Summer Biblical Hebrew at Southwestern Seminary in Houston

ANNOUNCEMENT:  I’m teaching Turbo Hebrew at Southwestern Seminary-Houston starting Monday, May 8 9.  We will cover a full year of Biblical Hebrew in 10 wks, and the course meets Mondays/Thursdays from 8am to noon each time. In order for the course to make we need enough people committed by the end of the day tomorrow–Tuesday, May 3.  Please email me (psmarshall AT gmail DOT com) if you need details and I’ll get you set up.

Also, you could contact the following about enrolling:

Hudson Hanks (hhanks@swbts.edu)
Director of Business & Student Services
713.634.0011 ext. 222

In Memoriam: Prof. Anson Rainey (1930-2011)

I just received word today that the long and illustrious career of Anson Rainey ended yesterday when he lost his battle with pancreatic cancer. If you’d like to see the scholarly achievements of a bright light in studies of ANE language and culture, click here. It appears that the list of published works was last updated around 2008, so it is incomplete. But at last count, he had authored/edited 9 books, 112 articles in scholarly journals, and 48 essays which were components of books.

I’ve recently been listening to St. Augustine’s Confessions, and I came across this gem that I didn’t remember when I read the book in college: “And this idea sprang up in my mind out of my inmost heart, and I wrote some books–two or three, I think–On the Beautiful and the Fitting. Thou knowest them, O Lord; they have escaped my memory. I no longer have them; somehow they have been mislaid.” I’m tickled to imagine that someone could have written a few books and forgotten them or misplaced them! The only type of person who can even remotely begin to empathize with Augustine is one who is incredibly prolific–and Prof. Rainey was certainly that! I wonder how many books Prof. Rainey wrote and never published. . . . May God rest his soul.

Dr. Robert Holmstedt on Writing Book Reviews

Robert Holmstedt of the University of Toronto recently posted a piece over at Ancient Hebrew Grammar on the function of book reviews, in light of a few negative reviews of his book Ruth: A Handbook on the Hebrew Text.  He makes some great comments on what a review should aim for, especially how reviews ought to assess the success of any work based on the author’s purpose (and the series’ purpose, if it is a volume in a series).  I recommend that all my students take a look at what Holmstedt has to say on this.

Handel’s Messiah

Tonight my wife, three children, and I want to First Presbyterian of Houston to our first ever Messiah Sing-Along.  The orchestra was conducted by my colleague from HBU, Dr. John Yarrington.  The music was splendid; my singing . . . well, that was clearly unworthy of the Lamb who is worthy, as the last choral piece proclaims.  I offer my congratulations to Dr. Yarrington for a beautiful performance, and my thanksgiving to God that such a work exists to draw our attention and devotion to Jesus the Lamb and the King of Glory.  I think that tonight may have been the beginning of an annual family tradition for us.

For those who are unaware, my old doctoral supervisor (when I was at Southern Seminary), Dr. Daniel Block (now at Wheaton) wrote a piece analyzing Handel’s Messiah from a biblical and theological perspective.  If you plan to listen to it or attend a performance, please do read over Block’s essay before you go; it will greatly enhance your ability to understand and enjoy the spiritual themes of the work.  You can get it here.

12-13-10  You can get the polished, published version of Dan Block’s essay in the following journal article: “Handel’s Messiah: Biblical and Theological Perspectives,” in Didaskalia 12 (2001): 1-23.  Thanks, Dan, for pointing us to this text!

Congratulations to Dr. Greg Welty

I forgot to mention this the other day when “Between the Times” made the announcement, but let me publicly join the chorus of those congratulating Dr. Greg Welty for his appointment to Associate Professor of Philosophy at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.  Here is the paragraph from Between the Times:

“We at BtT would like to welcome Drs. Michael Travers and Greg Welty to the faculty at Southeastern. . . .  Dr. Welty has been appointed to the faculty as Associate Professor of Philosophy at Southeastern. Dr. Welty comes to our campus from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he has served as Assistant Professor of Philosophy. Dr. Welty comes with a credibly furrowed brow, as he completed his B. A. in Philosophy from UCLA, his M. Div. from Westminster Theological Seminary, and his M. Phil. and D. Phil. from University of Oxford.”

Southeastern will be incredibly blessed by this man of “credibly furrowed brow.”  I’ve known Dr. Welty for the past 15 years and can say that he is not only a lucid thinker and communicator, but also a man marked by faithfulness–to God, to family, to the Lord’s church.  It will be a great loss to  Southwestern Seminary, but there are bright days ahead for Southeastern.  So, congratulations to Greg Welty and to SEBTS!

SWBTS Faculty Photo of Greg Welty

Pray for Dr. Peter Gentry

UPDATE 2-22-10:

I spoke with Peter Gentry tonight by phone and received an update.  His surgery on Dec 2 was successful.  The surgery and biopsy indicated that the cancer was encapsulated, and a recent PSA test came back practically zero–very good news indeed.  The doctor had ordered that he not exercise for 6 wks.  So, 6 wks after surgery, he flew to Germany to conduct some research and started swimming every day.  He’s now swimming up to about 600 meters/day (almost 3 miles per week–I barely walk that much in the same amount of time!).  Praise God from whom all blessings flow!  He asks for continued prayers as he becomes stronger, knowing that his life was and still is ever in the strong hands of his faithful God.

Phillip

===========

On Dec 2, Dr. Peter Gentry (Septuagint guru, professor of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and my doctoral mentor) will be undergoing surgery in Louisville for prostate cancer.  His prognosis so far is good, but surgery and cancer are always a big deal.  Please pray for this dear brother.  I spoke with him yesterday (Monday) and he was in good spirits and is trusting in God and his goodness.  I hope to be able to provide an update in the days ahead.

Proper Nouns in Judges 5:19-27

One of the great difficulties in reading the Hebrew Bible, especially for beginners, is knowing when the unfamiliar word you’re seeing is a place-name/personal name or a common noun. The beginnings and endings of proper nouns can look like grammatical affixes (morphemes), and if you analyze them as such, they can lead you on a wild goose chase. For ex., in v. 23 if you don’t realize that מֵר֗וֹז is the name of a city (Meroz), you could mistakenly assume that מֵר֗וֹז is an adverbial prepositional phrase: the preposition מִן (with nun assimilated, and compensatory lengthening due to not being able to place dagesh forte in word-initial resh) affixed to some Hebrew noun רוֹז that you can’t find in your lexicon! In order to help you, my beloved Hebrew reading class, avoid this unfortunate problem (I’d much prefer to see you reading Hebrew, rather than chasing geese!), I’ve provided you with a list of the proper names in your next reading assignment: Judges 5:19-27.

v. 19 כְנַ֔עַן = Canaan;

בְּתַעְנַ֖ךְ = Taanach;

מְגִדּ֑וֹ = Megiddo

v. 20 סִיסְרָֽא = Sisera

v. 21 קִישׁוֹן֙ = Kishon (river)

v. 22 none

v. 23 מֵר֗וֹז = Meroz

v. 24 יָעֵ֕ל = Jael;

חֶ֣בֶר הַקֵּינִ֑י = Heber the Kenite

v. 25 none

v. 26 סִֽיסְרָא֙ = Sisera

v. 27 none

[Note:  This material can be accessed as a handout/document here.  RE: Hebrew font size, if you want to see this bigger and better, increase the viewing size of your browser window by keeping the CONTROL key pressed and clicking on the “+” key until the size is appropriate. To decrease the size, keep the CONTROL key pressed and click on the “-”.]

Proper Nouns in Judges 5:19-27

 

One of the great difficulties in reading the Hebrew Bible, especially for beginners, is knowing when the unfamiliar word you’re seeing is a place-name/personal name or a common noun.  The beginnings and endings of proper nouns can look like grammatical affixes (morphemes), and if you analyze them as such, they can lead you on a wild goose chase.  For ex., in v. 23 if you don’t realize that מֵר֗וֹז is the name of a city (Meroz), you could mistakenly assume that מֵר֗וֹז is an adverbial prepositional phrase: the preposition מִן (with nun assimilated, and compensatory lengthening due to not being able to place dagesh forte in word-initial resh) affixed to some Hebrew noun רוֹז that you can’t find in your lexicon!  In order to help you, my beloved Hebrew reading class, avoid this unfortunate problem (I’d much prefer to see you reading Hebrew, rather than chasing geese!), I’ve provided you with a list of the proper names in your next reading assignment: Judges 5:19-27.

 

v. 19    כְנַ֔עַן = Canaan;

בְּתַעְנַ֖ךְ = Taanach;

מְגִדּ֑וֹ = Megiddo

 

v. 20    סִיסְרָֽא = Sisera

 

v. 21    קִישׁוֹן֙ = Kishon (river)

 

v. 22    none

 

v. 23    מֵר֗וֹז = Meroz

 

v. 24    יָעֵ֕ל = Jael;

חֶ֣בֶר הַקֵּינִ֑י = Heber the Kenite

 

v. 25    none

 

v. 26    סִֽיסְרָא֙ = Sisera

 

v. 27    none

 

 

 

Promoting the study of Biblical Hebrew, Biblical Aramaic, and Hellenistic Greek