Sanders, assistant professor of religion at Trinity, was awarded the 2010 Frank Moore Cross Award from the

American Schools of Oriental Research for his 2009 The Invention of Hebrew, which argues that Hebrew was the first successful vernacular literature. Named after the professor who first inspired Sanders to study the Bible in college, the awards is for the most substantial volume related to ancient Near Eastern epigraphy, text and/or tradition. In its citation, ASOR described Sanders’s book as “the first to approach the Bible in light of recent findings in the history of writing,” documenting “distinct ways in which Hebrew was a powerfully selfconscious political language.” The Journal of Religion wrote that "Sanders's analysis of West Semitic epigraphic sources moves significantly beyond philological analysis (without leaving it behind) to engage philosophy, political and social theory, and religious studies more broadly. . . . This book will remain extremely valuable for the way it conceptualizes the creation of biblical literature in new ways and in light of largely unmined data."

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