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?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Jim Davila's More Pseudepigrapha Project

I recently came across a fascinating project undertaken by the University of St. Andrews. They hope to provide a follow-up volume to Charlesworth's Old Testament Pseudepigrapha that will include the lesser known and more fragmentary pseudepigraphic and apocryphal texts from early Judaism and Christianity. The cutoff will be 600 CE, or the rise of Islam, which extends well beyond the scope Charlesworth's volumes. The project is called More Old Testament Pseudepigrapha.

One of the more interesting aspects of the project will be the inclusion of quotations of lost books of the Bible, such the Books of the Acts of Solomon, and the book of the Chronicles of King David. Jim discusses his "wish list" of lost books here. From the above University of St. Andrews link, following is a list of the complete or substantially complete books to be included in the volume:

Adam, Creation of (Slavonic)
Adam, Horarium of
Adam, Octipartite (Slavonic, etc.)
Balaam Text from Deir Alla
Cave of Treasures
Daniel, Armenian Seventh Vision of
Daniel, Syriac Apocalypse of
Daniel, Two Byzantine Greek Apocalypses of
Danielis, Somniale
Danielis, Lunationes
David and Goliath (Aramaic 'Song of the Lamb')
David and Solomon, Selendromion of
Elijah, Hebrew Apocalypse of
Sheva Eliyyahu (Sheva Zutarti) (The Adjuration of Elijah)
Enoch, Ethiopic Vision of
Ezekiel, Visions of
4 Ezra, Armenian version of
5 Ezra
6 Ezra
Ezra, Vision of (longer version)
Gad the Seer, Words of
Geniza Wisdom text
Jeremiah, Coptic Apocryphon of (History of the Captivity in Babylon)
Jeremiah's Prophecy to Passhur
Joseph, History of (Syriac)
Joseph, Narrative of (Coptic)
Levi, Aramaic
6-7 Maccabees
Massekhet Kelim (Treatise of the Holy Vessels)
Melchizedek legend in Chronicon Paschale
Melchizedek, Story of (Greek)
Midrash Vayissa'u (Book of the Wars of the Sons of Jacob)
Moses, Eighth Book of
Moses, Sword of (Harba di-Moshe)
Naphtali, Hebrew
Palaea Historica
Pseudo-Philo, Sermons on Jonah, Sermons on Samson
Satanael Text (Slavonic)
Sefer ha-Razim (Book of the Mysteries)
Seven Heavens, Apocalypse of the
Shem, Treatise of (Aramaic and Judeo-Arabic versions)
Signs of the Judgment
Sibyl, Latin Prophecy of the
Sibyl, Tiburtine
Solomon, Hygromanteia of (Epistle of Rehoboam)
Solomon, Testament of (Vienna manuscript)
Ten Tribes, Apocryphon of the
Visions of Heaven and Hell
Sefer Zerubbabel (Book of Zerubbabel)

This looks to be a very exciting publication. Any thoughts?

Monday, August 3, 2009

Metheg Use in Aleppo and Leningrad

I've been working for almost a year now on the critical apparatus for BHQ Isaiah, and I've noticed an interesting phenomenon. We're using Goshen-Gottstein's HUB version of Isaiah, which is based on Aleppo, as a sort of jumping off point for the critical apparatus. As part of my work I'm in charge of cataloging errors and harmonizing the text with Leningrad, which is the base text for BHQ. The differences (at least in Isaiah) between Aleppo and Leningrad are relatively insignificant, but the vast, vast majority of the variants arise with the use of the metheg. Leningrad seems to use it far more often than Aleppo, although there are also a number of places where Aleppo includes it against Leningrad. Could there be anything significant at the root of this, or is it just the preference of the scribe?

Friday, July 31, 2009

How to Read a Paper at SBL

Via John Hobbins at Ancient Hebrew Poetry, here are a few common errors from SBL presenters:

(1) The speed-reading of densely argued material, because “time is short.” Solution: Cut your paper in half. Make sure the content is a KISS (Keep It Short and Sweet). Read as little as possible. Work from notes, maintain eye contact, and adjust your delivery speed based on audience response.

(2) No handouts provided. So people forget your name, what text you are talking about, your thesis. Solution: provide handouts that highlight your thesis, provide text, and include information you take for granted in the presentation itself. Essential background information that is old to you is bound to be new to someone else.

(3) A monotone delivery in which you stumble over the written word and never look up. It reinforces the communication process if hearing, reading, laughing, storytelling, a dramatic gesture or two, converge to make a point. At ISBL-Rome, James Kugel, formerly of Harvard, was an excellent role model in this sense. In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Pontifical Biblical Institute, he told a number of excellent jokes on Jesuits and on Orthodox Jews to illustrate his points, but also, just to put everyone in a lucid state of mind. Like the story of a Jesuit who is looking for a particular church in Paris. He asks a passerby, “How can I find St. So-and-so?” The answer, “You’ll never find it, Father. It’s right in front of you.” After pointing out a commonality between Jesuits and Orthodox Jews, their love of Jesuitical/Talmudic reasoning, he got everyone’s attention when he said that in terms of reading the Bible with intellectual honesty, Orthodox Judaism is stuck where Catholicism was 100 years ago.

(4) Not making your point clearly. You have to be creative about getting your point across. The acoustics in many rooms is terrible. It is often helpful to gather everyone together in a virtual huddle. One excellent presider of a session I presented in, Tova Forti, did just that. We were all far more attentive than we would otherwise have been thanks to her forethought.

(5) Wall-flower presiders. Presiders need to be proactive. A very short but interesting presentation of a presenter can be helpful. If a presentation bombs, it’s still possible to briefly reboot the discussion on the basis of the subject matter. It’s also a huge plus to have time at the end for a panel discussion in which the same question can be put to more than one presenter. If presenters are taking the scholarship of someone in the audience as their point of departure, by all means ask the audience member to join in the discussion. In a Wisdom session, Michael Fox was in the audience and presenters were engaging his scholarship in almost every paper. Forti rightly invited him to comment. What fun to see your paper cut down to size immediately!

I feel vindicated for making sure I always have good handouts for my presentations. I agree that having a vague and unclear thesis is about the most annoying thing a presenter can do. I've also whittled a few pages off my presentation already just to make sure I can give the central points the time they deserve. Thanks, John, for the great advice!

New Mount Zion Inscription

Via Jim Davila, a stone vessel bearing ten lines of text has been discovered in Jerusalem that seems to come from priestly circles. The orthography is quite unique, and so translation is expected to take up to six months. A couple lines are easily visible above. Anyone here want to see if they can do better?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

SBL Program Book is Now Up

I was happy to log on this morning and see this November's SBL program book up on the SBL website. The most important for me is session 22-149, where I'll be presenting on Anti-anthropomorphisms and the Vorlage of LXX Exodus:

It has long been recognized that the Greek translations of the Hebrew Bible often tend away from literal renderings of anthropomorphic passages. LXX Exod 24:10, interjecting "the place where God stood" in an effort to avoid intimating that God has a visible form, is a clear example of this theological emendation. The use of the resumptive adverb ekei in the Greek, however, betrays a uniquely Hebrew syntactical construction, and seems to reveal a Hebrew parent text that already contained the de-anthropomorphic element. This paper will investigate the LXX translations of anthropomorphic passages from Exodus and evaluate the possibility that the Hebrew Vorlage to LXX Exodus already contained a number of the de-anthropomorphic elements traditionally attributed to the exegesis of the translators.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Michael Heiser's "So What Exactly is an elohim?"

I came across an interesting article by Michael Heiser (here) that discusses the taxonomy of the word "elohim." Rather than incorporate a wider Near Eastern context, Heiser focuses primarily on the biblical contextualization, even including New Testament ideologies. Although I disagree with the presumption of a univocal biblical text and the neglect shown other Northwest Semitic manifestations of the word (see Joel S. Burnett's dissertation for a comprehensive discussion. I discuss it here), I found much worth contemplating in his paper, and I think it's excellent that Heiser has devoted so much time to the Divine Council. I hope you enjoy it.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Assyro-Babylonian Context for qoneh as "Begetter"

As I dig deeper into the participle qoneh in Gen 14:19, 22, I am more and more convinced that Bruce Vawter is partially correct in rejecting the translation "creator." I think the most accurate translation is "Begetter" (which Vawter does not support). Looking through Akkadian texts for parallel vernacular and ideas, I have run across quite a bit of information that supports my reading.

Vawter correctly states in his paper, "Yahweh, Lord of the Heavens and the Earth" (CBQ 48 [1986]: 465)that the Akkadian literature from Syria-Palestine does not contain a single use of qanû in a context that suggests creation (the same is true of Mesopotamian Akkadian literature). On the other hand, while the titles “Lord of Heaven and Earth” and “Lord of the Gods” are not uncommon in Akkadian, qanû appears in none of them. In fact, it appears in no divine epithets. This seems to have escaped Vawter’s consideration. The titles that do occur, however, indicate a procreative reading of qny fills a significant gap in the parallels to Assyro-Babylonian divine epithets that is left empty if that reading is rejected. As in early Syria-Palestine, theogony plays a central role in Mesopotamian literature. Several titles address the creation of heaven and earth as well as of other gods. In some epithets, and even some prose, the procreative aspect of this creation is explicit. Anu is described in one text as inseminating the heavens, which then gives birth to the earth. Marduk is called bān šamê u erṣeti, “Creator of Heaven and Earth” in CT 9, 6.1. Ea is pātiqu šamê u erṣetim, “Creator of Heaven and Earth” in KAR 252 and RS 3.39. Enlil is described as ālid ilāni rabûti, “Begetter of the Great Gods,” in KAR 25.3.32. In a parallel epithet, Ninlil is called bānīt ilāni rabûti, “Creatress of the Great Gods.” Elsewhere the participle bānû, “Creator,” appears directly parallel to the participle mu-al-lid, “Begetter.” In light of these parallels, it is clear that creation and procreation were often conceived of as synonyms. It also establishes the priority of a procreative reading of the Ugaritic qnyt ’lm, contra Vawter’s proposal that it be translated “Mistress of the Gods.” In the Syro-Palestinian or Assyro-Babylonian epithets there is no equivalent, of which I am aware, to Vawter’s reading, which is why he must appeal to the Egyptian title nbt pt to provide a parallel. If one accepts the procreative nuance of the Syro-Palestinian use of qny, the Assyrian literature provides numerous analogies. These theogonic epithets, combined with the prose mentioned above, support the head of the Near Eastern pantheon as begetter of deities named “Earth” and “Heaven.”

An additional relevant phrase is abi wa-li-di-ka, “the father who begot you,” which appears repeatedly in Akkadian literature. The parallel use of abu and the participle ālidu throws light on the phrase אביך קנך in Deut 32:6. Scholars have long recognized the procreative nuance to the verse, but rarely is that sense conveyed in the translation. “Your father who begot you” would be most appropriate. Vawter’s argument against this reading is untenable. He rejects the contextual influence of עשך and יכננך on the procreative reading of קנך, arguing rather that תגמלו provides a more immediate context in Israel’s failure to appropriately “repay” Yahweh. He argues we must understand what it is Yahweh did for Israel that merited repayment. He posits that vv. 8–9 provide the clearest answer in Yahweh’s inheritance of Israel. Nowhere does Vawter engage the word אביך, immediately parallel to קנך. He must mitigate the clear and immediate context with one that is broad and eisegetic.

This is some interesting summer research. Further updates to follow.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Can qoneh Mean "Creator"?

The participle qoneh has generally been understood to reference the acquisition or possession of a thing, whether through creation, purchase, or inheritance. The participle is found most importantly (for our purposes) in Gen 14:19, 22:

קנה שמים וארץ

It has traditionally been translated, "Creator of heaven and earth," but some have raised objections to that reading. In Lowell K. Handy's treatment of the Syro-Palestinian pantheon (Among the Host of Heaven) we read, "the meaning of the root . . . has been determined to be ‘acquire/own’ and not ‘create'" (76). Handy cites Peter Katz's 1954 Journal of Jewish Studies article and Bruce Vawter's 1986 Catholic Biblical Quarterly article. We may add a 1980 article by Vawter appearing in the Journal of Biblical Literature which argues the verb qnh in Prov 8:22 should not be understood as "created." To support this he argues the verb should never be taken to mean "create" in Ugaritic or in the Hebrew Bible.

His argument clearly stems from a need to find an uncreated premortal Christ in Proverbs' Wisdom, but of interest to us is his footnote number 20, in which he attempts to support the statement that the translation "create" in the Ugaritic corpus' use of qnh is "never certain," and in some cases, "definitely ruled out." He does this simply by citing translations that use another word:

wy'ny.]aliyn[.b'l.]/ m.kqnyn. '[ ] / kdrd.dyknn. This is translated by Gordon in Ugarit and Minoan Crete (New York: Norton, 1966) 89: "And Aliyan Baal declares: / 'Why, like - upon / Like - which he causes to be"'; the same translation is in his earlier Ugaritic Literature (Scripta PBI 89; Rome: Pontifical Biblical Institute, 1949) 50. In the second edition of Canaanite Myths and Legends (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1978) 133, J. C. L. Gibson does not translate the text (10 iii 5-7, according to the Herdner sigla), but in his glossary he offers "creator" as the meaning of the qny there (the full word he transliterates kqnym).

Vawter does not address any of these arguments directly, but in this instance he is particularly to be faulted for neglecting to address that qnyn appears in parallel with yknn, which overlaps most parsimoniously with qnh in the sense of creation. My translation of KTU

Indeed, our creator is eternal
Indeed, ageless is he who made us.

For a similar reading, see Cross, Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic, 15. Compare also to KTU 3.5.35-36; 4.1.5-6; 4.4.47-48; where yknnh is parallel to 'abh ("his father").

In this instance, Vawter has overstated his argument and has neglected to even engage a very serious obstacle to his thesis, preferring rather to assert that Gordon translated it with another word, and so "create" cannot be "certain," which, in this case, is clearly incorrect. The argument that qoneh in Biblical Hebrew cannot mean "creator" because it does not mean "create" in Ugaritic is thus undermined.


Saturday, June 6, 2009

Deut 32:43 and Scribal Emendation

I posted quite some time ago about scribal emendation in Deut 32:8 regarding the "sons of God." That's not the only passage in that chapter, however, to betray such emendation. Deut 32:43 is a little less simple, but just as important to the discussion of early Israelite and even Second Temple Period beliefs in deity. The MT reads thus:

הַרְנִ֤ינוּ גֹויִם֙ עַמֹּ֔ו כִּ֥י דַם־עֲבָדָ֖יו יִקֹּ֑ום וְנָקָם֙ יָשִׁ֣יב לְצָרָ֔יו וְכִפֶּ֥ר אַדְמָתֹ֖ו עַמֹּֽו

“Praise, O nations, with him, for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and take vengeance on his adversaries; he will be merciful to his land, to his people.”

LXX has an entirely different reading that seems to preserve something missing from MT, but also seems to add something to the text:

εὐφράνθητε, οὐρανοί, ἅμα αὐτῷ, καὶ προσκυνησάτωσαν αὐτῷ πάντες ἄγγελοι Θεοῦ· εὐφράνθητε, ἔθνη μετὰ τοῦ λαοῦ αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἐνισχυσάτωσαν αὐτῷ πάντες υἱοὶ Θεοῦ· ὅτι τὸ αἷμα τῶν υἱῶν αὐτοῦ ἐκδικᾶται, καὶ ἐκδικήσει καὶ ἀνταποδώσει δίκην τοῖς ἐχθροῖς καὶ τοῖς μισοῦσιν ἀνταποδώσει, καὶ ἐκκαθαριεῖ Κύριος τὴν γῆν τοῦ λαοῦ αὐτοῦ.

“Rejoice, O heavens, together with him, and let all the sons of God worship him. Rejoice, O nations, and let all the angels of God draw near to him. For he will avenge the blood of his sons, and he will take vengeance and repay righteousness to the enemies, and recompense the hated, and the Lord will purify the land of his people.”

The first clause includes the phrase "let all the sons of God worship him" where MT is silent. This seems close to an original reading, closely attested by 4QDeutq, which reads "let all the gods worship him," which is almost identical to Ps 97:7. Q and LXX also have "heavens" against MT's "nations. LXX adds the clause with "nations," however, and provides the parallelism "angels of God" for "sons of God," manifesting the Second Temple Period's conflation of angels and all other divinity attested in the Hebrew Bible (Brenton's version of this verse has "Let all the angels of God worship him," which is quoted verbatim in Heb 1:6). While the "sons of God" were originally conceived of as actual offspring of El, the conflation of Yahweh and El combined with the elevation of Yahweh-El over all the nations and their gods demoted everyone else to the rank of angel, or mere messenger of God. Where MT simply erases the reference to the children of God (or possibly just "gods"), LXX adds a parallel to qualify it. Earlier, in Deut 32:8, LXX interpolates "angels" where Q has "sons" in the phrase "sons of God."

MT also puts "his servants" where LXX and Q have "his sons." It seems quite a bit of manipulation has taken place over the years in this verse. I'm still doing preliminary research, but I've found this verse fascinating. What do you think?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I just picked up a publication from the SBL Dissertation Series. It's Joel S. Burnett's A Reassessment of Biblical Elohim. It's a fascinating read, but I thought I'd highlight the first section, which discusses the early Near Eastern manifestations of the plural of El/'ilu as a singular title. Burnett groups the Hebrew 'elohim, the West Semitic 'ilanu, and the Phoenician 'lm together as "concretized abstract plurals" that were used with singular verbs in reference to patron or personal gods, and sometimes to the Egyptian king. They are found from the Amarna Letters to Mari, Ugarit, Taanach, and Qatna. Burnett rejects the notion of a "plural of majesty" on the grounds that it is not clearly found in all the languages which preserve the above plural noun. It is more closely related in all the languages to an abstract plural, like 'adonim (lordship), or 'abot (fatherhood). He calls it "concretized" because of its appropriation as a title for specific gods. This would render a literal translation of the word in the Hebrew Bible "deity." ha'elohim would be "the deity."

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A New Dead Sea Scroll Discovered?

Again via Jim Davila, an IAA operation has confiscated what appears to be a 2,000 year old piece of papyrus with a Hebrew text on it referencing "year 4 to the destruction of Israel," which could refer to 74 CE, after the destruction of the temple, or 139 CE, four years after the Bar Kokhba Revolt. The story is here. A photo of the papyrus (courtesy of the Scroll Conservation Laboratory, Israel Antiquities Authority) is downloadable here. Cool stuff.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

History of the Publication of the Dead Sea Scrolls

Via Jim Davila, Geza Vermes discusses, in Standpoint: Online, his role in, and a history of, the discovery and publication of the Dead Sea Scrolls, as well as their impact. A very informative read.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Graduate School

After considering an offer to go straight into a PhD program at Claremont Graduate University, my wife and I have decided to accept an invitation to read for the Master of Studies in Jewish Studies at the University of Oxford. We're excited to spend some time in the UK. I'm presenting a paper in the Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible session at SBL this November, so I'll have to turn around and fly back for a week within two months of arriving. Despite all the flying, I think it will be a great experience for my family and me.

Friday, March 6, 2009

No Jobs?

Throughout my undergraduate years the professors in and around my emphasis made sure to warn everyone that in our field, there were no jobs. If we weren't willing to go teach high school somewhere because we couldn't get hired we shouldn't be in the major. I was always a little skeptical, mainly because everyone who was telling me this had a job. In the last three days two job postings have been made public for Hebrew Bible positions on, here and here. One of them has a pretty small salary, but it's a foot in the door. It seems to me there are still jobs out there.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The youngest ever PhD from Hebrew University has launched a new website that seeks to trace, among other things, the sources of the Hebrew Bible. The author provides Word documents that color code the texts of the Bible, up to 2 Sam 5, according to the Deuteronomistic sources. I'm a little wary of that degree of specificity, but judge for yourself. The website is here.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Studia Antiqua - Call for Papers

Studia Antiqua, BYU's student journal for the study of the ancient world, is happy to announce an extended deadline for the spring 2009 call for papers. The extension will move the deadline to Monday, February 2.

Studia Antiqua invites submissions from students and professionals in and outside of Brigham Young University that treat a topic related to any pre-Islamic culture. While the majority of our papers are related to the ancient Near East, we encourage submissions discussing any of the world's ancient cultures. Book reviews are also welcome. Submissions should be sent to

For more information about the journal, and for access to back issues and submission guidelines, please visit or the Students of the Ancient Near East website.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

What's in Your Canon?

Bible Study Magazine has an interesting chart showing the canons of the different biblical traditions:

What's in Your Bible? Find out at

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Binyan Trouble in Psalms 2:6

The Hebrew of Psalms 2:6 is as follows:

וַאֲנִי נָסַ֣כְתִּי מַלְכִּ֑י עַל־צִיֹּון הַר־קָדְשִׁי

‎The verb נָסַכְתִּי appears to be the root נסך in the Qal binyan, which leaves rather slim pickings regarding translation. According to HALOT, the Qal means "to pour out." Pouring out to cast a statue is connoted in Isaiah 40:19. Is the psalmist here referencing the production of a statue of God? The KJV translates the verb "set."

Other possibilities have been suggested, though. If the verb is a Niphal, and the vocalization and assimilation of the nun has just been neglected, the verb can be translated "to consecrate," or "anoint." Another meaning in the Niphal is applicable, which would render the translation "woven," or "shaped."

We're thus left with the following possibilities for translation. Let me know which you prefer:

But I have consecrated/anointed/cast/formed my King upon Zion, his holy mountain.

Gary Rendsburg's The Redaction of Genesis

An out of print book written in 1986 by a scholar of the Hebrew Bible whom I hold in high regard, Gary Rendsburg, is available online in PDF format here. It provides a form critical look at the presentation of Genesis, particularly focusing on chiastic arrangements of the material and what is revealed, as a result, about the composition and redaction of the book. Certainly worth a read.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

More Resources for Biblical Studies

I found a Russian website with literally hundreds of primary texts related to biblical studies. The site is here, but you'll need a program called DjVu in order to open the files. A free plugin is available here. I'm browsing an Ethiopic version of Matthew published in 1749 right now.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Free Book Downloads

Daily Hebrew has a list of dozens of free book downloads related to Semitic languages. They're all from the 19th or early 20th century, but several standards are there, including several editions of Gesenius. Have a look here.