Congratulations to Austin Surls for successfully defending his dissertation, “Finding the Meaning of the Divine Name in the Book of Exodus: From Etymology to Literary Onomastics.” In his dissertation, Austin argues that YHWH progressively revealed the meaning of his name at three critical points in the book of Exodus (3:13–15; 6:2–8; and 33:12–23, 34:6–7), the last of which provides the full meaning of the divine name. The earlier texts are preparatory for the fuller revelation in Exodus 33–34. From this text—rather than a purely etymological analysis of the word “YHWH”—can the character of God be discerned.
Austin defended on April 10, 2015, under the supervision of Dr. Daniel I. Block (First Reader). His examination committee consisted of Drs. Michael W. Graves (Second Reader), Richard S. Hess (External Reader), and Douglas J. Moo (Chair).
Austin has a B.A. in Biblical Languages from The Master’s College (2006), as well as a M.Div from Northwest Baptist Seminary (2009) and a M.A. in the Bible and the Ancient Near East from Hebrew University. Austin, his wife Heather, and his son David now live in Ammon, Jordan, where they are learning Arabic before Austin joins the faculty of Jordan Evangelical Theological Seminary in 2017.
Congratulations Austin! We’re thrilled for you!