Miscellaneous

Personal Update

It has been a busy summer and now the academic year is upon us again, so buckle up. Back in late July I posted some information about recent publications and current projects (here). Other than that, most of the summer I have simply been re-blogging information about my forthcoming Septuaginta: A Reader’s Edition, co-edited with Gregory R. Lanier and published with Hendrickson. It will be available in November (yes, they will have it in stock in Denver) and we’ve set up a website specifically for sharing information about it (here).

Although it’s taken a little bit longer than I anticipated to be able to share some other significant developments that I hinted at in July, I’m finally able to do that now.

Side Note: If you don’t really care about my personal developments and just like stuff about Septuagint, I get it. No feelings hurt. But you’ll have to wait a few more weeks before my next Septuagint scholar interview, this time with the inestimable John A. L. Lee. If you can’t wait that long then consider reading this piece I wrote for Credo Magazine.

Dissertation Submitted

It has already been a few weeks since this occurred, but on August 24th I submitted my dissertation at the University of Cambridge. When that happened, I took the obligatory picture (right) in front of the red door of the Student Registry where everyone turns in their dissertation. It’s actually a pretty anticlimactic moment, since you just hand it over to some person behind the desk who you’ve never even seen before, sign a form, and walk away. It takes about three minutes.

But you walk away free. Sort of. At least, you walk away with your fate sealed. I am waiting to hear from the Powers That Be about the date of my viva, which is the oral examination of my work that is actually the true test of whether I “pass” or not, and if so, how much or how little correction is necessary. I don’t have a date yet, but it will definitely happen before Christmas.

If you’re curious, the title of my dissertation is “Septuagint Lexicography and Language Change in Greek Judges.”

There’s a ton more I could say about my time at Cambridge. Thankfully, there is a place to do that, and that is your Acknowledgements in the dissertation. So I have included that section in this post, which you can read below.

Job Starting in January

I am also thrilled to share that I have been appointed as an assistant professor of Old Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina. This appointment has been in the works for a pretty long time. Over a year, actually. But the long process was well worth it in my opinion.

RTS is a multi-campus institution begun just over fifty years ago to serve all branches of evangelical Christianity, especially the Presbyterian and Reformed family. As an organization, it is firmly rooted in a commitment to the Westminster Standards and focuses on preparing pastors, missionaries, educators, counselors, and others for leadership and service in the Church.

I am honored to have the opportunity to join an excellent faculty in Charlotte to help train and equip others in this way. My position begins in January 2019, when I’ll be thrown into teaching an intensive intermediate Hebrew class. My primary responsibility will be courses in the Pentateuch and Historical books, but also includes the Hebrew curriculum and upper-level Greek courses as well. I should also have an opportunity to teach electives in due time, and I’ll give you one guess for what the topic will be for my first one.

You can read the official RTS announcement here.

ETS & SBL Conferences in Denver

Somewhere between moving away from Cambridge and arriving in Charlotte, I’ll be showing up for the annual biblical studies conferences in Denver this November. There I will be doing something I’ve never tried before: co-presenting. Twice, in fact.

First, I will be part of this year’s Septuagint Studies consultation session at ETS (details here), and will be discussing with my co-editor, Greg Lanier, the more practical aspects of how we went about producing the Reader’s Edition of the Septuagint. Second, we will also co-present at one of the IOSCS meetings at SBL, where we’ll be discussing some more technical and research-oriented aspects of the same thing based on the data we collected along the way. Should be a good time.

Dissertation Acknowledgements

For anyone interested, you can read my Acknowledgements page from my dissertation below:

Two Recent Archives Visits

Strangely enough, even though biblical studies as a discipline revolves around primary sources, not a lot of those involved in research actually have a reason to view a physical ancient manuscript. It’s a digital age. Even in my own work with Hellenistic papyri and inscriptions almost everything I need to look at is digitized. Occasionally I will view a published edition, but even a lot of that is online as well (e.g., SEG).

That is why I always relish the opportunity to actually see some physical stuff in a library somewhere. I have posted a few times in the recent past about a few visits I’ve made to the University of Cambridge library, where I took some time to view some of the correspondence of revered Septuagint scholar H. B. Swete (e.g. here and here. NB I hope to post more from the troves of what I found there in due course).

But recently I had the chance to make two archival visits to view some items that were actually old. One pretty old and another really old. It was great fun so I thought I’d explain these visits. (more…)

2017 Septuagint Summer Course at Trinity Western University

Another great opportunity has arisen for those interested in the Septuagint as a student. As in previous years, (see here and here), there will be a week-long seminar in Septuagint studies held at Trinity Western University’s John William Wevers Institute for Septuagint Studies, near Vancouver, B.C. I have done this twice now and found it very useful. This year the seminar will be taught by Dr. Robert Hiebert (see interview here).

As I have mentioned before, the Wevers Institute is the only place in North America where a full-fledged Septuagint degree is offered, as both a Master of Theological Studies and the shorter Master of Theology. If you are interested in LXX studies, you should definitely look into this program. The Wevers Institute also benefits from several excellent scholars, not only including Robert Hiebert (director and this year’s instructor), but also Drs. Larry Perkins and Dirk Büchner, each of whom are working on Pentateuchal commentaries in the SBLCS.

Seminar Details

The seminar will be 3 credit hours and is entitled Exploring Septuagint Origins and Texts, and the provisional texts include  taken from Aristeas, Genesis, Exodus, Psalms, 2 Reigns, Daniel, Esther, Proverbs, and 4 Maccabees. The seminar will be held from May 8–12 of this year. The Vancouver area is a beautiful region that you won’t regret visiting. But if you can’t swing the trip, the Wevers Institute is also offering live-streamed video sessions. The course description from Robert Hiebert is as follows:

“The basic plan of the course is to start by reading the Letter of Aristeas (all of it in English, parts of it in Greek), which presents a second century BCE story regarding the translation of the Septuagint (among other things) and to consider how that story squares with the nature of the translation products that we now have in that corpus. Thereafter we will read selections from the Septuagint, parts of it in Greek and parts in English, to get a sense of the different parts of the translated corpus as well as some of it that was written in Greek from the outset rather than translated from the Hebrew. Finally, there will also be a component that involves working with an important Psalter papyrus text (Papyrus Bodmer XXIV) that will include transcribing a column of text (from a high resolution digital image) and doing some reading on what is involved in papyrological study.”

If you’re interested, email acts@twu.ca. Check out the poster below for more details: