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 . . .

« Standing up to Bloom and Bakhtin: The Virtues and Vices of Strong Readings | Main | Reimagining the Historicity of the Bible »

Comments

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

smijer
If this part of the AHCA intends to enforce a social responsibility, not unlike that of paying into Social Security and contributing to Medicare, then it would have been wise to legislate it as a tax, rather than base the responsibility clause’s constitutionality on the commerce clause.

Good luck getting that passed!

Anywhow... would it be fair to say that the Bible is a collection of documents that, on balance, present an illiberal point of view? It sounds wierd to me hearing the Bible called a document in the singular. And, am I wrong in thinking that maybe certain passages from certain authors are more compatible with a libertarian point of view than others?

JohnFH

Hi smijer,

Perhaps your pessimism is well-founded. On the other hand, the path chosen by the Obama administration seems destined to do the cause of equity in health care more harm than good. The provisions of the act have already been gutted on more than one level, its key provision stands a fair chance of being ruled unconstitutional, and it is turning out to be a liability for the electoral fortunes of those who supported it.

On occasion, honesty is the best policy. As in: the kind of health care delivery system Americans know and love, especially if it is going to be available to those with pre-existing conditions at reasonable rates, requires that everyone kick in a fair share for a basic level of care.

As far as the Bible is concerned, you are right to point out that a plurality of points of view are represented. But can any of these points of views be fairly described as liberal or libertarian? Not that I know of.

The biblical emphasis, across the board, is on solidarity. I would be interested in knowing what passages come to your mind, if any, that support e.g. market-based capitalism (liberals and libertarians share a commitment to it).

I associate a defense of laissez faire capitalism with Harold Lindsell, an evangelical like me, but I don't think his arguments are strong.

Others who defend capitalism from a reasonably traditional faith perspective include Michael Novak, with his "democratic capitalism," and Bob Goudzwaard, with his social-democratic capitalism. Catholic social teaching is rich in accommodations. But the intended result is never the sort of Wall Street based capitalism liberals and libertarians stand for.

Perhaps it needs to be added that many self-identifying liberals are illiberal in the classical sense.

For example, someone like Obama is not a liberal; Reagan was closer to that. Obama is better classed as a social democrat. Which is why no self-respecting libertarian would vote Democrat, expect perhaps out of fear of social conservatives, the greater of two evils as it were.

I always make a point of asking self-identifying liberals what principles they espouse which limit their commitment to individual freedom. I also like to ask what kind of social contract the rule of law should embody on their understanding. Will it surprise you if I note that I rarely run across a liberal capable of offering a coherent response to said questions? I often end up having to do it for them.

The lock that "freedom" has on the American mythopoeic imagination is vise-like. It inhibits thoughtful discourse.

smijer
On occasion, honesty is the best policy.

My pessimism remains. I can't say I disagree with your substantive criticisms of the health care law. Since you and I have spoken last I have tried to distance myself from partisanship and ideology... I think the costs (in cognitive roadblocks) are not worth the payoff (in political self-determination). So, I've taken a sabbatical from politics.

To answer your question briefly, I did not (and do not) have any particular passages in mind. I was just skeptical that a collection of literature that large would not have within it perspectives that lend reasonable support to modern libertarian economic views.

I appreciate that you a humanities guy, but I do not think that the lock "freedom" has on the mythopoeic imagination is what most inhibits thoughtful discourse. I think maybe that the mythopoeic imagination is allowed to take the place of (or precedent over) some sort of consequentialist ethical calculation is closer to the root of the problem.

Frankly, I'm glad that coercion is viewed as an evil in the U.S. I would rather experience the ills that come of too little coercion than those that come of too much. On the other other hand, mutuality does not have to follow a coercive model. Maybe the mythopoeic imagination is in want of a more cooperative model of mutuality?

JohnFH

A pedigree for libertarian economic views is difficult to find in ancient sources, biblical and non-biblical. Said views would have been considered, I believe, an excuse for rapacious behavior.

Cooperation and mutuality, on the other hand, are easy to support from biblical literature.

As for your sabbatical from politics, well, I hope you take a sabbatical from your sabbatical. Unless I have you completely mis-pegged, you are a consequentialist who is not allergic to the question of cui bono. If a consequentalist asks that question insistently, she or he almost inevitably becomes an advocate of the common good, and a communitarian, with a new set of problems to consider.

I'm glad that coercion is viewed as an evil in the U.S.

I'm a pastor, and therefore, in and out of prisons. I would say instead that the U.S. is a (1) very coercive society, (2) in denial about it, and (3) nonetheless and perhaps precisely for that reason a society largely incapable of embodying a positive concept of authority.

A mess if you ask me, though not as bad as the mess in Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, Saudi Arabia, or North Korea, if those are the terms of comparison.

smijer
I'm a pastor, and therefore, in and out of prisons. I would say instead that the U.S. is a (1) very coercive society, (2) in denial about it, and (3) nonetheless and perhaps precisely for that reason a society largely incapable of embodying a positive concept of authority.

A mess if you ask me, though not as bad as the mess in Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, Saudi Arabia, or North Korea, if those are the terms of comparison.

Very well said. There are times when coerciveness is sincerely frowned upon here - and it was those that I meant to affirm. But your point is spot on and well taken.

I am some approximation of a consequentialist, yes. And halfway to being a communitarian (Front Porch Republic is my favorite political blog). But, the other half is pessimist, I'm sorry to say.

Shaun

For his day the great king Cyrus was pretty libertarian. Heck, he probably valued individual freedoms more than many modern rulers. The laws that permitted those freedoms were used by God to facilitate the return of the captives. Scripture is very much against pluralism, or religious freedom. But ironically God used that pluralism to once again save His remnant.

That’s my shot at defending libertarianism with the bible. (well, at least biblical history) I’m just a lay person and I look forward to you ‘schooling’ me Dr. Hobbins. I very much enjoy your blog.

JohnFH

Hi smijer,

Front Porch Republic looks like a refreshing political blog. Thanks for pointing it out.

To return to the question of coercion, our prisons are full of people who have ruined their lives and the lives of others through irresponsible behavior, behavior society is loathe to stigmatize until the consequences thereof, in specific cases, are ruinous or perceived to be ruinous.

In place of the soft coercion of stigmatization of specific examples of irresponsible behavior, a form of coercion which must be applied early and often to be effective, we seem to prefer the hard coercion of prison time for millions of individuals. It's this tradeoff I object to.

My question for non-theistic communitarians, and for you insofar as you fall into that category: on what grounds do you put the interests of the common weal ahead of your own interests?

JohnFH

Hi Shaun,

That's a creative attempt to ground libertarianism in biblical literature. As you say, however, it is more of an argument from history.

History has taught many Jews and Christians and many of their institutions to value the right of other believers and people in general to disagree with them in all sorts of ways.

All well and good, but the Bill of Rights and similar documents do not flow from libertarian first principles. The Bill of Rights is compatible with a wide spectrum of political positions: liberal, social democrat, libertarian, and social conservative, for example, but not socialist or communist in the strict sense.

Angela Erisman

Also the Persians were not, in fact, as freedom-loving as they are depicted in the Bible. See here, for a start:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jacob-l-wright/cyrus-cylinder-and-a-dream-for-the-middle-east_b_1322262.html

JohnFH

Hi Angela,

The relationship of biblical texts like Isa 41:25-42:4 and 44:24-45:8 to Persian propaganda is a very interesting topic.

I think it's possible that the "coastlands" (Miletus, Smyrna, and others of the Ionian league) may well have hoped for Cyrus's law and order (torah and mishpat) as Isa 42:4 seems to suggest - that is, they were sick and tired of Lydia, an aggressive power if there ever was one (the founder of the dynasty, Gyges, is behind Gog of the Bible).

To make a long story short, Jacob Wright is spot on when he notes that the Persian empire practiced a politics of benefaction. That was an improvement over the Assyrian and Babylonian empires. Babylon was likewise a recipient of a politics of Persian benefaction. Yes, the Cylinder glosses over the battle of Opis. When necessary, both carrots and sticks were used. I would want to be careful not to exaggerate the differences between various ANE imperialisms (including that practiced by the dynasty of David over against Philistia to the west and Edom, Moab, and the Ammonites to the east), but I would also not want to simply conflate them.

Wright is also correct to note that by Nehemiah's time, the Persian empire had long outworn whatever welcome it initially received. As for the Ionians, not to mention Athens and its league, the situation soured very quickly indeed.

I am aware of course that Kratz and Albertz redate much or all of the Cyrus materials in Isa 40-48 to the time of Darius. It's an interesting hypothesis, but I remain convinced that the "swooping bird" and "man of His/My plan" (Isa 40:13; 46:11) is none other than Cyrus.

History teaches its own lessons. More recent exemplars of "uomini della provvidenza," Mussolini and Putin for example, make us very guarded toward language of the kind adopted in Isa 40-48 vis-a-vis Cyrus.

Nonetheless, it would have seemed reasonable at the time to think that providence had grasped the right hand of Cyrus for benevolent ends, not only to those in Judah, but to those connected with the court-in-exile in Babylon of which Jehoiachin was the titular head.

Jon

I think this blog might help matters.

http://libertarianchristians.com/

I'm a Christian libertarian and I have to agree that libertarians aren't very good at articulating our views. I'm not sure I like the catchphrases used by fellow libertarians either. "Don't tread on anyone" would be nicer, if still bizarre.

Libertarianism is really at heart just the non-aggression principle expounded on. It's an individual's life, liberty and property not being infringed by others. Those others of course including government.

I think people confuse us with libertines often, and I can see why. With a pretty simple principle like non-aggression, it does mean that people are free to do a lot of stuff we may think is completely wrong. But I don't see how we here on Earth can justifiably interfere unless it's affecting someone else. We should surely follow God's laws, a much narrower path, but should we force others to do the same?

I hope this helps clarify the position. I'm sure there's a lot more to be said on this. I particularly have struggled with Romans 13 concerning how Christianity and libertarianism can live together, but I'm certainly down with the premise of libertarianism, and I'm sure non-aggression appeals to all Christians.

JohnFH

Hi Jon,

I am impressed by your humility and attempt to clarify. It is clear that for most people libertarianism is all about, as you say:

an individual's life, liberty and property not being infringed by others. Those others of course including government.

But if you wish to be a Jewish or Christian libertarian, you need to make it clear how you are going to balance a concern for the individual's right to life, liberty, and property with a concern for the common good and the need to extract the weak from the jaws of the strong.

You need to indicate under what conditions you are willing to put the interests of a polity, institution, movement, or tradition before those of the individual, or your own.

If you don't do that, your libertarianism is effectively cancelling out large pieces of what has always been understood as part of a believer's responsibility.

Jeremiah went so far as to tell those in exile to seek the peace and prosperity of the city of their captors (Jer 29:7). What I ask libertarian Jews and Christians to do is articulate a plan of action, based on libertarian first principles, to do that very thing.

I'm waiting.

Jon

JohnFH,

Thanks for your reply. Here in England, most people haven't even heard of libertarianism, so the intellectual conversation to be had is a lovely change from trying to explain the basics to uninterested friends.

The common good is a rather abstract term. I'm not sure how I could conceive of violating an individual's rights for the good of a whole community.

If you were to mean something in the way of taxation (stealing?) for helping the poor, I'm unconvinced this is a good idea. As Christian's we should not need to be taxed, we should be striving to emulate Christ in our actions and be giving already. I think Charity by force loses it's meaning.

As for the jaws of the strong, I don't see any conflict if there is no violation of the weaker parties rights? Maybe the strong hoard resources and wealth, though I do not see stealing it away from them or meeting them with force to be at all better.

We should not stand by when we see injustice, but to initiate force is not the right approach. I'd love to see the church get in the business of social justice much more than government, with nice peaceful charity, motivated by love and compassion.

As an individual I think it's fine to waive my rights where I deem applicable. But to violate other's? I can't think of a justifiable situation right now. Perhaps you could think of one.

I'm not sure what the problem is for libertarians in Jeremiah 29. It seems to me that those in exile are told to love their enemies and wait for God's plan. Nothing odd there.

As captives, in a libertarian view, they are justified in fighting back, but God makes clear that he wants them to work for peace. In any case, we should listen to God first and foremost, rather than our political leanings.

I'm not sure I'm adding anything really new here, you'll have probably heard this all before, but I hope it helps.

JohnFH

That's good, Jon, if you find the conversation helpful.

Here's the rub as I see it. If taxing individuals is seen by libertarians to be a kind of stealing - it *is* from one point of view, since it involves taking something from someone against their will with the threat of grave harm should the taking be resisted - then libertarians are going to argue against taxation.

Adding insult to injury as far as I am concerned, if they are Christians or Jews, libertarians sometimes end up arguing for charity as an alternative to taxation.

On the contrary, it seems to me, there is a place for coercive pooling of resources for particular ends that serve the common good. It's not that things like Social Security and Medicare are flawless means to that end; quite the contrary. But all available alternatives would seem to work even less in practice.

Paradoxically, the People's Republic of China is a living example of what a society looks like with a relatively weak social safety net. Is that the direction libertarians would like to see England and the United States go?

The question of violence brings us back to passages like Psalm 72 and Romans 13. In both passages, and most clearly in the first, the use of coercion by the state is understood to be a gift of God for the sake of the defenseless.

That there needs to be limits to the use of coercion is clear, but it is not clear to me on what grounds libertarianism distinguishes between good and bad coercion. How can it, with a weak to non-existent concept of the common good?

Finally, it would seem to be perfectly unrealistic for acts of charity to be sufficient in the absence of acts of justice, the latter backed up by the threat of violence and, where necessary, with the use of violence.

Some Christians have argued nonetheless that believers should not be involved in violence. The Anabaptist tradition is a powerful witness to that train of thought. I do not want to disparage the tradition in the least. At the same time, I am not impressed with so-called pacifists bejeweled with the typical products of Babylon the Great, from Ipods to Jeans to Nike snickers.

I can take the Amish and the Mennonites seriously, but not a latte-sipping pacifist.

Benjamin Smith

I've been studying the work of Giorgio Agamben, recently: I'm hoping to read'Homo Sacer' soon, which is supposed to be very good at exploring the internal contradictions of liberal democracy.

I must say, I find the idea of extreme libertarianism (anarchism?) kind of thrilling in a scary way. It would certainly make things more authentic.

Mitchell Powell

I wish I had more time right now, but I've got to rush off to a Talmud class and I still haven't memorized my portion of Berakhot quite as well as might be desirable, so I'll keep it short for now.

As what one might call a recovering libertarians, I get that the societies envisioned in the Bible, and indeed any functional society, is coercive at points. Even some of the hard-core libertarians that soft-core libertarians look up to are willing to be explicit about this (i.e., Hans Hermann Hoppe).

But I wonder, when I see large social welfare schemes, whether it is possible that these schemes represent not a rejection of libertarianism's false claims, but rather an extension of them, a sort of super-libertarianism, if you will. After all, what else is the culmination of libertarianism than the claim that not only may one live however one chooses, but one may in addition force all others to pay for them? (I realize that this is also a contradiction of libertarianism, but libertarianism wasn't founded on real consistency.)

I see the healthcare mandate, for example, more as the expression of a hyper-libertarian mindset than as anything that even vaguely resembles biblical-style coercion, along the lines of Paul's command to starve out the lazy.

Finally, some respect for individual property (though the extent will of course be debated) does indeed represent coercion in the healthy sense.

I think I will draft a more complete response, post it else where, and then drop a link to it here when I've had some time to think through this more thoroughly.

Mitchell Powell

PS: For whatever it's worth, I am a proud member of a Mennonite Church, one that is more involved in its community than any Church that I have ever seen. With the possible exception of the pastor, I don't think there is a single male pacifist who attends.

John Hobbins

Hi Benjamin,

Agamben is a great read; enjoy. Anarchism of a communitarian and socialist variety has always attracted some believers. Jacques Ellul, a great French Reformed intellectual, is the first example that comes to mind.

John Hobbins

Hi Mitchell,

I look forward to further reflections from your side.

Mitchell Powell

Just one more thought -- I still haven't gotten around to any sort of systematic response, but here is one small thought anyhow. Many "libertarians," especially of the "paleoconservative," "Ron Paulite," "Sarah Palinite," "States' rights," and "localist" flavors (and I am perfectly happy to be broadly associated with this bunch) do not at core want a less coercive society. They want a society where more of the coercion is exercised closer to home: brought to bear by families, churches, and local governments.

To the extent that such people willingly stare their own coercive mechanisms in the face and construct them in a thoughtful and loving manner, to that extent I am willing to label myself libertarian, paleo, fiscal conservative, or what have you.

John Hobbins

Hi Mitchell,

I think your comments are helpful. Much of the political conversation and polarization in the United States hinges on questions of the kind you raise.

If I am most concerned about having the freedom to school my children as I see fit, to worship/not worship according to my own lights, and to construct and enforce a hierarchy of values at the local level at significant odds with the same in another location, politically speaking, I don't have a place to rest my head, but I will probably see the Republican party as more attentive and more welcoming to my concerns than the Democratic party.

If I am most concerned with protecting myself, those I love, and potential victims around the world from mistreatment by loci of traditional authority - parents, but not school teachers; evangelical pastors, Catholic priests, and the Boy Scouts, but not Wiccan priestesses and New Age guru; prudish and close-minded local school boards, surly local police, and a trigger-happy military, but not crusading district attorneys and environmental lawyers - I will definitely see the Democratic party as more attentive to my concerns than the Republican party.

Meanwhile, in red and blue states, our prisons overflow with moms and dads who are behind with court-ordered payments associated with split custody, repeat DUI offenders, and two bit drug offenders. A consensus across the political spectrum does not object to expensive and drastic means of state-organized coercion in said circumstances. I might take another look at paleoconservatism if it found it within itself to go paleo and rogue on issues like these.

Lamont

John--

What do you mean exactly by 'libertarian?' Political system? Philosophical ideology? There's lots of flavors in use. How about a bullet list of the top five principles of 'libertarian' as you mean it here?

What do you feel is the difference between libertarianism and individualism?

How about a bullet list of communitarian principles as well?

Lamont

Mitchell Powell

Dear John,

You are absolutely right about the prison system. Some right-wingers who are much more enthusiastic about Deuteronomy and Hebrew law than your average modern Christian have floated about proposals for emptying or vastly reducing the size of our massive prison state. I have in mind here Gary North's Victim's Rights, for instance. Of course, his outlook is so clearly theocratic and so vocal about a view of law and grace that many Christians would consider Judaizing that straight-up North-style government is not currently a viable option in a pluralistic society.

As I see, here's the bottom-line problem with the prison system: the modern negative attitude toward the death penalty places us between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, "conservatives" tend to be those who advocate for a stronger prison-state. This comes with massive social and economic costs.

On the other hand, "liberals" tend to advocate reduced prison sentences. When prison is basically the only means for restraining public evil that our society has adopted, reduced prison sentences endanger the public.

I live in a Muslim neighborhood, filled with gracious and hospital people who just happen to have a far more positive view of the death penalty than most. Our community recently received notice that a child rapist is moving in. Doubtless he is officially rehabilitated, but Muslims working whose children ride to and from the public schools are flabbergasted that this man is allowed allowed access the streets they children play in. Are they to coop their children up all day in the small apartments that they live in so that this man can have his freedom? From my experience my neighbors have been exceeding kind people, but they recognize that at some point one chooses: is kindness to be extended to children or to those who rape children?

At a certain age and a certain level of incorrigibility, the Old Testament allowed for a son to be put to death at the request of his parents. So long as our society can see that provision in strictly negative terms, I have doubts about our ability to deal with our prison problem.

Meanwhile, Christopher Glazek, in the article "Raise the Crime Rate" in n+1 magazine, believes that it an alliance between certain members of the "hard right" and "hard left" is the only way to solve our prison problem. I am inclined to agree with him:

Prisoners and ex-cons, the most abused population in United States, will have to rely on political extremists, on both the left and the right, to turn the page on what will one day be recalled as one of American history’s darkest chapters.

http://nplusonemag.com/raise-the-crime-rate

John Hobbins

Hi Lamont,

Jon's definition of libertarianism serves the purpose of this thread well: it's about "an individual's life, liberty and property not being infringed by others. Those others of course including government."

For the purposes of this thread, communitarianism might be defined as follows: it's about the community's life, liberty, and property not being usurped by individuals, government, the military, etc. The interests of the community are defined in terms of its most-at-risk members.

Communitarianism in the above sense is found on countless pages of the Bible.

In my view, there is more wisdom in the communitarianism of the Bible than in that of libertarianism, liberalism, and soft and hard forms of socialism.

If I am right about this, it might give pause to someone like you. Especially to someone like you, who is, if I remember correctly, convinced that the God of the Bible is a moral monster. Or perhaps I misunderstood your past drift. You are free to clarify.

John Hobbins

Hi Mitchell,

It is a sign of an enormous collective pathology that the chief form of politically correct punishment in the United States is a "time out" that may last anywhere from a few weeks to a lifetime.

39 lashes might well be more effective, less violent all things considered, and less damaging to the psyche than long time outs spent in the company of a radicalizing community of others in time out.

Nor is this an argument for or against corporal punishment. Detention is a very concrete and very destructive form of corporal punishment.

Along the same lines, I am also in favor of a careful and controlled use of spanking by positive authority figures in a child's life. Corporal punishment within limits stands a chance of being effective where timeouts are not. The subject of course is difficult and sensitive and for that very reason, in need of being reopened.

On the other hand, as you intimate, the only people who dare question the status quo on such topics are, almost to a woman and a man, extremists of the right or the left.

I am not an extremist in either sense. I pick my battles carefully in the political arena. It is true that extremists who otherwise disagree sometimes join hands and accomplish a lot of good. I don't see that happening at the moment, not on these issues, but that does not mean it shouldn't.

Mitchell Powell

You may not be an extremist, but you ask many of the same questions. And, in my mind, that allows you to partake in many of the virtues of extremism and helps you to avoid some of its vices.

Whether it is those called extremists or those called moderates who finally wake up to the dysfunctions of our prison system and do something about it, it cannot happen too soon. And if it is only budget considerations that will reopen the issue, then so be it.

I first read about the biblical use of lashings when I was about seven years old. Whether or not reinstituting such a thing might be a good idea, it does have a certain appeal. Several of my childhood friends might have been able to live with their fathers. And as to the idea that biblical-style corporal punishment is dehumanizing, there are many ways to dehumanize. I don't see a need to turn back history and turn the world into a thousands-of-years-old agricultural society, but I don't think the world's largest prison state can look down its nose at a legal system that lacks prisons either.

(Someone from Mali has arrived and is visiting my neighbors downstairs. It's amazing how well African languages can carry.)

Lamont

John--

Thanks for your reply.

Lamont

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.