New Article on Psalm 51 in JSOT

I am pleased to see a new article of mine published in the current issue of the Journal for the Study of the Old Testament. The article is entitled “David’s spiritual walls and conceptual blending in Psalm 51” and the abstract is as follows:

Owing to the apparent topical disjunction of the final two verses of Psalm 51, many commentators consider them a later addition, particularly given the attitude toward sacrifice and the reference to Jerusalem’s walls. By taking a cognitive linguistic approach, particularly applying Fauconnier and Turner’s theory of conceptual blending, this article demonstrates the unity of the Psalm as a discourse unit. Additionally, this article builds upon literary structural analyses of others to suggest the complementarity of the cognitive linguistic and literary approaches. This analysis of Psalm 51 as a whole demonstrates that, not only do vv. 20–21 cohere with the entire psalm, they do so by interacting with vv. 18–19 to build meaning from a single conceptual blend network, one that depends upon the conceptual structures prompted by the narrative setting throughout the discourse. On this reading, David himself is Zion/Jerusalem whose damaged spiritual walls require restoration by Yhwh as a builder.

I am afraid I cannot post the actual published version due to the ridiculous copyright practices of academic journals. But I can break down some of the jargon a little bit and give away the punchline.

(more…)

LXX Post-Doc in Helsinki, Finland

Many people who come to Septuagint scholarship quickly recognize that, while it is a small and specialized discipline, it is one with a rich history. In terms of its recent developments, Septuagint scholarship would not be what it is without the so-called “Finnish School” based at the University of Helsinki. I have written a little bit about this branch of scholarship in the past. Most recently it was related to the symposium held two years ago in honor of the esteemed scholar Ilmari Soisalon-Soininen (1917-2002). You can read more about that event and its honoree here. (more…)

New Volume in La Bible d’Alexandrie: Song of Songs

Septuagint scholarship is still a young discipline. I tell people this all the time and they don’t seem to believe me. Sure, study of the Greek version(s) and recensions of the Hebrew Bible is virtually as old as Hellenistic Judaism itself. So there is certainly lots of history to the discipline, from antiquity through the early modern period and beyond. But the scholarly discipline as it exists today is really only about fifty years old. (more…)