Dedicated to bringing together research on indirect translation

Preston Atwood

BA in Humanities, Scarborough College (Fort Worth, TX)

MDiv and ThM in Hebrew Bible, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (Fort Worth, TX)

MA in Hebrew Bible and Semitic Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison (Madison, WI)

PhD  in Hebrew Bible and Semitic Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison (Madison, WI)

Background information

Before becoming a dissertation fellow of the George L. Mosse and Mellon-Wisconsin fellowship programs, Preston held multiple appointments in the Department of Classical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was the Managing Editor from 2014-2015 for the Wisconsin Palmyrene Aramaic Inscription Project (WPAIP; available here), for which he operated as the liaison to UW-Madison’s Digital Collections Department, performed metadata entry for the WPAIP website, and drafted several sections of articles which eventually would be published through KUSATU and Maarav. From 2015-2016, Preston served as the Instructor for Biblical Hebrew I-II, and from 2016-2017 he was the Project Assistant to Dr. Ronald Troxel, analyzing and describing the relation between the Greek Septuagint of Isaiah and the Syriac Peshiṭta of Isaiah. Preston has presented his research at many different international venues (Society of Biblical Literature; International Linguistic Association; Classical Association of the Middle West and South; National Association of Professors of Hebrew; European American Schools Oriental Research/École Pratique des Hautes Études) and is known for his interdisciplinary approaches to the study of the Hebrew Bible. Preston is currently writing his dissertation on the Peshiṭta of Isaiah, integrating developments in Translation Studies (e.g., Descriptive Translation Studies [DTS]; Indirect Translations [ITr]) into the traditional philological and text-critical approaches employed in the field of Biblical Studies. Specifically, he uses the methodological framework operative in DTS to explicate the translation technique of the book's Syriac translator. He then applies the theory and methodology of ITr to explain the Syriac translation's relation to the Greek Septuagint. That the Septuagint and Peshiṭta are known to have been translated from a Hebrew source, yet the Peshiṭta often betrays (sometimes heavy) influence from the Septuagint, poses interesting problems for those working in ITr.

Research interests       

indirect translation

translation of sacred literature (esp. Greek Septuagint; Syriac Peshiṭta; and Aramaic Targum)

textual criticism of the Hebrew Bible

Descriptive Translation Studies

early Jewish-Christian relations

Second Temple Judaism

Main ultimate source language (USL) and ultimate target language (UTL) in indirect translation research

Hebrew (USL) and Syriac (UTL)

Selected publications


Atwood, Preston L., Jeremy M. Hutton, Nathaniel E. Greene, and Catherine E. Bonesho. 2018. “A New Reading of PAT 0670 (= CIS 4313).” Kleine Untersuchungen zur Sprache des Alten Testaments und seiner Umwelt (KUSATU) 23: 9-31. (Link)

Hutton, Jeremy M., Preston L. Atwood, Catherine E. Bonesho, and Nathaniel E. Greene. 2018. “Divergent Script-Styles on a Single Palmyrene Monument: The Case of Berkshire 1903.7.3 (PAT 0670 and 0672).” Kleine Untersuchungen zur Sprache des Alten Testaments und seiner Umwelt (KUSATU) 23: 33-70. (Link)

Hutton, Jeremy M., Preston L. Atwood, Maura K. Heyn, Nathaniel E. Greene, and Catherine E. Bonesho. 2013 (appeared 2016). “Two Palmyrene Inscriptions in the Collection of the Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield, MA: PAT 0960 and 1773.” Maarav 20: 135–161, 257–259. (Link)