Bible Reference Index

Diglot Editions

Dunash ben Labrat

Ali Ahmad Said

Verbal System of Ancient Hebrew

The Bible as seen through the eyes of . . .

« James Kugel on the history of antipathy to modern biblical scholarship among Catholics and Orthodox Jews | Main | Notes en marge to a post by Doug Chaplin »


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

terri the risk of being labeled "phoney baloney", a true insult considering that I hate real baloney, I will comment.

I don't make the distinction in the way that you do with the "flower power" hippie version of the New Testament...and see that as a sterotype, not at all what I was getting at in my previous comments.

The title--" A Unitive Reading of Scripture" perhaps highlights why it seems we're talking past each other. While I would say that there are overarching themes in Scripture and definite trajectories laid out, I'm not thinking from a perspective of trying to "unify" everything. I don't see how all of Scripture can be unified. In fact, I think if all of the prophets/apostles/patriarchs lived at the same times and were gathered in a large hall....a fistfight would break out in about 20 minutes. These were passionate, emotive people and I can't help but think of Paul and Peter who had trouble getting along and then multiplying that by a factor of 100.

So...each prophet/author gives their particular insights into God and righteousness, none of which, by themselves, is exhaustive.

I don't dispute the fact that all people on either side of Jesus are imperfect people who make some very bad choices. I don't think I ever said otherwise.

since when is Scripture actually Scripture if the intentions of the human author alone are considered?

If your point is that God divinely guided the author to include things he was unaware of, which I think is what you're saying, then its a conversation ender in some ways. If that 's true, then the conversation becomes about how to interpret those strange Scriptures which seem so out of step with our contemporary views. If we can simply stand back and say..."It doens't matter whether the author or his characters believed what happened was right and somehow God's will. It only matters that we know that "we" know they were wrong"

In some ways your view is less favorable to the characters of the Old Testament and does not seem more unified to me...because you can say that Jephthah should have known that God wouldn't want him to do what he did. Elisha should have known that he shouldn't curse obnoxious youths. But on what basis? You can quote a proverb from Solomon about being nice to enemies, but how much weight does that carry in the face of the Psalms begging God to take vengeance on the Psalmist's enemies?

The Psalms are full of the kind of indignation that seems present in Elisha. was an acnient biblical figure to know when fury at enemies was OK and when it was over the line? You put a burden on them to respond with forgiveness and gentleness without acknowledging that they may have felt perfectly righteous and OK with God in their choices they made.

How is that less anachronistic than seeing a development in understanding what it is exactly that God wants from man?

BTW...if you're tired of the conversation, I can let it drop.


Hi Terri,

That's a good one about baloney. I'm a prosciutto lover myself.

I'm not tired of the conversation. Plus, you make a lot of points I agree with.

I've never imagined that you've reduced the gospel to flower-power, and yes, it is a stereotype, but yes, it is a stereotype that is uncomfortably accurate and descriptive of current trends. You don't deny that. Somehow, I doubt you would.

I agree that the Bible is almost a cacophony of different voices, but that is part of its beauty. I rejoice to high heaven that wherever there are two Bible authors, there are three opinions.

For that very reason, however, it is essential and incumbent on every interpreter to relate the various voices in a responsible manner, according to a rule of faith as premodern exegesis did, in terms of an overarching narrative which is itself abstracted from Scripture and faithful to it.

This is not the same thing as making the text mean whatever we want it to mean. For example, I can recognize the profound differences between Paul and James and still attempt to do theology in creative tension with both.

I am content that you see the enormous differences in point of departure between the thirst for redress we find in many of the Psalms and the advice in Solomon. Perhaps, however, I'm not quite as anti-systematic in your approach to these kinds of differences as you seem to be. I see the diversity, but I also see the unity.

But since you fail to note whether you accept one (cries for redress) and the other (repayment of evil with good) as the Word of God to us, I'm not sure you do.

Since you fail to note that the NT presents us with martyred saints thirsting for redress, and a Jesus who curses with a curse whose symbolism is pregnant with violence, I'm also not sure if you are willing to put aside the schizzy way Christians read the Bible, in which they classify everything they don't like in the Bible as OT, perhaps even refusing to exegete passages in either the OT or the NT that do not capture their fancy.

I think it can be very helpful (though by no means indispensable) to read a biblical text in light of its human author's intentions, period. I've tried to do that in this series, with all the difficulties such an approach entails. But I argue that a strict "constructionist" reading is not yet to read Scripture as Scripture. To read Scripture as Scripture is to read it as the constitutional document of the life and practice of a religious community.

For a delightful introduction to the difference that makes, and the problems of its own it creates, I recommend Jaroslav Pelikan's "Interpreting the Bible and the Constitution" (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004).


Revelation--I forgot to address this before.

Revelation is replete with figurative, apocalyptic language . I won't pretend to know where the figurative and literal begin and end in it. Is the heavenly city really made of gems and precious metals? Does gold have value in God's eyes?

Will there really be seven-headed dragons rising out of the sea?

Does God keep souls locked up under his altar?

Is there an actual, physical Book of Life?

I see these things as symbols and pictures. So the quote about the martyrs' thirst for revenge I see as less indicative of a real event, and more as an expression of the longing for God to finally destroy evil and put the cosmos right.

I don't see it as particularly relevant to the conversation about right, wrong, violence and who knew what and when they knew it in Scripture.

I hadn't realized until our previous conversation that you were Calvinistic. I thought you had a Methodist back ground....and assumed, obviously incorrectly, that you were probably more Arminian in your thinking. In some ways, it brings me to the common conundrum between Calvinism and Free Will. If God is in control of everything.....ultimate responsibility for Japhthah's daughter and attacking bears can be placed at His feet. He could have always ignored Elisha's curse, or caused a goat to wander out of Japhthah's house.

In which case...we're not talking about the bad choices of biblical figures, but God's prerogative to do whatever he likes.

But since you fail to note whether you accept one (cries for redress) and the other (repayment of evil with good) as the Word of God to us, I'm not sure you do.

I see Scripture as a collected wealth of people's experiences with God and their attempt to follow HIm, both individually and communally . I don't read the Psalms thinking it's OK for me to write songs about how I want death for my enemies. I see those sections as being reflective of a community which viewed themselves as fighting physical, human enemies as God's representative nation. I see the Pslams as a reflection of that. depends on what you mean by "God's Word." I see flickers of the divine even in the mess.


With respect to the Apocalypse of John the Seer, it is perfectly true that we do not know where pictures end and reality begins, or even if that is a proper way to pose the question.

But I think you simply sidestep the specific content of the pictured reality / reality-oriented picture of the slaughtered saints crying for redress.

Is the truth-content of the passage rich, or is it poor to non-existent? It seems to me that you assume the latter is the case.

I'm arguing for a contrary approach. I don't think it's possible to hold that Scripture, all of it, is the Word of God for us, without a default assumption that its content, all of it, is rich in truth. It's important not to apply the assumption mechanically, but the alternative which most Christians practice is a form of cherrypicking.

Yes, I think it's fair to say that the Bible teaches that it is God's prerogative to do whatever he likes. At the same time, the Bible also teaches that God's glory is a fully responsible humanity, capable of giving and receiving love without compulsion, for its own sake. Jesus, who was true man as well as true God, modeled that for us.

If we put the two teachings together, and I think we should, then we have it that God does whatever he likes in pursuit of that philanthropic end, but in pursuit of that end is included giving human beings enough freedom to allow them to misuse and even abuse the powers he gives them. In particular the sanctioned authority of state (see Romans 13, and compare Rev 13) and church (priest, prophet, and others still, beginning with Aaron and Miriam, and Moses, too, which is why he only sees the promise from afar) is open to abuse.

At the same time, Scripture preserves prophetic remonstrations against the divine method of cycling through a pattern of violence to the bitter end. The questions these protests ask are never directly answered, and never put aside. Instead, it is stated that the righteous will live by faith, by trust in God's promises.

Contrary to your suggestion, I think it is legitimate for people in dire enough circumstances to pray for the death of their enemies. (No, I don't think that excuses Elisha.) In those same circumstances, it is also legitimate for people to accuse God of abandoning them. At the same time, it is instructive that Jesus does the latter but not the former from the Cross.

A key turning point in modern Jewish history is represented by Nahman Bialik's poem "The Slaughter." I have a series on it on this blog. Bialik came to the conclusion that it was unconscionable to continue to endure the pogroms lying down. Furthermore, it made no sense to make excuses for God in that situation.

I think Bialik got it exactly right. In all of this, biblical categories and biblical beliefs served Bialik very well. Protest theism is a strong component of the both the Old and New Testaments properly understood.

That modern-day Christians never seem to have much to complain about in God's presence is a sign, not of their enlightenment or maturity, but of two less admirable things:

(1) their lack of faith;
(2) the comfortable lives they lead, their commitment to personal peace and security above all. Given the (2), why get bent out of shape about what is happening in Sudan, Zimbabwe, or North Korea? Let them starve. Let them die. Live and let die.

I am a Waldensian, a church within the Reformed tradition. But I am "on loan" to the United Methodist Church, the church I grew up in, and in which I experienced conversion as a youth, before I went to seminary in Rome Italy, was ordained in the Waldensian Church, and served congregations, Methodist and Waldensian (it's a union church in Italy) in the Abruzzi, Rome, Friuli Venezia-Giulia near Venice and Trieste, and in the deep south of Sicily, the best five years of my life.

David Ker

I'm not sure I can forgive you for "unitive." I hate it when someone has a larger vocabulary than I do.

You will receive this in the spirit it is spoken when I say that almost this entire post is phoney baloney. Your caricature of American Christians is poorly drawn, unless you're referring to me and then it's simply incorrect.

And finding grace in the OT is like looking for a diamond at the dollar store. The great resounding witness of the OT from Genesis to Malachi is a long, bloodthirsty account of human willfulness in the face of God's faithfulness.

Next door in your Marge post you've played my Samson trump card. His life is the perfect example of a bad boy typology that highlights the superiority of Christ's sacrifice. The key verse is at the end of Sam's story: "He killed more Philistines in his death than in his life." That's the perfect set up for the message of Jesus, who in his death saved more sinners than in his life.

There's little redemptive about Samson or Elisha. Just a black palette against which God's grace in Christ dazzles.

I share with you a belief that the humans in the Bible are...human. That extends in both directions and I likewise shun the binary distinction. My claim is that when it comes to the OT we can't play our game by their rules. Christ in us the hope of glory is glorious not because of us but because of Christ.



I'm sure you're right that my comments about "contemporary Christians" don't fit that part of Christendom you know best, the AG world. You and Sarah Palin.

More generally, it doesn't describe those Obama described as clinging to guns and God.

However, it is descriptive of my situation, in the upper Midwest, in which Christianity is pretty tame and pretty progressive, both in the good and bad senses those words have.

I don't think it's true at all that God's grace is hard to find in the OT. Unless by grace you mean "cheap grace." That is hard to find in both Testaments.

But, as Bonhoeffer pointed out, the lack of cheap grace in Scripture has not prevented Christians, especially Protestant Christians, from completely misunderstanding the Gospel in this sense.

You read the Old Testament in a way out of sync with the way the New Testament reads it. The OT is simply not the black palette against which Christ the diamond shines in the NT. According to the NT, Christ is everywhere foreshadowed in the OT. Shadow is not a negative in this context.

Precisely in the Epistle of Hebrews, Samson and Jephthah are examples of faith, since, because they trusted in God, they saved the nation from enemies bent on its decimation and subjugation.

Samson and Jephthah did not decimate or subjugate the Philistines and similar enemies, but they killed enough of them to make them think twice the next time.

It's obvious that the author of Hebrews would have gone on to speak very highly of Elijah and Elisha and all the rest, but he tuckered out a certain point, and elided the rest of the OT zoo of saints. But of course they were sanctified and chosen for a purpose no less than Samson and Jephthah.

Currently, NATO applies about the Jephthah-Samson strategy in Afghanistan. I'm not saying it's working very well. These are stop-gap measures, and that was what Samson and Jephthah's measures amounted to as well.

You can spit on their example all you want, but then I expect you to start writing antiwar screeds on your blog. Not safe screeds against battles taken to the enemy by Samson and Jephthah. Unsafe screeds against the battles we are taking to the enemy in Iraq and Afghanistan. I won't be joining you in those screeds, as I'm sure you already know.

How does the christological analogy go with Samson, according to traditional exegesis? I don't know: that is a question for Esteban. But it's not that difficult to correlate the passages.

Samson killed *a few* Philistines, and thereby saved the lives of *many* Israelites.

(The Philistines were superior to the Israelites militarily in every way. They had better technology, and whupped the Israelites on a regular basis.)

On the cross, Christ kills *all* of us, down to the last man, woman, and child. The "old man," who we are apart from Christ, it's annihilated if we ever catch a glimpse of God's bottomless love for us on the cross.

On the same cross, Christ saves *all* of us, down to the last man, woman, and child. The "new man," homo vivens, is revealed to us in Christ crucified and raised from the dead. In consequence, we are prisoners of a hope which depends on ourselves in no shape or form, but completely on God.

I could have expressed myself in slightly less Pauline fashion. I could have chosen another register, that of the gospel of John, or that of the gospel of Matthew.

But the register you are using is not biblical at all. You've picked it up from the dispensationalists you've hobnobbed with since you were knee high to a grasshopper. From the Scofield Reference Bible or some such.

There's a reason why Geoffrey Bromiley, whose loss we mourn in these days, translated Barth, Ellul, Thielicke, and Bayer into English.

That's because all four theologians are infinitely more biblical in their theology in the true sense than is stuff that emanates from the US Bible Belt. Just my opinion.

David Ker

Lots of good thoughts although I'm not too comfortable in the same campaign bus with Palin and Scofield. :)

Our tangle seems to be similar in a way to our previous exchanges regarding Bible translation. I'm being a populist and reductivist with the resulting oversimplification.

BTW, Bruce Hornsby just came on with "Gonna Be Some Changes Made." I skipped it for Low Millions' "Eleanor."

James Pate

Hey John,

Do you think that, in the story of Elisha and the bears, it was God who caused the bears to kill the youths?



The blogosphere owes you a heap of thanks for your provocations. You write very well and present populist points of views with great vigor. It's very aggravating.

Hi James,

(1) If God didn't cause the bears to kill the children, who did? If God didn't zap Ananias and Sapphira, who did?

(2) If God is not the one who will answer (and already has answered) the prayers of the martyred saints in Revelation 6 who cry out for redress, who will (and already has)?

(3) Finally, if God is not the one who has answered Jesus' prayer from the Cross ("Forgive them, for they know what they do), who did?

If you answer "God" to (3) only, my guess is that you are a universalist with a God who is life-giving but never life-taking. Sounds like a very sweet religion to me. But what does it have to do with life as we know it?

James Pate


The Christian universalists I know or have read don't think the wicked get off scot-free. They think they burn in fire, only it's a temporary one.

If that appears to trivialize evil, heck, deathbed repentance arguably does too, but many Christians have no problems with that (though, of course, Catholics would put evildoers who repent at the last minute in purgatory for a while).


Hey James,

It sounds like the universalists you know make a real effort to be as biblical as possible. The ones I know think all talk of God punishing people for their sins is rubbish, since God is love.

James Pate

The ones I know are heavily influenced by Actually, I think Origen himself believed hell was some kind of purgatorial deal. I've not really read more sophisticated universalist books, such as Gregory MacDonald's. Have you, John? I remember that, on McGrath's site, you were making an argument for inclusivism from the last few chapters of Revelation, and I vaguely recall that Gregory MacDonald does that as well.


No, I haven't read Gregory MacDonald.

We don't know that hell is a form of purgatory. I would hope it is, and in any case am fully aware that I will need my share of purification and healing.

I remember talking about the topic with Catholics trained on the pre-Vatican II catechism. They said they were brought to believe that all but the most saintly will go through purgatory. I've always thought that makes sense, but for the grace of God, which leaves room for surprises.

James Pate

My understanding is that Catholics believe only Christians will go through purgatory. But I've also talked to educated Catholics who talk like just being a good person will get one into heaven, so I don't know.

I agree with you that we don't know if hell will be purgatorial. The Greek word translated "eternal" can mean "for a very long time" while coming to an end, but it can also mean "forever."


I don't see Elisha's response as jejeune.

If I take a unitive view of Scripture I see that if children from Bethel are telling someone who is obviously recognised as a prophet (think the 'baldhead' is just an idle childish insult, bit like John the Baptists leather belt and hair shirt are just casual observation?) to go away...then it says to me this particular society has become so corrupt, so failed, that even children are (perhaps knowingly) rejecting the word of God (teach your children...) and the curse is only a foreshadow of the one who is to come, the one who both judges and saves. Oh and occasionally curses. The curse is only in one sense, a confirmation of what is the reality - of people heaping judgement upon themselves.

Doesn't necessarily follow Christian should run around cursing others, but while Elisha was as flawed as the rest of humanity, he was a prophet, uniquely called at a unique time in salvation history


Hi Nony,

Perhaps we don't disagree on the essentials. Is Elisha's behavior exemplary? No, you think not. You recognize that Elisha was as flawed as the rest of humanity.

Is God's judgment on that particular society *and* Elisha's disproportional reaction to the children jeering both on display in this passage? I would say so. It's possible to affirm both.

For comparison's sake, in the patriarchal narratives, when Hagar and Ishmael get a raw deal (but also a measure of grace), this is understood as God's will (quite apart from anything Hagar and Ishmael did or didn't do), but the narrative does not downplay or excuse Sarah's mistreatment of Hagar and Ishmael, or Abraham's caving into to Sarah.

These narratives mirror the complexity of real life, in which good and bad are interwoven, and a lot of unfair things go on. Let's not forget that.


Hi John,

Some quick comments in response (and forgive my lack of eloquence)

(a) I don't see every character in the Bible as being there for the purposes of being exemplary. In fact such a reading of Scripture - or perhaps such an emphasis on exemplary characters - is a little foreign to me (I am Orthodox). Scripture speaks first and foremost about Christ and that is my primary 'rubric' for want of a better term. What I can also learn from Scripture is how God relates to the world and how man relates to God and how this relationship is transformed through Christ. Elisha is an important and unique figure in a unique period in salvation history. And unique means I cannot be Elisha nor can you and both of us now live this side of the Cross. He was a prophet, divinely called to speak to the people of God. You and I are not prophets in the same sence. If the OT saints are exemplary for us, it is in the matter of faith and covenant faithfulness.

(b) I also don't believe in "psychologizing the gospel" as one priest used to often advise us. The Hebrew authors had little to say about people's motivations and thoughts and I find it dangerous to presume and perhaps somewhat anachronistic. What is more, what may seem 'disproportional' to you may have been perfectly tame in historical context. As I said in my earlier comment, I don't find Elisha's response as jejeune to which I would add, I don't even find his curse disproportional. I actually can understand it to the extent I understand - from Scripture - God's covenant relationship with Israel and what was required of them, and the covenant blessings and curses that attended obedience and disobedience. In fact many of the OT prophets oracles make sense to me only by reference back to covenant blessings and curses - right down to exile as ultimate curse. And what was the key role of a prophet but to call God's people back to covenant faithfulness? And the fact that the author(s) points out Elisha cursed the children/youths "in the name of the LORD" is very telling (I pay attention when God's personal name is used in Hebrew narrative.)

(c) I am not sure that the story of Hagar and Ishmael is a good analogy.

In the story of Elisha, the author(s), whom I believe are inspired, not only note that Elisha called down a curse 'in the name of the LORD' but also tells us that bears devoured forty two of the children/youths - a symbolic number. There is a connection between Elisha's curse (a prophet pronouncing judgement?) and the children's/youth's fate (judgment). There is no room for ambiguity here and no other indicator -as there is in Hagar and Ishmael's story - of any other attendant complexity.


Hi Nony,

I differ with you if you are suggesting that Elisha's curse is not the cause of an atrocity. I think it is better to call a spade a spade.

One of the most important lessons of the Bible is that we are to take sides with the guilty as well as the innocent in the face of a threat to their health or existence. This is the example of Moses and the prophets, though not of Elisha in this case. It is one of the lessons of Job, whose friends justify God to Job at all time, and are condemned by God for it. So I take the side of the children. Jesus, whose name you invoke, but not his example said "Forgive them, for they know what they do." That is his response to those who have him murdered. The contrast with Elisha's reaction to those who jeer at him is stark. On the basis of the old covenant, Elisha's response falls short.


Quite the contrary John. I see a direct link between Elisha's curse and the children's/youth's fate. And I also see the author's tacit pointing to YHWH behind both.

I have no problem with that. I do not need to water that down by suggesting Elisha's response was disproportional. Seems rather that you do.

I have no choice but to take the side of the guilty - I am a sinner after all. That Jesus can take on the curse which is consequent to my sin so that I might live only makes me more grateful for His mercy. But it doesn't take away the seriousness of sin, of unfaithfulness to our Creator nor does it take away the fact of judgement.


Thanks for the conversation, Nony.

I remain convinced of the importance of recognizing the flaws of the saints. My problem with unwillingness to find them wanting on the basis of standards given in Scripture is a suspicion that when we do so, we give ourselves a free pass.

The only way I know of taking the side of the guilty is that of being honest about their guilt, Moses, David, Elisha, and Peter included.


And thank you too John - not just for the conversation but for this fine blog.

Maybe Elisha had nothing to be guilty about.


I just noticed that according to the Talmud, Elisha caught a severe illness after the cursing. I think that interpretation is full of insight.

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.