I re-post this every year in December because it always deserves another look!
Attention all Tolkien language geeks, my friend, Patrick Wynne, sings “A Elbereth Gilthoniel” (by J.R.R.Tolkien) to the tune of “O Tannenbaum.” Brilliant.
(if you have trouble viewing the video, refresh your browser)
A Elbereth Gilthoniel,
O Elbereth Starkindler, silivren penna míriel
white-glittering, slants down sparkling like jewels, o menel aglar elenath!
from the firmament the glory of the starry host! Na-chaered palan-díriel
Having gazed far away o galadhremmin ennorath,
from the tree-woven lands of Middle-earth, Fanuilos, le linnathon
to thee, Everwhite, I will sing, nef aear, sí nef aearon!
on this side of the Sea, here on this side of the Great Ocean!
Special thanks to Pat for letting me post this here!
Many thanks to Jim Eisenbraun (and Gina Hannah) for sending me a copy of Eisenbruans‘ A Manual of Ugaritic (by Pierre Bordreuil and Dennis Pardee) to review.
Anyone who teaches or studies Ugaritic will want to take a serious look at adding this book to his or her collection of resources. I had high hopes for this book and I was not disappointed.
The manual was first published as Manuel d’Ougaritique in 2004 (by Librairie Orientaliste Paul Geuthner S. A.). This 2009 edition not only provides an English translation, but also incorporates corrections, modifications (of some grammatical presentations and also some text interpretations), and updates to the bibliography. The authors note in the preface that the “most important of the modifications is in the presentation of the verbal system particular to poetry.” Continue reading →
I am delighted that Hendrickson granted permission for me to post PDFs of both the Table of Contents and the author’s very helpful introduction, “How To Use This Book.” While I will quote some of this material below, I recommend reading both files because they give both the structure of the book and an explanation for how the book is intended to be used and the thought behind some of the novel pedagogy. The Table of Contents is very detailed and provides an excellent overview of the course plan.
PDF Files to view/download
All Front Pages to A Basic Introduction to Biblical Hebrew by Jo Ann Hackett
We’ve had our schedule a bit interrupted by Mark’s cancer treatments, but I’ve been steadily making my way through a stack of books to review for you. Here’s what you can look forward to in the coming days:
Completion of my review of War in the Bible and Terrorism in the 21st Century (Part One is here)
Another book attempting to deal with violence in the Bible: Walter Brueggemann’s Divine Presence amid Violence: Contextualizing the Book of Joshua
Jo Ann Hackett’s soon-to-be-published (by Hendrickson) A Basic Introduction to Biblical Hebrew
A few OT survey books, one takes a comparative approach, the other a socio-literary approach
Something for the Ugaritic fans 🙂
And as a special treat, I’m working on a post that explains the basics of the physics and bio-chemistry going on in Mark’s radiation and chemo treatments. Stay tuned to find out the low-down on oncology radiation and why not all chemo is equal (and what Mark’s chemo is attempting to do). We’ve just finished Day 11 of 28 of the radiation/chemo regime. Just taking things one day at a time.
There are a few other books in the queue, but the above list will hopefully be enough to entice you to keep checking back.
Until recently, biblical studies and studies of the written and material culture of the ancient Near East have been fragmented, governed by experts who are confined within their individual disciplines’ methodological frameworks and patterns of thinking. The consequence has been that, at present, concepts and the terminology for examining the interaction of textual and historical complexes are lacking.
However, we can learn from the cognitives sciences. Until the end of the 1980s, neurophysiologists, psychologists, pediatricians, and linguists worked in complete isolation from one another on various aspects of the human brain. Then, beginning in the 1990s, one group began to focus on processes in the brain, thereby requiring that cell biologists, neurologists, psychiatrists, psychologists, linguists, and other relevant scientists collaborate with each other. Their investigation revealed that the brain integrates all kinds of information; if this were not the case, we would not be able to catch even a glimpse of the brain’s processing activity.
By analogy, van Wolde’s proposal for biblical scholarship is to extend its examination of single elements by studying the integrative structures that emerge out of the interconnectivity of the parts. This analysis is based on detailed studies of specific relationships among data of diverse origins, using language as the essential device that links and permits expression. This method can be called a cognitive relational approach.
Van Wolde bases her work on cognitive concepts developed by Ronald Langacker. With these concepts, biblical scholars will be able to study emergent cognitive structures that issue from biblical words and texts in interaction with historical complexes. Van Wolde presents a method of analysis that biblical scholars can follow to investigate interactions among words and texts in the Hebrew Bible, material and nonmaterial culture, and comparative textual and historical contexts. In a significant portion of the book, she then exemplifies this method of analysis by applying it to controversial concepts and passages in the Hebrew Bible (the crescent moon; the in-law family; the city gate; differentiation and separation; Genesis 1, 34; Leviticus 18, 20; Numbers 5, 35; Deuteronomy 21; and Ezekiel 18, 22, 33).
At the 2009 ETS (Evangelical Theological Society) meeting in New Orleans just prior to the SBL meeting, there was a session about how to choose a Biblical Hebrew textbook. I wasn’t at the session, but some friends did obtain a copy of the handout for me. As a result, I also contacted Dr. Hélène Dallaire and asked about the textbook reviews she had done previously (she presented some of her own material at SBL 2006 and the 2009 ETS handout included a completed chart that she had started with Jason DeRouchie). She graciously sent me some digital copies and gave me permission to post them here.
I think these are helpful for instructors trying to make informed choices about textbooks to use for classes. There is no one “best” textbook. Rather, a teacher must consider their students, the type of class, the goals for the class, and their own teaching style and skills in selecting a textbook. The summaries are also helpful for students who are looking for supplemental reading and reference. I have tried to track down a digital copy of the ETS handout, but have not been successful yet, so I am posting a (relatively poor) scanned copy. If someone knows who has the original, I would be grateful if you brought that to my attention.
At the recent New Orleans SBL meeting, one of the “hot” sessions was the Software Bible “Shootout” in which five different software options demonstrated their method for solving a series of challenges. Read Rick Mansfield’s summary here. More discussion here (with lots of further links).The software vendors represented were: Logos, SESB, BibleWorks, Accordance and Olive Tree.
You can look at each of the resources in depth at your leisure. My question today is not which one handles what challenge better, but rather, who should determine which software you use? Continue reading →
John Hobbins has two posts this week which I think could be included as reading assignments in an introductory Biblical Hebrew course (or a Hebrew Bible Introduction). These posts help clarify just what we should mean when we use the term “ancient Hebrew.” As usual, he includes helpful bibliography.