Academics


Writing for Emerging Scholars Network

I am pleased to share that I have joined the authors at the Emerging Scholars Network blog. My first devotional essay was posted last Sunday and I believe the next four will come out on a weekly basis. We’re delighted to start summer with a new Scholar’s Compass series. Scholar’s Compass is our ongoing online […]


Das Denken ist auch Gottesdienst 1

UPDATE: Now almost 7 years since I first posted this @jasonstaples has offered a source for the earliest citation! I have to say, it is more concise than the source I cite below.1 The citation is found in volume 1 of the “International Journal of Ethics,” October, 1890, January, April, and July, 1891. It is an article by J. H. Muirhead, […]


Valmadonna Collection Purchased by the National Library of Israel 2

This is very good news! It appears the entire collection has been purchased by the Israeli National Library. As I shared several years ago Sotheby’s was exhibiting and the family seeking to sell this incredibly important collection. It is particularly important for Targum scholars because it includes Valmadonna 1 (formerly Sassoon 282). The Sotheby’s catalogue described […]


The Proselyte and the Prophet is finally in print and here!

If you are at SBL you can pick up your copy at the Brill booth (don’t forget your #TgRuthSelfie!) or ordered it at Brill’s site.  


News from Nashville

This year, after nearly 20 years as both an faculty member and an academic administrator, I am on my first-ever academic leave and, as readers of the blog know, I am working my book on suffering and grace. But two months ago I was contacted and asked if I would consider spending my time in Nashville […]


What is Targum?

It occurred to me this morning that I have never offered a definition or description of Targum and the Targumim on this site. Here is the entry I wrote for the Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible. The Hebrew term “targum” (plural “targumim”) literally means “translation,” but in the rabbinic period (c. 1st century – 7th century AD) the term came to refer specifically […]


A warning to linguists from Milton

The other day I came across this marvelous quote. With a wink and a smile, I offer this to my linguist friends. Of Education, by John Milton Language is but the Instrument conveying to us things usefull to be known. And though a Linguist should pride himself to have all the Tongues that Babel cleft the […]


Targum Ruth Book Cover Proof!

Every step gets us a little closer! Here is the cover sent by Brill. They will soon begin publishing it and taking preorders. The description of the book on the back cover is [This book] is an exegetical study of Targum Ruth with a focus upon the transformation of the biblical characters into exemplars of […]


Transcription of TgRuth from Valmadonna No. 1 on Targuman

The transcription of TgLam from the MS Urbanis Hebr. 1 has been available on Targuman for quite some time. Today I have made available my transcription of TgRuth from the Valmadonna No. 1 MS. This will also be included in my forthcoming book, The Proselyte and the Prophet
: Character Development in Targum Ruth (Brill, 2016). Transcription of TgRuth […]


Periods, commas, and other important elements of the written language.

A Facebook friend posted this article from the Washington Post, Stop. Using. Periods. Period. My friend called them “douchey, hipster pod-dorks with no allegiance to the English language” and I cannot say that my assessment is too far off. I would suggest, however that their flagging allegiance is not just to English but to all written language. […]