Sunday, August 16, 2009

My Blog is Moving

My blog is moving to I like the layout and the features more at wordpress, and it's time to class things up a bit. I hope you don't mind the inconvenience.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Composition of the Pentateuch

I just ran across a very interesting post by John Anderson at Hesed we'emet on the composition of the Pentateuch. In preparing for comps, John put together a lengthy outline for an essay on the driving theories of the development of the Pentateuch. This is a very helpful outline of the scholarship, and it evidently helped him pass. Thanks John.

Cook and Holmstedt's Hebrew Grammar

The University of Toronto's R.D. Holmstedt teamed up with Asbury Theological Seminary's John Cook a while ago to produce an introduction to Biblical Hebrew that would be freely available online. They've had a draft edition up for some time, but they've just completed an update. Check it out here.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

New Exams for MSt Students at Oxford

I received an email this morning from the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies letting me know they would really appreciate it if I remained at Yarnton Manor an extra week (until 2 July, 2010) as they will now be giving oral exams to some of the Oriental Institute's MSt students. They want me around in case I'm chosen. Sounds like fun.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Don't Make Fun of Grad Students!

I had to throw in this little extra, from Dave Beldman. Only one of the countless brilliant moments from the Simpsons.

Death will come out of it! No one will escape!

Via Alan Lenzi at Bible and Ancient Near East. A tablet was recently unearthed in Turkey (dating to around 630 BCE) in which an Assyrian official named Mannu-ki-Libbali begs for reinforcements against approaching Babylonian troops. The requested troops arrived too late, and the town, Tushan, was ultimately destroyed.

Lenzi points to the tablet as evidence of literacy in the seventh century even among low-level bureaucrats, which is a conclusion with which I am in agreement. It's an exciting find, and a dramatic glimpse into the life of a first millennium BCE individual. This is one of the reasons I enjoy studying the ancient world.

Duane Smith also comments here and points to the original article here.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Psalm 29:1 and the Sons of the Gods

The construct בְּנֵ֣י אֵלִ֑ים in Ps 29:1 is generally translated "Sons of the Gods," or simply, "The Gods." I tend to view אֵלִ֑ים, rather, as a singular with an enclitic mem, just as bn 'ilm is generally interpreted in the Ugaritic literature. Since Psalm 29 is an almost direct borrowing from Syro-Palestinian storm god imagery (and may allude to Baal's seven thunders and lightnings), it seems likely to me this very rare form (cf. Ps 89:7; Dan 11:36) is simply a borrowing of the form as it appears in other Northwest Semitic literature. Thoughts?