Bringing together a vast array of expertise on the Ancient Near East, a festschrift has been compiled to honor TEDS Professor of Old Testament, Semitic Languages, and Ancient Near Eastern History K. Lawson Younger, Jr.
Dr. Younger specializes in Assyriology, Aramaic, and the Hebrew Bible, and he has published numerous works involving ancient Near Eastern texts and their relationship to the Bible. He is the author of A Political History of the Arameans: From Their Origins to the End of Their Polities (2016), which brought him the Biblical Archaeology Society 2017 Publication Award for “Best Scholarly Book on Archaeology.” He is also the author of Ancient Conquest Accounts: A Study of Ancient Near Eastern and Biblical History Writing (1990), and Judges, Ruth (2002). Additionally, he has co-authored and edited various other books, and contributed many short scholarly works on the topic.
In addition to his extensive expertise, Dr. Younger is an active member of the American Oriental Society, the International Association of Assyriology, and the Society of Biblical Literature. Among his many scholarly papers, he has given lectures at the British Academy, the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University, the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, the Vorderasiatisches Museum (Pergamonmuseum, Berlin), and the Israel Museum (Jerusalem). He was the Seymour Gitin Distinguished Professor at the Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem, Israel (2012–13). Today, Dr. Younger is continuing to delve into his interest in the Arameans, focusing on their religion as the topic for his new book.
“[Dr. Younger] is likely the best scholar worldwide to combine archaeology, neighboring countries and history.”
A TEDS LEGACY
Since 1998, Dr. Younger has served faithfully as professor at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. His extensive expertise in the field and his friendly demeanor have impacted the lives of many of those who have worked with or studied under him. In honor of his career and his nearing retirement, his friends and colleagues “resolved to publish a festschrift as a tangible expression of our appreciation for Lawson and to call attention to his monumental achievements.”
At the heart of all he does, Dr. Younger is passionate for ministering to others. He has felt that God has called him for three purposes: train men and women for ministry; preach and teach in the local church; and minister to those in the academy. Dr. Younger fulfills each of these by teaching at TEDS, guest preaching at his church, Village Church of Lincolnshire (EFCA), and through his work in the wider academy. It is undoubtedly true that Dr. Younger has made great strides in his mission to connect the people in his field and build bridges in love between those who see the world differently as he does.
This festschrift, “Now These Records are Ancient”: Studies in Ancient Near Eastern and Biblical History, Languages and Culture in Honor of K. Lawson Younger, Jr., was released on November 15, 2022. It features 32 articles written by 41 authors and covers a wide range of archaeology-related topics, all nodding to the legacy of Dr. Younger. It is a part of a series founded by Manfred Gorg in 1979: Aegypten Und Altes Testament (translated from German to say “Egypt and the Old Testament”). The series features a wide variety of information on Egyptology, archaeology, and biblical history with a focus on the Old Testament, among other related subjects. Even the cover of the volume highlights a piece of Dr. Younger’s legacy, as it features a photo of an Aramean artifact currently displayed in the Pergamon Museum in Germany, the continuing study of which Dr. Younger’s expertise and hard work has been a major asset.
When being asked to write for the festschrift, contributors mentioned that Dr. Younger “is likely the best scholar worldwide to combine archaeology, neighboring countries and history.” In addition, an editor explained that “[Lawson] has fostered friendships with scholars who may disagree strenuously with his understanding of the Hebrew Bible and he with theirs; nevertheless, he has maintained convivial relations with them. This quality in the man is what has endeared him to so many.”
Younger was presented with the festschrift at the Society of Biblical Literature’s annual meeting, where co-editors James K. Hoffmeier, Richard E. Averbeck, Wolfgang Zwickel, and Caleb Howard were all able to come and celebrate the honor. Additionally, many TEDS students, alumni, and colleagues from around the world were in attendance for the special ceremony honoring a long-beloved professor and friend. The book was displayed for sale in the vendors hall along with other books in the series.
“He has fostered friendships with scholars who may disagree strenuously with his understanding of the Hebrew Bible and he with theirs; nevertheless, he has maintained convivial relations with them. This quality in the man is what has endeared him to so many”
At the head of this project stand four editors, who not only provided scholarly content for the festschrift, but worked together to bring about its cohesive completion.
Professor Emeritus of Old Testament and Ancient Near Eastern History and Archaeology James K. Hoffmeier (TEDS faculty 1999-2019) brings his significant expertise to the creation and completion of this project. Born and raised in Egypt, he is the author of multiple books, has served as an editor for the ESV Study Bible, and has directed excavations as the head of the North Sinai Archaeological Project. He had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Younger in 1986, and in 1999, they became colleagues when Hoffmeier joined the faculty at TEDS. “Having Lawson as a colleague was a big factor in my decision to move to TEDS. For twenty years our offices were side by side, and we were frequently in each other’s offices visiting.” Hoffmeier’s contribution to the festschrift is a joint essay written with Mark Janzen (MA Near Eastern Archaeology ‘06), a previous student of Dr. Younger’s, titled “Towards a Diplomatic, Contextual Reading of the Encounter Between Jacob and Esau in Genesis 33.”
Emeritus Professor of Old Testament and Semitic Languages Richard E. Averbeck (TEDS faculty 1994-present) has an impressive list of publications relating to the Old Testament and served in various high-level positions at universities before coming to TEDS. He has known Dr. Younger for thirty years and has worked with him as TEDS faculty for two decades. “I owe him a debt of gratitude for his example, encouragement, and personal loyalty that I shall never be able to repay,” He wrote in his entry to the festschrift, “This essay is dedicated to him as a small token of my appreciation and genuine regard for him and his work.” His contribution to the project is the essay, “The Meaning and Importance of ‘subdue’ (kābaš) in Genesis 1:28.”
Caleb Howard is currently a Research Fellow in Old Testament and Ancient Near East at Tyndale House, Cambridge, where he serves as an editor on the Tyndale Bulletin. He considers Dr. Younger to be a great teacher and mentor, saying “I am profoundly grateful for his outstanding training in things biblical, epigraphic, historical, and linguistic, as well as his encouragement and help over the years.” Howard contributed the essay titled “Some of What’s New in the Study of Amorite.”
Wolfgang Zwickel is Professor of Old Testament and Biblical Archaeology at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany. His contribution to the festschrift is a collaborative essay written with Sara Kipfer, titled “The Carmel in the Bronze and Iron Ages: A Multiperspective Approach.”
“I owe him a debt of gratitude for his example, encouragement, and personal loyalty that I shall never be able to repay.”
The following friends, colleagues, and students of Dr. Younger have contributed the additional essays that make up the bulk of this festschrift:
|Bill T. Arnold||Carroll Kobs|
|Luiz Gustavo Assis (MA Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Languages and Archaeology ’15)||Jacob Lauinger|
|Barry J. Beitzel (TEDS Faculty 1976-2016)||Jens Bruun Kofoed|
|Koert van Bekkum (Visiting Research Scholar, Department of Ancient Near Eastern and Old Testament Studies, ‘18)||André Lemaire|
|Daniel I. Block (MA Biblical Studies and the Old Testament ‘73)||Theodore J. Lewis|
|Scott Booth (PhD ’18 and MA ’07)||Aren M. Maeir|
|Caleb T. Chow (PhD in Old Testament & Ancient Near Eastern History, Archaeology, and Languages ‘18)||Alan Millard|
|Daniel E. Fleming||Robert A. Mullins|
|Walter E. Foster||Nava Panitz-Cohen|
|Seymour Gitin||Dennis Pardee|
|Holger Gzella||Jillian L. Ross|
|Oliver A. Hersey (PhD in Old Testament and Ancient Near Eastern Languages, History, and Culture ’19; MA, Biblical Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Languages, Old Testament, Ancient Near Eastern History ’11)||Hélène Sader|
|Richard S. Hess (MDiv ’79 and ThM ’80)||Jack M. Sasson|
|John W. Hilber||
|Neal A. Huddleston (Adjunct Professor at TIU; PhD in Theological Studies: Old Testament & Ancient Near Eastern History, Archaeology, and Languages ’15)||Ariel Shatil|
|Mark Janzen (MA Near Eastern Archaeology ‘06)||Brian T. Shockey|
|Sara Kipfer||Karel van der Toorn|
|Michelle Knight (Assistant Professor of Old Testament and Semitic Languages 1998-present)||Naama Yahalom-Mack|
The festschrift is available for loan at the Rolfing Library on the Deerfield campus of Trinity International University. It can also be found for purchase online.
Trinity is thankful for professors like Younger who has dedicated his career to mentoring the growth of TEDS students in faith and academics, while also continuing to contribute to his field. Dr. Younger exemplifies the high level of education and mentorship that students at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School have been receiving for many years. The work of this festschrift is a legacy to the inspiration and encouragement that he has provided for countless students, colleagues, friends, and readers over his life and career.