Call for Papers: Linguistics and The Biblical Text (IBR 2020)

Several months ago I posted about a brand new initiative that I am co-organizing at the annual meeting of the Institute for Biblical Research, along with Elizabeth Robar, who is a research fellow at Tyndale House, Cambridge. Last year we collaborated to establish the Linguistics and the Biblical Text research group, an initiative that was formed out of our desire to establish a regular setting for charitable interaction among scholars working in or with linguistic theory and the scriptures.

I like to think of this group as an academic equivalent to the “Judgment Free Zone” at Planet Fitness. That is not at all to say that we expect little in terms of the level of rigor and expertise — just the opposite. But what it does mean is that rigor and expertise should encourage mutual support and refinement, not a mindset of hostility or derision towards others.

With that goal in mind, I am pleased to publicize a call for papers for the Linguistics and the Biblical Text research group, which will meet for its second iteration at the 2020 meeting of the Institute for Biblical Research. The details are below:

Call for Papers Information

  • Event: Annual Meeting of the Institute for Biblical Research — 20 November 2020, Boston, MA
  • Research Group: Linguistics and the Biblical Text
  • Meeting Theme: Topic and Focus in Biblical Hebrew and Greek
  • Description:

We have an open call for papers that will provide a brief history of scholarship, including outstanding problems and some innovative view in the area of topic and focus for either Biblical Hebrew or Biblical Greek. Full papers of those selected for presentation will be due October 10. The chosen papers will be posted online a month ahead of time, with a 20-minute summary to be given during the Research Group meeting, followed by a designated respondent and open discussion.

A Wiki Page for the Group

Elizabeth and I were thrilled with the attendance at the first meeting of the group this past November, with around fifty people present at each paper and excellent (charitable) engagement from those in attendance. As stated in the Description above, our aim for the 2020 meeting — and the others to follow in later years — is to foster collaboration by having papers available in advance for readers and respondents, which will help facilitate useful discussion.

In order to make that happen, we have put together a Wiki page for Linguistics and the Biblical Text. If you are interested in staying in touch or contributing to the life of the research group, please head over to that site and sign up. We will be sending out announcements through this page (details still being worked out).

2019 Linguistics and the Biblical Text meeting

Top 10 Books of 2019 (and all the others)

As a professor, it probably comes as no surprise that I enjoy reading. It kind of comes with the territory. Then again, maybe some who read this post will be surprised at the somewhat random nature of the things I do read once you have a look below. There is a reason for that.

In my college and graduate years, I rarely read for pleasure. I simply didn’t think I had the time, so I focused on going deep with my assigned reading. There was nothing inherently wrong with that and, to be sure, I learned a lot with that approach. But I also missed out on a lot, since it is absolutely not the case that I (or you) don’t have the time for pleasure reading. Thankfully, I realized that early on in my doctoral years. That’s when I rediscovered my love of reading broadly — and as my whims led (as Alan Jacobs commends), which is what I make a practice of doing now. I find non-work-related reading particularly life giving, although admittedly there are some fuzzy boundaries with some books. (more…)

Reading the Septuagint in 2020

It’s always hard to believe another year is over. But it’s also a great time to think about reading goals for the year to come. I’m not talking about secondary literature (although I do plan to post a “What I Read in 2019” list soon), but about primary literature. When people ask me why they should care about the Septuagint, one of the things I mention is its language. If you are a student of postclassical (Koine) Greek, then the Septuagint is a natural next step (so too are the Patristic writers). That was a major reason why Greg Lanier and I set out to produce Septuaginta: A Reader’s Edition (Hendrickson 2018).

So with that in mind, I thought I’d present two good ways to begin (or continue) reading the Septuagint in 2020. (more…)