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Robert Holmstedt

John,

While I read your last post and the comments (and many at the BBB version), I have to say that this statement is misleading:

"As I argued in a previous post, vernacular-to-vernacular translation – to be clear, in this case we are talking about midrash, not translation - is to be preferred to a vernacular-to-lingua franca transfer, on sociolinguistic grounds."

I looked and looked (and re-read), but you never actually argued this point. You simply asserted it and danced around it like a nimble elf. I'm still waiting (patiently) for the argument (I'm assuming the standard definition of argument: the claim bundled with evidence, in this case, preferably examples and supporting secondary (linguistic) literature).

I don't get excited about translation issues because ... well, because I just don't (I find translation a tiring process and thank the good Lord that it's not my job or passion). However, I am intrigued by your vernacular and lingua franca claims, which remain suspect to this linguist, as does your gratuitous addition to the code-switching (in one of your comments).

So, support please.

Robert Holmstedt

Correction in my last line (a switched syntax in my head without reflecting it in typing): "gratuitous addition of code-switching"

Dannii

Hi John, I don't understand why you think these translation examples aren't in "lingua franca" English. Can you explain?

Dannii

Also, according to your own definitions, one author cannot create or craft a vernacular.

JohnFH

Hi Rob,

Let's go at this step-by-step. The claim that Hebrew, in the sense I depend on, is a vernacular, is developed by Seth Sanders who develops some of the theses of Sheldon Pollock. The claim that hellenistic Greek is a koine, a lingua franca, is I think uncontroversial. If I've lost you already, let me know.

The claim that the Aramaic of the Bible and the Aramaic of the Talmud fall into the lingua franca category vs. the Hebrew of the same literatures, which fall into the vernacular category, is not as cut-and-dried; it is true in a comparative sense at best. If you wish to emphasize instead, that Persian and Hellenistic period Aramaic and Hebrew where they "lived" together were in an adstrate relationship, I would reply that I agree. But it remains the case that Aramaic was the lingua franca of the situation, and Hebrew (or yehudit) the vernacular.

With respect to NT Greek, a diverse corpus to say the least, I tried to hedge my statements. If I didn't go far enough, please clarify..

To begin with then, if you take exception to what I treat as baseline information in this and the previous post, let me know.

Robert Holmstedt

John,

Sigh. You took a (barely nuanced) shot at publishing scholars in your comments to your first post on this topic:

"scholars tend to shy away from online interaction. More often they write me a response privately via email. Or they deliberately seek to fail to notice online interaction with their research focus and the primary and secondary literature they control. Life is too complicated already."

The fact is that blogs suck time away from our research and teaching. You know, those things that we're paid to do. Anyway, I let it pass as not worthy of a fight.

But now the "let me know if I've lost you already."

This kind of petty jab is precisely why many scholars won't take the time, even if the topic interests them, to engage bloggers. It's the same basic reason why we will ask a disrespectful 18-yr-old to leave our class.

I simply pointed out that you don't support your claims (and, rhetorical flourishes aside, you still haven't). In a peer-review process, such submissions are jettisoned at once.

I'm not being nasty, here. You made claims that I found intriguing and, as the good professor, I want to see the support. Specifically, it is not easy to establish confidently that any ancient text is in a vernacular or lingua franca. But setting that aside, your real claim is about translating between them. As a non-translation linguist (who has published on the topics of code-switching and worked with the issues of vernacular in my graduate courses), I expected an evidentiary defense of this.

I'll still gladly hear it and be persuaded, if you would like to take me up on my request (without the pettiness, please).

JohnFH

Hi Dannii,

I imagine you are not familiar with Curzon's stated translation technique. I am not in a position this morning to dig out Ruden's and Alter's stated translation techniques: suffice it to say that they are poles apart from the familiarizing translation technique that you prefer. Here is Curzon, specific to his translation of the Psalms, which he applies also to the translation of Anglo-Saxon verse:

Compressed English has few prepositions or connectives and uses curt Anglo-Saxon words not
lengthy multi-syllabic Latinate words. These simple considerations mean that the English poetic closest to the Hebrew of the Psalms is the old AngloSaxon alliterative metre, which does not rhyme, uses alliteration as a metrical marker and has a strong caesura in the middle of the line, and of course draws only from the Anglo-Saxon word-hoard. No translation of the
Psalms using these features consistently as its basic poetic principle is known to me. I have in my translations used a strong-stress metric, with as much alliteration and assonance and as little Latinate vocabulary as seemed compatible with contemporary diction and accuracy.

To my mind, this is an example of taking a lingua franca (a national and/or trans-national language), and shaping it for a vernacular (local, incurvatus in se) purpose. True, those fluent in the vernacular are limited to the author and those who read the author.

Yes, I am extending the sense of "vernacular." If you find this unhelpful, I'm fine with that. I encourage you to develop the lingua franca / vernacular distinction in your own way, applied if possible to the questions that divide translators of the Bible.

Perhaps this is the situation. Those in favor of close translations designed for close reading find theoretical solace in theorists of literary translation. Those in favor of translating the Bible in workaday English - something I regard as a flattening operation - dismiss the relevance of theories of literary translation by declaring, I don't know, Luke-Acts to be non-literature. I find that troubling.

JohnFH

Hi Rob,

Let me fill out, from context and for the sake of context, the train of thought whose beginning you found offensive:

"True, scholars tend to shy away from online interaction. More often they write me a response privately via email. Or they deliberately seek to fail to notice online interaction with their research focus and the primary and secondary literature they control. Life is too complicated already.

All of these reactions are understandable. I suppose, then, that you are right.

I should recast and repackage content into forms scholars are taught they cannot avoid - though they usually do anyway - most peer-reviewed research never really becomes part of a larger conversation.

All of these reactions are understandable. I suppose, then, that you are right."

End-quote. Let me emphasize once again, with other words: if you see yourself as a scholar's scholar first of all - what you are paid to be at an institution with a research focus - then you are probably not going to find the time to read or interact with bloggers like me, who teach (my case) in an institution with a teaching focus, an institution also committed to the Wisconsin Idea (I don't have to explain what that means to you).

As for the peer-review process, that has its own problems, which you more than most have been honest about. For example:

http://ancienthebrewgrammar.wordpress.com/2011/03/26/journal-submissions-part1/

If you are even more uncomfortable with the world of blogging than you are with the peer-review process, that's fine by me.

Regardless, I certainly can't be expected, in a blog post of 1000 words, to do what one might attempt to do in a full-length article or monograph.

If instead you are willing to advance the *online* discussion by patiently stating your reservations over against the work of colleagues who have discussed the issues at hand in these posts, please do. You will do the hundreds and eventually thousands of students of the Bible who are likely to read these posts a favor.

You might begin by engaging the work and theses of Pollock and Sanders which I cite. Sanders' book received the Frank Moore Cross award for a reason.

Or you might situate and summarize for us, on this thread or on your blog, your work on code-switching, and the extent to which your conclusions are in tension with those of Gary Rendsburg for example.

If you choose to do any of these things on your blog, I will happily link to it.

Robert Holmstedt

John,

Ha! Interesting counter. Not going to bite.

First, for me to write up the kind of response to the issues that have been tossed out in these posts presumes that supported arguments have been given. I'm not going to dig up the support for whatever claims have been made and then provide a counter-argument. Do your own work. If it's compelling in the least, it will receive attention by scholars. I increasingly cite online material in my research; the linguistics community has been way ahead of others w.r.t. posting unpublished studies online.

Secondly, if you are admitting that you always limit yourself to 1000 words and that is an excuse to avoid putting out real research substance, that you willingly categorize yourself as a dilettante. Online is simply a type of medium, which may require certain changes but is not an excuse to change the rules of scholarship, from rigor to laziness.

Thirdly, my own criticism of the book review process and the journal submission review process are explicitly aimed at making the existing processes better. (BTW, I had no idea you actually visited those posts. Glad to hear it.) Anyway, I do not argue for the review processes to be replaced with something else, because they are (for all their warts), important for maintaining some measure of scholarly rigor. And as you well know, any online journal that aims at receiving academic recognition develops a peer-review procedure.

JohnFH

Hey Rob,

You're in a scrappy mood, aren't you? I am not going to apologize for being a dilettante as you call me. At some point linguists have to grow up and overcome isolationist instincts. The great practitioner of the historical-critical method, Gustav Hölscher, horrified by the prospect of Gerhard von Rad taking over his chair at Heidelberg, declared, “Das ist das Ende der Wissenschaft.” The problem: von Rad could not satisfy a purist like Hölscher because von Rad combined historical, literary, and theological sensibilities. Hölscher, who no one reads anymore, was appalled by the scholarship of von Rad, who is read to this day. Von Rad dared to straddle disciplines, traditional historical-critical analysis, form criticism, tradition criticism, and redaction criticism. He folded in a precise attention to purely literary features and organized his understanding of the whole in terms of a grounded theological framework. The end of science indeed.

You encourage me to blog more often at the intersection of several disciplines at once, as is my wont. I thoroughly enjoy seeing the way it raises the hackles of a purist like you. If I reduce you to name calling, if you find it impossible to respond to either the premises or the conclusions of my post, I must be doing something right.

I will be blunt. It was diplomatic of you to tiptoe around the scholarship I cite, as if it means nothing to you. If you are not willing to interact with that scholarship, why should I offer you more thorough documentation? If you haven't read Pollock and Sanders, you might as well say so. If you have read them, then out with a critique. True, you've now painted yourself into a corner, because if you don't respond with "real research substance," you self-identify as a dilettante.

I am a self-conscious generalist, with a great interest in cross-disciplinary research. This has always bothered you. You are territorial. You are not only a linguist with a combative commitment to a particular school, that of Chomsky; you see yourself as a gatekeeper, whose task it is to keep the barbarians from scaling the walls of your castle.

Earth to Prof. Holmstedt: it's all right for scholars to swim against the balkanization of academia. Whether they choose to do so in lightly footnoted or heavily footnoted format, whether they choose to do so in a thousand word format or a million word format, is absolutely beside the point.

It was chivalrous of you to admit that translation studies are not your bailiwick, but here’s where we differ. Instead of suggesting that, because I have read who knows how many thousands of pages in the field of translation studies, and you haven’t, you are disqualified from engagement on the subject, I throw the gates wide open, and invite your engagement. A generativist like you would have a lot to offer in the field, precisely because it is largely virgin territory in terms of your chosen framework. But in order for you to make a contribution, you are going to have to overcome your fear of flying, and your fear of being labeled a dilettante.

Robert Holmstedt

John,

This is disappointing. I raised questions about your methodology because you wrote on something that mildly interested me. Instead of responding about methodology you engage a bunch of "I'm this, you're that, and you're afraid and you resort to name-calling when pressed" rhetoric.

I hope readers can see in this what kind of argument (I can't call it scholarship) you engage in when pressed. Moreover, I trust that they will also see which one of us has set himself up as a gatekeeper on the issue at hand: translation theory.

You brought the topic up, you do the work (which you haven't). If you don't deign to do scholarship the way those folks whose names you like to mention did (and to) it, then you ought to stick to pastoring and teaching undergrads (both noble callings, to be sure).

As for the issue itself, to bring this back around to the substance (rather than the interpersonal argument), one of the questions that I've been waiting to had answered (indeed, I was waiting to see if you or anyone else actually identified it) is this: the assertion that a vernacular cannot be translated into a lingua franca assumes that the lingua franca is somehow missing a layer (the metaphorical, cultural, etc., expressions?) that are in the vernacular. But every lingua franca was once a vernacular (and continues to be a vernacular in some location) and has simply been elevated, by socio-political circumstances, to function across communities. I'm no translator (nor a son of a translator), but this whole idea strikes me as rather hard to uphold.

JohnFH

Rob,

I'm not disappointed. We've covered much of this ground before. We'll cover it again. Believe me, you are right to trust my readers. I assure you, they are intelligent and know the difference between honest intellectual inquiry and bluster.

Re: Noble callings. Don't forget blogging. Though you do not acknowledge it, it too is a noble calling. It is also a blast. These two posts alone have generated dozens of comments and several quality links (as in, among blogging colleagues) - comments from friends like Rich Rhodes who is a professor of linguistics at Berkeley, university deans like Chris Brady, pastors like Michael Marlowe, and very bright members of the Bible translation community like Dannii.

Simultaneously, at the intersection of two other disciplines, the historical-critical approach and the reception-history approach to interpretation, you will find a chain reaction begun by Roland Boer, followed by Christopher Heard, Hobbins, with Angela Erisman and Brennan Reed [a bright star in the grad program at Emory} chiming in, and now Boer again, this time at his blog, with John Lyons chiming in.

The two examples illustrate the potential for vigorous interactive discussion among peers though I hasten to add that some of my most insightful commenters are undergrads like Brian Mitchell and pastors like Kyle Essary. Some of them, when it comes to biblical studies, could run circles around some of your grad students.

The tendency of profs like you in research institutions to take a condescending attitude to the world of blogging is ironic: in my experience, most research profs do show interest, but only if their latest book is being criticized or lauded. Which amounts to biting the hand that feeds you unless it is in the actual act of feeding you.

True, if you have insurmountable issues with a lightly footnoted 1000 word format, then blogging is probably not for you. That you criticize me, a blogger, for being a blogger, is of course very rich.

Re: Pollock and Sanders. You really have decided to dodge the bullet, haven't you? Those two must be very good if they are untouchable in your book. Your silence is eloquent.

Re: Translation theory. I'm sorry to disappoint you on this front as well. I am just one big disappointment, aren't I?

I have been invited, by the editor of one of the premier journals of translation theory, to contribute to the journal - based on my blogging of all things. How embarrassing. If I haven't done so, it's because I have other priorities - and because I don't like the idea of you scraping and bowing before my authority should I do so.

Re: The work I haven't done. How much are you paying a private eye to monitor the research I have done? I've been at this a long time after all. I have worked for the ABS, consulted for one translation, and turned down offers to consult on two others. How little you know.

At last: You address the argument of my posts. I thank you for it. You say:

"the assertion that a vernacular cannot be translated into a lingua franca assumes that the lingua franca is somehow missing a layer (the metaphorical, cultural, etc., expressions?) that are in the vernacular."

So here is my comeback.

(1) First of all, let's put aside the genetic fallacy you fall into. Yes, every lingua franca begins as a vernacular, but a lingua franca is subject to pressures and change of various kinds that a vernacular is not. In the process of being a lingua franca, the language that once was a vernacular *changes.* The history of the English language in this sense, and of Greek and Latin before it, are eloquent. Of course these are clines, not binary oppositions; of course negative and positive feedback loops are identifiable. But the vernacular / lingua franca distinction has value. If pursued (see Pollock and Sanders and the bibliography they interact with), the distinction has explanatory power. In particular, it can be observed that a lingua franca and a set of vernaculars end up having an adstrate relationship but within a complex set of hierarchical matrices.

(2) You have a naively optimistic take on what can be accomplished in translation. For an overview of the kind of things that are habitually and even systematically lost in translation, go here:

http://ancienthebrewpoetry.typepad.com/ancient_hebrew_poetry/2008/02/defining-faithf.html

Besides the dead-tree bibliography, I provide in that post a link to an online article by Pym that will get you going; that, along with the article by van den Broeck I linked to in the comment thread of the previous post. For your convenience, here are the links to both:

http://usuaris.tinet.cat/apym/on-line/translation/2007_toury_laws.pdf

http://trad1y2ffyl.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/vandenbroeck.pdf

And, since you note that you are not a translator or the son of a translator - which means, of course, that I expect great things of you, Amos docet, and I do - I will also put it in "layman's" terms, which are often better:

Poetry is what gets lost in translation (Robert Frost)

In view of all this, my claim is analogous to many others that are already widely accepted in translation studies:

Plenty is lost in translation when one transfers textual meaning expressed in a vernacular into a lingua franca. In particular, the oppositional valence of terms in a vernacular, oppositional to the leveling inherent in an ecumenical language, cannot be easily expressed in a lingua franca that serves,by definition, not a project of ethnogenesis, but a project of genocide.

Okay, that last bit depends a little bit too much on Christoph Uehlinger's brilliant exegesis of Gen 11. You are free to reformulate in less drastic terms for the sake of review.

I am aware that this may be all new to you; anthropological linguistics informed by critical theory is not necessarily an inter-discipline that has interested you in the past, or interest you now.

Dannii

John, I just want to point out that in Rob's first comment in this post he said that although you said you had argued that a vernacular-to-vernacular was to preferred to a vernacular-to-lingua-franca translation, he couldn't see where you had argued that. I have to agree. I don't see where you have argued it either.

I'd also like to say that I haven't thought of the sociolinguistic significance of the difference between vernaculars and lingua francas in translation, so thank you for raising that issue. I'm not sure what to do with this insight though. It doesn't help when you give definitions and then change them in the next post either.

If I'm understanding what Curzon has done, he's effectively created a new register which prefers Germanic words over Latinate words, and uses old Saxon poetic devices. I did recognise the caesura when you first posted those quotes, though I admit I didn't notice the exclusion of latinate words, I'm not big on etymology ;) Well two comments: I'm still not sure why you say that's vernacular and not lingua franca... I would say its a new register which is familiar to both. Second, I think, and have said before, that such creative experimentation would be of great benefit to general-purpose Bible translations. In this regard you stand with this BBBer! (And probably the other BBBers too, though they can speak for themselves.)

JohnFH

Dannii,

The argument is not that difficult to follow. But you have to accept that the distinction between a vernacular and a lingua franca is real. My guess is that you, like Rob, are not at all sure there is a real distinction (see his last comment and my response thereto).

But as you suggest, we are probably in greater agreement than appears at first sight.

One difference: I have been under the impression that BBB's basic thesis is that translations that accommodate the style, syntax, and register of standard contemporary English with great tenacity are *better* than translations do not.

Translations that do not include not only formal equivalent translations in the Tyndale-KJV-RSV-ESV tradition, which I have been defending, but also a vernacular-to-vernacular transfer (I admit it is not a translation) such as we find in the Anglo-Saxon retellings of biblical narrative.

So, while I am happy to see your openness to the deployment of registers beside or within the dreary landscape that a trade-network and function-friendly register like standard English represents, registers, that is, like the one created by Shapiro and Curzon in order to mimetically represent something of the riches of their source texts, why not be equally open to the mimetic translation technique and concomitant deployment of new register typical of the relatively literal translation efforts of the formal equivalence Bible translation traditions in the Greek, Latin, and English languages?

Yes, I have engaged in slippage and I did so intentionally, in order to broaden the discussion. If it is true that a vernacular-to-vernacular transfer like the one the Anglo-Saxon retellings accomplish have much to teach us, and Shapiro's and Curzon's translations thereof likewise; if it is true that the translation efforts of the latter are well-suited to preserving the vernacular qualities of the source text within the context of a lingua franca, why can't the same be said of a formal or "close" or "mimetic" translation tradition such as those we know well from Greek, Latin, and Tyndale-KJV-RSV-ESV English?

Put another way, none of the translation traditions and efforts just discussed depend on field-testing the result of which is alignment with the least common denominator features of the lingua franca. Their failure to field-test well, I am arguing, is symptomatic of the mimetic technique employed, but is, from a sociolinguistic point of view, a feature, not a bug.

A little bit more about what a lingua franca is. It works itself out in a series of homogenization processes. It's the kind of thing one can observe in many parts of the world to this day. I observed it on a daily basis in Italy, an open-air lab in that sense. Virtually all of the dialects (the mother-tongues, the local vernaculars) are giving way to standard Italian. Furthermore, standard Italian is nested into a global system of languages in which English is the ultimate lingua franca (hence the article by Parks with the title "Your English is Showing").

Attempts at ethnogenesis necessarily proceed in the other direction, with the preservation of a vernacular, and specific cultural features that vernacular vehiculates.

With respect to Hebrew, I refer you to my posts on this blog that treat Seth Sanders' book, The Invention of Hebrew. Of course, and I don't apologize for this, at some point you are going to want to read the book itself. I'm sure you will find it fascinating.

Dannii

Just one comment: I don't think field testing will push a text in any direction - it is a tool for testing how well a translation meets its purpose. If there are translations that use LCD language, and they field tested thoroughly, then that language is a result of the translations deliberate purpose, not the field testing. But without thorough field testing you cannot know if a text is natural for any language variety. You may think that unnatural language is a feature, but I do not.

JohnFH

Just one brief remark in reply. I think field testing by definition pulls a translation in the direction of a TL-focused as opposed to an SL-focused translation.

If refer to the basic choice of which Toury, a formidable theorist of translation, spoke (I quote from an article I link to on the thread of the previous post on this topic):

"According to Toury [1976] the translator is always confronted with a 'basic choice between two polar alternatives deriving from the two major constituents of the ‘value’ in literary translation [...]: he either subjects himself to the original text, with its textual relations and the norms expressed by it and contained in it, or to the linguistic and literary norms active in the TL and in the target literary polysystem, or a certain section of it.'”

I favor the first option because it will almost inevitably succeed in preserving more of the vernacular [the culturally peculiar] features of the source in translation. Therefore, the only kind of field-testing I am interested in relates to that purpose.

But, so far as I know, no one has ever even thought of field testing for that purpose. It is a bad fit from the start. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Field testing at least as currently implemented is not very helpful for a first-option translation.

Dannii

Yes of course field testing brings a text into line with the conventions of the target language. That's it's purpose. I'm not sure how you could do testing in order to bring it into line the conventions of the source language.

I don't know why you'd aim to preserve the features of the source in ways that are non-conventional in the target. There's no way that those features would be correctly understood. You'd be better off not translating.

JohnFH

Dannii,

So you agree with me after all: it is not true, though you said it above, that field-testing pushes a text in no particular direction. It pushes it straight in the direction of the second option outlined by Toury as cited.

You are of course entitled to prefer that option. But then, I am entitled to prefer the first option, in which case, conventional field testing is not only unhelpful, but counterproductive.

That was my point. Perhaps we are now both clear on it.

Dannii

You had made it sound like you believed field testing would push a text towards a lingua franca, but would not be useful if you wanted to target a vernacular. It sounded like you thought field testing had an inherent lingua franca bias: in your post you connected failing a field test with not writing in a lingua franca, and then in your comment above you said the result of field testing is alignment with LCD language. I was just pointing out that field testing can be used for targets that are both lingua francas and vernaculars. It seems now that despite miscommunication, we once again agree :)

Toury's first option produces a text that will be neither vernacular nor lingua franca, but instead effectively in an idiolect. So of course field testing won't be productive! It can only be used for shared language, not novel individualistic language.

JohnFH

In the case of English Bible translations, I think field testing does push a text towards a lingua franca. The goal in every case that I know of has been to bring a translation's diction and syntax in line with the most shared language of all, the LFE version of the TL. Admittedly, the gold standard is defined as standard English, rather than LFE, but even if one makes a distinction between the two, the overlap between the two is so great that my claim is not affected.

Translations which choose Toury's option 1, translations of the Bible, translations of Marx, translations of an op-ed on whose every word many hang, translation of a Russian novel, go the idiolect route, as you say. I am not saying that this idiolect shares all of the features of a vernacular, but it does mimic some of them. If you wish, Toury's option 1 creates SL-focused inter-languages.

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    Christian, Contemporary, Conscientious… or Just Confused, by Ken Brown, a very thoughtful blog (archive). Ken is currently a Dr. Theol. student at Georg-August-Universität in Göttingen, part of The Sofja-Kovalevskaja Research Group studying early Jewish Monotheism. His dissertation will focus on the presentation of God in Job.
  • Catholic Bibles
    a thoughtful blog about Bible translations by Timothy, who has a degree in sacred theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome (Angelicum) and teaches theology in a Catholic high school in Michigan
  • Chrisendom
    irreverent blog with a focus on the New Testament, by Chris Tilling, New Testament Tutor for St Mellitus College and St Paul's Theological Centre, London
  • Claude Mariottini
    a perspective on the Old Testament and current events by a professor of Old Testament at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary, Chicagoland, Illinois
  • Codex: Biblical Studies Blogspot
    by Tyler Williams, a scholar of the Hebrew Bible and cognate literature, now Assistant Professor of Theology at The King's University College in Edmonton, Alberta (archive)
  • Colours of Scripture
    reflections on theology, philosophy, and literature, by Benjamin Smith, afflicted with scriptural synaesthesia, and located in London, England
  • Complegalitarian
    A team blog that discusses right ways and wrong ways Scripture might help in the social construction of gender (old archive only; more recent archive, unfortunately, no longer publicly available)
  • Connected Christianity
    a place to explore what it might be like if Christians finally got the head, heart, and hands of their faith re-connected (archive)
  • Conversational Theology
    Smart and delightful comment by Ros Clarke, a Ph.D. student at the University of the Highlands and Islands, at the (virtual) Highland Theological College (archive)
  • Daily Hebrew
    For students of biblical Hebrew and the ancient Near East, by Chip Hardy, a doctoral student at the University of Chicago
  • Daniel O. McClellan
    a fine blog by the same, who is pursuing a master of arts degree in biblical studies at Trinity Western University just outside of Vancouver, BC.
  • Davar Akher
    Looking for alternative explanations: comments on things Jewish and beyond, by Simon Holloway, a PhD student in Classical Hebrew and Biblical Studies at The University of Sydney, Australia
  • Deinde
    News and Discussion by Danny Zacharias
  • Discipulus scripturae
    Nathan Stitt's place
  • Dr. Claude Mariottini
    balanced comment by a professor of Old Testament at Northern Baptist Seminary, Lombard IL
  • Dr. Platypus
    insightful comment by Darrell Pursiful, editor at Smyth & Helwys Publishing, on the New Testament faculty of Mercer University
  • Dust
    A diary of Bob MacDonald's journey through the Psalms and other holy places in the Hebrew Bible
  • Eclexia
    The heart and mind of this Bible and theology blogger sing in unison
  • Eat, Drink, and be Merry
    The journey of a grad student with a love for ancient languages at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary (archive)
  • Elizaphanian
    Rev Sam tussles with God, and limps away
  • Emerging from Babel
    Stephen investigates the potential of narrative and rhetorical criticism as a tool for expounding scripture
  • Evangelical Textual Criticism
    A group blog on NT and OT text-critical matters
  • Evedyahu
    excellent comment by Cristian Rata, Lecturer in Old Testament of Torch Trinity Graduate School of Theology, Seoul, Korea
  • Exegetica Digita
    discussion of Logos high-end syntax and discourse tools – running searches, providing the downloads (search files) and talking about what can be done and why it might matter for exegesis, by Mike Heiser
  • Exegetisk Teologi
    careful exegetical comment by Stefan Green (in Swedish)
  • Exploring Our Matrix
    Insightful reflections by James McGrath, ass't. professor of religion, Butler University
  • Faith Matters
    Mark Alter's place
  • Ferrell's Travel Blog
    comments of biblical studies, archaeology, history, and photography by a tour guide of Bible lands and professor emeritus of the Biblical Studies department at Florida College, Temple Terrace (FL)
  • Fors Clavigera
    James K. A. Smith, professor of philosophy at Calvin College, thinks out loud.
  • Friar's Fires
    an insightful blog by a pastor with a background in journalism, one of three he pens
  • Gentle Wisdom
    A fearless take on issues roiling Christendom today, by Peter Kirk, a Bible translator
  • Giluy Milta B‘alma
    by Ezra Chwat and Avraham David of the Institute of Microfilmed Hebrew Manuscripts, Jewish National and Hebrew University Library, Jerusalem
  • He is Sufficient
    insightful comment on Bible translations, eschatology, and more, by Elshaddai Edwards
  • Higgaion
    by Chris Heard, Professor of Religion, Pepperdine University
  • Idle Musings of a Bookseller
    by James Spinti of Eisenbrauns
  • if i were a bell, i'd ring
    Tim Ricchiuiti’s place
  • Imaginary Grace
    Smooth, witty commentary by Angela Erisman (archive). Angela Erisman is a member of the theology faculty at Xavier University
  • James' Thoughts and Musings
    by James Pate, a doctoral student at HUC-JIR Cincinnati
  • Jewish Philosophy Place
    by Zachary (Zak) Braiterman, who teaches modern Jewish thought and philosophy in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University
  • kata ta biblia
    by Patrick George McCollough, M. Div. student, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena CA
  • Ketuvim
    Learned reflection from the keyboard of Jim Getz
  • Kilbabo
    Ben Johnson’s insightful blog
  • Kruse Kronicle - contemplating the intersection of work, the global economy, and Christian mission
    top quality content brought to readers by Michael W. Kruse
  • Larry Hurtado's blog
    emeritus professor of New Testament Language, Literature & Theology, University of Edinburgh
  • Law, Prophets, and Writings
    thoughtful blogging by William R. (Rusty) Osborne, Assistant Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies as College of the Ozarks and managing editor for Journal for the Evangelical Study of the Old Testament
  • Lingamish
    delightful fare by David Ker, Bible translator, who also lingalilngas.
  • Looney Fundamentalist
    a scientist who loves off-putting labels
  • Menachem Mendel
    A feisty blog on rabbinic literature and other Judaica by Michael Pitkowsky, Rabbinics Curriculum Coordinator at the Academy for Jewish Religion and adjunct instructor at Jewish Theological Seminary (New York)
  • mu-pàd-da
    scholarly blog by C. Jay Crisostomo, grad student in ANE studies at ?
  • Narrative and Ontology
    Astoundingly thoughtful comment from Phil Sumpter, a Ph.D. student in Bible, resident in Bonn, Germany
  • New Epistles
    by Kevin Sam, M. Div. student at the Lutheran Theological Seminary, Saskatoon SK
  • NT Weblog
    Mark Goodacre's blog, professor of New Testament, Duke University
  • Observatório Bíblico
    wide-ranging blog by Airton José da Silva, Professor de Bíblia Hebraica/Antigo Testamento na Faculdade de Teologia do CEARP de Ribeirão Preto, Brasile (in Portuguese)
  • Observatório Bíblico
    Blog sobre estudos acadêmicos da Bíblia, para Airton José da Silva, Professor de Bíblia Hebraica / Antigo Testamento na Faculdade de Teologia do CEARP de Ribeirão Preto, SP.
  • Occasional Publications
    excellent blogging by Daniel Driver, Brevard Childs' scholar extraordinaire
  • old testament passion
    Great stuff from Anthony Loke, a Methodist pastor and Old Testament lecturer in the Seminari Theoloji, Malaysia
  • Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Blog
    A weblog created for a course on the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, by James Davila (archive)
  • On the Main Line
    Mississippi Fred MacDowell's musings on Hebraica and Judaica. With a name like that you can't go wrong.
  • p.ost an evangelical theology for the age to come
    seeking to retell the biblical story in the difficult transition from the centre to the margins following the collapse of Western Christendom, by Andrew Perriman, independent New Testament scholar, currently located in Dubai
  • PaleoJudaica
    by James Davila, professor of Early Jewish Studies at the University of St. Andrews, St Andrews, Scotland. Judaism and the Bible in the news; tidbits about ancient Judaism and its context
  • Pastoral Epistles
    by Rick Brannan and friends, a conceptually unique Bible blog
  • Pen and Parchment
    Michael Patton and company don't just think outside the box. They are tearing down its walls.
  • Pisteuomen
    by Michael Halcomb, pastor-scholar from the Bluegrass State
  • Pseudo-Polymath
    by Mark Olson, an Orthodox view on things
  • Purging my soul . . . one blog at a time
    great theoblog by Sam Nunnally
  • Qumranica
    weblog for a course on the Dead Sea Scrolls at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, taught by James R. Davila (archive)
  • Ralph the Sacred River
    by Edward Cook, a superb Aramaist
  • Random Bloggings
    by Calvin Park, M. Div. student at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, South Hamilton MA
  • Resident aliens
    reflections of one not at home in this world
  • Revelation is Real
    Strong-minded comment from Tony Siew, lecturer at Trinity Theological College, Singapore
  • Ricoblog
    by Rick Brannan, it's the baby pictures I like the most
  • Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
    Nick Norelli's fabulous blog on Bible and theology
  • SansBlogue
    by Tim Bulkeley, lecturer in Old Testament, Carey Baptist College (New Zealand). His Hypertext Commentary on Amos is an interesting experiment
  • Ancient Near Eastern Languages
    texts and files to help people learn some ancient languages in self study, by Mike Heiser
  • Midrash, etc.
    A fine Hebrew-to-English blog on Midrash, by Carl Kinbar, Director of the New School for Jewish Studies and a facultm member at MJTI School of Jewish Studies.
  • Phil Lembo what I'm thinking
    a recovering lawyer, now in IT, with a passion for a faith worth living
  • Roses and Razorwire
    a top-notch Levantine archaeology blog, by Owen Chesnut, a doctoral student at Andrews University (MI)
  • Scripture & Theology
    a communal weblog dedicated to the intersection of biblical interpretation and the articulation of church doctrine, by Daniel Driver, Phil Sumpter, and others
  • Scripture Zealot
    by Jeff Contrast
  • Serving the Word
    incisive comment on the Hebrew Bible and related ancient matters, with special attention to problems of philology and linguistic anthropology, by Seth L. Sanders, Assistant Professor in the Religion Department of Trinity College, Hartford, CT
  • Singing in the Reign
    NT blog by Michael Barber (JP University) and Brad Pitre (Our Lady Holy Cross)
  • Stay Curious
    excellent comment on Hebrew Bible and Hebrew language topics, by Karyn Traphagen, graduate, Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia PA (archive)
  • Sufficiency
    A personal take on the faith delivered to the saints, by Bob MacDonald, whose parallel blog on the Psalms in Hebrew is a colorful and innovative experiment
  • The Sundry Times
    Gary Zimmerli's place, with comment on Bible translations and church renewal
  • Sunestauromai: living the crucified life
    by a scholar-pastor based in the Grand Canyon National Park
  • ta biblia
    blog dedicated to the New Testament and the history of Christian origins, by Giovanni Bazzana
  • Targuman
    by Christian Brady, targum specialist extraordinaire, and dean of Schreyer Honors College, Penn State University
  • Targuman
    on biblical and rabbinic literature, Christian theology, gadgetry, photography, and the odd comic, by Christian Brady, associate professor of ancient Hebrew and Jewish literature and dean of the Schreyer Honors College at Penn State
  • The Biblia Hebraica Blog
    a blog about Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, the history of the Ancient Near East and the classical world, Syro-Palestinian archaeology, early Judaism, early Christianity, New Testament interpretation, English Bible translations, biblical theology, religion and culture, philosophy, science fiction, and anything else relevant to the study of the Bible, by Douglas Magnum, PhD candidate, University of the Free State, South Africa
  • The Forbidden Gospels Blog
    by April DeConick, Professor of Biblical Studies, Rice University
  • The Naked Bible
    by Mike Heiser, academic editor at Logos Bible Software
  • The Reformed Reader
    by Andrew Compton, Ph.D. student in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures (focus on Hebrew and Semitic Languages) at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
  • The Sacred Page
    a blog written by three Catholic Ph.D.s who are professors of Scripture and Theology: Michael Barber, Brant Pitre and John Bergsma
  • The Talmud Blog
    a group blog on Talmud News, Reviews, Culture, Currents, and Criticism
  • Theological German
    a site for reading and discussing theological German, by Mark Alter
  • theoutwardquest
    seeking spirituality as an outward, not an inward quest, by David Corder
  • This Lamp
    Incisive comment on Bible translations in the archives, by Rick Mansfield
  • Thoughts on Antiquity
    By Chris Weimer and friends, posts of interest on ancient Greek and Roman topics (archive). Chris is a graduate student at the City University of New York in Classics
  • Threads from Henry's Web
    Wide-ranging comment by Henry Neufeld, educator, publisher, and author
  • Tête-à-Tête-Tête
    smart commentary by "smijer," a Unitarian-Universalist
  • Undeception
    A great blog by Mike Douglas, a graduate student in biblical studies
  • What I Learned From Aristotle
    the Judaica posts are informative (archive)
  • Bouncing into Graceland
    a delightful blog on biblical and theological themes, by Esteban Vázquez (archive)
  • Weblog
    by Justin Anthony Knapp, a fearless Wikipedian (archive)
  • Writing in the Dust
    A collection of quotes by Wesley Hill, a doctoral student in New Testament studies at Durham University (UK), and a Christian who seeks the charism of chastity
  • גֵּר־וְתוֹשָׁב
    by David Miller, Associate Professor of New Testament and Early Judaism, Briercrest College & Seminary, Caronport, Saskatchewan, Canada
  • ואל-תמכר
    Buy truth and do not sell: wisdom, instruction, and understanding - a blog by Mitchell Powell, student of life at the intersection of Christ, Christianity, and Christendom
  • משלי אדם
    exploring wisdom literature, religion, and other academic pursuits, by Adam Couturier, M.A. in Old Testament/Hebrew Bible (graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary)

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  • Ancient Hebrew Poetry is a weblog of John F. Hobbins. Opinions expressed herein do not reflect those of his professional affiliations. Unless otherwise indicated, the contents of Ancient Hebrew Poetry, including all text, images, and other media, are original and licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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    Copyright © 2005 by John F Hobbins.