Academics


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. […]


Onward and upward! But first, a rest. 1

Last week I announced that I am stepping down as dean of the Schreyer Honors College, a position I have held for the last 10 years. It has been an incredible experience and I have grown in so many ways. I will be forever thankful for this community. Below is the letter I posted on the honors […]


SBL Statement on Public Statements & Academic Freedom

Lately I have commented and criticized some of SBL’s recent statements and stances so it is only fair that when I agree with a position they have taken I should praise them.1 Today SBL sent an email regarding a position that was passed by the council in December 2015. (Some have suggested this is a […]


Why do we need to consider how many angels can dance on the point of a needle?  1

“The Lost Tools of Learning” is a wonderful lecture by one of my favorite authors, Dorothy L. Sayers. I particularly like this bit of clarification, one might say hairsplitting, as she addresses why logic and critical thought are important, even when applied to a purely theoretical question. A glib speaker in the Brains Trust once […]

Dorothy L Sayers portrait by William Oliphant Hutchison for National Portrait Gallery ca. 1950

To blog or not to blog…that is the question. At least for graduate students.

During the Q&A period of the panel discussion with Bart Ehrman, Will Gaffney, and Larry Schiffman were asked about whether or not grad students should blog. There response was an unanimous “no.” Some of their specific reasons were concerns of exposure, that they might post things/opinions that could come back to hurt them in the job […]


Blogging comes of age

I will be presenting in the Blogger and Online Publication session this year. It should be a fun and informative session. My presentation will be a bit more organic, or really, about the organic process of how my blog has developed over the last dozen years. The Life of a Blog from Cradle to Maturity (?) […]