Some draw an analogy between Bible translation and simultaneous translation. I resist the analogy. The translation of classics like Homer, the Bible, Vergil, and Dante is subject to a different set of constraints than the translation of texts fit for simultaneous translation. I was reminded of this yesterday since the girls of the house were preparing for Anna’s dance recital and Betta’s pictures before prom. In a conversation we had, the salience of metaphor smacked me in the face.
Some people take the God of Jews and Christians to task because the world he is said to sustain runs over, like a river in flood, with acts of aggression. Why doesn’t God do something about it, since he can? The question comes up often in the Bible. It is a question that believers pose, if in fact they are believers. Jews and Christians know this, if they have read the Torah, the Psalms, the Prophets, and the books of Job and Qohelet.
It is not a question non-believers necessarily pose, unless they want to aggravate believers. Ayn Rand atheists in particular are convinced that God does not care, and neither should they. Live and let die.
An ethically responsible way of approaching the question of God’s justice is to turn the question against ourselves. For example, why don’t we do something about human trafficking, since we can?
As Daniel Bodi put it, “if one can show how insights gained from the study of newly discovered ancient Near Eastern texts have been anticipated by medieval rabbis who did not have access to these buried ancient Semitic documents, then the probability that one’s interpretation is plausible may be increased.”1 The principle goes back to Moshe Held, a scholar and teacher who was a competent reader of a wide range of texts spanning millennia in numerous languages including Akkadian and Hebrew.
The biblical blogosphere is abuzz with comment in the wake of the recent Khirbet Qeiyafa press conference (go here for the press release). Two facts are indisputable. (1) Khirbet Qeiyafa continues to produce finds of exceptional interest that threaten closely held theories and scholarly commonplaces. (2) In a first blast of scholarly output which resembles a case of Montezuma’s revenge, the finds at Khirbet Qeiyafa are engendering new hypotheses and new scholarly reconstructions that are even less grounded than the ones they threaten. The comments online of greatest interest so far are those of Todd Bolen, George Athas, Victor Avigdor Hurowitz, and the joint reflections of Seth Sanders, Matthew Suriano and Jacqueline Vayntrub. Below the fold, an analytical roundup.
Are you looking for ways to hone your skills in biblical Hebrew? One of the best ways to do that is to read texts written in the Hebrew of the talmudim, midrashim, piyyut, and miqraot gedolot, and the Hebrew of medieval and modern poets like Dunash ben Labrat, Bialik, and Amichai. Sages, scholars, and poets draw on the linguistic resources and fund of metaphors Hebrew offers them in the age they write. They often drink from the well of biblical Hebrew. Figuring out the biblical sources of the diction and concepts a later Hebrew author adopts is a great exercise.
Life is multidimensional. The online dimension is not or should not be the most important one, even if you have an ongoing commitment to maintaining a presence on the web. I am updating my community list of blogs. I include active and currently inactive blogs that have content worth pondering. In the process of adding my favorite Unitarian Universalist blogger to the list, I ran across this delightful quote.
Ancient Hebrew Grammar informed comment by Robert Holmstedt, Associate Professor, Ancient Hebrew and Northwest Semitic Languages, Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, University of Toronto, and John Cook, Associate Professor of Old Testament, Asbury Theological Seminary (Wilmore KY)
Antiquitopia one of the best blogs out there, by Jared Calaway, assistant professor in the Department of Religion at Illinois Wesleyan University.
Awilum Insightful commentary on the Bible and the Ancient Near East, by Charles Halton
AWOL - The Ancient World Online notice and comment on open access material relating to the ancient world, by Charles Jones of the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University
Balshanut top-notch Biblical Hebrew and Semitics blog by Peter Bekins, Ph. D. student, Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati OH, faculty member, Wright State University (archive)
Believing is Knowing Comments on things like prophecy, predestination, and reward and punishment from an orthodox Jewish perspective, by David Guttmann
Ben Byerly's Blog 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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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 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
Ancient Hebrew Poetry is a weblog of John F. Hobbins. Opinions expressed herein do not reflect those of his
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