Benjamin the Scribe takes its inspiration from Nehemiah 8:8. When the Israelites returned to Jerusalem from Babylon after 70 years, Aramaic had largely become their native language, and they could no longer understand their Hebrew scriptures. Scribes arose to bridge this gap in scriptural understanding.

They read aloud from the scroll, from the Torah of God, translating and explaining the meaning, so [the people] understood what was read.

As an undergrad, Ben  set aside his medical aspirations after falling in love with the Hebrew Bible (or Old Testament). He spent a semester in Jerusalem, and graduated BYU in Near Eastern Studies before pursuing graduate work in Semitics at the University of Chicago (Hebrew, Aramaic, Arabic, Assyrian, Babylonian, Ugaritic, and others). He is currently writing a book on the challenge of scripture, creation, and Genesis 1.

After a MA and several frustrating years in pursuit of a PhD, he instead began to work, take pre-medical courses, and support his wife’s pursuits. In 2016, he formally returns to academia as a PhD student at Claremont, continuing his work on Genesis but in a modern American context. Expressed generally, how do religions cope with cultural, scientific, and technological change? More specifically, how has the LDS Church negotiated the epistemological conflict between the authority of science (i.e. evolution) and the authority of religion (i.e. scripture and interpretation)? He recently published a piece about the history of young earth creationism in connection with Seventh-day Adventism and Ben Carson at ReligionandPolitics.

Ben’s teaching experience includes several semesters at BYU as well as nearly a decade as a volunteer Institute teacher. He has published in the Religious Educator and with the Maxwell Institute, and blogged for a decade at various places. (See Ben’s Other Writings.)

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Ben can be contacted at BenjaminTheScribeBlog@gmail.com

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