It Is About Time

High noon approaches. Sagebrush tumbles along the alleyway. The streets begin to empty.  Two masters facing one another for the stroke of the hour.  Which will take the day?

Of course, I’m talking about two indroductory Ugaritic texts being published in November.  (How is that for melodramatic set-up??? 😉 ). The one being published by Zondervan (the leader in introductory accessible Biblical language publishing…in my opinion) and the other by Hendrickson (who masterfully reproduced Barth’s 14 volume Dogmatics for just under $100…thank you Hendrickson!).  It has been well nigh impossible for students of Ugaritic to access the grammar without wading through dated materials (like that of Gordon) or overly technical materials (like Sivan and Bordreuil/Pardee)—both of the former of which I used extensively in my own course of study.  At last there will be options for the neophyte student of Ugaritic.

Zondervan’s volume is written by Michael Williams.  Basics of Ancient Ugaritic: A Concise Grammar, Workbook and Lexicon (144pp.) lists at $27.94 as a paperback on Amazon.  It will likely offer what the other Basics (Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic) offer in this series.  I have personally found the series to be accessible to beginning students with numerous aids for learning (pedagogical, digital, etc.)  Zondervan has ruled the day in providing other companion resources (vocab cards, laminated paradigm sheets, etc.) to the language student…and done so at an affordable cost.  Check out this great video on the text:

(Gotta love that it includes dry humor…by “taking the ‘ug’ out of Ugaritic”).

Hendrickson’s volume (An Introduction to Ugaritic) is written by John Huehnergard (who also wrote a grammar on Akkadian).  I would think it promises to be an excellent resource (hardback retailing at $39.10 through Amazon and numbering 250pp.).  It will offer a far more exhaustive introduction that the volume by Zondervan which is certainly in its favor so that perhaps it can continue to be used as somewhat of a reference grammar.

I look forward to checking out both volumes at this year’s SBL meeting Chicago next month.  Just in time for the showdown!

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