About


Thanks for visiting The Biblia Hebraica Blog. I am Doug Mangum, the creator and primary contributor for the blog.

I began this blog in 2008 as an outlet to improve my writing and share my studies in Hebrew Bible and Northwest Semitics.

Bio
My education in Bible started early. My dad is an evangelical pastor, so I grew up going to church, AWANA, Sunday School, VBS, and more. I did my undergrad degree at Northwestern College in St. Paul, MN, majoring in History and Bible. My studies emphasized ancient history, ancient languages, and the Bible in the ancient world. I learned biblical Greek, biblical Hebrew, and classical Latin at Northwestern. I also studied OT, NT, and Christian theology. One of my undergraduate mentors was Michael Wise, noted Dead Sea Scrolls scholar, who taught me Hebrew, Latin, and Second Temple Judaism. Wise also encouraged my critical thinking and continued to offer advice and guidance in learning Hebrew even long after I graduated in 2000. He was supportive of my decision to continue with graduate studies and highly recommended the program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

I began graduate school in Hebrew & Semitic Studies at UW-Madison in 2004. Over the next 8.5 semesters, I earned an MA in Hebrew Bible and completed all required PhD coursework. The program at Madison emphasizes Hebrew Bible and Northwest Semitics, so I studied numerous Semitic languages in addition to intensive work on Hebrew, biblical criticism, linguistics, and ancient Judaism. We focused on exegesis of the biblical text in its textual, cultural, and historical context.

I was preparing for preliminary exams at Madison when we got the news that Prof. Michael V. Fox was retiring at the end of 2010 and that Prof. Cynthia Miller was marrying Jacobus Naude and moving to the University of the Free State in South Africa. Along with a few of my classmates, I chose to pursue research under Miller's supervision in the department of Classical and Near Eastern Studies at the University of the Free State. My ambitious goal is to finish a draft of my PhD thesis by next spring. 

Theological Inclinations
I hesitate to offer a full account of my theological preferences I don't want to be pigeon-holed by traditional labels and theological categories. I want to present my view without anyone writing me off because I'm a part of X theological camp, not Y. I consider myself an evangelical Christian, and my statement of faith is the Apostles' Creed. I believe that critical scholarship on the Bible enhances my understanding of the text and informs my theological conclusions; it isn't a threat to my faith. I believe most controversial splits over theological issues are focused on non-essentials. The problem is those non-essentials get mistaken for essentials by well-meaning people who can't tell the difference. I endeavor to fairly explain and analyze theological and exegetical issues in everything that I write. I'm not interested in winning theological debates or promoting a certain point of view. I'm interested in honest engagement with the biblical text, taking it seriously in all its complexity and diversity.

Education
Ph.D. Candidate, Classical & Near Eastern Studies, University of the Free State, South Africa
M.A., Hebrew Bible, University of Wisconsin-Madison
B.A., History and Biblical Studies, Northwestern College, St. Paul, MN

Research Interests
Ancient Bible Versions – LXX, Peshitta, Targum
Ancient History – Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece and Rome
Ancient Judaism – Second Temple Jewish Literature, Rabbinic Literature, Christian Origins
Bible Translation – English Versions, Translation Studies
Biblical Languages – Hebrew grammar and lexicography
Dead Sea Scrolls – esp. biblical interpretation in the DSS 
Hebrew Bible – Latter Prophets, wisdom literature, inner-biblical exegesis, Isaiah, Deuteronomy
History and Archaeology of the Biblical World
History of Biblical Interpretation
History of Religions – early Christianity, Judaism, Islam. Religion in the ancient world.
New Testament – esp. NT use of the OT, general epistles, Gospels
Northwest Semitic Languages and Inscriptions
Text Criticism of the Hebrew Bible (using LXX, Peshitta)

Languages with Research Competence
Ancient Hebrew (biblical, epigraphic, Qumran, and rabbinic)
Aramaic (biblical, Targum, Elephantine, epigraphic, Qumran, Syriac)
Greek (New Testament and Septuagint)
Canaanite Dialects (includes epigraphic evidence in primarily in Moabite, Ammonite, Phoenician, and Philistine Canaanite)
Ugaritic
Latin
French
German