SEARCH THIS SITE

Bible Reference Index

Diglot Editions

Dunash ben Labrat

Ali Ahmad Said

Verbal System of Ancient Hebrew

The Bible as seen through the eyes of . . .

« On Reading and Hearing Papers at SBL-Rome 2009 | Main | A Tense-Prominent Analysis of Biblical Hebrew Qatal (Continued) »

Comments

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

David Reimer

Interesting article! I'm glad you flagged it up, as Linguistics isn't in my normal round of journal reading/browsing!

It makes me think again that the real problem is a descriptive one, isn't it? That is, we can agree on translations/glosses pretty quickly. Agreeing the reasons for those trans/glosses is a different matter.

Banal observation: the interaction of morphology and semantics can be complex, and I suppose this is what the "functional" part is intended to bring to the table (cf. the Josh 2:9 example above).

A stimulating read (I'm so thankful for electronic journals!), and it makes me wonder what impact Steve Dempster's PhD might have had if it had been published back in the day ("Linguistic features of Hebrew narrative: a discourse analysis of narrative from the classical period", U of Toronto, 1985; supervisor E.J. Revell).

JohnFH

Hi David,

I'm glad you found the article interesting. I'll keep working on a summary and marginal notes thereto.

danielandtonya

John,

Finally sat down at read your reviews. Thanks for them. I'll search Stellenbosch's library for the article... we'll see.

A few thoughts

1. I really like the detail in 'occurrence' or 'state'. I always equated the ability to take a DO with action verbs and zero valency with statives. In light of this, that mere grammatical description is not good enough.

2. I don't understand how you bring 'topic' or 'topicalization' into the mix. Aren't verbal phrases (except substantive ptcps) always going to be the focus of some topic? It sounds like you're saying a qatal can be a topic, but that can't be right so I must be reading wrong. A qatal can topicalize? Can you explain further please

3. The paper (or your summary of it) seems to attempt explaining narrative, but your examples are all from Psalms. Why?

D

danielandtonya

And the same psalm at that!

JohnFH

Hi Daniel,

I sent you the article. I hope you got it.

My examples from Psalm 119 serve a purpose. Scroll up to the subsequent installments of my review. I treat many of Anstey's examples, drawn mostly from narration and narrative.

JohnFH

As far as discourse analysis is concerned, I don't bring it into the mix, except to agree with Anstey that qatal is found at the onset and conclusion of discourse units dominated by wayyiqtols, and that it is found alongside of wayyiqtols for the purpose of topicalizing and/or focus.

Nathan

On what basis do you describe the relative past tense as emic for qatal of Biblical Hebrew?

JohnFH

Hi Nathan,

I see the qatal as emic relative past tense in two senses.

(1) The vast majority of examples of qatal in ancient Hebrew are easily understood as such. To build a little on what Anstey says, "Past is clearly the [natural] default interpretation in narrative and reported speech," I would add, "relative past is the natural default interpretation of qatal in standard non-matrix clauses" as well.

My standard for naturalness is the degree to which, for example, relative past tense or anteriority is the natural default interpretation of the simple past (preterit) and present perfect in English. True, if a tense-prominent analysis of the simple past and present perfect in English, to continue with the same example, does not seem natural to you, if does not seem to you that such an analysis respects the nature of the English TAM system, I'm sure you will not be convinced that a tense-prominent analysis of qatal in ancient Hebrew respects its nature.

(2) The native grammatical tradition of the Hebrew language offers a tense-prominent analysis of the verbal system. That analysis is no doubt incomplete, but to claim that the native tradition has it all backwards and then offer an aspect-prominent analysis (complete vs. incomplete; or perfective vs. imperfective) such that, in the end, ancient Hebrew is left with an AM system, not a TAM system (except perhaps a non-relative-past narrative wayyiqtol, but I would argue that wayyiqtol is also construable most naturally as a relative past tense), seems questionable at best.

Unless, of course, you have decided that TAM systems in general, cross-linguistically, are best understood as rarely marking tense, or marking tense only derivatively. That's fine: there are linguists that are dead-set on such analyses. For that reason, it is useless to expect people to ever agree about the correct analysis of the AH verbal system.

If I point out that a certain pattern of use of qatal is strictly analogous to a pattern of use of the simple past and present perfect in English, and am greeted with a reply to the effect that that is some sort of coincidence, that in any case, though we may continue to accept a tense-prominent analysis of English for precisely those patterns, we need to go with an aspect-prominent analysis of AH nonetheless, at least I am within my rights to ask what examples of qatal are there that make an aspect-prominent needful. I am completely open to changing my mind, but the needed examples so far have not been forthcoming.

If that is the case, then it seems to me that an aspect-prominent analysis of AH, however productive of insights, is an etic analysis, whereas a tense-prominent analysis, relatively speaking, is an emic analysis. Etic analyses attempt to map a system of oppositions in a given language onto to a system of oppositions which are a distillate, or abstraction, based on an understanding most often of another language or languages. At least, that's the way it seems to work in practice. If you think otherwise, please say so.

Nathan

Thanks for the reply. Keeping in mind that I am a non-specialist, let me make a few remarks.

Regarding 1: cannot the vast majority of qatals equally be interpreted as expressing perfective aspect, with time being supplied secondarily by context? The fact that either interpretation, relative past tense or perfective aspect, is equally plausible makes me want to look primarily at how the qatal functions in the verbal system as a whole, rather than how it seems natural to interpret it on its own. The right question would seem not to be what is the most natural interpretation (from the perspective of tense-prominent English speakers!) of qatals, but rather how the qatal fits into the verbal system as a whole. If qatal represents relative past tense, why in some cases does the author choose a yiqtol, apparently the "opposite" verbal form, to express action in the past (ex. yiqqaḥ in Exod 33:7; yitten in 1 sam 1:7)? To my mind, examples like this of the use of the yiqtol should condition how we describe the qatal.

Regarding 2: I am not that familiar with the native grammatical tradition of Biblical Hebrew. Does it arise prior to the medieval period? Since none of the medieval Hebrew grammarians was a native speaker of Classical Hebrew, I'm not sure I would call their description of the Classical Hebrew verbal system emic. I wouldn't want to exclude what they have to say, but I see no reason to privilege it over other etic descriptions.

JohnFH

Nathan,

Thanks for the conversation.

Regarding 1: I don't buy your statement of "equal plausibility." If an aspectual opposition were marked by the qatal-yiqtol pair, we would expect qatal for example to be used with future-referencing time indicators like maxar "tomorrow." But we don't find that. Just an example.

The only reason I began with English is because it's a language we have in common, and both know well. Another way to approach this is by comparison with a well-known aspect-heavy verbal system, such as Russian. Or perhaps you have some other standard of comparison, on the aspect-heavy side, that you prefer. Analogies of various kinds ought be evident. If they are not, in my opinion, the aspect theory is dead in the water. Basically you end up analyzing BH in a sort of vacuum.

Regarding 2: I think you woefully underestimate the degree of continuity between ancient Hebrew, rabbinic Hebrew, and medieval Hebrew.

It would be easy to broaden the discourse to include Arabic and the native Arabic grammatical tradition. There's always the possibility to close one's eyes to all of this. A similar approach is sometimes attempted with Sanskrit. I'm not sure the results are particularly convincing.

Nathan

Thanks again for the feedback. Perhaps I do underestimate the continuity between the verbal systems of the various stages of Hebrew. Still, as much continuity as there was, they were not native speakers of Classical Hebrew, right? Doesn't this make their description of its grammar etic by definition?

As for your response to my claim of "equal plausibility", it is definitely something to consider that maḥar never appears with qatal (a quick accordance scan shows it only used with yiqtol, wqatal, and participles). I suppose my resistance to the tense-prominent description arises more from observations of the other forms, such as the yiqtol examples I cited, which I find much easier to understand aspectually. Convinced of that, I see no difficulty in understanding qatal also as primarily marked for aspect, secondarily for tense by context, thus making a coherent binary aspectual system.

JohnFH

I would say this right off: the grammatical analyses of classical Hebrew and classical Arabic by medieval sages are the closest thing we have to emic analyses of the languages in question.

*How* close those are to being an emic analysis depends on how much distance there is between the TAM system of AH, that of post-AH, and the degree to which the medieval grammarians distinguished the two, in theory or in practice. In order to explore the possibilities in that sense, it is necessary to begin with working hypotheses. What I've discovered so far as I continue reading post-biblical Hebrew is that relative tense is a useful concept, with considerable explanatory power.

There are indeed a whole set of yiqtols capable of aspectual analysis. They don't pair oppositionally with qatal however, but with wayyiqtol. It's more complicated than that, but I throw that out as food for thought.

Furthermore, iterative yiqtols seem close to what are sometimes called weak modals in other languages - "would" in English for example. Since yiqtol in still other sets of usage appears to be a part of a larger, complex system of modals, it might be better to classify yiqtols that mark iterative aspect as marking a weak modal like "would" in English. Or maybe that's all splitting hairs.

In any case, yiqtol in general does not mark imperfective aspect with qatal as its oppositional pair marking perfective aspect, but future (more precisely nonpast) over against past.

I say that with confidence, because if a binary aspectual system were in place, one would expect to find plenty of perfectives with future time reference (as in Russian, an aspect-heavy language), and some "explicit play" or alternation based on aspectual distinctions with at least a few frequent idioms.

I don't see either. Maybe I'm not looking hard enough, but that's how things stand at the moment.

In short, I don't see a coherent binary aspectual system in AH. I see five principal finite verb forms: qatal, yiqtol, weqatal, wayyiqtol, and the predicative participle qotel. Plus there are haya periphrastic structures. I can make sense of the whole via a tense-prominent analysis. I don't see how an aspect-prominent analysis can make sense of the whole.

Nathan

Thanks again. My hang-up is still that if yiqtol is marked for future (nonpast), then why is it so often used to talk about the past (the examples I gave could be multiplied, as I'm sure you know)? I don't understand how pointing out that its usage sometimes corresponds to weak modals solves this problem. Either the yiqtol form is marked for tense or it isn't. If sometimes it is used in a past tense context in what you call a weak modal sense, isn't this good evidence that the yiqtol is not primarily marked for tense? Viewing the yiqtol form as marked for imperfective aspect can explain what you call the weak modal use, as well as its use in future time contexts, and its volitive use.

But, again, I have to admit I'm no linguist.

As for making sense of the whole, I'm not competent to make claims about the whole, but basically I see two aspects each marked by two forms. Perfectivity (viewing the event as complete) is marked by wayyiqtol and qatal; imperfectivity by yiqtol and wqatal.

JohnFH

Nathan,

Excellent conversation.

You sound like a discriminating linguist to me. Anyway, you can't get yourself off the hook by pleading incompetence, since the competent ones, those with the highest degree of linguistic training, differ among themselves on precisely these issues, no less than those who approach the language with less knowledge of secondary literature.

Perhaps I can defuse the discussion a bit by quoting a famous proponent of aspect prominent analyses, Osten Dahl:

QUOTE:

"There is a coupling between notional perfectivity and past time reference, and notional imperfectivity and present time reference." (Typology of Languages in Europe, p. 16).

My comment: which explains why people come down on these matters in different ways.

QUOTE:

"There seems to be a widespread view of tense and aspect as alternatives to each other - that languages tend to be either 'tense languages' or 'aspect languages.' . . . the data . . . provide no support for such a conclusion. In fact, there are considerably more languages in the sample that have both the aspectual and the temporal categories, or neither of the alternatives, than have one only." (Osten Dahl and Viveka Velupillai, "65-68. Tense and Aspect, p. 9).

Here's a kicker:

QUOTE:

"Since it generally is the past tense rather than the present that is overtly marked, we may speak of languages having or not having past marking rather than having a past/no-past distinction." (Osten Dahl and Viveka Velupillai, "65-68. Tense and Aspect, p. 10)

My comment: This is another way of saying that the predilection for aspect-prominent analysis in Dahl is driven by statistics (note his "generally"). That's not a strong argument. In any case, it falls flat in the case of Hebrew, since in Hebrew it is the present(-future), the yiqtol, that is overtly marked, whereas the qatal is zero-grade.

This is how I understand you. Whereas you are not bothered that yiqtol does not demonstrably mark an aspectual contrast, except insofar as there is a natural coupling of present-future and imperfectivity (you have already implied that the fact of coupling leads you to the conclusion of 'equal' plausibility), you are bothered that yiqtol, when it does not stand in opposition to qatal with which it is "usually" ( a canonical statement, not a statistical observation) paired in a binary contrast, but with wayyiqtol, marks a modality (as "would" does in English) / aspect (an imperfective) with past time reference.

The solution I know of from the literature, among those who offer tense-prominent analyses, is as follows (Joosten and Penner both, if I understand them correctly):

Yiqtol *isn't* a tense in the sense that qatal and wayyiqtol are. It marks modality essentially, but due to the coupling already noted, and/or grammaticalization, *also* functions as a NONPAST tense in binary opposition to the PAST tense qatal.

Statistically, this *also* function is more frequent than yiqtol's various modal uses, among which is a weak modal/aspectual usage restricted to past reference contexts.

That's complicated, but languages are complicated. Given that qatal, the ex hypothesi past tense, is the zero-grade form, it is not at all surprising that its primary marked counterpart, the yiqtol, comes close to being a jack-of-all-trades.

Like many languages, Hebrew simply doesn't have distinct inflectional forms for a lot of tense and aspect distinctions, unlike some other languages.

Nathan

Not sure if I'm following, but would you say the same for wqatal, that it is not a tense in the same sense as qatal and wayyiqtol, but secondarily comes to function as nonpast like the yiqtol?

If so, does this leave you with a language with only one real tense, past, marked by two forms, qatal and wayyiqtol, other tenses being indicated by essentially modal forms?

JohnFH

Of course, the essential / non-essential business is hotly contested. A lot depends on whether you are looking for a diachronic description or a purely synchronic description. I am only interested in the latter for ancient Hebrew, just as I am only interested in a synchronic description of the grammar of ancient Greek, Akkadian, Aramaic, modern English, German, Italian, all the other languages I read on a regular basis. Frankly, that keeps me occupied enough.

Diachronically, it may well be the case that AH is a language which developed one basic tense, the unmarked qatal, which originally was something else, to which was added, via grammaticalization, wayyiqtol, another past tense, along with two forms, yiqtol and weqatal, that function as tenses in a set of oppositions to qatal and wayyiqtol, but might be viewed more essentially as modals.

Forms understood by some contemporary grammarians as nonpast/(present-)future are viewed as modals by others; the latter is the (contested) trendsetter. I would argue that the trend replaces an old simplification (a tense-prominent analysis of the English "future," for example) with a new simplification.

Diachrony and trendiness aside, the language as we have it includes five basic forms which mark tense in specifiable contexts: qatal, wayyiqtol, yiqtol, weqatal, and qotel the predicative participle, plus periphrastic structures. Nevertheless all of these forms, in non-matrix clauses and elsewhere, have a variety of other functions. At least that is the way I see it, and I'm pretty sure I am not alone.

Of course, it's possible to raise the bar so high with respect to what it means that a form *marks* something that Hebrew ends up being a "tenseless" language, the conclusion of Galia Hatav, a generative grammarian.

BTW, Hatav's analyses are brilliant even if, as is my case, her generative framework is not accepted, or her tendency to see aspect under every high hill and leafy tree.

But in the aspect-prominent camp in Hebrew-land today, Hatav's degree of consistency in analysis is quite rare.

The most brilliant defender of an aspect-prominent analysis I'm aware of, John Cook, recognizes at least one tense in BH, the wayyiqtol, and seems well aware of the reasons why other Hebraists take qatal as a past tense, from a synchronic point of view and an eschatological point of view, in the sense that it becomes, more and more, just as qotel becomes, more and more, a present tense. Does it make sense to evaluate forms in terms of what they are becoming, not only in terms of what they come from? I'm convinced of this, but I am unaware of linguistic literature that makes the same point.

I don't know what Cook's opinion of a synchronic tense-prominent analysis of yiqtol might be. It's a question I have for Matthew Anstey, what is the best tense-prominent analysis of yiqtol available.

Some of Cook's best work shows how all or most of the forms, pragmatically speaking, have modal usages. For the rest, it often seems that scholars like to go back and forth with which came first, the chicken or the egg discussions. I'm not being quite fair to put it that way, but nonetheless.

Vince

Dear John,

I welcome Matthew Anstey's valuable contribution. Thanks for drawing our attention to it. It is always valuable to have other frameworks and analyses, especially specific analyses worked out concretely therein.

The paper raises points that should be thoroughly plumbed. I count three major points.

1. ARCHITECTURE OF GRAMMAR

As you know, John, I've been working intensively on the syntax-phonology interface (prosodic structure), and I find that only a parallel architecture will work here: specifically, the constraint-based Optimality Theory (OT).

Anstey emphasizes the importance of multi-tiered, simultaneous and parallel architecture vs derivational ["feed-through"]. Great.

I proposed such an approach in my doctoral work, DeCaen (1995): optimally simplified, streamlined modular grammars, crucially unprivileged, that interact at the grammatical interface, creating complexity and inherent “mismatches”.

I actually snuck in Sadock’s Autolexical Grammar (cf. Jackendoff on architecture) specifically in integrating Topicalization (movement to spec-IP) with an explicit Discourse module and syntax-discourse mapping.

This is much more explicit now in my work, now that I’m moving to an Optimality-theoretic (OT) approach to BH grammar: I can’t see any other architecture for an explanatory framework for prosodics (but I'd be happy to be introduced to some other approach that might work).

2. QUESTION OF DEFAULT

It should be emphasized that Anstey and I have the same approach at a very basic level.

For example, I assign the primitive [past] to qatal, and derive perfectivity, mood, etc. by a similar notion and mechanism of "default".

I can't help avoiding the conclusion that default for Anstey is a statistical frequency epiphenomenon; but in fact, if you read further, this is not the case when you look at his representations and mechanisms.

There is some overlap in approach and findings. Consider the case where the moment of speech can be uncontroversially fixed. In that case, we both predict "default" past tense readings for qatal for nonstatives.

Q3: HIGHLIGHTS CRUX OF STATIVE QTL: COMPOSITIONALITY

This will be a problem for any and all analyses, and for all (?) languages, as he emphasizes (including English): how to combine [past] with other semantic features.

Ultimately, it will have to be solved, I believe, within formal semantics as a problem in representation, underspecificity, defaulting and compositionality.

I assumed (DeCaen 1995) that this was not necessarily a problem, since the obvious difference in lexical aspect made such an explanation possible, and I cited examples from other languages. I did not work out a complete formal analysis for this specific case of statives, but it should be possible.

N.B.
On the discourse stuff, Heller, etc., he should probably add Brian Peckham's contribution, (1997)“Tense and Mood in Biblical Hebrew.” ZAH 10.2: 139-168. I remember it being relevant to transitions, etc.

Shalom,
V

Vince

Dear John,

Supplemental
(three notes while on lunch break, enjoying a turkey sandwich).

1. I place a huge premium on Chomskyan explanatory adequacy. It seems to me that no analysis of qatal can be adequate in this technical sense that does not make an explicit connection with the morphology, syntax and semantics of the so-called weqatal. It is odd to me that there is no real mention of this second form in the paper.

2. On a related note, I wrote a big IOU in my 1995 dissertation for the semantics of weqatal, which I analyzed as modal coordination (and made crosslinguistic connections, esp. in subsequent work). Crucially, [past] and [irrealis] must combine; and this is universally problematic, if you just glance at the theoretical literature on formal semantics. This forced me into a long detour into the semantics of coordination: just what does "and" mean? (I think I have an interesting song and dance that I can now make in this regard. More anon.)

3. My tentative analysis (1995) of statives and [past]:

(a) a stative is a STATE in lexical representation (e.g., "know", "big"):

---------

(b) a stative becomes a bounded PROCESS by combination with finite TENSE (e.g., "come to know", "become big"):

--o---o--

(c) the PROCESS becomes completed with the combination with PAST, implication: resulting in a new STATE (e.g., "have come to know" => "now know", "became big" => "big now")

(d) the natural interpretation of such representations in English is a nonprogressive present tense (e.g., "I know", "I am big"); cf. Greek and Latin, e.g., for similar forms and behaviour.

cheers!
V

JohnFH

Vince,

Thanks for your input here. I'm sure Matthew Anstey will enjoy reading your comments.

What is fascinating, but also to be expected, is that generativists come to very different conclusions about the BH verbal system. Galia Hatav, as I think I note above, offers an aspect- and modal-prominent analysis of BH and, if I'm not mistaken, modern English as well. In any case, she describes BH as a "tenseless language."

I follow your comments about the stative, and concur. What I don't understand are your reasons for understanding qatal as first of all a (relative?) tense, as opposed to a marker of aspect. I agree with the conclusion, and I can imagine how OT helps sort out of these issues, but at some point, you will help us all with an actual demonstration.

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

Technorati

Terms


  • 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.