Scholars Forum: Murmuring against Moses

Book cover of Murmuring against Moses: the Contentious History and Contested Future of Pentateuchal Studies

I would like to draw attention to an event that will be of interest to students and scholars in Biblical studies. This lecture will open up a range of topics in this field!

The University Core at Seton Hall will virtually host its second Scholars’ Forum in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition (CIT) on March 29, 2023 from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. (EDT) on TEAMS. Jeffrey Morrow will be presenting on his book, Murmuring against Moses: the Contentious History and Contested Future of Pentateuchal Studies (Emmaus Academic, 2023), which he co-authored with John Bergsma.

According to the publisher’s abstract, Dr. Morrow’s and Dr. Bergsma’s volume offers a shifting paradigm for Biblical studies. Their research outlines the history on Pentateuchal research and contests conventional approaches that view the Torah as a fragmentary, and often disconnected, collection of sources. Alternatively, the two scholars advance and reclaim academic positions that view the Pentateuch as a predominately cohesive collection of pre-exilic sources:

“For much of the history of both Judaism and Christianity, the Pentateuch—first five books of the Bible—was understood to be the unified work of a single inspired author: Moses. Yet the standard view in modern biblical scholarship contends that the Pentateuch is a composite text made up of fragments from diverse and even discrepant sources that originated centuries after the events it purports to describe. In Murmuring against Moses, John Bergsma and Jeffrey Morrow provide a critical narrative of the emergence of modern Pentateuchal studies and challenge the scholarly consensus by highlighting the weaknesses of the modern paradigms and mustering an array of new evidence for the Pentateuch’s antiquity. By shedding light on the past history of research and the present developments in the field, Bergsma and Morrow give fresh voice to a growing scholarly dissatisfaction with standard critical approaches and make an important contribution toward charting a more promising future for Pentateuchal studies.”

You can read more about the event, including how to join, here.

Jeffery Morrow, Ph.D. is Professor of Undergraduate Theology in Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology (ICSST). He was named Researcher of the Year at ICSST in 2013, 2017 and 2022 and was a Visiting Scholar, Princeton Theological Seminary, 2015-2016. Morrow’s other books include Modern Biblical Criticism as a Tool of Statecraft (1700-1900), co-authored with Scott W. Hahn, (Emmaus Academic, 2020), and Alfred Loisy and Modern Biblical Studies (The Catholic University of America Press, 2019).

John Bergsma, Ph.D is Professor of Theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville.  He is the author of The Jubilee from Leviticus to Qumran (VTSup 115; Brill, 2007); A Catholic Introduction to the Bible: Old Testament (Ignatius, 2018), and Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls (Penguin Random House, 2019). His peer-reviewed scholarship on Old and New Testament topics and the Dead Sea Scrolls have appeared in the journals BiblicaCatholic Biblical QuarterlyDead Sea DiscoveriesJournal of Biblical Literature Vetus Testamentum, and in essay collections, festschrifts, dictionaries and encyclopedias published by Brill, Continuum/T&T Clark, Eerdmans, Eisenbrauns, Harrassowitz, Kohlhammer, Oxford, and Westminster/John Knox Press.

Impact of the Psalms

The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH) has a fine website with a review of the many facets of its work.  Among areas of interest is “The Oxford Psalms Network.” There have been many presentations in the recent past on the Psalms in the life of the Church. This Centre has much to offer! The link is

Also, I wish to draw attention to the website of the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies. Among its holdings are the texts of a series of lectures and work of a number of great scholars of past decades

Newly Added Free Online Resources

Happy October!

I just added and published 30 additional free, online resources to the following pages under the Resources & Research section of my website:

May scholars, educators and students find the databases, journals, PDFs and websites listed throughout these pages helpful to their research, classes and studies!

Tribulations of the Patriarch Joseph and Jesus in Greek and Latin Piety


“Joseph’s Coat Brought to Jacob” by Giovanni Andrea de Ferrari (c. 1640)

The dramatic account of Joseph and his brothers in Genesis 37-50 has been the subject of many commentaries and reflections, by both Jews and Christians. How have the questions of crime and forgiveness been treated as a major theme by Christians?  From early texts the pious effort to interpret the biblical message into a coherent whole led to a link between Joseph and Jesus. How has this been developed in the first millennium of Christianity?

I examine some of these parallels in my paper, “Tribulations of the Patriarch Joseph and Jesus in Greek and Latin Piety,” which I presented at the Medieval Studies Congress (Kalamazoo, Michigan) in May 2005. Today I published the paper in PDF format on my SelectedWorks publications site. You can read the paper for free by clicking here.

Happy reading!

Updated Online Resources for Biblical Studies

Laptop image

I just updated and added several resources to my Online Resources for Biblical Studies page. Be sure and check out the list of free databases, journals and websites designed to help students and scholars with their work and research in biblical and Jewish-Christian studies.

Here’s what’s new:

Digitized Medieval Manuscripts Maps (DMMmaps)
DMMmaps helps scholars and enthusiasts explore and discover digitized medieval manuscripts by providing links to thousands of medieval manuscripts and hundreds of libraries all over the world. has thousands of rare and out of print books and journals online.

Hill Museum & Manuscript Library (HMML)
HMML holds works of art and rare printed books from the Middle Ages to the present and is home to The Saint John’s Bible, the first handwritten and illuminated Bible to have been commissioned by a Benedictine Abbey since the invention of the printing press in the 15h century. Additionally, HMML’s online image library, Vivarium, contains digitized manuscripts, art, rare books, photographs and other resources from two Benedictine monastic and educational communities in central Minnesota.

Princeton University Sefer Hasidim Database (PUSHD)
The PUSHD database includes fourteen manuscripts containing different versions of the Sefer Hasidim (Book of the Pious) and its fragments. Access to these manuscripts is free but requires one to register.

Project TABS – The
Project TABS is a forum that brings together the world’s top Jewish scholars and thinkers to share their expertise and reflections on biblical scholarship’s implications for understanding Torah.

Sephardic Studies Digital Library and Museum
Dating between the 16th and mid-20th centuries, this collection includes more than 500 original Ladino books and thousands of documents composed in Ladino as well as other relevant languages, such as Ottoman Turkish, Hebrew and French. In collaboration with the UW Libraries Digital Initiative Programs, 90 of these volumes have already been digitized and the first samples of the digital artifacts are available through the University of Washington Libraries Digital Collections.
The Syriac Reference Portal is a collaborative research project publishling online reference works concerning the culture, history and literature of Syriac communities from antiquity to the present. The online publications of serve a broad scholarly audience including students of Middle Eastern studies, classics, medieval history, religious studies, biblical studies and linguistics.

New Facebook Page and Web Page

tree-200795_640The Fall 2014 semester began yesterday, and we have a wonderful new group of students who have matriculated into the Jewish-Christian Studies (JCST) Graduate Program at Seton Hall University.

The JCST program inaugurated this semester by launching a new Facebook page at where you can keep up to date on the exciting work of our program, faculty, students, and alumni as well as that of other scholars in Jewish-Christian studies and relations, ecumenical studies, and biblical research.

In a similar way, I have chosen to inaugurate the Fall 2014 semester by adding another new page, Online Biblical Hebrew Language Resources, to my website where you will find a list of free online resources designed to help students with Hebrew language studies.

Welcome new and returning students! May you be blessed with an insightful and life-changing semester!

New Webpage: Academic Study of the Bible

I just added the new page, Academic Study of the Bible, to the Research & Resources section of my website.

Here one can begin to explore some of the methods used by scholars to analyze and interpret biblical writings and link to other websites that provide more in-depth historical overviews; classic and modern bibliographies for further study; and/or access to ancient manuscripts and/or their translations.

Enjoy and share!