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 Spackman 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)
After a MA and several uncomfortable years in pursuit of a PhD, he shifted gears again, and will apply to medical schools in June 2014. 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.) He is currently writing a book on creation and Genesis 1.
Ben can be contacted at BenjaminTheScribeBlog@gmail.com