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meMy name is Joshua Nielsen and I currently work as an Systems Administrator for a Biotech Institute. I graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) in 2010 with a major in Computer Science and a minor in History. My interests have always been in studying the Bible, especially in the areas of theology, the original languages, and also ancient Middle Eastern (or Ancient Near East - ANE) history, particularly as pertains to the time of the Old Testament in the Bible. In a word, the purpose of this site can be summed up as follows:

"ScholarOfGod is a site dedicated to Biblical scholarship and theology and emphasizing the importance of Christian principles for today."

As a matter of apologetics I educated myself at first in archaeological topics and finds that shed light on certain Bible passages such as the Taylor Prism of Sennacherib (cf. 2 Kings 18) and the Moabite Stone written by King Mesha of Moab (cf. 2 Kings 3). Both of these were exciting finds to me and it feuled my interests even further into studying Biblical archaeology (or as it is sometimes called "Syro-Palestinian" archaeology, to be more 'PC', but I do use it as a technical designation).

After participating in informal debates for several years on topics of biblical scholarship on several online discussion groups and forums I became more familiar with the actual professional scholarship and fieldwork associated with biblical studies, and inevitably encountered the almost stifling amount of skepticism and minimalism that has often (unfortunately) dominated the scholarship of the past 50 years. The optimism of W.F. Albright and Nelson Glueck for the progress and accomplishments of biblical archaeology seemed short lived indeed, and since the time of Julius Wellhausen the authorship of the Pentateuch had long since been called into question by skeptical scholars.

I have since, as a result of studying these issues and being challenged by them, become acquainted with scholarly literature (so that I too could enter into the fray and present educated arguments) written by many persons in the fields of Biblical scholarship, Syro-Palestinian archaeology, and Egyptology/Assyrology. I have had the opportunity to meet some of the people and scholars writing on those topics, and I have even studied under one of them (Gregory Mumford - who is an Egyptologist). Represented in modern biblical scholarship a vast spectrum of scholars who have different leanings and opinions as to the validity and accuracy of the biblical accounts of the Old Testament. Though I have been challenged at times by the various views in the field of biblical scholarship, which (in its own way) was a good thing - forcing me to dig deeper, through much research (which for me is always ever-on-going) I am fully convinced that the Old Testament is historically accurate and is a valid record of Israel's history. And because of what I have learned I have dedicated, and will continue to dedicate, my time and resources to demonstrate that historical accuracy and validity to be true. 

Due to my faith I have never doubted the Bible's claims, but in order to convince some people at an intellectual level there is a practical use for studying and fact-gathering in order to present convincing evidence for certain historical events in a way that can be backed up. When it comes to believing the Bible and accepting Jesus Christ however only faith can suffice. Faith alone is truly efficacious for understanding the Bible and apprehending its truths. As Hershel Shanks the president of the Biblical Archaeology Society (BAS) said once, "If you need archaeology to prove what the Bible says then you have a mighty shallow faith". Biblical scholarship is not a replacement for, but rather a supplement to, faith. Hence my interest in it.

Aside from ANE history and archaeology I also have taken interest in something slightly more "modern" in studying the history of the English Bible, pertaining to which (and feuling my interest further) I have seen some of the earliest English Bibles (500+ years old) going back to Wycliffe's translation in the 1400s from the traveling exhibit Ink & Blood, as well as all the other marvelous non-English translations such as Luther's German translation and of course the transmissions of centuries of Latin texts and the various European, Slavic, Asian, and African texts created from the founding of the Church until the Middle Ages. In addition to that I also love studying Church history in general, from the time of the earliest Churches in Asia Minor, to the Catholic Church, to the Protestant Reformation, to the Great Awakening, and beyond. I have even included some information on this site about my own family's Scandinavian Christian heritage and history.

I also love studying the orginal languages of Hebrew and Greek. I have not mastered them yet but I have gone through some of William Mounce's New Testament Greek Grammar textbook and Gary Pratico's Biblical Hebrew Grammar textbook. I use what I can to engage the Bible to the best of my ability. And last, but certainly not least, I am interested in many areas of biblical and systematic theology. Lest I seem to have left out any mention so far of my focus and interests in the New Testament, that is there where I in fact focus much of my theological studies, without of course leaving out the ever-important backdrop of the salvation history of God demonstrated throughout the Old Testament.

I created this site to accomodate my studies in all these areas and also to share my findings with others. I hope that the information on this site proves useful and that it succeeds in proliferating awareness of issues relating to biblical scholarship, church history, the Christian life, matters of the heart and spirit, engaging culture, and most of all faith in Jesus Christ. I profess Jesus Christ as my one and only Savior and I do not waver from the statement that Christ is the singular and only way to get to God the Father, and there is no other. And before I am ever truly considered or recognized as a 'scholar' by anyone in any fashion, I first desire to be known as and considered a servant and slave [doulos] of Jesus Christ (Χριστοδούλου).

I hope that this site blesses you and that you may come to see the faithfulness and truthfulness of God in His Holy Scriptures, and that you may believe in and serve the one and only true King who is not dead like all the other mortal kings of the past: Yeshua ha'Mashiach. 

May God Bless You and Keep You.

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"You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed
on you, because he trusts in you" (Isaiah 26:3)


 
 
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