Academics


The Illumination of Archaeology

Recently (July 2017) there was a story about “ancient Canaanite DNA” disproves the Bible. For example, The Independent in the UK had this headline: “Bible says Canaanites were wiped out by Israelites but scientists just found their descendants living in Lebanon.” Except, of course, that the Bible says no such thing. This comes up with reasonable frequency, some discovery offers […]


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 2

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 […]