What follows is a comprehensive, enhanced curriculum vitae including project abstracts and links when pertinent. A current PDF version may be downloaded here.
2013, Ph.D. Religious Studies
McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario
2009, M.A. Biblical Studies
Trinity Western University, Langley, British Columbia
2006, B.A. Theology
Rocky Mountain College, Calgary, Alberta
2015–Present, Assistant Professor and Director of the Dead Sea Scrolls Institute
Trinity Western University, Department of Religious Studies
2013–2015, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow
Trinity Western University, Department of Religious Studies
2014–2015, Sessional Instructor
Trinity Western University, Department of Religious Studies
2009–2013, Research/Teaching Assistant
McMaster University, Dr. Daniel Machiela
2007–2009, Research Assistant
Trinity Western University, Dr. Peter Flint, Canada Research Chair in Dead Sea Scrolls
Reading the Bible in Ancient Traditions and Modern Editions: Studies in Memory of Peter W. Flint. Edited by Andrew B. Perrin, Kyung S. Baek, and Daniel K. Falk. Early Judaism and Its Literature. Atlanta: SBL Press, in press.
This collection of essays commemorates the career contributions of Peter W. Flint (1951-2016). Featuring twenty-seven new essays from an international group of scholars specializing in various disciplines of biblical studies–Dead Sea Scrolls, Septuagint, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Second Temple Judaism, and Christian Origins–the volume interacts with and gives fresh insight into the fields shaped and impacted by Professor Flint’s life work. Essays in part one explore the interplay between text-critical methods, the growth and formation of the Hebrew Scriptures, and the making of modern critical editions. Part two maps some dynamics of scriptural interpretation and reception in ancient Jewish and Christian literatures of the Second Temple period. For an annotated table of contents of the volume click here
The Dynamics of Dream-Vision Revelation in the Aramaic Dead Sea Scrolls. Foreword by Florentino García Martínez. Journal of Ancient Judaism Supplements 19. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2015
For a full synopsis of the contributions of this volume, web content related to book launch and reviews, and media releases click here
“From lingua franca to lingua sacra: The Scripturalization of Tobit in 4QTobe.” Vetus Testamentum 66 (2016): 117–32.
In light of the growing consensus that the book of Tobit was originally penned in Aramaic, the fragmentary Hebrew copy 4QTobe is a singularly unique literary artifact of Second Temple Judaism. While a cluster of other Aramaic works were read and received as authoritative literature by at least some Jews at this time (e.g., Daniel 2–7, the booklets of 1 Enoch, and Aramaic Levi Document), Tobit alone was translated from the common language of the ancient Near East into the traditional Israelite mother tongue. This study explores how the shift from Aramaic to Hebrew should inform our conception of the status and reception of Tobit in ancient Judaism. By virtue of the new linguistic overlay given to 4QTobe , this manuscript should be considered a literary edition in its own right, with an ostensibly higher level or different degree of authority than its Aramaic language counterparts.
“Tobit’s Context and Contacts in the Qumran Aramaic Anthology.” Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha 25 (2015): 23–51.
The debate over Tobit’s compositional language was invigorated by the discovery of Aramaic and Hebrew copies of the work in Qumran cave four. The growing position among scholars, however, is that Tobit’s literary-linguistic makeup is best accounted for by its origination in the Aramaic language. The now widened collection of some thirty Aramaic texts available from among the Qumran collection provides a fresh opportunity to re-read Tobit with an eye for aspects of the book’s message and outlook that come into sharper relief when contrasted and compared with its closest counterparts in the Aramaic Dead Sea Scrolls. This exploratory study details the central theological emphases and literary motifs that Tobit shares with a core group of Aramaic writings including, but not limited to, 1 Enoch, Genesis Apocryphon, Aramaic Levi Document, Testament of Qahat, Visions of Amram, and New Jerusalem. Five points of correspondence with the aforementioned writings will be described: (i) the preference for first-person voices, (ii) ancestral instruction on Israelite religious duties and observance, (iii) insistence on endogamous marriages, (iv) eschatological outlooks of a ‘new’ Jerusalem, and (v) the awareness of idioms and motifs drawn from dream-vision traditions. Tobit may be viewed as an important representative of the Aramaic heritage of ancient Judaism, since in it we find the confluence of several key components of the thought world of the broader Aramaic collection, of which Tobit was an essential part.
“Another Look at Dualism in the Visions of Amram.” Henoch 36 (2014): 107–18.
Amram’s dream-vision in the Aramaic work 4QVisions of Amram (hereafter, 4QVisAmram) is infused with a blend of cosmological dualism and priestly concerns. Because this work almost certainly originated before and beyond the ken of the scribal community at Qumran, the dualistic ideology it contains provides important context for the dualistic ideas that emerge in the Qumran sectarian literature as well as in other ancient Jewish and Christian writings. The fragmentary nature of the manuscript evidence of 4QVisAmram, however, does not provide a complete knowledge of the composition’s dualistic outlook. This article consists of two short notes on two related issues central to our understanding of dualism in Amram’s dream-vision. These include: (i) the limited evidence for ‘free choice’ dualism in the extant text, and (ii) the problematics of depicting the angel of darkness in serpentine imagery.
“An Almanac of Tobit Research: 2000–2014.” Currents in Biblical Research 13 (2014): 107–42.
Arguably the most influential moments in the entire history of Tobit studies were the acquisition of the Qumran cave four Aramaic and Hebrew Tobit fragments in 1952 and their eventual publication in 1995. In light of these events, this article surveys the major advancements in resources and research on the book of Tobit since the turn of the millennium. The present survey establishes the status quaestionis on matters of Tobit’s compositional origins (i.e., language, date, and provenance) as it has emerged in several recent articles, monographs, and commentaries. Following the treatment of background issues, three thematic sections capture the major trends in recent Tobit studies. These include: (1) theories of Tobit’s scribal transmission and related text-critical issues, (2) questions of source material and intertextuality in Tobit’s composition and reception, and (3) a reappraisal of central narrative-theological features in Tobit (i.e., marriage and family, perspectives on burial, and the functions of food) and their potential insight into the book’s socio-historical contexts in ancient Judaism. The study concludes with some brief recommendations and open-ended questions for future research on the book of Tobit.
Co-authored with Daniel Machiela. “Tobit and the Genesis Apocryphon: Toward a Family Portrait.” Journal of Biblical Literature 133 (2014): 111–32.
The Aramaic Dead Sea Scrolls provide a unique window into Second Temple Jewish literature and scriptural interpretation that is only beginning to gain sustained scholarly attention. A major question regarding these texts, and addressed preliminarily in this essay, is the extent to which they may constitute a coherent corpus of related works. Tobit and the Genesis Apocryphon are two Aramaic compositions that have benefited from extensive individual analysis, but have not been studied alongside one another. A close, comparative reading of both texts reveals a surprising correspondence in their topics of interest, scriptural source material, literary techniques, narrative structures, and idiom. These similarities suggest a close family resemblance between Tobit and the Apocryphon, which were likely written in the same or associated circles of scribes during the early Hellenistic period. The relationship between these two texts makes a case for similar comparisons of other Aramaic Scrolls, and suggests a more tightly formed constellation of affiliated texts than has been previously recognized.
“Capturing the Voices of Pseudepigraphic Personae: On the Form and Function of Incipits in the Aramaic Dead Sea Scrolls.” Dead Sea Discoveries 20 (2013): 98–123.
It is widely recognized that the authors of the Aramaic Dead Sea Scrolls often shrouded their tales in first person voices and exhibited a perennial interest in the production and transmission of ancestral booklore. The present study explores the literary convention of the incipit in light of these interrelated methods of pseudepigraphy. Throughout the Aramaic Scrolls incipits introduce entire compositions and putative texts within narratives. Comparative philological analysis reveals that these incipits feature strikingly similar literary-linguistic idioms. However, it is equally apparent that that these common elements were uniquely patterned by individual authors. It is suggested that these commonalities should inform how we conceive of the scribal milieu(s) from which the Aramaic Scrolls emerged and our understanding of pseudepigraphy in early Judaism. The article concludes with a fresh proposal for the function of the title “A Copy of the Writing of the Words of Noah” in 1QapGen 5:29.
“The Variants of 4Q(Reworked) Pentateuch: A Comprehensive List of the Textual Variants in 4Q158, 4Q364–367 in Biblical Sequence.” Journal of Jewish Studies 63 (2012): 127–57.
This article presents all of the semantic, lexical, and grammatical textual variants contained in the group of scrolls known as 4QReworked Pentateuch (4Q158, 4Q364-367) according to the traditional verse order of the Masoretic Text. The variants for 4Q158 are based on a fresh treatment of the text from DJD V, while readings for 4Q364-367 are drawn from DJD XIII and are updated where necessary. Introducing the list of variants is a brief case study on the methods of low-level scribal intervention operating in 4Q365. In this way, the article presents the most up-to-date information on variant readings in 4QRP as well as offers a primer on the types of interpretive interchanges evident in a cross-section of smaller variant readings. For the first time this self-contained resource unifies all of the data for the 4QRP manuscripts in one place and will serve as a tool for text-critical and exegetical studies.
Co-authored with Daniel A. Machiela. “‘That you may know everything from him with certainty’: A New Reading in 4QEnGiantsb ar (4Q530) and a Literary Connection between the Book of Giants and Genesis Apocryphon.” Revue de Qumran 25 (2011): 113–125.
This article won the 2011 Norman E. Wagner Award for Innovative Use of Technology by the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies. The discovery of Aramaic fragments of the Enochic Book of Giants (BG) among the Dead Sea Scrolls has provided not only fresh insight into the prominence of Enoch traditions in early Judaism, but also a previously unknown Jewish Aramaic writing surprisingly well-attested among the Scrolls. The existence of BG traditions in ten fragmentary scrolls from Caves 1, 2, 4, and 6 indicates that the work formerly only known from later rabbinic texts and an adaptation in Manichean circles has roots in the mid-second century BCE or earlier. However, deciphering the contents of these fragmentary manuscripts and determining how they relate to one another has proven a demanding task. In this article we will address one juncture in the material reconstruction of 4Q530 (4QEnGiantsb ar) that has been problematic for every scholar who has worked on the text: the opening words of 4Q530 10.2. After presenting a new reading of this line that speaks to the status of Enoch as a source of certified knowledge for the giants we will turn to the Genesis Apocryphon (GenAp), where Lamech employs an almost identical idiom in a very similar narrative setting. The implications of this small literary parallel are quite significant, for they suggest a tight link between these two works, which likely originated from a shared scribal milieu.
“Lost in Translation(s)? Ascertaining the Impact and Influence of the Dead Sea Scrolls on Contemporary English Bible Translations through an Investigative Case Study on the Psalms.” McMaster Journal of Theology and Ministry 9 (2008–2009): 72–95.
On the eve of the sixtieth anniversary of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls it is safe to say that the research conducted on these invaluable texts from the Second Temple period has only just begun. In many ways the question still looming in public and scholarly minds alike is, “How will the Scrolls change my Bible?” Through an investigative case study on the Psalms the present essay analyzes seventeen contemporary English translations in order to isolate and explain how the Scrolls have been taken into consideration thus far. In so doing the study sheds light on commendable achievements of Bibles whose sophisticated text critical methodologies have successfully brought elements of the Scrolls from the caves of Qumran into the hands of present day readers. Conversely, the case study also highlights deficiencies in contemporary Bibles where the Scrolls have been overlooked, mismanaged and/or misinterpreted. In light of the trends apparent in the translation techniques and philosophies of contemporary Bibles the author proposes text critical and methodological considerations for future translation endeavors that will no doubt aim to consistently interact with the Scrolls on a deeper level.
“From Qumran to Nazareth: Reflections on Jesus’ Identity as Messiah in light of Pre-Christian Messianic Texts among the Dead Sea Scrolls.” Religious Studies & Theology 27 (2008): 213–30.
“Authority, Agency, and Scribal Innovation in Dream Narratives of the Aramaic Dead Sea Scrolls.” In Perchance to Dream: Essays on Dream Divination in Biblical and Other Ancient Near Eastern and Early Jewish Sources. Edited by Esther J. Hamori and Jonathan Stökl. Ancient Near Eastern Monographs. Atlanta: SBL Press, in press.
“The Aramaic Imagination: Incubating Apocalyptic Thought and Genre in Dream-Visions among the Qumran Aramaic Texts.” In Imagining the Apocalypse: Studies in Celebration of the Anniversary of John Collins’ Apocalyptic Imagination. Supplements to the Journal for the Study of Judaism. Edited by Sidnie White Crawford and Cecilia Wassen. Leiden: in press.
Scholars have increasingly recognized that the preponderance of formal apocalypses and apocalyptically oriented literature that has come down to us from ancient Judaism was penned in Aramaic not Hebrew. Statements of this kind may be found as early as the Uppsala conference on apocalypticism in 1979 and as late as the Enoch Nangeroni meeting in Milan in 2012. John J. Collins’ The Apocalyptic Imagination represents an important waypoint along this journey in the quest for the ancient Jewish apocalypse. However, because the majority of the Aramaic Dead Sea Scrolls were not critically published until relatively recently (DJD XXXI, 2001; DJD XXXVII, 2009), Collins explanation of the origins and development of the apocalypse could not fully account for or integrate much of this Aramaic apocalyptic heritage. Of the diversity of ancient Jewish and Christian texts treated in The Apocalyptic Imagination, the Enochic tradition and Daniel 2-7 were the only representatives of what is now recognized as a much larger constellation of some thirty Aramaic works attested in the Qumran collection. Among these is a cross-section of nineteen Aramaic texts that have a penchant for dream-vision revelation. This paper proposes that the new data brought by these Aramaic dream-visions engenders at least three insights into the origins and development of the apocalypse. These include: (i) revisiting the idea of the inception of the apocalypse/apocalypticism in the dream-vision form; (ii) tracking the early growth of apocalyptic dream-visions within other literary genres; and (iii) recognizing the surge of evidence for apocalypses with a strong priestly bent. As such, this study may be seen as response to Collins’ more recent assertions regarding the need for genre boundaries to be organic and accommodating of new evidence.
“The Textual Forms of Aramaic Levi Document at Qumran.” In Reading the Bible in Ancient Traditions and Modern Editions: Studies in Memory of Peter W. Flint. Edited by Andrew B. Perrin, Kyung S. Baek, and Daniel K. Falk. Early Judaism and Its Literature. Atlanta: SBL Press, in press.
The present study reconsiders the two recension theory for the textual status of the Aramaic Levi Document in light of the witnesses available in the collections of Qumran, the Cairo Genizah, and Mt. Athos Koutloumousiou monastery. Through a close consideration of three principle passages revealing variations in content and structure—Levi’s prayer, Jacob’s instruction on wood for burnt offering, and Levi’s wisdom discourse—it is argued that the theory of “long” and “short” versions of the composition as a whole is not sustainable. It is concluded that, while the fragmentary evidence for these passages evidences degrees of pluriformity, such differences do not uniformly reflect clearly defined recensions, versions, or literary editions.
“Towards a New Edition of 4QReworkedPentateucha (4Q158): Text, Translation, Variants and Notes.” Pages 59–76 in Celebrating the Dead Sea Scrolls: A Canadian Collection. Edited by Jean Duhaime, Peter Flint, and Kyung Baek. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2011.
With the Discoveries in the Judaean Desert (DJD) series now complete, the time has come to retrace our steps and select texts whose original treatment could benefit from a new analysis that fully integrates information from all available witnesses to the biblical text. This new preliminary edition of 4Q158 represents such an endeavor. In what follows, the manuscript evidence and textual character of 4Q158 are briefly discussed and the text is presented in a revised Hebrew transcription and fresh English translation, both of which are accompanied by corresponding lists of variant readings. Therefore, this article serves as an independent tool for research on 4Q158 as well as a companion for studying the other manuscripts published under the title the “Reworked Pentateuch” (4Q364-367).
Entries in Reference Works:
“Testaments (Early Jewish Literature).” In The Dictionary of the Bible and Ancient Media. Edited by Tom Thatcher, Chris Keith, Raymond F. Person, and Elsie R. Stern. London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, forthcoming.
“Book of Daniel,” “Dream Vision of Enoch (1 Enoch 83-84),” “Book of Tobit,” and “Dream and Vision Reports.” T&T Clark Encyclopedia of Second Temple Judaism. Edited by Daniel M. Gurtner and Loren T. Stuckenbruck. London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, forthcoming.
“Daniel Traditions: The Chronicles of Jerahmeel,” in Textual History of the Bible: The Deutero-Canonical Scriptures. Edited by Matthias Henze. Leiden: Brill, forthcoming.
“Aramaic Literature in the Dead Sea Scrolls.” BibleOdyssey.org. Society of Biblical Literature, 2016.
“ליץ” and “נאם.” Pages 519–23, 843–45 in Theologisches Wörterbuch zu den Qumrantexten, Band II. Edited by Heinz-Josef Fabry and Ulrich Dahmen. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 2013.
“Hanukkah,” “Pentateuch,” “Phylactery,” and “Sheol.” Pages 204–205, 394–395, 403, 488–409 in The Dictionary of the Bible and Western Culture: A Handbook for Students. Edited by Mary Ann Beavis and Michael Gilmour. Sheffield: Phoenix Press, 2012.
Bennie H. Reynolds III, Between Symbolism and Realism: The Use of Symbolic and Non-Symbolic Language in Ancient Jewish Apocalypses 333–63 B.C.E. Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha, forthcoming.
József Zsengellér (ed.), Rewritten Bible after Fifty Years: Texts, Terms, or Techniques? Dead Sea Discoveries 24 (2017): 165–67.
Angelo Passaro (ed.), Deuterocanonical and Cognate Literature Yearbook: Family and Kinship in the Deuterocanonical and Cognate Literature. Journal for the Study of Judaism 46 (2015): 436–39.
Devorah Dimant and Reinhard G. Kratz (eds.), Rewriting and Interpreting the Hebrew Bible: The Biblical Patriarchs in the Light of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Marginalia: A Review of Books in History, Theology & Religion (2014): n.p.
Daniel C. Olson, A New Reading of the Animal Apocalypse of 1 Enoch: ‘All Nations Shall be Blessed.’ Reviews of the Enoch Seminar (2013): n.p.
Leslie W. Walck, The Son of Man in the Parables of Enoch and in Matthew. Studies in Religion/Sciences Religieuses 41 (2012): 133–34.
Jason Kalman and Jaqueline S. du Toit, Canada’s Big Biblical Bargain: How McGill University Bought the Dead Sea Scrolls. Arc: The Journal of the Faculty of Religious Studies, McGill University 28 (2010): 196–98.
Eugene Ulrich, The Biblical Qumran Scrolls: Transcriptions and Textual Variants. Journal of Hebrew Scriptures 10 (2010): n.p.
Sidnie White Crawford, Rewriting Scripture in Second Temple Times. Journal of Hebrew Scriptures 9 (2009): n.p.
James K. Mead, Biblical Theology: Issues, Methods, and Themes. Toronto Journal of Theology 25 (2009): 144.
Richard A. Horsely, Scribes, Visionaries, and the Politics of Second Temple Judea. Reviews in Religion and Theology 16 (2009): 16–18.
Gary N. Knoppers and Bernard M. Levinson (eds.), The Pentateuch as Torah: New Models for Understanding its Promulgation and Acceptance. Toronto Journal of Theology 24 (2008): 262–63.
“Remembering Peter W. Flint (1952–2016),” Revue de Qumran 28 (2017): 153–55.
“Remembering the Past, Cultivating a Character: Memory, Pseudepigraphy, and Paratextuality in the Pseudo-Daniel Texts (4Q243-244; 4Q245).” Paper presented at the International Symposium on the Qumran Aramaic Texts, Copenhagen, August 15, 2016.
The texts collected under the Pseudo-Daniel rubric are an intriguing item in the Aramaic Dead Sea Scrolls as they bridge two predominant foci observed for the broader Aramaic corpus. On the one hand, the texts are associated with life in the exilic diaspora by way of attribution to Daniel and mention of political figures and eras associated with prevailing empires. On the other hand, aspects of the fragmentary content are anchored in the antediluvian and ancestral past with nods to the flood, tower of Babel, exodus, references to patriarchs, and an apparent interest in priestly genealogies. This paper will revisit the composition(s) represented in 4Q243-245 and explore the ways in which it (they) contributes to our understanding of two interrelated issues. First, how can a reading informed by insights from memory studies advance our understanding of the situation of the Pseudo-Daniel materials at an apparent nexus of the two predominant narrative settings of the Aramaic corpus? Second, how did this new narrative and thematic backdrop at once enhance the emerging persona of Daniel as a literary character as well as enable the creator of these writings to redeploy this redrawn Daniel to speak into a broader set of topics? In these ways, the paper will draw upon and challenge aspects of some current conceptual categorizations of the Aramaic corpus as well as underscore how the Danielic writings within it provide a fresh space for redescribing the rapid evolution of the Daniel traditions in the centuries leading up to the Common Era. For a full PDF, audio recording, and Prezi of the paper, click here
“Ignoring, Engaging, or Incorporating Non-Provenanced Aramaic Fragments in Secondary Source Publications and Research Projects.” Paper presented at the international meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, Berlin, August 8, 2016.
SBL’s recent adoption of ASOR’s policy attempts to ensure that SBL venues and publications are not the site of announcements or publication of non-provenanced texts and artefacts (i.e., delivery of primary sources). Regardless of one’s view of the appropriateness of SBL implementing such a policy, these “new” texts have become part of the discourse among scholars in the discipline of Qumran studies, generated important questions from peers in cognate fields, and captured the interest of those outside the guild in the public. In view of this, one implication that needs to be considered is the degree to which non-provenanced texts are handled—or if they should be handled at all—in the knowledge creation and dissemination of secondary resources for use in and beyond Dead Sea Scrolls studies. This paper will outline some considerations made in finding an ethical and responsible way forward and includes a sample of such an attempt from an in-process commentary on the Aramaic Dead Sea Scrolls that must to some degree acknowledge and encounter the issue of non-provenanced texts of Daniel, Tobit, and 1 Enoch in four known private or institutional collections. For a full PDF copy and video lecture of the paper, click here
Co-presented with Matthew Hama. “The Making of Open-Access Digital Editions for Dead Sea Scrolls Studies: A Case Study on 4Q548 for the Online Critical Pseudepigrapha” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the European Association for Biblical Studies, Berlin, August 8, 2016.
The present paper introduces an Aramaic fragment from among the Qumran collection, 4Q548, which is being prepared in a new transcription and fresh translation for the open-access initiative, “The Online Critical Pseudepigrapha.” The online publication of this text presents a unique set of obstacles and opportunities in light of digital humanities approaches and tools. The paper will present a penultimate draft of the digital edition of 4Q548 and describe a selection of the project’s technological research methods and outcomes for end users including: new readings made possible with digital reconstructions and palaeographical analysis; optimization of open-access image sets (e.g., the Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library) for evaluating texts in the research process and for user experiences; presentation of the text in view of its potential associations with other compositions (i.e., “Visions of Amram” [4Q543-547], “4QHoroscope” [4Q561], “4QTestamenta?” [4Q580]); and methodical reflections on the essential contribution of open-access text editions and digitized manuscripts for cultivating biblical culture online.
“Literary Editions and Variant Passages beyond the ‘Biblical’ Scrolls: The Evidence from the Aramaic Texts at Qumran.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies, Calgary, May 28, 2016.
The Dead Sea Scrolls have revealed that (1) the concept of a “Bible” is anachronistic for studies in the Second Temple period, and (2) many of the books that would become canonical for subsequent Jewish and Christian communities (i.e., the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament) developed over long scribal processes. However, while most would recognize that the Qumran community embraced a broader spectrum of authoritative literatures beyond the soon-to-be “biblical” books, the compositional development of other such writings has not been closely studied, save for a few exceptions (e.g., the Serek texts). This exploratory paper will use Eugene Ulrich’s model of “literary editions” to gauge how the Dead Sea discoveries provide fresh insight into the earliest growth of a cross-section of likely authoritative Aramaic literature at Qumran (e.g., Daniel 2-7, Aramaic Levi Document, 1 Enoch, and Tobit). Aspects of this paper resulted in the book chapter “The Textual Forms of Aramaic Levi Document at Qumran” (see above).
“The Qumran Aramaic Texts in Exegetical Perspective: Prolegomena to a Commentary on a Cluster of Scriptural and Parascriptural Texts among the Dead Sea Scrolls.” Paper presented at the Manfred Lautenschlaeger Award for Theological Promise Award Winners Colloquium, Heidelberg, May 9, 2016.
This paper laid the theoretical groundwork for my commentary on the Aramaic Dead Sea Scrolls. For an explanation of the content and direction of that project, see here.
“Coordinates of Agency and Constructs of Authority in the Oneirocrticial Profiles of Dream Narratives in the Aramaic Dead Sea Scrolls.” Paper presented at the West Coast Biblical Colloquium, Langley, April 14, 2016.
A revised version of this paper was published as the book chapter “Authority, Agency, and Scribal Innovation in Dream Narratives of the Aramaic Dead Sea Scrolls” (see above).
“Dream-Vision Discourse in the Book of Daniel and Ancient Jewish Aramaic Literature among the Qumran Library.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, Chicago, November 21, 2015.
The dream-vision episodes and interpretations that pervade the book of Daniel impact or inform almost every aspect of the composition (e.g., plot, characterization, genre, theological outlook). Daniel’s stature as a dreamer and oneirocritical profile, however, find little resonance in other writings of the Hebrew Scriptures. In search of a better interpretive context for the Danielic dream-vision tradition, the present study plots the book within a constellation of some twenty mid-Second Temple period Aramaic writings among the Dead Sea Scrolls, which exhibit an equally strong penchant for this form of revelation. Using Hindy Najman’s work on discourses linked to central figures in scriptural traditions and Carol Newsom’s work on the discourse of “apocalyptic scribalism,” this paper illumines how the dream-vision provided a way of shifting epistemological boundaries and strategically pressing the tradition in fresh directions through claims to special revelation in Daniel and these roughly contemporary writings.
“The Aramaic Imagination: New Challenges and New Data for Conceptualizing the Apocalypse from Aramaic Dream-Vision Literature.” Paper presented at the international meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, Vienna, July 6–10, 2014.
A revised version of this paper was published as the book chapter “The Aramaic Imagination: Incubating Apocalyptic Thought and Genre in Dream-Visions among the Qumran Aramaic Texts” (see above).
“Viewing Tobit through the Lens of the Aramaic Dead Sea Scrolls.” Paper presented at the international meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, Vienna, July 6–10, 2014.
A revised version of this paper was published as the book chapter “Tobit’s Context and Contacts in the Qumran Aramaic Anthology” (see above).
“Dreaming of Genesis: Enhancing Some Pre-Diluvian and Patriarchal Portraits through Exegetical Dream-Visions in the Qumran Aramaic Texts.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Pacific Northwest Region of the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature, Calgary, May 9–11, 2014.
The discovery of the Aramaic Dead Sea Scrolls illumined the reception history of the book of Genesis in ancient Judaism. This corpus of Aramaic literature comprises between 10-13% of the wider Qumran collection and has a concentration of parascriptural narratives associated with patriarchal personages or traditions. A notable feature of many Aramaic texts is the accentuation of dream-vision revelation in the redrawn portraits of the patriarchs. This study will describe how the author-exegetes of 1 Enoch, the Genesis Apocryphon, and the Aramaic Levi Document added to the portrayal of Enoch, Abram, Noah, and Levi by participating in a shared form of philological exegesis. By toying with semantic ranges of Hebrew words and allusive syntactical arrangements, as well as by drawing on parallel language elsewhere in scripture, the scribes behind these texts teased out intimations of patriarchal dream-visions. Once such an allusion was perceived, authors could step into the tradition, augmenting it with an account of the “lost” episode. In such cases, dream-visions could be viewed not as impositions on the patriarchal narratives but as responses to exegetical triggers within scripture. The findings of this study have implications for a number of issues including: (i) the prophetization of the patriarchs in some Second Temple period writings, (ii) the development of scriptural exegesis in light of dream-vision revelation and interpretation, and (iii) the nature and scope of the Aramaic Dead Sea Scrolls as a discrete corpus of texts.
“From lingua franca to lingua sacra: The Scripturalization of Tobit in 4QTobe.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies, St. Catherine’s, May 24–26, 2014.
revised version of this paper was published in the journal article “From Lingua Franca to Lingua Sacra: The Scripturalization of Tobit in 4QTobe” (see above).
“The Evolution of the Apocalypse: Dream-Visions and the Inception of Apocalyptic from Zechariah 1–6 to 4QVisions of Amram.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, Chicago, November 17, 2012.
In a short essay written in 1983 Jean Carmignac proposed that the roots of apocalyptic symbolism derive from analogous depictions in ancient dream literature (‘Description du phénomène de l’Apocalyptique dans l’Ancient Testament,’ in ‘Apocalypticism in the Mediterranean World and the Near East’). Carmignac’s hypothesis, while compelling, received little scholarly attention in the years that followed. Recently, however, the genetic link between dream-visions and the dawn of the apocalypse has been reconsidered and substantiated with fresh evidence by Frances Flannery Dailey in ‘Dreamers, Scribes, and Priests: Jewish Dreams in the Hellenistic and Roman Eras’ (Brill, 2004) and Bennie H. Reynolds in ‘Between Symbolism and Realism: The Use of Symbolic and Non-Symbolic Language in Ancient Jewish Apocalypses 333-63 B.C.E.’ (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2011). The present paper contributes to this line of inquiry by elucidating the ways in which the author of 4QVisions of Amram (4Q543-548) adopted and adapted traditional literary and linguistic material from the Zechariah visionary cycle when penning an entirely new dream-vision pseudepigraphically attributed to the patriarch Amram. While 4QVisions of Amram in its entirety does not fit the mold of an apocalypse as per the classic Semeia 14 definition, the dream-vision episode contained therein hews closely to many of its key components, suggesting that 4QVisions of Amram is indeed an important piece of evidence for tracing the evolution of the apocalypse. Amram’s dream-vision may be viewed as an important link in the chain from dream-vision to apocalyptic and exemplifies how the tradents of this nascent genre and outlook drew upon the images and idioms of scripture’s seers.
“The Compositional Structure of Dream-Visions in the Aramaic Dead Sea Scrolls: A Preliminary Report.” Paper presented at the Graduate Enoch Seminar at the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, June 19, 2012.
A significant portion of the Aramaic texts pseudepigraphically employ the voices of revered figures from Israel’s past, often claiming that such individuals were privy to divine revelation communicated via dream-visions beyond what is evinced in the Hebrew scriptures. The proposed paper will elucidate the degree to which the authors of these pseudepigraphic dream-vision episodes framed their accounts using similar linguistic phrases, literary motifs, and formal features. The cumulative weight of literary themes and linguistic threads such as these suggests that some of the dream-visions contained within the Aramaic Scrolls may be affiliated tradition-historically or perhaps emerged out of a common milieu in which standard imagery and idioms for the composition of dream-vision accounts were ingrained in the scribal culture. This study will present a list of such features, discuss their import and influence in turn, and formulate a preliminary web of connections between the Aramaic Scrolls based on this evidence.
“Picking Up Where Levi Left Off: Priestly Tradition and Dream-Vision Discourse from the Aramaic Levi Document to 4QVisions of Amram.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies, Waterloo, May 29, 2012.
This paper will explore how 4QVisAmram extended the trajectory of the ‘priestly tradition genealogy’ presented in ALD. It will be argued that this literary process involved two strategies: (i) the priestly genealogy of ALD was augmented to encompass the Aaronide line within a holy, eternal, and perpetual priesthood, and (ii) the entire priestly line from Abraham forward was framed by the authentication of a celestial Melchizedek in a dream-vision. The author of 4QVisAmram thus ensured the reliability and stability of the priestly channels of transmission from Melchizedek down through Aaron’s descendants. The study presents a fresh proposal regarding the literary relationship of two Qumran Cave 4 pseudepigrapha, a new interpretation of the dream-vision in 4QVisAmram, as well as provides a glimpse of the evolution of priestly rhetoric in some Second Temple literature.
“‘The Book of the Words of [Insert Name Here]’: On the Use of Incipits as a Pseudepigraphic Mechanism in the Aramaic Scrolls.” Paper presented at the Lost Texts Graduate Conference at the Jewish Theological Seminary, New York, April 27, 2012.
A revised version of this paper was published in the journal article “Capturing the Voices of Pseudepigraphic Personae: On the Form and Function of Incipits in the Aramaic Dead Sea Scrolls” (see above).
“Recasting Moses in the Reworked Pentateuch.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, Atlanta, November 20, 2010.
The diverse cache of scrolls discovered in the Judaean Desert have indicated that scriptural interpretation in the Second Temple period was bound up in the transmission process of scripture itself. A corollary of this is that the modern dichotomy between scriptural lemma and subsidiary commentary is not always perceptible or applicable to some ancient texts; rather, it appears that the scribal intent was to seamlessly enmesh these two elements. Paramount among works exhibiting this interpretive scribal approach to scripture at Qumran are the five scrolls designated as the Reworked Pentateuch (4Q158, 4Q364-367). When compared with the biblical text, 4QRP exhibits several large-scale interpretive innovations, often in the form of content expansions of several additional lines or rearrangement of material, and 437 smaller variant readings. Several recent studies have sought to clarify the scribal approach(es) to scripture operating in 4QRP by investigating how scribes negotiated the porous scripture-interpretation boundary as well as their motivations for engaging the text in this manner. This paper will contribute to this ongoing dialogue by asking the question, How were the 4QRP texts theologically conditioned by the scribal tradition that produced/transmitted them? I propose that among the numerous exegetical and editorial contours of 4QRP a distinct group of variant readings coalesces around a common theological theme: the elevation of Moses and the intensification of Sinaitic revelation. This study will trace five such interpretive features through 4Q158, 4Q364, and 4Q365. In so doing, I propose that this vantage point on 4QRP should inform both how we approach these scrolls as well conceive of the scribal interpretive tradition from which they emerged.
“Dusting for Scribal Fingerprints: The Interpretive Overlay of 4QReworked Pentateuch.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies, Ottawa, May 24, 2009.
The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls has provided an invaluable window into the pluriform nature of the biblical texts in the mid-late Second Temple era. While investigations into the transmission and developmental processes of the Hebrew scriptures often revolve around the 200+ “biblical” manuscripts at Qumran, few attempts have been made to explore the interface between scripture and interpretation in alleged parascriptural documents to clarify the origins of the biblical text. One such text that blurs the line between scripture and interpretation is 4QReworked Pentateuch (4QRP). The 4QRP group is represented by five manuscripts which all evidence overt scribal intervention in the scriptural text for interpretive purposes. Therefore, one question to be legitimately posed on these texts is: Beneath the editorial overlay applied by the scribe, does this text contain potentially early Pentateuchal readings unknown from other textual traditions? The present paper aims to formulate a methodology to enable text critics of the Hebrew Bible to constructively interact with 4QRP and thus extract reliable text-critical data from this intriguing hybrid text. In the process of achieving this goal I will explicate the textual character of 4QRP and highlight the apparent editorial emphases of the 4QRP scribe(s).
“Echoes between Qumran and Alexandria: The Septuagintal Contours of 4QReworked Pentateuch.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Pacific Northwest Region of the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature, Tacoma, April 25, 2009.
The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls has provided an invaluable window into the pluriform nature of the biblical texts in the mid-late Second Temple era. While investigations into the transmission and developmental processes of the Hebrew scriptures often revolve around the 200+ “biblical” manuscripts at Qumran, few attempts have been made to explore the text critical value of alleged parascriptural documents. One such text that blurs the line between scripture and interpretation is 4QReworked Pentateuch (4QRP). The 4QRP group is represented by five manuscripts which all evidence overt scribal intervention in the scriptural text for interpretive purposes. Therefore, one question to be legitimately posed on these texts is: Beneath the editorial façade applied by the scribe, does 4QRP contain valuable text critical information for understanding other early witnesses of the Hebrew scriptures? The present paper aims to investigate an area of 4QRP that is yet to be fully explored, namely, instances of overlap between 4QRP and the Septuagint (LXX). In the process of achieving this goal I will explicate the textual character of 4QRP, overview the apparent editorial emphases of the 4QRP scribe(s), and propose methodological recommendations for facilitating constructive dialogue between 4QRP and the LXX.
“Bridging the Gap between Malachi and Matthew: Perspectives on Death and the Afterlife in Some Second Temple Literature.” Paper presented at the University of Lethbridge Research in Religious Studies Conference, Lethbridge, May 4, 2007.
“Scriptural Encounters and the Art of Crafting Good Questions.” Commencement Address at the 2017 Spring Undergraduate Convocation of Trinity Western University. Abbotsford, April 29, 2017.
“Apocalyptic Patterns of History in the Dead Sea Scrolls.” Presented at the Dead Sea Scrolls Institute event “The Dead Sea Scrolls: Theology, Spirituality, and Bible Formation.” Langley, May 2, 2017.
The video recording of my lecture at this event may be accessed here.
“The Biography of the Bible as Told by the Dead Sea Scrolls.” Presented at the Museum of Biblical History, Collierville TN, November 3, 2016.
“The Dead Sea Scrolls and the World of the New Testament.” Presented at the Museum of Biblical History, Collierville TN, November 4, 2016.
“History Revealed: The Era of Empires in Daniel and Beyond.” Presented at the Dead Sea Scrolls Institute event “Re-Imagining the Scriptural Past in the Dead Sea Scrolls,” Langley, February 23, 2016.
The video recording of my lecture at this event may be accessed here.
2013– Present, Eerdmans Commentaries on the Dead Sea Scrolls
Edited by Martin Abegg and Andrew Perrin
2017, The Scrolls at Seventy Online Celebration (Ancient Jew Review)
Project Director and Chief Editor
This open-access project included two forum discussions with contributions written by Qumran scholars from around the world. The first forum focused on “The Growth of Texts at Qumran” and the second on “The Qumran Aramaic Texts.” The project also included a number of book reviews. The full contents of forums and reviews may be viewed at Ancient Jew Review
Awards & Research Grants:
2017, TWU Internal Grant
Faculty Research Grant Fund; Provost Research Grant Fund ($3, 015)
This grant was awarded for a book launch for the memorial volume for Peter Flint. For a profile and status report on the volume, click here
2016–2020, Insight Grant
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council ($72, 838)
This grant was awarded for my ongoing work on the volume on the Aramaic texts for the Eerdmans Commentaries on the Dead Sea Scrolls series. For a profile and status report on the volume, click here
2016, Manfred Lautenschlaeger Award for Theological Promise
University of Heidelberg ($4000)
I was among ten early career scholars to win this award. The Lautenschlaeger award was granted for my book The Dynamics of Dream-Vision Revelation in the Aramaic Dead Sea Scrolls. For news and resources related to the book click here
2013–2015, Postdoctoral Research Fellowship
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council ($81, 000)
This research fellowship explored the early formation and situation of the book of Tobit in Second Temple Judaism. It’s central published outcomes included the articles in “From Lingua Franca to Lingua Sacra,” “Tobit’s Contacts and Contexts,” and “An Almanac of Tobit Research” (see above).
2013, Ontario Graduate Research Scholarship
Government of Ontario ($15, 000, declined)
2012–2013, Harry Lyman Hooker Senior Fellowship
McMaster University ($105, 000 offered; $35, 000 accepted)
2012, George A. Barton Fellowship
The Albright Institute of Archaeological Research, Jerusalem ($5000)
2012, Doctoral Travel Scholarship
Canadian Corporation for the Study of Religion ($3000 offered; $2000 accepted)
2011–2012, Abby Goldblatt Award for Excellence in the Study of Early Judaism
McMaster University ($1000)
2009–2012, Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Doctoral Scholarship
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council ($105, 000)
2011, Norman E. Wagner Award for Innovative Use of Technology
Canadian Society of Biblical Studies ($500)
This prize was awarded to the co-authored journal article “That you may know everything from him with certainty” (see above).
2008–2009, Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council ($17, 500)
2007–2008, Research Fellowship
Trinity Western University, Dead Sea Scrolls Institute ($10, 000)
2007–2008, Academic Merit Scholarship
Trinity Western University ($1000)
Present: Cameron Thiessen, M.A. Biblical Studies. “Endogamous Marriage in the Aramaic Dead Sea Scrolls.”
Present: Sarah Baribeau, M.A. Biblical Studies. “Finding a Better Picture: Considering Transcriptions and Re-Transcriptions of the Qumran Calendrical Texts in Light of Recent Technology”
2015 (Second Reader). Joshua Matson, M.A. Biblical Studies. “Employing Deuteronomy: An Analysis of the Quotations and Allusions to Deuteronomy in the Dead Sea Scrolls.”
- “Introduction to Old Testament Studies”
- “Introduction to Biblical Hebrew I & II”
- “Readings in the Hebrew Bible”
- “Dead Sea Scrolls”
- “Old Testament Book Study: Daniel”
- “Apocalypticism in Ancient Judaism & Christianity”
- “Dead Sea Scrolls”
Writing for Public Audiences:
“Is Jesus Keeping a Secret? The Meaning of ‘Secrets’ in Luke 8:10.” Bible Study Magazine (January/February 2010): 36–37.
“A Fire Breathing God in Psalm 18:8.” Bible Study Magazine (September/October 2009): 42–43.
“Hebrews 11: Gotta Have ‘Faith.’” Bible Study Magazine (May/June 2009): 36–37.
“Figuring Out the ‘Firstborn’ of Col 1:18.” Bible Study Magazine (March/April 2009): 35–36.
“‘Soul’ Searching in Deuteronomy 6:5.” Bible Study Magazine (January/February 2009): 35–36.
“Discovering the ‘Power’ of Luke’s Gospel.” Bible Study Magazine (November/December 2008): 37–38.
Ancient: Greek (Koine and Septuagint), Hebrew (Biblical, Dead Sea Scrolls, and Mishnaic), Aramaic (Biblical, Dead Sea Scrolls, and Mishnaic), and Syriac.
Modern: French and German.
Society of Biblical Literature
Canadian Society of Biblical Studies
McMaster Graduate Student Association of Religious Studies