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.