Erica Monge (MAT-ANE '12; MAT-BST '08)
"Thanks to the courses I've taken in ANE studies at Fuller, I've been able to engage intellectually with the latest contributions to Old Testament studies. I recently attended a series of lectures by archaeologists and Semitics scholars-not only was I able to track with the Hebrew references and follow concepts from a cultural and textual perspective, but I was able to follow the logical sequencing of linguistic proposals in Akkadian and several other Semitic languages. I could even rattle off each text's historical context. I have found the knowledge and experience I have gained in these classes has been extremely significant, giving me a foundation of understanding ancient Near Eastern culture and enriching my understanding and teaching of the Bible."
Jason Riley (Student, PhD in Theology)
"The literature of the Bible has served countless peoples as a source of inspiration and knowledge for well over two-thousand years. However, the further we are from the times and cultures within which the Bible was written, the less deeply we can read. The thickness of a page in a Bible is less than a tenth of a millimeter, and often because of our lack of knowledge of the language and context of a particular biblical text we end of reading only as deep as the thickness of the page. Studying the ancient Near Eastern context of the Hebrew Bible has opened up a world of understanding for me and deepened my ability to read the Bible." Now, when I read a story from Genesis, or a psalm, or a prophetic oracle, I can envision more than simply the words that are immediately present. I can access the cast of history of the world around the text; I can envision the symbols and images that inspired a metaphor; and I can hear the echos of the various languages (like Akkadian, Ugaritic, and Aramaic) that influenced the speech and writings of the biblical authors."
Andrea Reinhardt (Student, PhD in Theology)
"As a student in the Old Testament PhD program at Fuller, I consider the ANE courses to have been invaluable for my professional and personal development.
"Classes like the History and Historiography of Ancient Israel (OT881) have expanded my knowledge of the range of arguments and evidence available for the historical research of ancient Israel. We addressed foundational methodological questions such as 'How should we engage the biblical text as a resource for studying the history of ancient Israel?' and also dealt with specific issues, as when we surveyed explanations of Israel's emergence in Canaan, the distinct approaches and evidence for each argument, and their strengths and weaknesses.
"In language classes like Advanced Hebrew Grammar (LG806), I was able to sharpen my skills in translating biblical Hebrew while also acquiring an understanding of issues related to the historical development of the language, particularly as articulated in contemporary debates.
"Overall, the ANE courses at Fuller have facilitated my ability to engage the highest level of OT/Hebrew Bible scholarship. Whether I am assessing presentations at SBL or local conferences, sifting through academic journals and monographs, or working out the implications of my own research, not only am I familiar with references to archaeological and comparative evidence and major theories in OT/Hebrew Bible studies, but I also have the tools to evaluate those arguments with a critical appreciation of their complexity.
"Whether a student intends to work with the Bible on an academic or popular level, the ANE classes at Fuller provide a solid foundation for engaging today's historical and comparative issues in biblical scholarship and equipping the student to lead others to do the same."