Bible Reference Index

Diglot Editions

Dunash ben Labrat

Ali Ahmad Said

Verbal System of Ancient Hebrew

The Bible as seen through the eyes of . . .

« Why I Hate the KJV | Main | Psalm 35:1-3: Where KJV and Robert Alter miss the mark »


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


I have written a long and detailed rebuttal here. Because today is Bloomsday, I have put it in the context of Alter's analysis of Joyce.


That's a very nice rebuttal, Iyov. Especially because it isn't. You make the same point that I do.

For the rest, if you object to a specific translation from the Hebrew I have made, let's hear it. You've been reading my translations for quite some time now. Give me examples of what you accuse me of - robbing the text of "its shrieks." I will be happy to review my work.


Then, I think you did not read my post carefully, because we disagree. You think the NJB and NJPS (for example) are dandy translations of the Psalms, and I don't.

I have little doubt that you can find ways in which the KJV or Alter can be improved. I, myself, have a list. But the question is: which English translation taken as a whole surpasses them?

If you say -- "we must pick and choose -- a bit of this and a bit of that and a little tweak here and a rephrasing there" -- then I wonder how the non-Hebrew reader can be expected to perform this (except to resort to dice.)

Can you give a method short of retranslating the Hebrew of bettering the KJV and Alter?



you never mention NJB and NJPS in your post, nor do I in mine. You're changing the subject. But yes, I think it's obvious that NJPS and NJB contain many felicitous renderings. You're bothered, I suspect, by the to your mind - and my mind - unnecessary liberties NJPS and NJB take in translation. Sometimes, however, those liberties are defensible, and represent an improvement vis-a-vis KJV. On other occasions, as you aware, the translations of KJV and Alter simply get it wrong, as all translations sometimes do.

Your question is interesting:

Can you give a method short of retranslating the Hebrew of bettering the KJV and Alter?

If someone's Hebrew, at best, is in the prayerbook and in the dictionaries and grammars on the shelf, but not in one's bones, I think it is better just to admit: that someone will never really know what the Hebrew says, except in general terms.

In general terms, in order to grasp what the Hebrew says, a translation like KJV or Alter is one possible point of departure, though not necessarily any better than, say, NJPSV, NRSV, or NJB, or, for other reasons, ESV, (T)NIV, or HCSB - the latter three deviate from MT less frequently than the former three.

The NJPS Torah and Bible Commentary series - for example - are another point of departure. It also helps to read widely in cognate literatures of the ANE and within a defined history of interpretation, like Miqraot Gedolot. That's assuming - I know the assumption is correct in your case - one is interested in what the texts meant to say in origin and how they came to be understood within one or more traditions.


If this were the first time you had commented on the merits and demerits of various translations, then I suppose my comments would be out of place. But this is a long drumbeat on your part favoring translations (although, I must say, your favorite translations change from month-to-month). Indeed, only need look at your comments in your previous post.

But you are quite wrong about the reason I disagree with you (and do not hold the NJB and NJPS Psalms in esteem). And your misunderstanding of my position is why I think you did not read my post.

Let me put my position as simply as possible: Translations such as the NJB and NJPS are concerned almost entirely with what the Psalms mean -- as if that were the sole factor of importance.

Of course, meaning is important, but hardly the only important factor. Indeed, literature embraces factors such as: sounds, rhythm, intonation, originality of expression, stress, contrast, concision, memorability, and a dozen other factors. Indeed, the vocal aspects of these were so important that the Masoretes explicitly noted them in the text.

If I look at the evolution of your posts, from your introductory "How Ancient Hebrew Poetry Works" to this one, I see almost the complete retreat to the familiar and dull position of the Protestant focus on "meaning" -- as if the entire Bible were nothing more than a Pauline epistle, awaiting decoding and explanation.

And I must say that your lengthy recitation of study requirements reinforces my view that you are focused on "meaning" above all else.

When you see a beautiful sunset, do you turn to those around you and ask "what does this mean?"


Well. this is a fun conversation. Plenty of jostle. For tender souls who are not used to this kind of play, remember, Iyov and I care deeply for the subject matter at hand, and we know that of each other, so we can fence with abandon, and shake hands afterwards.

It's you, Iyov, that need to read more carefully. It was I who said in the body of the post that it is unfaithful to translate the Psalms such that ambiguity is tamed, metaphors and figures of speech replaced by straight-up propositional language, and poetry washed away.

Those are my words, and now you rebut them by saying the same thing in other language?

Your reformulation, furthermore, falls into rank error more than once. You are apparently not familiar enough with the diction of the Psalms to understand what sets it apart.

The sound orchestration of the poetry of the Psalms is remarkable - and is often overlooked - but is not as important as its "thought-rhyming." Does "thought" in poetry of all places move us into Protestant territory? So be it: the Psalms are Protestant then.

You think of poetry in modern terms, a la Roman Jakobson, as if it were lyrical in essence, as if it were first and foremost language that points to itself.

You are wrong to suggest that the Psalms are supposed to be taken in as one might take in a beautiful sunset. The poetry of the Psalms is rich, but it points beyond itself, to God in praise and prayer, to human predicaments, to the need for communion, justice, forgiveness, a horizon of hope.

"Originality of expression" is not a characteristic of the poetry of the Psalms. You are wrong to suggest that it is. As Alter notes in his introduction to his translation, which I suggest you read, the Psalms have little of this.

I have not retreated one step from the tradition of scholarship in which I embed my research. It goes back to Robert Lowth, who understood better than anyone before him that parallelismus membrorum is the hallmark of ancient Hebrew verse. His theory of ancient Hebrew poetry put him at the crossroads between classic and romantic conceptions, a more fruitful point of departure than your own, which is almost anti-intellectual in tone.

Lowth did not divorce content from form, or suggest that form is content, as you apparently do (and don't complain too much that I read you in this way: anyone who trots out the beautiful sunset analogy has it coming).

Instead, Lowth claimed that form and content match in ancient Hebrew poetry, precisely because of its sublime subject matter in which God looms large: prophecy, prayer, praise, and lament. This is too one-sided, I concede: there is also the poetry of proverbs, love-songs, and elegy in the Bible.

According to some modern poetry theory, poems just "are." I wouldn't deny that's true of some poems - which is why I don't read them. In any case, the poetry of the Psalms does not fit that category.

The poetry of the psalms is at the service of the divine-human dialogue in which powers of persuasion come almost violently to the fore. If persuasion is not central, a didactic purpose is evident. If a didactic purpose is not evident, there is still a call to praise. It is poetry which engages, which demands something of someone else, of the listener, and reflexively, of the one who prays and praises.

A sunset evokes awe and praise, but is not meant to persuade. It evokes. It does not invoke. You are making a category mistake.

Finally, your dismissal of the need to study is misplaced. Academia now overflows with people in language and literature departments who lack the basic skills once thought necessary to study the texts with profit. Yes, but they all know evil when they see it, and it's spelled GOP. I guess that's what counts. I love aesthetics, but everything in moderation. The cult of aesthetics in academia today, its true moral compass, has its pathological side. Sorry to be so blunt, it comes from having Israeli friends.

Many religious communities emphasize community above all else. Then they wonder why people think that if that is what it's about, there is always another community one might prefer, in which people really are all colors of the rainbow, in the right percentages, like a Coke commercial, and happy, young, hip, and carefree. I may seem off-topic, but I'm not. I wouldn't go so far as the Talmud in decrying human interest in all things bright and beautiful - to the neglect of the study of mitvos. But you go too far in the other direction.


Well, if you wish to hold the view "all things in moderation" which is what your many words seem to amount to, then you are inconsistent.

How can you praise a translation like this (NJB) [and I chose this literally at random -- opening up my NJB with my eyes closed (68:21-22, Hebrew numbering)]:

This God of ours is a God who saves;
From Lord **** comes escape from death;
but God smashes the heads of his enemies,
the long-haired skull of the prowling criminal

This translation is bad in English that it is self-parodying: Phyllis, I've had it with them darn tresspassin' hippies zombies. They're sneakin' around with their skeleton bodies and heads 'n' pullin' up all the turnips out of the garden, them vermin. I'm gonna go get my shotgun and blast me open some hippy zombie skulls.

And of course, the first two verses I quoted are highly Christianized in the NJB translation (and have a cheap, false, hollow sound in their NJB English rendition).

And baruch Hashem that I memorize the psalms in Hebrew, because that English is so poorly constructed that it requires a treble effort to commit it to memory. (Just try putting it to song!) No wonder in the UK, the Catholics are forbidden to use the JB or NJB psalms in their liturgy.

Compare Alter:

God is to us a rescuing God,
The LORD Master possesses the way out from death.
Yes, God will smash His enemies' heads,
the hairy pate of those who walk about in their guilt.

Now, Alter is not perfect, but he is not far from the mark either. The idiom is much recognizable as an idiom in his translation, and the meter in his translation is clear. The Hebrew parallelism (and how condescending of you to suggest I don't know that), largely hidden in the NJB, is made clear in Alter.

Now, I chose this passage at random. You want to defend the NJB? Do what I did, choose a verse at random. Then, if you dare, go ahead, but if you pursue it with vigor, we will think you are too deep in the academic gobbleygook and the bad writing that inflicts the humanities generally but Biblical studies particularly.

Now I chose this passage at random -- and if one does that (rather than pick the worst examples you can find) then a reasonable reader -- even if he knows no Hebrew -- will certainly agree with me.

But for the sake of your soul, I hope you pray the psalms in Hebrew, because that will please God. If you pray in English in a version so bad that it perverts the prayers, then the prayer is lost.


Bloomsday is over, so I've moved this discussion over to my blog.


There is a lot more to my previous comment than calling the comment of yours I respond to immoderate. It's not my fault, in any case, that you failed to mention parallelismus membrorum at the level of meaning in your list of things that relate to how ancient Hebrew poetry works. In short, it was your choice to compare reading the Psalms to watching a beautiful sunset, not mine.

I have no special brief for NJB, but here is my verse at random:

Have mercy on me, O God, in your faithful love,
in your great tenderness, wipe away my offences;
wash me clean from my guilt,
purify me from my sin.

Psalm 51:1-2 (Hebrew 51:3-4)

Alter has:

Grant me grace, God, as befits Your kindness,
with Your great mercy wipe away my crimes.
Thoroughly wash my transgressions away
and cleanse me from my offense.

In this instance, both NJB and Alter are excellent translations. If anything, NJB poetically is slightly better. Weak renderings in Alter: "grant me grace" (sounds churchy); foregrounded "Thoroughly" (Alter follows Hebrew word order somewhat slavishly; the effect is sometimes odd); "my trangressions" (plural against the original's singular; plus, "trangressions" is Latinate and on Alter's own priniciples, to be avoided). A strong rendering in Alter: "offense" rather than "sin." In a Christian context, however, one can certainly make a case for translating "sin."

For the sake of comparison, here is my translation:

Favor me, God, in your kindness,
in your great mercy
erase my crimes.
Wash me clean of my misdeed,
purify me of my offense.

Yes, Hebrew is a language I love to pray in. Alter, furthermore, is clear he did not think of his translation to be of liturgical importance. NJB is certainly not my first choice in worship either. KJV, on the other hand, was designed for use in worship, and it shows.

A translation of the Psalms that is suitable for Christian worship is NIV, I've noticed. More so, I think, than NRSV. I wouldn't be surprised to see NIV, perhaps even TNIV, approved for Roman Catholics once the deuterocanonicals are translated.


A translation of the Psalms that is suitable for Christian worship is NIV, I've noticed. More so, I think, than NRSV. I wouldn't be surprised to see NIV, perhaps even TNIV, approved for Roman Catholics once the deuterocanonicals are translated.

Well, I think you are blissfully ignorant of Catholic politics. You have to read Liturgiam Authenticam. Basic points:

(1) Only one ordinary liturgy is approved for a given area. (There can be different liturgy for different languages, Spanish, Latin, English, etc. -- but only one English liturgy for the US.)

(2) Imprimatur on Biblical translations are only granted now by National Conferences of Bishops (this is actually in the 1983 Canon Law). And no imprimaturs will be given without Catholic involvement. (Strictly speaking it is not an actual rule, but it is strongly recommended.)

(3) The NIV has a number of anti-Catholic renderings in the NT and so would require revision.

(4) There is no plan I have heard of to make a translations of the Deuterocanonicals for the NIV. And even if it happened with the TNIV (which seems mightily unlikely to me) it would be rejected for liturgical use because of inclusive language.

Note, for example, the Catholic NLT never received imprimatur.

So don't hold your breath.

As for your example, Alter is clearly better. True, "grace" is a problem. But just look at the patterns of stress and the syllable count -- Alter is tracking the Hebrew much more closely than the NJB. Moreover, the parallelism is strong in Alter:
kindness/mercy; wash/cleanse
while the NJB is weaker.

Your translation has a number of problems. First it has a five line scansion, which makes the parallelism harder to detect. Second the rhythm is bad. Third, "erase" is the wrong word for מחה -- sin is never erased -- it may be nullified or paid for, but the offense remains. The word "misdeed" is far too weak -- recall this Psalm is about Bathsheva. "Purify me of" has the wrong preposition -- it suggests rather than separating from sin, the sin will be of you and somehow will be purified together with you -- a completely different theological image.

So, it is a nice try, but I think your translation is a step backwards from both the NJB and Alter in this case. In any case, I would demand that you translate the whole Psalm, because we need to evaluate a translation at that level (we normally pray a complete Psalm) rather than just at the verse-by-verse level.

Finally, I want to point out that you are engaging in rhetorical dirty pool. I say something like "meaning is important, but it is not the only thing that is important" and you immediately interpret that as "meaning is not important." Similarly, I say "your study program reinforces a dull Protestant program" and you accuse me of abandoning all study. However, I will say that on a specturum -- you view Psalms as things that "mean something" and I think of praying Pslams as an activity that "does something" -- and that is a big reason we come to different conclusions. Which is to say I have a high opinion of prayer and the psalms, and believe that praying the psalms is a specific act of extraordinary piety.


By the way, I want to clear up several misconceptions.

I think the best translation of the Bible in the last century was Buber-Rosenzweig. However, this is not an English translation, so I do not discuss it much.

I think the best English Bible translator of our era is Everett Fox. He is, in my opinion, far, far superior to Alter. However, he has not translated Tehilim as far as I know.

Third, I think that there are a number of remarkable interpretive English versions of the Psalms by a wide variety of poets. Anthologies such as this one are fascinating, and I have learned a great deal from them. (I have about six volumes of this type.) They are, however, largely interpretive and not translations.

Fourth, I think that given the importance of chanting in both Jewish and traditional practice in both the Latin and Greek Churches, translations that lend themselves well to chant or song are to be praised especially. Thus, I find the western tradition of metrical psalters fascinating.

Fifth, I have yet to find an adequate commentary on the Psalms. Compared with the high quality of the best commentaries on other book of the Bible, the commentaries I see on the Psalms seem excessively speculative and lack a comprehensive view of the Psalms. The best modern commentaries I have seen are in Hebrew -- there is a real problem with the English commentaries I have seen.


The best modern commentary on Psalms is indeed in Hebrew, by Amos Hakham in the Da'at Miqra series (2 vols). Probably the best book of the DM series.

It was recently translated into English. To the best of my knowledge the only DM book that has been translated.

Peter Kirk

I guess the original post has been forgotten among all these comments, but I would like to clarify that I consider "GNB, TNIV, and NLT" far from perfect in their rendering of the psalms, especially to the extent that "Poetry is washed away." But I also see the serious problems with KJV and Alter, also with NJB and NRSV. I don't think there is an ideal translation of the Psalms. But surely it has to be a matter of horses for courses. Your course may be different from mine, and Iyov's is even more different, so not surprisingly we prefer different horses.



thanks for the tip. I'll have to order Hacham's commentary.


thanks for your detailed comments on the three translations of two verses of Psalm 51. More on those in a second.

As for your comment about permitted translations among RCs, I think it obscures reality. But I freely admit my knowledge of what happens in RC parishes is limited. What is the *one* translation of the Psalms used in England, the US, Canada, and so on? If you don't know the answer, I know who to ask.

As for your preference for Everett Fox's translation - similar in conception to that of Buber-Rosenzweig, not so much in execution - I concur with Alter's careful criticism of Fox's work in the introduction to his own translation of Genesis.

Besides questions of style, there are other reasons why Fox's translation is rarely recommended. Do I need to draw your attention to other substantive criticism of EF's translation? Apparently so, if it truly is your preferred English translation of the Torah of all things. Admittedly, scholarly criticism of Fox's translation is not easy to find: he has mostly been given the silent treatment, which may have misled you.

As for your jaundiced rejection of evangelical translations like (T)NIV, it is fair to say - unguarded statements you have made in the past confirm this - that it is determined by ideological considerations. I know you are capable of better, I believe you reviewed NASB once upon a time, and discovered it was quite a bit better than your prejudices - we all have them - would have led you to believe.

Gerald Hammond's brief essay on English Translations of the Bible in Alter and Kermode's The Literary Guide to the Bible remains the best short explanation of the strengths (not the weaknesses, which he overlooks) of KJV. Note, however, which modern translation comes off slightly better than the others, according to Hammond: the NIV!

Now, let us look at your specific comments on the three translations of the random verses I referred to:

(1) As for your example, Alter is clearly better. True, "grace" is a problem. But just look at the patterns of stress and the syllable count -- Alter is tracking the Hebrew much more closely than the NJB.

This comment of yours is easily falsifiable. As the great prosodist Eduard Sievers noted long ago, the rhythm of ancient Hebrew (poetry and prose, but especially poetry) at its most basic level is iambic-anapestic . Alter messes this up with "GRANT me GRACE, GOD" and "THORoughly wash." I have no issue with this in principle: I do similar things in these verses, but according to a pattern which I think you overlook. The stress clash Alter introduces with his "GRANT me GRACE, GOD" is an infelicity NJB nicely avoids with "Have MERcy on ME, o GOD." True, NJB, as do virtually all English translations, unnecessarily lengthens the source text on a regular basis. But note that Alter does this, too, precisely in this verse. Alter translates the paired, monosyllabic ke 'according to' with "as befits" / "with." NJB's "in / in," which I follow, is far more felicitous.

As far as your criticism of my translation, first of all, I simply want to thank you for interacting with it carefully, as Wayne Leman did at the time I posted it. I concur with you that my division into five parts makes the parallelism harder to track. Point taken. NJPSV avoids this by division into six parts. But that's a bit much. Your assertion that the rhythm of my translation is "bad" is unsupported; I would be interested in knowing why you say this. "Bad" in what sense?

You also refer to syllable count. According to a conventional counting method, the count in Hebrew per half pasuq is 10, 11; 10 (following the Ketiv), 9; according to my method, which I defend in my Lamentations research: 8, 9; 8, 7. The proportions in any case, which are more important than the exact count, remain the same. Alter has 10, 9; 10, 7. NJB has 12, 12; 6, 7. The second two-part line in both translations respect proportions less than one might wish. My translation has 8, 9; 7, 8, marginally better. However, I failed to make this evident because of the division into five subunits.

Your next comment:

Third, "erase" is the wrong word for מחה -- sin is never erased -- it may be nullified or paid for, but the offense remains.

With all due respect, this is a piece of legal sophistry. It may have a place in Torah discussion, but not in a translation of the Psalms. Even-Shoshan in his dictionary-concordance glosses the verb in question here with 'machaq.' Take it up with him.

Next comment:

The word "misdeed" is far too weak -- recall this Psalm is about Bathsheva.

Got me there. Point taken.

Your last comment:

"Purify me of" has the wrong preposition -- it suggests rather than separating from sin, the sin will be of you and somehow will be purified together with you -- a completely different theological image.

You misread the English, which surprises me. It's as if you are unaware of the ablative sense "of" has in idioms of this kind. Google "purify me/him/her of" if you do not believe me. Your desire to show me up got the better of you in this instance. But I appreciate the effort. I really do. I would now improve my rendering, based on your valid criticisms, as follows:

Favor me, God, in your kindness,
in your great mercy erase my
Wash me clean of my vile deed,
purify me of my offense.

I realize, of course, that this translation is not fit for confessional liturgical use. It was not designed to be. In that case, it makes sense to go back to traditional translation equivalents like "Have mercy on me" and "lovingkindness."

Since I'm aware of how you operate, Iyov - it works to my advantage, so I'm not asking you to change - I will nevertheless reproduce for you, for comparison's sake, translations of the relevant verses by James Kugel:

"Favor me, O God, with your love"
"And with your abundant mercy erase my sin" (Idea of Biblical Poetry, p. 201)

"Wash me clean of my misdeed, purify me of my sin" (Great Poems, p. 147).

As you might not be aware, I went over both Kugel and Alter's translations of part of Ps 51 very carefully in earlier posts. Sorry my text index is shoddy. I also translated all of Psalm 51. It is available in PDF form on this site, as listed in the text index.



I agree completely with your remarks. I will say that NIV Psalms is remarkably well done. To be sure, TNIV marks a step backward here and there. It can be hard to be "gender-inclusive" in decent English.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

Google Blogrolls

a community of bloggers

  • Abnormal Interests
    Intrepid forays into realia and texts of the Ancient Near East, by Duane Smith
  • After Existentialism, Light
    A thoughtful theology blog by Kevin Davis, an M. Div. student at University of North Carolina-Charlotte
  • AKMA's Random Thoughts
    by A. K. M. Adam, Lecturer in New Testament at the University of Glasgow
  • alternate readings
    C. Stirling Bartholomew's place
  • 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.
  • Anumma - Hebrew Bible and Higher Education
    by G. Brooke Lester, Assistant Professor in Hebrew Bible, and Director for Emerging Pedagogies, at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary (Evanston IL)
  • 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
  • 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)

Viewing Documents

  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
    To view the documents on this blog you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you do not have this, download it from the link above.
Blog powered by Typepad



  • 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.

    Creative Commons License

    Copyright © 2005 by John F Hobbins.