Hershel Shanks: I have known each of you for many years. And I know that the Bible has been a central influence in your lives—but in a very different way. In truth, you inhabit very different Biblical worlds.
Both of you are giants, dare I say nephilim [giants; see Genesis 6:4; Numbers 13:33], in your world. For 35 years, Frank Cross held one of the most prestigious chairs in academia: the Hancock Professor of Hebrew and Other Oriental Languages at Harvard University. I believe that’s the third oldest university chair in the country, isn’t it?
Frank Moore Cross: Yes.
HS: I don’t think there is any other professional Bible scholar who is more respected and honored. Now 82—and presumably full of wisdom [all chuckle]—Frank has just been honored with a heavy tome of his professional papers republished under the title Leaves From an Epigrapher’s Notebook: Studies of Ancient Semitic Texts.
Frank is also a leading Dead Sea Scrolls scholar, which he’s been since they were discovered more than 50 years ago. He’s just completing an edition of one of the most significant scrolls for Biblical studies, the Book of Samuel from the Dead Sea Scrolls. And it would be hard to find a more influential book of Biblical studies than his Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic (1973).