AboutThe languages of the Bible have been my passion since I was 15 years old. While in high school, I was introduced to modern Hebrew by Ruth Ann Driss (now Guthmann), biblical Hebrew by Menahem Mansoor, Aramaic and Ugaritic by Keith Schoville, and New Testament Greek by John Linton, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
I went on to pursue ancient Near Eastern Studies at the University of Toronto. I studied Hebrew with E. J. Revell, J. J. M. Roberts, Stanley Walters, and John Wevers, Aramaic with E. G. Clarke, Hellenistic Greek with Al Pietersma, Syriac with D. J. Lane, Akkadian with A. K. Grayson, and Sumerian with R. F. G. Sweet.
I would go back and forth to Wisconsin during my undergraduate days. I served as a research assistant for Michael V. Fox at the UW-Madison as he prepared his books on Song of Songs and Qohelet.
I earned an M.A. degree at the UW-Madison and taught Elementary and Intermediate Biblical Hebrew there. My studies of Hebrew and other Northwest Semitic languages continued under Michael Fox, David McCarthy, and Ron Troxel.
I studied for a year at the Pontifical Biblical Institute-Rome with Mitchell Dahood, Luis Alonso Schoekel, and many others.
I earned a graduate degree at the Waldensian Theological Seminary-Rome with a dissertation under the supervision of J. Alberto Soggin on First Isaiah. Mario Liverani was the “corelatore.” The thesis was accepted for publication by Paideia editrice. I chose not to see it published at the time. I taught Hebrew at the seminary while a student there, and seminars on the Old Testament later while serving as a pastor in Sicily.
I studied a year at the Kirchliche Hochschule Bethel in Bielefeld, Germany under the guidance of Frank Cruesemann and Christof Hardmeier.
I am an ordained pastor in the Waldensian Church – Union of Waldensian and Methodist Churches in Italy. Currently my wife Paola serves United Methodist congregations in Wisconsin. I serve Lutheran congregations in the church body known as LCMC (Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ). We have three children: Giovanni, Elisabetta, and Anna.
I taught Hebrew at the Waldensian Theological Seminary in Rome and the University of Wisconsin-Madison; I taught “Bible and Current Events” in the Anthropology & Religious Studies Department at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. I am a member of editorial board of the Journal of the Evangelical Study of the Old Testament. I currently teach Hebrew in July of each year for Trinity Lutheran Seminary (Lutheran Church of the South Sudan) in Gambella, Ethiopia.
Work Shared in CORE
“The Summing Up of History in 2 Baruch,” Jewish Quarterly Review 89 (1998) 45-79 http://www.jstor.org/stable/1455287
“Resurrection in Daniel and Other Writings at Qumran,” in The Book of Daniel: Composition and Reception. Volume Two (John J. Collins, Peter W. Flint, eds., Supplements to Vetus Testamentum 83/2, Leiden: Brill, 2001) 395-420
“Regularities in Ancient Hebrew Verse: A New Descriptive Model,” Zeitschrift für Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 119 (2007) 564-585. https://doi.org/10.1515/ZAW.2007.040
“Taking Stock of Biblia Hebraica Quinta,” Jahrbuch für evangelikale Theologie 22 (2008) 37-56.
Review of Elizabeth Hayes: Pragmatics of Perception and Cognition in MT Jeremiah 1:1-6:30 (BZAW 380; Berlin: W. de Gruyter, 2008), Journal of Hebrew Scriptures 9 (2009) [online and print editions]
Review of Paolo Sacchi: Sacro/profano, impuro/puro, nella Bibbia e dintorni (Brescia: Morcelliana, 2007), Henoch 31 (2009) 440-449;
Habakkuk. [Article-length introduction; 2012]. Bible Brief series of Virginia Theological Seminary, Stephen L. Cook, editor. http://www.vts.edu/ftpimages/95/download/FM.Hobbins.Habakkuk.pdf
“Zion’s Plea that God See Her as She Sees Herself: Unanswered Prayer in Lamentations 1-2” in Daughter Zion: Her Portrait, Her Response (Mark Boda, Carol Dempsey, and LeAnn Snow Flesher, eds., Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2012) 149-176. https://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=acls;cc=acls;view=toc;idno=heb32024.0001.001
Review of Reinhard Feldmeier and Hermann Spieckermann: Der Gott der Lebendigen: Eine biblische Gottslehre/God of the Living: A Biblical Theology (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck/ Baylor University Press, 2011) “Critical Biblical Theology in a New Key: A Review Article,” in Journal for the Evangelical Study of the Old Testament 1 (2012) 81-101, online at: http://jesot.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/JESOT-1.1-Hobbins.pdf
Review of Robert Alter: Ancient Israel. The Former Prophets: Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings (New York: Norton, 2013.) “Found in Translation,” in Marginalia: A Los Angeles Review of Books (2014), online at http://marginalia.lareviewofbooks.org/found-in-translation-by-john-hobbins/
“The Poetry of Qohelet” in The Words of the Wise Are Like Goads: Engaging Qohelet in the 21st Century (Mark Boda, Tremper Longman, and Cristian Rata, eds., Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 2013);
Review of Peter Bekins, Transitivity and Object Marking in Biblical Hebrew: An Investigation of the Object Preposition ‘et (Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 2014) in Review of Biblical Literature 2016, online at: https://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=10172
Genesis 1-11. A New Old Translation for Readers, Scholars and Translators. Wilmore: Glossa House, 2017. Co-author: Samuel Bray. Available here: https://www.glossahouse.com/product-page/genesis-1-11-a-new-old-translation
Upcoming Talks and Conferences‘Let Him Kiss Me with Kisses of his Mouth’: Song of Songs 1:2-14, to be presented at the 2017 Annual Meeting program unit Biblical Hebrew Poetry. The meeting will be held in Boston, MA from 11/18/2017 to 11/21/2017.
MembershipsMember, Society of Biblical Literature, 1993-present; Member of the Executive Steering Committee of the Biblical Hebrew Poetry Section of the Society of Biblical Literature, 2008 – present; Member of the Editorial Board, Journal of the Evangelical Study of the Old Testament, 2011- present; Member, Association for Jewish Studies, 2017-