Judaism


“A prayer of one afflicted, when faint and pleading before the Lord.”

The psalm assigned for today’s Morning Prayer is 102. Powerful, poignant, and a reminder both of the importance of lament in our prayer life and of faith within the midst of lament. Psa. 102:0   A prayer of one afflicted, when faint and pleading before the LORD. 1 Hear my prayer, O LORD; let my cry come […]


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.  


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 […]


Published: Article on 1 Maccabees 2 and Hebrews 11

I just received the digital offprint, available here. This was a germ of an idea in a paper I submitted for an independent research class with Dr. Barry Strauss in my senior year at Cornell way back in 1991. (Yes, I had multiple senior years.) This article is part of a Festschrift in honor of […]


Boaz: Centrally Marginalized 2

  This was a paper originally presented at the Mid-Atlantic SBL in 2010 and was going to be part of an article on the character of Boaz. Now that the book on Tg. Ruth is complete, this will not be making it into an article and so I thought I would make it available here. You can find a companion “close reading” of the character of Boaz […]


Rabbinical views regarding marriage

Not trolling, genuinely rediscovered this during my research (see Tg. Ruth 4:6). Said Rab to R. Assi, “Don’t dwell in a town where horses don’t neigh and dogs don’t bark, don’t dwell in a town where the head of the community is a physician, and don’t marry two women, but if you do marry two, then […]


Wisdom Critiquing (Qohelet’s) Wisdom?

Morning Prayer today has as its OT reading Wisdom 2. I have not read the Wisdom of Solomon for many years. Given what I have recently been writing on, specifically Ecclesiastes, this chapter stuck out to me. It reads, in part, 2:1    For they reasoned unsoundly, saying to themselves,“Short and sorrowful is our life, […]


A Biblical Theology of Suffering – Part 1 4

This past weekend I had the great privilege and honor to return to my alma mater and speak at the Graduate Christian Fellowship and Chesterton House. My title was “My God, my God, Why Have You Forsaken Me? A Biblical Response to Loss and Catastrophe.” I have a recording of the lecture that I may make available […]


What is it to light a candle?

My wife has recently written about the fact that when we travel and there are churches or cathedrals to visit, we light a candle for Mack. We have done this since last summer, the summer after he passed. There are usually hundreds of candles burning there. People light them for many reasons: as a memorial, […]