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Home arrow Lecture Series arrow November 5, 2005: William M. Schniedewind, PhD

November 5, 2005: William M. Schniedewind, PhD PDF Print E-mail
William M. SchniedewindTitle: "How the Bible Became a Book" (Abstract)

Speaker:  William M. Schniedewind, Ph.D. (Bio)

Date: Saturday, November 5, 2005
Time: 5:00-6:30 p.m.
Location: 24769 Redlands Blvd., Ste. A
                Loma Linda, California 92354
Abstract: The fact that the Bible (or, more specifically, the Old Testament) is a book, that the words of God took written form, was a profound development in religion. We take books for granted, but the ancients did not.

We tend to read the Bible from our own perspective of a highly literate society, but the Bible was written before there were books. The fact that a sacred, written text emerged from a pastoral-agricultural and oral society like ancient Israel is a watershed of Western Civilization. As the word of God becomes a text, there is also a tendency for the text to replace the teacher.

William Schniedewind, author of the revolutionary How the Bible Became a Book: The Textualization of Ancient Israel, will examine the uneasy tension between the oral word of God and the written word of God.  He will also explore the questions: how did the word of God become a text and what do we gain or lose when the word of God becomes a book?

About the speaker: William M. Schniedewind, PhD, is the Chair of the Department of Near Eastern Languages & Cultures at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Professor Schniedewind holds a Doctorate in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University (Waltham, MA),  where he also earned a Masters Degree in the same field of study.  Dr. Schniedewind also holds a Masters Degree in Historical Geography of Ancient Israel from Jerusalem University College (Jerusalem, Israel).

He is the author of the best-selling How the Bible Became a Book: The Textualization of Ancient IsraelHe is also the author of Society and the Promise to David: A Reception History of 2 Samuel 7:1-17The Word of God in Transition: From Prophet to Exegete in the Second Temple Period, and is the co-author (with Joel Hunt) of the upcoming A Primer for Ugarit: Language, Culture, and Literature (Cambridge University Press).  Professor Schniedewind is also the author of numerous articles published in leading relegious and archaeological journals.

In addition to his teaching and research activities at the University of California, Los Angeles, Dr. Schniedewind is also a board member of the Ancient Biblical Manuscript Center, the Chair of the Program Committee, "Hebrew Bible, History, and Achaeology Section," of the Society of Biblical Literature,  and is the network editor, Dead Sea Scrolls & Early Judaism, for the Religious Studies Review.  He also is a member of the steering committees for the Center for the Study of Religion, UCLA and the Center for Jewish Studies, UCLA.
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