Pennsylvania State University Press’s Eisenbrauns imprint has published Welch College Provost Matthew McAffee’s book entitled, Life and Mortality in Ugaritic: A Lexical and Literary Study, according to Welch President Matt Pinson. Released in June, McAffee’s book represents a significant revision of his University of Chicago doctoral dissertation.

“We are so pleased to have this new book out from Dr. McAffee,” Pinson said. “He is distinguishing himself as the chief academic leader at Welch and also as Professor of Biblical Studies. He’s a tremendous communicator of biblical truth to all ages and to both general and scholarly audiences. I’m confident this will be the first of many books he will write that will defend the Bible and edify the Church in general and the Free Will Baptist Church in particular.”

The book provides a thorough study of the concepts of life and death in Ugaritic texts. The Ugaritic language is known from a cache of tablets discovered in 1928 in Ras Shamra on the Syrian coast. These texts are dated to the latter part of the second millennium B.C. and provide an important window into the Canaanite culture of the Old Testament world.

This study on life and death from this context provides important background for the beliefs exhibited in the Bible, demonstrating both similarity with and distinction from the biblical worldview. As McAffee explains, “It is clear the biblical authors were expressing these concepts within an ancient Near Eastern context, but they were doing so through the aid of divine revelation. In many instances, the biblical authors are challenging ideas that are found in these texts.”

McAffee is currently under contract for an intermediate textbook on Biblical Hebrew and is working on a book designed to introduce biblical studies to college students. He writes regularly for ONE Magazine. In addition to his most recent article published in Integrity: A Journal of Christian Thought, published by the Commission for Theological Integrity of the National Association of Free Will Baptists, he has authored a number of articles in publications such as Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, and Journal of the American Oriental Society.

McAffee is also a frequent preacher and conference speaker, preaching at churches and association meetings as well as teaching and lecturing on biblical and theological subjects. For more information on Welch College and its associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees in theology and ministry, email jcockrell@welch.edu. For information about scheduling Dr. McAffee for a speaking engagement, email tcockrell@welch.edu.

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