Archive for the ‘William F. Albright’ Tag

Feast of William F. Albright and G. Ernest Wright (September 6)   3 comments

Above:  The Seal of The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland

Photographer = Carol M. Highsmith

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-highsm-18405

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

WILLIAM FOXWELL ALBRIGHT (MAY 24, 1891-SEPTEMBER 19, 1971)

mentor of

GEORGE ERNEST WRIGHT (SEPTEMBER 5, 1909-AUGUST 29, 1974)

++++++++++++++++++

U.S. BIBLICAL SCHOLARS AND ARCHAEOLOGISTS

++++++++++++++++++

According to an old joke, an Evangelical is one who says to a liberal,

I will agree to call you a Christian if you agree to call me a scholar.

This witticism, like many other jokes, depends on a stereotype.  Stereotypes are overly broad generalizations, of course.  You, O reader, might know or have known at least one person who fits that stereotype.  I know and have known some who do.  (I have taught some of them too.  My experiences as a bookish, ritualistic, introverted, and left-of-center outsider with inherent Catholic tendencies growing up in and in the vicinity of Protestant churches in rural southern Georgia, U.S.A., have left me with an overall negative impression of Evangelicalism.)  

Albright was an exception to that stereotype.

Albright came from Methodist stock.  He, born in Coquimbo, Chile, on May 24, 1891, was a son of missionaries Wilbur Finley Albright and Zephine Vila Foxwell.  Our saint, a graduate of Upper Iowa University, earned his doctorate from The Johns Hopkins University in 1913.  In 1922-1929 and 1933-1936 Albright was the Director of the American School of Oriental Research, Jerusalem.  Furthermore, he was a professor of Semitic languages at The Johns Hopkins University from 1927 to 1958, when he retired.

Albright was an Evangelical, but not a Biblical literalist.  He, a leading figure in Biblical archaeology, followed the evidence to conclude, for example, that the Jewish people were originally polytheistic, and that they become monotheistic over time.  (I have repeated that conclusion, much to the consternation of some people.)  Albright also argued against German literary criticism, asserting that, for example, the historical parts of the Hebrew Bible are mostly accurate.

Albright, a great scholar, helped to authenticate the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1948.  He also wrote an article, “The Old Testament World,” for The Interpreter’s Bible.  Albright also edited the volumes on Jeremiah on Jeremiah, Matthew, and Revelation in The Anchor Bible series and co-wrote the volume on Matthew.  For his scholarship Albright received many honors, including the title Yakir Yerushalayim, or “Worthy Citizen of Jerusalem.”

Albright, aged 80 years, died in Baltimore, Maryland, on September 19, 1971.  A posthumous honor was the renaming of the American School of Oriental Research, Jerusalem, as the Albright Institute of Archaeological Research.

Albright was an influential professor who mentored men who went on to become great scholars.  One was Father Raymond E. Brown (1928-1998), about whom I have planned to write a post.  Another student and worthy successor was G. Ernest Wright.

George Ernest Wright, born in Ohio on September 5, 1909, was a Biblical scholar and archaeologist, as well as an expert in dating ancient pottery.  The son of a Presbyterian minister and graduate of McCormick Theological Seminary became a Presbyterian minister in 1934, the year of his graduation.  He continued his studies at The Johns Hopkins University (M.A., 1936; Ph.D., 1937) under the guidance of William F. Albright.  Wright was Professor of Old Testament History and Theology at McCormick Theological Seminary (1939-1958).  Then he moved to Harvard University (the Divinity School, to be precise), serving as the Parkman Professor of Divinity (1958-1974) and the Curator of the Semitic Museum (1961-1974).  He died of a heart attack on August 29, 1974, aged 64 years.

Wright, like his mentor, was a prominent and influential Biblical scholar.  One of Wright’s primary assertions was that study of the Hebrew Bible was germane to the Christian faith.  (That might seem obvious, but obvious statements need scholarly support sometimes.)  He also wrote two commentaries on Isaiah (one of them for The Layman’s Bible Commentary in 1972), and founded The Biblical Archaeologist magazine.  Furthermore, Wright was a General Editor of The Westminster Press’s Old Testament Library series, for which William McKane (1921-2004) wrote Proverbs:  A New Approach (1970).

Albright and Wright were great Christian scholars and Biblical archaeologists.  Their conclusions have continued to come under scrutiny, some of it baseless.  These saints were mere mortals, so, of course, they did not get everything right.  Nevertheless, they got more right than they got wrong.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 3, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS JOANNA, MARY, AND SALOME, WITNESSES TO THE RESURRECTION

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

O God, you have endowed us with memory, reason, and skill.

We thank you for the faithful legacy of [William F. Albright, G. Ernest Wright, and all others]

who have dedicated their lives to you and to the intellectual pursuits.

May we, like them, respect your gift of intelligence fully and to your glory.

In the Name of God:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Psalm 103

Philippians 4:8-9

Mark 12:28-34

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 6, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT CHRODEGANG OF METZ, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF EDMUND KING, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF LINCOLN

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 

Feast of Mitchell J. Dahood (February 8)   21 comments

dscn0951

Above:  My Copies of Dahood’s Commentaries on the Book of Psalms

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

MITCHELL J. DAHOOD (FEBRUARY 2, 1922-MARCH 8, 1982)

Roman Catholic Priest and Biblical Scholar

Mitchell J. Dahood was a Roman Catholic priest, a Jesuit, a prominent scholar of Semitic languages, and a translator and exegete of the Book of Psalms.

The priest, from a family of Lebanese ancestry, entered the world at Anaconda, Montana, on February 2, 1922.  He joined the Society of Jesus at age 19 in 1941.  Our saint studied at Boston College then did his graduate work (M.A. and Ph.D.) at The Johns Hopkins University.  At Johns Hopkins, Dahood earned his doctoral degree in 1951.  He wrote his dissertation on the Hebrew text of Koheleth under the direction of Professor William Foxwell Albright, who went on to serve as a General Editor of The Anchor Bible series.  Dahood, ordained to the priesthood in 1954, relocated to Rome two years later.  There he, as Chair of Northwest Semitic Languages, faculty of the Pontifical Biblical Institute, for more than a quarter of a century, and Dean of the Oriental faculty from 1975 to 1978, studied the relationship among classical Hebrew, Ugaritic, and Ebliate.  During the last 30 years of his life Dahood wrote books and more than 200 articles and reviews.  He was also a leading scholar of the ancient Syrian kingdom of Ebla.

Among Dahood’s books were the three volumes (1965, 1968, and 1970) on Psalms for The Anchor Bible series.  He, the world’s leading expert on the Ugaritic language, brought his knowledge of that language on bear to his translations of the texts.  A professor of the Old Testament at Northwestern University said teasingly:

I wish Dahood would quit applying his Ugarit to the Psalms because it ruins all the ones I long ago memorized.

Dahood, a kind and friendly man with many friends all over the world, died suddenly at Rome on March 8, 1982.  The 60-year-old priest and scholar was praying at a church.  Father William Ryan, secretary of the Pontifical Biblical Institute, stated:

He was the most alive man we had.  He was interested in music, politics, [and] sports.  He was a great scholar.  This came as a terrible blow.  We hadn’t the slightest indication he was ill.

Dahood’s scholarship continues to help serious students of the Bible study the Book of Psalms and deepen their faith and their understanding of those texts.  I have been fortunate to have been among those students for years.

Thank you, Father Dahood!

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 28, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT STEPHEN THE YOUNGER, DEFENDER OF ICONS

THE FEAST OF FREDERICK COOK ATKINSON, ANGLICAN CHURCH ORGANIST AND COMPOSER

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOSEPH PIGNATELLI, RESTORER OF THE JESUITS

THE FEAST OF KAMEHAMEHA IV AND EMMA ROOKE, KING AND QUEEN OF HAWAII

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

O God, you have endowed us with memory, reason, and skill.

We thank you for the faithful legacy of [Mitchell J. Dahood and all others]

who have dedicated their lives to you and to the intellectual pursuits.

May we, like them, respect your gift of intelligence fully and to your glory.

In the Name of God:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Psalm 103

Philippians 4:8-9

Mark 12:28-34

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 6, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT CHRODEGANG OF METZ, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF EDMUND KING, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF LINCOLN

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++