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The present paper seeks to provide a programmatic introduction to some of the major themes of historicist literary study and to explore how this body of work may help biblical scholars rethink historical criticism as a specifically literary method of study and reading. It advocates a program of literary study in which biblical historical criticism, with its strong insistence on the need to historicize and with the various philological practices which it uses to accomplish this feat of historicization, continues to play a central and essential role, but recognizes, as well, the pressing need to rethink and to retheorize the objectivist and foundationalist assumptions which have informed and motivated historical-critical practices in the past, and to facilitate the integration of the full panoply of literary methods, theories, and strategies of reading currently employed by literary scholars.

In: Biblical Interpretation
In: Puzzling Out the Past


In this note we argue for understanding Qoh 3:1 as verse (the opening to the poem that follows in 3:2-8) and consider possible lineation options, proposing in the process a new way of under-standing its structure as a couplet. With only limited and erratic early manuscript evidence for lineation and no explicit, contemporary comment on this topic, the line structure of biblical Hebrew poems will always be in need of (re)construction. The exercise undertaken here exemplifies the kind of (re)constructive endeavor we believe necessary for thinking seriously about line structure in biblical verse.

In: Vetus Testamentum

A collaborative project of the Brooklyn Museum and a number of allied institutions, including Princeton Theological Seminary and West Semitic Research, the Digital Brooklyn Museum Aramaic Papyri (DBMAP) is to be both an image-based electronic facsimile edition of the important collection of Aramaic papyri from Elephantine housed at the Brooklyn Museum and an archival resource to support ongoing research on these papyri and the public dissemination of knowledge about them. In the process of building out a (partial) prototype of the edition, to serve as a proof of concept, we have discovered little field-specific discussion that might guide our markup decisions. Consequently, here our chief ambition is to initiate such a conversation. After a brief overview of DBMAP, we offer some initial reflection on and assessment of XML markup schemes specifically for Semitic texts from the ancient Near East that comply with TEI, CSE, and MEP guidelines. We take as our example BMAP 3 (=TAD B3.4) and we focus on markup as pertains to the editorial transcription of this documentary text and to the linguistic analysis of the text’s language

In: Journal of Religion, Media and Digital Culture