I’m on vacation with my wife, daughter, and parents in the San Juan Islands near Seattle. It is quite fun to have my Kindle full of pleasure reading–I’ll get back to the serious stuff later.
Larry Hurtado has a brief but thoughtful reflection concerning the role of faith (or lack thereof) within biblical studies. The entire post is worth a look but here are his concluding comments:
Years ago I read one of the finest statements about a scholar that I’ve ever encountered. In a letter of reference for a younger colleague, a more senior scholar said of him, “He is neither captive to his tradition nor in reaction against it.” That would be a worthy stance for anyone to my mind.
So, I’ve spent pretty much the whole afternoon trying to track down a reference that a host of sloppy commentators have not documented properly. I was trying to find the exact passage where Joseph Mede, the person often attributed as first “modern” (if 1664 is considered modern) scholar to propose multiple authorship of Zechariah, mentioned his view that Jeremiah wrote Zechariah 9-11. Paul Hanson, predictably, was one of the only ones who provided a proper citation–all of the other
lazy concise authors just vaguely mentioned that Mede said something of this sort. Some even quoted him and failed to cite where the quote came from! Yet, Hanson selected a rather odd statement from him and I wanted to find the reference myself to get the context and to check the accuracy and such.
Mede thought that the Holy Spirit revealed to Matthew that Jeremiah actually wrote Zechariah 9-11 and that, ahem,”the Jews” got it wrong. Anyway, it is a fascinating read because, in the words of Paul Hanson:
“It is interesting to note that we have before us one instance where the orthodox attitude toward the inerrancy of Scripture prompted biblical criticism.”1
Here is a pdf of the page from the humbly titled, The Works of the Pious and Profoundly-Learned Joseph Mede, B.D., in which Mede discusses this. The entire book is available on Early English Books Online.
- The Dawn of Apocalyptic, rev. ed. (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1979), 287. [back]
The folktale is the most unpretentious and democratic form of literature—stories that everyone is free to tell and embellish because they belong to no one in particular.
Students and recent graduates of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, my alma mater, have had a great showing in academic publishing lately. I know that I am forgetting a few things (remind me and I’ll update it) but here is a sampling of what we’ve published in the past couple months or is due out in a month or two:
- Current PhD student, Ben Noonan, has an article titled, ““Did Nehemiah Own Tyrian Goods? Trade between Judea and Phoenicia during the Achaemenid Period” coming out in the next issue of JBL.
- Also in this same issue Jeff Cooley has an essay, “The Story of Saul’s Election (1 Samuel 9–10) in the Light of Mantic Practice in Ancient Iraq”–they may as well call this the HUC Celebration Volume.
- Angela Roskop has an incredible book coming out from Eisenbrauns next month, trust me, this one is going to make waves and you will want to order a copy now before it sells out.
The Wilderness Itineraries
Genre, Geography, and the Growth of Torah
History, Archaeology, and Culture of the Levant – HACL 3
by Angela R. Roskop
Eisenbrauns, Forthcoming, July 2011
xvi + 312 pages, English
Cloth, 6 x 9 inches
List Price: $49.50
Your Price: $44.55
- Jeff Cooley, Kyle Greenwood, and I have edited prayers in the Reading Akkadian Prayers volume in the SBL ANE Monograph series that should be out before the international SBL meeting in July.
- Kyle Greenwood also has an article, “Labor Pains: The Relationship between David’s Census and Corvée Labor” in the current issue of BBR.
- Ken Way has a book on tap for release in August:
Donkeys in the Biblical World
Ceremony and Symbol
History, Archaeology, and Culture of the Levant – HACL 2
by Kenneth C. Way
Eisenbrauns, Forthcoming, August 2011
xvi + 300 pages, English
Cloth, 6 x 9 inches
List Price: $49.50
Your Price: $44.55
I’m glad to be included among this crowd; hopefully some of their luster will rub off on me.
I’m sure that there are some perfectly nice people who work at Brill but the price of the online Context of Scripture volumes is completely, totally, out of line and almost criminal–and to add insult to injury, COS is a shoddy reference anyway. Out of principle I’m not even going to provide the link to this thing but here is the info on cost and such:
Context of Scripture Online
The Context of Scripture Online
Canonical Compositions, Monumental Inscriptions and Archival Documents
from the Biblical World
General Editor William W. Hallo. Associate Editor K. Lawson Younger, Jr.
Outright Purchase Price $1,332.00 €980.00
Annual Subscription Price $285.00 €210.00
There is no reason in the world why it should cost this much, particularly when students are some of the main people using it. Honestly, all this pricing structure is going to do is fuel people overlooking copyright restrictions and privately disseminating this amongst themselves.
This kind of stuff is terrible for scholars who cannot purchase materials because they are too expensive, crippling for many library budgets which then leads in part to the escalating tuition fees for students, and so on. As for me and my house, when I have a good monograph idea I’m going to talk with Eisenbrauns and other, reasonable publishers instead of Brill.
But the success of translation very largely depends on the levels of complexity in the original text.
Whenever a work is translated from one language to another range of meaning, emotional aspects, purposeful ambiguity, and many other things are lost or at least stunted. One of the most prominent casualties of translation is humor–what one culture finds humorous might strike another as offensive or just not funny. Additionally, if a joke depends upon multiple meanings of a word it may fall flat if these meanings are not communicated into the target language. This is exactly what happens as this reporter tries to tell a joke to the Dali Lama (via my great friend, Shane Cass):
A few things have occurred lately that caused me to update my CV that I post on this site:
- I formally received my PhD last month.
- I was very honored to be asked to contribute an essay for the forthcoming Festschrift honoring my Doktorvater, Samuel Greengus.
- I have been selected as a fellow for the Advanced Seminar in the Humanities 2011-2012: Literature and Culture in the Ancient Mediterranean: Greece, Rome, and the Near East at Venice International University.
- I was “promoted” from Instructor of Old Testament Interpretation to Adjunct Professor of Old Testament Interpretation–a promotion in name only in order for the school to abide by accreditation standards since I now have a PhD, but hey, I’ll take what I can get.
- I am teaching an Akkadian class this Summer for the first time.
So, if you are curious to see the CV in its entire splendor (particularly if you are the decision-maker in charge of filling a position for an endowed professorship), just click here.