chunk of land, for example), when the victory conditions finally do shift to something other than a domination victory.

and sooner or later, the algorithm says, one of the big boys will take your land away from you entirely. then you have ‘lost’ the domination game. unless you can delay it or prevent it, in whatever fashion possible, long enough to change the victory conditions to something other than domination. so that in order to ‘survive’ as a civilization, you have to come up with a civilization underpinning, a way of defining and identifying ones self, a way of ‘winning,’ rooted in something other than a domination victory.

the dismay i feel with the palestinian/israeli conflict, with the reverence for the hebrew scriptures as a source of authority and justification for unethical behavior, is that we just can’t get past, in any real way, the underpinnings that a domination victory is the only way to ‘win’ the game of civilization. this is, i think, one of the insidious dangers of viewing these texts as a source of ethical underpinning for contemporary global living and interaction—because victory is perceived in these texts in a domination victory paradigm, we are led to find domination victory ‘wins’ in contemporary application of these texts and principles, instead of some other kind of victory conditions.

here’s an example. in a simplistic way, the palestinian/israeli conflict is about land and resources. israelis look west, and imagine the land as theirs, without the people on it. palestinians look east, and imagine the land as theirs, without the people on it. only a zero-sum domination victory is possible with such a worldview.

if a diplomatic victory were the perception of ‘win,’ influential leaders on each side would look for influential leaders on the other side, and emphasis would be on win-win negotiation in something other than a zero-sum game. no one seems to be seriously doing this.

if a cultural victory were the perception of ‘win,’ science, industry, ideas, and prosperity would be shared, unilaterally given away if need be. no one seems to be doing this, either.

sadly, i see a zero-sum, dominance victory worldview at work. and the hebrew texts seem only to encourage this dominance victory worldview.

peace—

scott

JohnFH

Hi Scott,

Thanks for a very thoughtful comment. A few random observations.

It's not likely that people are going to leave God out of the equation. For believers (Jewish, Christian, Muslim, whatever), God functions as a postulate according to which justice, though lacking on the ground, exists on another, metaphysical plane, an ideal the truth of which is of greater value than life itself. That same postulate is also the arbiter of justice, such that Isaiah 2:2-5, for example, if it were fully rather than only very partially realized, would bring peace on earth.

Most people are believers in some shape or fashion. So are you, or you would be happy with the domination victory set-up. You are not happy, which demonstrates that you, too, have a metaphysics.

The Bible, as I have been showing in my series on Habakkuk, contains a strong dose of anti-domination victory theopolitical rhetoric. But it also sees imperialism as neither an unadulterated evil, nor an unadulterated good. It also holds apparently contradictory positions in tension, such as Romans 13 and Revelation 13.

Finally, I would point out that your demythologization project is not only self-contradictory (you have your own ideological metanarrative you accept on faith), but stands no chance of carrying the day.

Call it what you will, a form a sociobiological adaptation to a harsh environment, but whenever in the modern era the demon of Judaism or Christianity has been cast out, seven other demons have taken up residence (for example, a version of Fascism or Marxism-Leninism). Historically, those are the options.

Out of innate conservatism if nothing else, I prefer the devil I know to the devil I don't know (actually, I even know a little about the other devils).

Dead Man Walking 2

Reading this post and the following comments was a very interesting experience for me as I lack the vast majority of the background knowledge relating to the scholars that were cited and used to back up different opinions. I did however form my own opinion on the different post. I found that I agreed with John threw out, not because I am taking his class, but rather his points just made since and seemingly had a factual background. Let me be clear though, that is not to say that Mr. Wrong didn’t raise some interesting points, but I hate to break to you what my kid brother knows, but life isn’t black and white like you seem to think it is. I’m so very glad that you think it is. Naivety like yours is what keeps people uninformed and thinking everything that the big bad American government does is wrong. I know that the world is really a lot of shades of grey and there never is really a ‘right’ answer to anything. This isn’t to say that the US government has always been right in every situation. I would be very naïve to say that was the case, but some of the examples you cite I believe that there is much more to the story than the simple version that you put forth. I would echo John’s statement that if you don’t agree with what the US government does so whole heartedly you are free to move anywhere. You can say what you do because you live here and you should be happy for that. Finally though I will pull this back to a Biblical discussion, while I am not the most religious person ever I do think that Romans 13 is a good book to cite because depending on how you read it or understand it one can use it to support both view points. I read it as saying that a servant of god should step in and defeat a wrongdoer, but I could also read it as those who do wrong will incur judgment which could be taken as the fact that god will give them their judgment upon death. Both of these interpretations I feel work and could support a whole manner of viewpoints.

The Truman Show 5

This is an interesting blog post, well to me at least, and that's probably because I lack most of the information pertaining to this argument. But I found myself going back and forth with whom I agreed with. I'll be clear and say that do not favor eithers opinion over the other. But all governments at some point in their existence do things that most people would find hard to believe. Examples, the US in Vietnam, Cambodia's Khmer Rouge, etc. etc. But the fact is that they do what God would do. And that's none of the things mentioned above. If people lived a holy lifestyle this discussion wouldn't even be taking place. Change the way you live your lives and you'll find that problems rarely ever follow.

Dead Man Walking 2

In talking about war and peace and what the Bible says we should do in either case, it seems to me that the war in Iraq is justifiable in some way. If you think about it, Saddam was an oppressive leader and dictator. The country of Iraq was under his power for far to long. He was a very mean person to the people of his nation. He used chemical weapons, torture, and just plain simply ruined the moral of his people. To me it seems that this is something that God would not want to happen. America could be looked as a savior of the Iraqi people. We came in and liberated that people of Iraq and we are trying to make it a better place to live.

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    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.