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ISSN 0045-0308

BOOK REVIEW  Published in Volume 61, 2013

WILLIAM G. HUPPER, An Index to English Periodical Literature on the Old Testament and Ancient Near Eastern Studies. Volume IX, Part 1: Author Index and Subject Index A–I; Part 2: Subject Index J–Z, Foreign Word Index, and Citation Index. (Lanham, Toronto / Plymouth UK: The Scarecrow Press Inc., and American Theological Library Association, 2011). Pages v–cliii, 1–569 (Part 1); pages iv–xxxiii, 571–1248 (Part 2). Hard-back. £125.00.

As Hupper notes in the preface to Part 1, this mammoth project “was first conceived of in the mind of the editor” nearly forty years ago. The first volume was published in 1987. It is a tribute to Hupper’s dedication and attention to detail that he has now completed the project with the publication of volume IX in two parts. The index covers periodical literature in English on the Old Testament and the Ancient Near East from 1769 to 1969. The total number of periodicals that Hupper has indexed over the course of the project is 615, published in 43 countries. As one would expect the largest number of journals are published in the United States (295), followed by the UK (115), with Australia contributing 18. Among the periodicals indexed are 47 specifically on biblical studies, 83 on Archaeology/Oriental Studies, 8 on Assyriology, and 15 on Egyptology.

As far as possible Hupper has used authors’ names as found in the Library of Congress on-line catalog (alternate spellings are sometimes provided in parentheses). He draws special attention to the detail of the subject index “in hopes that by doing so it will save the user time by indicating specific references in otherwise broad categories” (p. v). The use of cross-referencing between technical terms (e.g. “Onomatology”) and their more common counter-parts (e.g. “Names”) is designed to cater for both scholarly and lay users. Where there are variant spellings the subject index follows the one given in the Anchor Bible Dictionary. For Egyptian names, Hupper follows as far as possible the spellings given in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Egyptology, although the wide variation in spellings makes complete consistency difficult. “Spellings in the Index proper are as they are shown in the references cited” (p. vi). There is also a “Key to Index” (for Part 1 on p. vi; for Part 2 on p. iv) that directs readers to the relevant volume and page number(s).

The subject index takes up a large portion of both parts of this final volume: pp. 20–569 of Part 1 and pp. 571–981 of Part 2. Readers can be confident that this index covers most if not all the subjects that they may be researching. The Foreign Word Index covers Akkadian, Amorite, Arabic, Armenian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Canaanite, Coptic, Cypriote, Egyptian, Elamite, Ethiopic, Etruscan, Hittite, Hurrian, Latin, Lihyanic, Lithuanian, Luvian/Luwian, Lydian, Mandaic, Minoan, Mycenaean, Persian, Phoenician, Punic, Sanskrit, Semitic, Slavic, South Arabian, Sumerian, Syriac, Ugaritic, Urartian, Verdic. There is an index of Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic terms, a Cuneiform Sign List and an Egyptian Sign List. Finally, Part 2 contains a comprehensive Hebrew Bible Text Index, a New Testament Text Index, an Apocrypha Text Index, an index of Pseudepigrapha Texts, a Qumran Citation Index, and a Museum Registration Number Index. An indication of Hupper’s painstaking attention to detail and his ability to keep the entire project in view over the nearly 40 years of its production is the list of ‘errata’ that he has found in the preceding volumes and which are listed in Part 1 on pages xl–lxxx, working systematically through the eight earlier volumes.

As noted above, the survey and indexing reaches to 1969. Given that these nine volumes constitute an indispensable aid for research, one might wish that the project could have more recent publications on the many areas covered. As Hupper notes in the Preface however, the electronic form of indexing has effectively taken over. There are now extensive indexes of books and periodicals available on-line. As well as this he notes that (older) articles from a great many journals are also available on-line in full-text format, although “occasionally pages are still missing” (p. ix). Hupper does fear however that the new technology “is also causing a divide in accessibility between the have and the have-nots” (p. ix). He remains “an ardent admirer of hardbound books and journals,” something that he attributes in part to Clifford Stoll whom he quotes as follows:
“Come to think of it, I can’t read an electronic book in the bathtub, or on the subway. Book publishers have nothing to worry about” (from Silicon Snake Oil. Second Thoughts on the Information Highway. Anchor Books Doubleday, 1995, p. 41). Nearly twenty years later there are probably many biblical scholars whose electronic readers and apps enable them to do quite easily what Stoll once thought impossible.

Review by
MCD University of Divinity, Melbourne