Ugaritic! Huh! What is it good for?! Absolutely everything…

The texts from the city of Ugarit and the language they were written in (Ugaritic) are far more important for understanding the Old Testament than the Dead Sea Scrolls, but the DSS hog all the press.
Logos is about to publish an electronic Ugaritic library. Instead of writing a lengthy post of my own, let me link to one of Logos’ academic staff, Mike Heiser, who explains why Ugaritic is so important. (See also this demo video for usage examples)

Incidentally, Mike is an Evangelical who wrote his dissertation on the Divine Council in the Hebrew Bible, and maintains, where he takes some unusual positions for an EV, uch as arguing that the Israelites were not pure monotheists.

He recently presented a paper, “You’ve Seen One Elohim, You’ve Seen Them All? A Critique of Mormonism’s Use of Psalm 82,” at the 2006 Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society. David Bokovoy (at Brandeis) has prepared a 44-page response, and summarizes Heiser’s paper and his response thereto on this board. (Might need to be logged in to see it.)

According to Bokovoy, “Heiser provides a list of sixteen points outlining his position regarding Psalm 82 and the divine council. Hesier divides these views into eight points with which many evangelicals would disagree, but concerning which ‘many Mormons would likely agree,’ followed by eight points ‘with which many Mormons would probably disagree, and with which many evangelicals would likely agree’.”

Good stuff.

Sacrament Meeting Talk- Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus

I’ve been assigned to speak to my relatively new ward on Easter Sunday about the crucifixion and resurrection. The Bishop thoughtfully assigned me about two months ahead of time, with the side comment “I hear you’re quite the scriptorian.” I’m not sure what he’s expecting, but more importantly, what do I deliver? Clearly, something having to do with atonement, crucifixion and resurrection, but that’s no small topic. I’ve had about 15 different ideas, and I’ve just been jotting down thoughts, notes, passages, and themes. My goal is to edify, inspire, and educate.

Posters around the ‘nacle have been known to voice criticisms of SM talks in general and “inappropriate” Easter talks in particular. Here’s your opportunity, then, to tell me what to do BEFORE instead of criticizing after. All suggestions appreciated.

Elder McConkie and Targumim, or How to Help LDS Read Non-KJV Versions

I recently discovered that Elder McConkie was aware of Targums, translations of the Hebrew Bible into Aramaic. I’ll discuss his understanding of them and a tantalizing tidbit stemming therefrom in my next post.

In the meanwhile, that discovery helped me formulate a strategy for helping certain kinds of LDS readers to understand that it’s ok to read and study non-KJV editions of the Bible. The following handout (necessarily limited due to space and audience) is what I prepared for an Institute class to make this point. Continue reading “Elder McConkie and Targumim, or How to Help LDS Read Non-KJV Versions”

Introducing Nitsav Lariv

Hello. I’m a new semi-perma-blogger here at FPR. I’m a graduate student in a similar field to these other folks, though much more Old Testament than New. I’ve been a denizen of the bloggernacle for a long time, posting here, there, and everywhere.

My moniker comes from a favorite passage of Isaiah, 3:13. KJV “The LORD standeth up to plead, and standeth to judge the people.” This really does NOT convey the force of the Hebrew.

The first verb is nitsav, meaning to stand up, but also stand up against, take or make one’s stand with more force than mere standing.

“To plead” also doesn’t quite carry the right force. Lariv means “to contend with.” More technically, it means to bring to court, to sue. It finds usage in what has been called the “prophetic lawsuit.” In other words, God is about to lay the smack down on the Israelites.

The second phrase, paralleling the first, is omed ladin, “he stands to judge.” This phrase was my first choice for pen name, and I quickly dismissed it for obvious reasons when I saw how it looked it English. I suppose I could have written it more like it’s pronounced, omayd ladeen, but I didn’t think about that when coming up with the name.

The NRSV captures it better than the KJV, though of course, you should just all learn Hebrew. “The LORD rises to argue his case; he stands to judge the peoples.”

I’m glad to be at FPR, hoping to post once a week or so.

Tomorrow I’ll have a post about Elder McConkie, Targumim, and Bible translations.