[b-hebrew] Hebrew Bible PhD programs (Joseph Justiss)

James Spinti JSpinti at Eisenbrauns.com
Wed Jul 28 14:31:44 EDT 2010

Bull! That is a bunch of crap, if ever I've seen it. 

Sure, there are some programs like James is referring to, but not most
that I know of. The bottom line is, if you have good language skills,
the ability to communicate well (without being adversarial), and are
willing to work hard, you can find a program that probably will fund you
and a professor (or two, or three) who will support your work. When I
was at the University of Chicago, I had 4 professors (in Greek,
Hebrew/Ugaritic, and Hittite) who pretty much allowed me to chase my
interests, as long as I could prove that I knew the languages well (I
did) and could defend my ideas intelligently (I could).

Right now, the best linguistics/Hebrew program I know of is in limbo,
with a professor retiring and another one moving to another institution.
I asked someone who will know for a good recommendation and hope to hear
back from them soon.


James Spinti
Marketing Director, Book Sales Division
Eisenbrauns, Good books for more than 35 years
Specializing in Ancient Near Eastern and Biblical Studies
jspinti at eisenbrauns dot com
Web: http://www.eisenbrauns.com
Phone: 574-269-2011 ext 226
Fax: 574-269-6788 

-----Original Message-----
From: b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of James Christian
Sent: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 2:21 PM
To: Joseph Justiss
Cc: biblical hebrew list
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Hebrew Bible PhD programs (Joseph Justiss)

I suppose it all depends on what you want. If you want funding then your
best chances of getting a funded PhD are to a) have a first class degree
Hebrew and b) to be willing to do whatever (no matter how boring or
ludicrous) the primary investigator proposed. This is usually some
slight variation of his own previous work which he obviously finds
interesting and of great value to the research community.

Now if you want to be able to do something which allows you to lead the
research in your own direction your best hope is to be a) willing to do
PhD with no funding b) be willing to pay the tuition fees yourself and
importantly c) find a Doctor/Professor who is open minded enough to let
research in your own direction. These kind of programs are usually
programs so that you can work secularly while doing your PhD. I suppose
you should be ready to accept is that statistics show that these kind of
students rarely complete and most prospective supervisors are likely to
treat you as if you are yet another one of those PhD candidates who is
destined to never complete.

Now, it would be great if you could find somebody who matches well to
interests and has the funding to boot. I happen to be one of those
lucky individuals (i.e. I have the funding, and I can do pretty much
what I
want, and my professor finds it all very interesting, and I don't have
put up with that negative treatment where everyone thinks you're
destined to
fail and treats you accordingly). I wish you the best and hope you
manage to
find your match. Locating the right supervisor is beyond a shadow of a
the most important factor in doing your PhD. So much of what could have
good and innovative research just goes down the drain because the
wasn't able to find the right matching supervisor for the job.

I'm sorry I can't point you straight to your match but keep searching
and hard. The future of your PhD probably depends on this factor more
anything else. (i.e. even more than the value of your proposal or of
ability to do good and objective research). You've probably heard all
before but I can assure you that it is true.

James Christian

On 28 July 2010 20:32, Joseph Justiss <jljustiss at msn.com> wrote:

> Do the list members have any recommendations of PhD programs in Hebrew
> Bible/Semitic philology which have a system in place to allow the
student to
> explore modern linguistics and be well-trained in both fields?
> Joseph Justiss
> _______________________________________________
> b-hebrew mailing list
> b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-hebrew
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