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Kamran Scot Aghaie, Chair CAL 528 | 204 W 21st St F9400 | Austin, TX 78712-1029 • 512-471-3881

Jonathan Kaplan

Assistant Professor Ph.D. 2010, Harvard University

Jonathan Kaplan

Contact

  • Phone: 512-471-9453
  • Office: CAL 503
  • Office Hours: Fall 2014: M 2:10–3 p.m., W 11:30a.m.–12:50 p.m., and by appointment
  • Campus Mail Code: F9400

Biography

Jonathan Kaplan is a scholar of Ancient Judaism whose research and teaching focuses on the study of the Hebrew Bible and the history of its interpretation in the Second Temple and early Rabbinic periods. His current book project, tentatively entitled My Perfect One: Typology and Early Rabbinic Interpretation of Song of Songs, is a study of the interpretations of the Song of Songs contained in the earliest compilations of rabbinic interpretation of the Bible, which are known as the tannaitic midrashim. Prior to joining the faculty of the Department of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, he served for two years as a Jacob & Hilda Blaustein Postdoctoral Associate in the Judaic Studies Program and as a Lecturer on Judaic Studies, Religious Studies, and Humanities at Yale University.


 

 

Interests

Hebrew Bible, Second Temple Judaism, Dead Sea Scrolls, Rabbinic Judaism, Midrash, Literary Theory

MEL 383 • Hebrew Bible Doctoral Smnr I

41957 • Fall 2014
Meets M 300pm-600pm CAL 422
(also listed as R S 386H )
show description

This course will examine the issues that are current in scholarship about Achaemenid Period Yehud (Judah).Requirements:Attendance and Active ParticipationAnnotated bibiliography on a topic related to Achaemenid Period Yehud.Leadership of one session of class.Prerequisites:Two semesters of The Bible in Hebrew.

MEL 321 • The Dead Sea Scrolls

42271 • Spring 2014
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm GAR 2.128
(also listed as AHC 330, HIS 364G, J S 364, MES 342, R S 353D )
show description

For almost seventy years, the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls has influenced significantly our understanding of Second Temple Judaism, the formation of the Bible, and the origins of the religious movements of Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism. This course presents an in-depth study of the Dead Sea Scrolls in order to understand better the development of law, interpretation, ritual, messianism, apocalypticism, and prayer in the late Second Temple period. This course will include discussion of the archaeology of the Qumran community, textual production and transmission in antiquity, scribal practices in antiquity, and pseudonymous authorship.

Texts

VanderKam, James C. The Dead Sea Scrolls Today. Revised Edition. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2010. Vermes, Geza. The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English. London: Penguin, 1998.

Grading: 

Class attendance and participation 10%; Quality of midterm examination 20%; Quality of final examination 30%; Quality of two “5 page papers“ 40%.

MEL 383 • Aramaic Biblical Interpret

42335 • Spring 2014
Meets F 200pm-500pm CAL 422
(also listed as R S 387M )
show description

The corpus of Aramaic texts among the Dead Sea Scrolls comprises a broad cross section of Second Temple Jewish literary production including the Genesis Apocryphon, a Targum to Job, 1 Enoch, Tobit, Daniel, and the Aramaic Levi Document. In this course, we will explore this textual cluster (approximately 130–150 manuscripts) through close examination of the varieties of textual production and interpretation in Second Temple Judaism such as “Rewritten Bible,” translation, intertextuality, allusion, and pseudepigraphy.Prerequisite: Two years of Classical or three years of Modern Hebrew as well as one semester of any dialect of Aramaic (or permission of instructor).

Texts

Muraoka, T. A Grammar of Qumran Aramaic. ANE Studies Supplement Series 38. Louvan: Peeters, 2011.

Grading

Class Participation 40%Language Examination 20%Final 20 page paper 40%

MES 342 • The Dead Sea Scrolls

42536 • Spring 2014
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm GAR 2.128
(also listed as AHC 330, HIS 364G, J S 364, MEL 321, R S 353D )
show description

For almost seventy years, the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls has influenced significantly our understanding of Second Temple Judaism, the formation of the Bible, and the origins of the religious movements of Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism. This course presents an in-depth study of the Dead Sea Scrolls in order to understand better the development of law, interpretation, ritual, messianism, apocalypticism, and prayer in the late Second Temple period. This course will include discussion of the archaeology of the Qumran community, textual production and transmission in antiquity, scribal practices in antiquity, and pseudonymous authorship.

Texts

VanderKam, James C. The Dead Sea Scrolls Today. Revised Edition. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2010. Vermes, Geza. The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English. London: Penguin, 1998.

Grading: 

Class attendance and participation 10%; Quality of midterm examination 20%; Quality of final examination 30%; Quality of two “5 page papers“ 40%.

MEL 383 • Hebrew Bible Doctoral Smnr III

42220 • Fall 2013
Meets M 300pm-600pm GAR 1.134
(also listed as R S 386H )
show description

This seminar involves a close examination of the biblical book Song of Songs. Students will employ a wide range of methods in our study of these works including, but not limited to, history, philology, literary theory, poetics, history of interpretation, linguistics, and art history.

Textbooks 

Exum, J. Cheryl. Song of Songs. OTL. Louisville, Ky.: WJKP.Murphy, Roland.

The Song of Songs. Hermeneia. Minneapolis: Fortress Press.Pope, Marvin H.

Song of Songs. Anchor Bible 7C. New Haven: Yale University Press.

 

MES S342 • Abraham & Abrahamic Religions

86725 • Summer 2013
Meets MTWTHF 100pm-230pm CLA 0.106
(also listed as R S S353 )
show description

The biblical character Abraham is considered to be the father of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam by each religion's adherents. How did Abraham become  Father Abraham?  Why does each of these three communities claim to be the people of Abraham exclusively? The primary aims of this course are to explore how Abraham is presented in the book of Genesis and how each of these religions transforms Abraham into a key figure of their tradition. After examining the figures of Abraham, his wife Sarah, and his sons Ishmael and Isaac in Genesis 12–25, the remainder of the course will consist of exploring how Judaism, Christianity, and Islam each retell the story of Abraham and his family. We will take note of the interpretive strategies employed by each tradition as it utilizes the story of Abraham in constructing a communal narrative of chosenness. Some attention will be paid to how participants in contemporary inter-religious dialogue approach the figure of Abraham. This course requires no prior exposure to biblical literature or Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

Texts

Coogan, Michael D. et al., eds. The New Oxford Annotated Bible with theApocrypha, Augmented Fourth Edition, New Revised Standard Version, College Edition. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010.

Levenson, Jon D. Inheriting Abraham: The Legacy of the Patriarch in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2012.

Grading

Class attendance and participation - 15%,One-page class responses - 15%, Four-to-five-page textual analysis - 20%, Midterm Exam - 20%, Final Exam - 30%

HEB 380C • The Bible In Hebrew IV

41555 • Spring 2013
Meets TH 330pm-630pm BEN 1.118
show description

In a series of four courses, all Hebrew Bible/Ancient Near East graduate students will read the Hebrew Bible in its entirety, in Hebrew (and the small amount of Aramaic that also appears).  This schedule amounts to approximately 30 pages of Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia each week.  In addition, each professor will stress some element of Biblical Hebrew or the Hebrew Bible, e.g., historical grammar or syntax. Conducted in English. 

Texts

To be determined.

Grading & Requirements

Class participation: 50%

Research paper: 50%

MEL 321 • The Dead Sea Scrolls

41790 • Spring 2013
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm BUR 224
(also listed as HIS 364G, J S 364, MES 342, R S 353D )
show description

For almost seventy years, the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls has influenced significantly our understanding of Second Temple Judaism, the formation of the Bible, and the origins of the religious movements of Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism. This course presents an in-depth study of the Dead Sea Scrolls in order to understand better the development of law, interpretation, ritual, messianism, apocalypticism, and prayer in the late Second Temple period. This course will include discussion of the archaeology of the Qumran community, textual production and transmission in antiquity, scribal practices in antiquity, and pseudonymous authorship.

Texts

VanderKam, James C. The Dead Sea Scrolls Today. Revised Edition. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2010. Vermes, Geza. The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English. London: Penguin, 1998.

Grading: 

Class attendance and participation 10%; Quality of midterm examination 20%; Quality of final examination 30%; Quality of two “5 page papers“ 40%.

MES 342 • The Dead Sea Scrolls

41915 • Spring 2013
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm BUR 224
(also listed as HIS 364G, J S 364, MEL 321, R S 353D )
show description

For almost seventy years, the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls has influenced significantly our understanding of Second Temple Judaism, the formation of the Bible, and the origins of the religious movements of Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism. This course presents an in-depth study of the Dead Sea Scrolls in order to understand better the development of law, interpretation, ritual, messianism, apocalypticism, and prayer in the late Second Temple period. This course will include discussion of the archaeology of the Qumran community, textual production and transmission in antiquity, scribal practices in antiquity, and pseudonymous authorship.

Texts

VanderKam, James C. The Dead Sea Scrolls Today. Revised Edition. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2010. Vermes, Geza. The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English. London: Penguin, 1998.

Grading: 

Class attendance and participation 10%; Quality of midterm examination 20%; Quality of final examination 30%; Quality of two “5 page papers“ 40%.

MEL 321 • Jerusalem

41583 • Fall 2012
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am PAR 101
(also listed as J S 363, MES 342, R S 358 )
show description

Jerusalem has been described famously as a golden bowl full of scorpions. As this proverb suggests, Jerusalem not only has been regarded as a treasure but also as something that is difficult to possess. This course surveys the often-tumultuous religious, political, and cultural history of Jerusalem over three millennia and examines the city's role as a symbolic focus for Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The course examines literary evidence, artifacts, architecture, geography, and iconography to explore the development of the city and how its sacred space and symbolic significance has been shaped by history.

Texts/Readings

Coogan, Michael D. et al., eds. The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha, Augmented Fourth Edition, New Revised Standard Version, College Edition. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010.

The Qur'an. Any modern edition with English translation.

Bahat, Dan & Chaim T. Rubenstein. The Carta Jerusalme Atlas. Third Edition. Carta, 2011.

Cline, Eric H. Jerusalem Besieged: From Ancient Canaan to Modern Israel. Ann Arbor, Mich., 2005.

Montefiore, Simon Sebag. Jerusalem: The Biography. New York: Knopf, 2011.

Grading Policy

Three in-class, one-hour examinationas (60%)

One Cumulative, final examination (30%)

Class attendance (10%)

MES 342 • Jerusalem

41723 • Fall 2012
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am PAR 101
(also listed as J S 363, MEL 321, R S 358 )
show description

Jerusalem has been described famously as a golden bowl full of scorpions. As this proverb suggests, Jerusalem not only has been regarded as a treasure but also as something that is difficult to possess. This course surveys the often-tumultuous religious, political, and cultural history of Jerusalem over three millennia and examines the city's role as a symbolic focus for Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The course examines literary evidence, artifacts, architecture, geography, and iconography to explore the development of the city and how its sacred space and symbolic significance has been shaped by history.

Texts/Readings

Coogan, Michael D. et al., eds. The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha, Augmented Fourth Edition, New Revised Standard Version, College Edition. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010.

The Qur'an. Any modern edition with English translation.

Bahat, Dan & Chaim T. Rubenstein. The Carta Jerusalme Atlas. Third Edition. Carta, 2011.

Cline, Eric H. Jerusalem Besieged: From Ancient Canaan to Modern Israel. Ann Arbor, Mich., 2005.

Montefiore, Simon Sebag. Jerusalem: The Biography. New York: Knopf, 2011.

Grading Policy

Three in-class, one-hour examinationas (60%)

One Cumulative, final examination (30%)

Class attendance (10%)

Publications

“The Song of Songs from the Bible to the Mishnah.” Hebrew Union College Annual 81 (2010/2013): 43–66.

“1 Samuel 8:11–18 as ‘A Mirror for Princes’.” Journal of Biblical Literature 131.4 (2012): 625–42.

“Comfort, O Comfort, Corinth: Grief and Comfort in 2 Corinthians 7:5–13a.” Harvard Theological Review 104 (2011): 433–45.

“The Mesha Inscription and Iron Age II Water Systems.” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 69 (2010): 23–29.

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