31 posts

Gen. 50:20 – Did God “plan” or did he “reckon”?

Gen. 50:20 ואתם חשבתם עלי רעה אלהים חשבה לטבה This passage is the climax of the Joseph cycle, as his brothers realize that it is their brother Joseph, whom they had sold into slavery, who is now lord in Egypt and holds their fate in his hands. Gen. 50:18 Then his brothers also wept, fell down before him, and said, “We are here as your slaves.” 19 But Joseph said to them, “Do not be […]

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. Sure, language evolves and changes, yes, like anyone who studies ancient texts, I know that well. I also know that […]

משלי אדם – On reading handwritten Hebrew MSS

What a great set of posts and resources! Thanks for sharing this, it is very useful and I wish I had some guidance like this 20 years ago when I started reading manuscripts. So You Want to Read Handwritten Hebrew Manuscripts, part II. This post is a continuation of two earlier blog entries here and here.  Its purpose is to help facilitate the reading of handwritten Hebrew manuscripts for intermediate students of the language.  Psalm […]

DailyHebrew.com » The Genetic Relationship of Aramaic & Hebrew

Short and to the point. Be sure to click through to get a bit more and some nice bibliography on the subject (and verb). Two recent articles from well-respected news agencies have included fallacious details about the relationship between Hebrew and Aramaic. The first described the Aramaic dialect spoken in the first century of the Common Era as “a language which developed from the classical Hebrew of the scriptures, a few hundred years earlier,” and […]

Quibbling with NRSV

I know, I know. This is an old and hackneyed debate and there are far better/worse modern translations to go after. But as I am finishing up my translation of Targum Ruth (huzzah!) I see that the NRSV has made some lame choices, presumably to be “gender inclusive.” In this case there is some basic biology and not just patriarchal dominance behind the language: Ruth 4:13 ‏וַיִּקַּח בֹּעַז אֶת־רוּת וַתְּהִי־לוֹ לְאִשָּׁה וַיָּבֹא אֵלֶיה So Boaz […]

“Inventory of Structurally Important Literary Features in the Anonymous and Pseudepigraphic Jewish Literatures of Antiquity”

This is an exciting project that our colleagues at Manchester and Durham have been working on. News from Alex Samely: Dear Colleagues, I have pleasure in announcing the availability of a new terminological framework for the analysis of ancient Jewish literature, the “Inventory of Structurally Important Literary Features in the Anonymous and Pseudepigraphic Jewish Literatures of Antiquity”. This Inventory gathers together all the basic literary options available to ancient Jewish text makers and puts them […]

Hebrew on the iPad, at last!

The iOS 4.2.1 update for the iPad brings a number of goodies that we have long enjoyed 0n the iPhone.1 One that I had been particularly eager to use is Hebrew input! First impression: Very nice! It seems to work across all apps, but some handle it better than others and some even have key features not available in other apps.  So, a quick rundown followed by a gallery. You install it by going to Settings>General>Keyboard>International […]

Ps. 22.29[30] – Who shall bow down?

I have just finished my homily on the Fourth Words of Jesus (Matt. 27:46, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”) and in reading it with Psalm 22, I realized that there are very different renderings of verse 29 in the English, 30 in the Hebrew. ‏ אכלו וישתחוו כל דשני ארץ לפניו יכרעו כל יורדי עפר ונפשו לא חיה׃ NRSV: Psa. 22.29 To him, indeed, shall all who sleep in the earth […]

Biblical Studies Carnival XXIII

I neglected to link to John Hobbins’ Biblical Studies Carnival XXIII. John took a slightly different approach this time. It looks good to me! The format of this carnival is simple. I link to representative posts from a wide selection of blogs. The purpose: to introduce a bunch of bloggers to each other who will come, hopefully, to see for themselves what nastiness and spite or fulsome praise I inflict upon a post of theirs, […]

Boyarin Boring?

Not that I find his work or lectures boring, quite the opposite. But at Columbia a student recently chastised her peers. The lecture, “Dethroning the Son of Man: Daniel and the Antiquity of Christianity,” was mandatory for Columbia College members but the early hours seemed to get to them. Take a Seat | Columbia Spectator I have never encountered such blatant disrespect. Not only were students talking and sleeping during the lecture, but many students […]