The Foundation is pleased to announce the appointments of Brigham Young University professors John F. Hall and Andrew C. Skinner to the FARMS Board of Trustees. Their formal training and experience in subject areas suited to the research interests of FARMS will be of great value to the board.
John Hall, a professor of classical languages and ancient history and former chairman of BYU's Department of Humanities, Classics, and Comparative Literature, graduated from BYU with a double major in Latin and Greek and earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in ancient history from the University of Pennsylvania. He has served as executive director and president of a national organization for professors of ancient languages and history. The author of scholarly publications on Roman history and the world of the New Testament, he is currently researching the development of Christianity in the Roman world and the original Greek version of the New Testamentareas congenial to his work as a principal investigator in FARMS's Early Christianity Initiative (see last month's newsletter for more about this initiative).
"Since I began to study Latin at age 10, and Greek a few years later, I have spent most of my life coming to know the world that was home to early Christianity," Hall said. "I have had the opportunity to learn many interesting and exciting things about the world of the New Testament. Each new discovery has served to demonstrate more clearly to me that the Prophet Joseph Smith was absolutely correct in his teachings about the church in the meridian of time. My being a part of the FARMS effort to share historical and linguistic information that corroborates the teachings of the restored gospel fills me with unbounded excitement."
Andrew Skinner is the new dean of Religious Education at BYU, succeeding Robert L. Millet, who stepped down from that position (and from the FARMS board) to return to teaching. Skinner's academic training includes a B.A. in history, M.A. in Hebrew Bible and Judaic studies, Th.M. in biblical Hebrew from Harvard, and Ph.D. in European and Near Eastern history from the University of Denver.
After teaching at Ricks College for four years, he joined the faculty of BYU's Department of Ancient Scripture in 1992, becoming chair of that department in 1997. He has filled three teaching assignments at the BYU Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern studies and is a member of the international team of scholarly editors who are preparing translations of the Dead Sea Scrolls for publication in Oxford University Press's Discoveries in the Judaean Desert series. The author of many publications, he is currently researching military history and ancient Near Eastern history and texts.
Of his appointment to the FARMS board, Skinner said, "I look forward to working with the faithful scholars and teachers at FARMS. We have all benefited from their work in helping Latter-day Saints and non-affiliated scholars to understand the historical, cultural, linguistic, and geographical contexts of the scriptures."