Interview: Carmen Palmer

Photo credit: Martin Luther University College

Dr. Carmen Palmer has taught biblical Hebrew for several years at Emmanuel College in the University of Toronto. Presently she instructs in the area of biblical studies at Martin Luther University College in Waterloo, ON (Canada), and teaches online in the topic of early Christian writings for the College of Emmanuel & St. Chad in Saskatoon, SK (Canada). She earned her BA in French Literature and East Asian Area Studies from the University of British Columbia, a Master of Divinity from Emmanuel College at the University of Toronto, and a PhD in Biblical Studies from the University of St. Michael’s College. She is a scholar of Hebrew Bible specializing in Dead Sea Scrolls, with an interest in identity and conversions. Carmen tweets at @callmescrolls.

How did you decide to become a biblical scholar? Share your autobiographical journey.

I always knew that I would like to complete a doctoral degree, although I never anticipated that it would be in biblical studies or that I would go on to be a biblical and Dead Sea Scrolls scholar. Initially, after I completed highschool, I thought I would become a French teacher. And, in fact I did major in French literature and go on exchange at the francophone Université de Montréal in my undergraduate degree. I also took Japanese language in highschool and university, and thought that I might carry on in Asian Studies, as well.

Meanwhile, I was working as a lay pastoral minister and wanted to get a Masters degree to help with my work in that field. But, after beginning my program and enjoying Biblical Hebrew and Greek, I decided to forge on with doctoral studies in the field of biblical studies, and see where that went. After I began my program, I took a course on the Dead Sea Scrolls. When the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit came to the Royal Ontario Museum in concert with a series of guest lectures at the University of Toronto from several Dead Sea Scrolls specialists, I became heavily involved in the event and was hooked in that field from there.   Continue reading

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Women Scholar Bloggers

Women biblical scholars are on the web! Have you checked these out? Do you know of others?

Miryam Brand

Mette Bundvad

Jennifer Chiou

Krista Dalton (at Ancient Jew Review)

April DeConick

Wil Gafney

Sandra Glahn

Deidre Good

Jennifer Guo

Laura Hunt

Carmen Imes

Nyasha Junior

Karen R. Keen

Lyn M. Kidson

Lydia Lee

RJS (she is a scientist, but her writing intersects with Bible)

Roberta Mazza

Marg Mowczko

Laura Robinson (podcasts)

Mitzi Smith

Ekaterini G. Tsalampouni

Women Biblical Scholars

Old sites still up but not updated in a few years:

Julia M. O’Brien

Suzanne McCarthy (now deceased; blogged at BLT)

Judy Stack-Nelson

Celia Wolff

Kelly Wilson

See also the new Logia Resource Database of women scholars. Know of any women scholar bloggers not cited here? Post their links in the comment section.

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Interview: Rachel Coleman

R ColemanDr. Rachel Coleman teaches undergraduates and graduate students at Indiana Wesleyan University, United Theological Seminary, and Asbury Theological Seminary, as well as teaching twice a year in Latin America and Spain for One Mission Society. Rachel earned her B.A. from Asbury University (formerly Asbury College), M.A. in Spanish Language and Literature from the University of Kentucky, M.A. in Biblical Studies from Asbury Theological Seminary, and PhD in Theological Studies (New Testament) from Regent University. Rachel blogs at

How did you decide to become a biblical scholar? Share your autobiographical journey.

To borrow an image from Ecclesiastes, I would describe my journey as the slow and painstaking weaving together of three strands into a strong cord that tugged me toward biblical scholarship. The first of those strands is a life-long love of language (my first Master’s degree, back in another lifetime, was in Spanish Language and Literature from the University of Kentucky in 1987). I have always been fascinated with words, written communication, and the intricacies and subtleties of how language works. The second strand is a life-long love of Scripture, which began with my “conversion” experience. It was during the reading of the crucifixion account from John’s Gospel that I became aware, at age 14, that this story was real, that it mattered, and that I could be part of it. Those two strands complemented each other, and I quickly found myself practicing inductive and narrative approaches to the sacred text, long before I could name or describe either one of those things!  Continue reading

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Beth Stovell on Biblical Hermeneutics and Discernment

Dr. Beth Stovell is professor of Old Testament at Ambrose Seminary in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. A few years ago, Stovell delivered a paper entitled “Read This Writing and Tell Me What It Means” at the Society of Vineyard Scholars Conference. In the lecture she explores how Christians who ordinarily look for a singular meaning in Scripture address the diversity inherent in a charismatic tradition.

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Interview: Tracy M. Lemos

T. M. Lemos is Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible at Huron University College and a member of the graduate school faculty at the University of Western Ontario.  She earned her BA from Brown University in Judaic Studies and her PhD in Religious Studies from Yale University. She is a historian of ancient Israel and early Judaism and a biblical scholar.

How did you decide to become a biblical scholar? Share your autobiographical journey.

My parents are Azorean immigrants and religious Catholics.  My mother in particular is quite pious, and in the immigrant community in which I grew up it was common to have gatherings in people’s houses where we would pray the rosary before votive statues of the Virgin Mary or a crown representing the Espírito Santo.  Religion was very prominent in my life growing up and, to be entirely frank, I fought this tooth and nail.  I read the Bible, read books about religion, just to debunk Catholic dogma.  Interestingly, I ended up falling in love with Judaism, Jewish texts, and Jewish history.  I took biblical Hebrew my very first semester at Brown and started taking courses with Saul Olyan my junior year.  Saul ended up being my thesis advisor and mentor.  I joke with him now that being introduced to biblical studies through him really misled me—I thought the field was full of secular gay Jews.  It isn’t.  Speaking seriously, though, I really cannot understate his influence on my becoming a biblicist versus some other type of scholar.  I had considered getting a Ph.D. in Portuguese and Brazilian studies—in fact, I would fit in better in that field in many ways than I do in Biblical Studies.  However, Saul was just such a good mentor to me.  I was a working-class kid at an elite school who was coming out of the closet and had never known even one openly gay person growing up.  I really needed a good mentor.  He became a kind of parent figure to me, and so choosing to be a scholar of the Hebrew Bible seemed fitting and appealing to me.  Continue reading

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Miryam Brand on Intergenerational Punishment in the Hebrew Bible

Dr. Miryam Brand, a teacher and researcher specializing in the area of Second Temple period literature, has posted two podcasts on intergenerational punishment in the Hebrew Bible. Click to listen to each one below, and be sure to check out her website for more.

  1. Intergenerational Punishment – Changing World Views in the Bible
  2.  “Ezekiel, Intergenerational Punishment and Individual Responsibility
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Interview: Karen R. Keen

KKKaren R. Keen has taught students at Marquette University and Wake Technical Community College. She earned her B.S. from Corban University (formerly Western Baptist College), M.S. from Western Oregon University, M.A. from Western Seminary, and Th.M. from Duke University Divinity School. She also conducted postgraduate research at Marquette University in the area of Judaism and Christianity in Antiquity. Keen blogs at

How did you decide to become a biblical scholar? Share your autobiographical journey.

Scripture has always captivated me. In junior high I bought a Greek primer in hopes of reading the New Testament in its original language. However, the tradition I was raised in did not believe women should teach, preach, or contribute new interpretations of the text. Even though I eventually rejected that view, the message was so ingrained that it never occurred to me to consider seminary. I had never met a woman biblical scholar or seminarian. Only after I was established in a student affairs career at the University of California (UCSC) did I begin taking classes toward a Master’s degree in exegetical theology. While at UCSC I developed an increasing desire to be on the teaching side of academia. My job allowed me to  guest lecture (on disability law), and I enjoyed engaging with students on pertinent topics.  For example, while walking around campus I observed flyers for  events that highlighted the tensions in Israeli and Palestinian relations. So I organized a campus forum on “God in the Middle East: Faith and Palestinian/Israeli Reconciliation.” The Christian, Jewish, and Muslim panelists discussed how their faith contributed to principles of peacemaking and how religion can be a source of healing rather than violence. Afterward students asked me to serve as a moderator for a Sustained Dialogue group.   Continue reading

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Dr. Reed on “Forgetting Ancient Jewish Sciences”

Listen to Dr. Annette Yoshiko Reed’s discussion, “Forgetting Ancient Jewish Sciences” by clicking here.

“Annette Yoshiko Reed (Associate Professor, New York University) has particular interest in angels and demons, the afterlives of Second Temple traditions in late antiquity, and Jewish and Christian self-definition. Her forthcoming two-volume set, Jewish-Christianity and the History of Judaism (Mohr Siebeck, forthcoming 2018) collects her research on ‘Jewish-Christians,’ the early history of Jewish-Christian relations, and the history of scholarship.” (description take from Philadelphia Seminar on Christian Origins).


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Cheryl B. Anderson on Law in the OT

Dr. Cheryl B. Anderson is Professor of Old Testament at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. In this video she offers a helpful discussion on law in the Old Testament. A good resource for students.

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Mary Katherine Hom on the Assyrians and the Old Testament

Dr. Mary Katherine Hom has a Th.M. from Regent University and Ph.D. from University of Cambridge. Hom is the author of The Characterization of the Assyrians in Isaiah: Synchronic and Diachronic Perspectives. Recently, she was interviewed by OnScript to discuss her work. Check out the podcast at this link.

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