About myself: I am nearly done with a Master's program in the Hebrew Bible (with emphases on ancient languages and ancient near eastern texts). My undergraduate education included study of the New Testament as well, and I can field questions about late Jewish and early Christian texts as well as earlier materials. I expect to go on to a Ph.D in different kinds of ideological criticism of ancient texts (feminist, gendered, social, etc.).
Listed in an order from most proficient to least proficient, I can read (or at least work with) texts in the following ancient languages: Hebrew, Syriac/Aramaic, New Testament Greek, Ugaritic, and Ge'ez/Ethiopic.
I am an agnostic, though I do belong to a religious community. For me, the study of the Bible is an academic exercise - whether I'm approaching the text with historical-critical or literary-critical eyes - and one that can inform (but is still separate from) my participation in and teaching in a religious community. I am more optimistic than most redditors on the the social value (or at least the potential value) of organized religion.
Why I'm doing this: I often become frustrated with the quality of the discussion about ancient texts of every sort on reddit. I hope to have the opportunity both to address general questions on what being a Bible scholar means, and to respond to specific questions about recent discoveries, current events, etc. that relate to the way people today read, interpret, and use ancient texts. I really don't want this to become a venue for r/atheism and I reserve the right to ignore inflammatory or inappropriate questions.
Objectivity is impossible (we all have biases we cannot avoid), but I will commit to being thoughtful, honest, and undogmatic. I will admit it when I do not know the answer to a question. I can also step beyond my own perspective to give a general idea of how secular scholars in general talk about things.
I hope the quality of my responses is enough proof for this.
Edit: Proof? Sorry about the quality of the picture. http://imgur.com/izUbK
Edit 2: Wow, this is fun. Thanks for all the questions. As you can tell, I'm not the fastest responder, but I'm trying to get to everybody.
Edit 3: I keep seeing posts that I know I responded to that don't have my response anymore. I don't know why.
Edit 4: Redditors, you have been lovely and very hospitable. I am sorry I haven't gotten to everybody, but I need a break. I may poke around and answer some outstanding questions tomorrow, but I've been staring at a screen for too long. Good night for now.
Edit 5: Never mind. After a nice rest, back for another hour or so before bed.