10:00–10:15 Arrival and registration
10:30–11:15 The Siege of Jerusalem: watching a Biblical event through the eyes of Israel’s enemies
Dr Caleb Howard
In 701 BC Sennacherib, king of Assyria, laid siege to Jerusalem in a significant standoff that was recorded in both biblical and Assyrian texts. The survival of some of these Assyrian sources provides a fascinating comparison with records of the event that appear in the Bible. This session looks at literary and historiographic features of the writings and asks if a consistent story emerges.
11:45–12:30 A living language: tracking Old Testament Hebrew through time and space
Dr Elizabeth Robar
Just as the English we speak today is much changed from the Old English of Beowulf, so biblical Hebrew changed over the hundreds of years between the first book of the Old Testament and the last. This session examines these layers of language and how they point to the historical depth of the Old Testament documents.
13:30–14:15 Letter by letter: how the scribes preserved the text of the Old Testament
Dr Kim Phillips
“Not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen will by any means disappear from the Law...” This session demonstrates that Jewish scribes preserved the Old Testament text, letter by letter, with extraordinary accuracy from well before the time of Jesus to the end of the Middle Ages, and explores some of the means by which they achieved this astonishing feat.
14:45–15:30 Moral depth: a modern reader’s guide to Old Testament narratives
Dr Peter J Williams
How are we to understand the actions reported in Old Testament narratives? The texts themselves have little explicit guidance, but rich allusions to other parts of Scripture help to reveal their moral depth. This session will look at profound lessons for modern readers to be found in passages from Joshua to 2 Kings.
15:30–16:15 Questions for the academic panel
16:45–18:15 Optional Guided University Walk with Christian Heritage