Naturally what that means is that posts from August are herein featured and perforce so too are some of those who twitter.*
I hope I’ve not missed any of the best of the best but I may have so I recommend that you skip on over to this Twitter list of bibliobloggers and you can follow them in real time as they post their golden nuggets of wisdom and insight. [And if you’re a self declared biblioblogger and twitter-er and wish to be on the list, drop me a note][NB- Inclusion on the list isn’t a personal endorsement by yours truly. Some of those on the list are just purveyors of rubbish nonsense but you might like them (if you have a sadly twisted sense of truth and falsehood or enjoy the self promoters)].
You may not be familiar with Chuck Grantham but he does ‘notes’ on biblical texts which folk ought to drop in on. In August his set on Judges is nicely written.
John Gentry showed that Sirach prophesied modern America’s gluttony and described how to avoid that particular sin… :-)
Tim Bulkeley investigated a bit of Jeremiah (the best prophet of them all and way, way more interesting than Paul or Peter or James or Matthew or Mark or Luke…). Tim also has a new book out you might want to take a look at titled ‘Not Only a Father‘. It is…
… a new kind of book. (Though paperback copies of Not Only a Father are available.) A book you discuss with others, and with the author, as you read. It is available as a print edition (conventional “book”). You can if you wish read a paper copy and then write comments or ask questions here :). In each chapter and section there are small blue speech bubbles to the right of every paragraph. Click on them to see what others have said or to comment or ask questions yourself. If you have friends reading this book you can use the “Comments by user” link in the top menu to see what they have contributed to the discussion.
James Tabor discussed the recent attempts of a Jewish scholar to ‘correct’ the biblical text. An essay worth reading, and considering.
The current edition of the Journal for the Study of the Old Testament appeared, with a number of interesting contributions, blogged here. Reading journals is a great way to keep up with the current thinking on various subjects. Every scholar and interested lay-person should be an avid journal reader (and book-reviewer, I should also add).
Julian Freeman offers Christians some guidelines for reading Old Testament narratives. I don’t think our Jewish friends will find them very useful, but relatively conservative Christians may well do. Although I have to say, if taken too seriously his suggestions may tend to eisegesis; so maybe these are really ways of reading the Old Testament that should probably be used only with the utmost care.
Dave Jenkins gives the theodicy question a go. A long go. A very long go. Very, very lonnnggggggggg….. But you should set aside a couple of days to read it.
Christian Brady took a look at the two fellows who went down to Moab-land and found themselves some foreign type wives and what God did to them for their Wanderlust… Nice work, young Mr. Dr. Prof. Brady.
Jose Ayrton de Silva recommends some things that Erhard Gerstenberger has published. Gerstenberger is fantastic and anytime anyone points folk to his work, I’m thrilled to pass it along.
Giant Remnants have a look at the upcoming film about Noah. It’s a gigantic(ly) interesting (for the most part) post.
Otherwise, the Hebrew Bible people were pretty quiet. They must be taking a Summer Sabbatical. שבת-שלום to them.
Craig Benno did a little ‘review-let’ of Witherington’s commentary on 1 and 2 Corinthians. He seemed to like it. Evidently in it Witherington suggests that Saul changed his name to Paul because “Saulos has connotations of how a prostitute walks”. Such a reading really makes no sense at all and seems to have first come into the mind of Leary and seen the light of day in an essay in New Testament Studies. I prefer Lumby’s sane explanation (and, yes, that does imply that Leary’s isn’t) -
At this point we first meet the name by which the great Apostle is best known throughout the Christian Church, and many reasons have been given why he assumed this name, and why at this time. Some have thought that the name was adopted from the proconsul’s, his first convert of distinction, but this is utterly alien to all we know of the character of St Paul, with his sole glory in the cross of Christ. Far more likely is he to have been attracted to it, if it were not his before, by the meaning of the Latin word (paullus = little, see Ter. And. 1. 5. 31; Adelph. 5. 4. 22), and its fitness to be the name of him who called himself the least of the Apostles. But perhaps he did only what other Jews were in the habit of doing when they went into foreign lands, and chose him a name of some significance (for the Jews were fond of names with a meaning) among those with whom he was about to mix. Dean Howson (Life and Letters of St Paul, I. p. 164) compares Joses—Jason; Hillel—lulus, and probably the similarity of sound did often guide the choice of such a name, and it may have been so with the Apostle’s selection. J.R. Lumby, The Acts of the Apostles. Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges (241–242). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Furthermore, if you want to read a real commentary on 1 Corinthians, I highly recommend this one. (Oh don’t look so surprised, you knew I was going to work him in somehow). Another great commentary is Gordon Fee’s. Coincidentally, Joel Green likes Fee’s volume a lot as well, as he mentions in an interview he gave on the Logos blog.
The always precious Carl Sweatman wrestled with Wrede. You may not know this but Wrede was a German so he could easily take any pasty skinned Brit coming his way or even easier, an ex-pat American turned pasty skinned Brit. It’s a fine post, truly.
Mike Kok, the Canadian Carl Sweatman (if you have ever met Mike you know what I mean) is taken with the Gospel of Mark and he posted in August this interesting piece on that little book. He’ll give you something to cogitate. (And yes, that’s the little fellow. We invited him to have lunch in Sheffield a couple of years ago when I was passing through for SOTS).
Anthony LeDonne announced a Conference on the Historical Jesus. Sure, he did it here, but honestly where else is he going to do it where it will be seen? Joel’s Blog? Bahahahahahaha…. But seriously it looks like a great opportunity so if you’re in Ohio you might want to show up.
Andrew Fulford has some interesting things to say – in dialogue with Winter – about 1 Cor 7. It’s here.
Brian Davidson has news of a new Greek Grammar coming soon. He seems to be very excited about it. I like Robertson’s huge 1100+ page monster but kids these days don’t have attention spans sufficient to grapple with that one. Kids these days….
Also in the ‘things Greek’ category, Dan Wallace had an interesting snippet on the proper pronunciation of Koine. You know, the old ‘Erasmian’ pronunciation v. some other silly system thing that seems to make the rounds every decade or so. His remarks about Blass are especially noteworthy. Wallace also makes the sad, sad announcement that codex 1799 has died. Or rather, has suffered demise. Demisement? Demising? It’s shuffled off this mortal coil.
The good folk at Oxford have initiated a new project to get those mountains of Oxyranchus Papyri transcribed and translated. And they are asking for your help. You can discover the details here.
The vaguely familiar Nijay Gupta (whom I always, in my mind, call Sanjay but not Sanjia) wrote a fine, albeit brief, review of a book about some guy named Paul. Ugh. With Chris Tilling’s book on Paul appearing this month it’s just all more Paul than any of us should have to endure. More John, less Paul!
Dom Mattos ran a contest (and if you RUSH right over you still might have a chance to enter) on the T&T Clark blog. I’ll let you find out for yourself what it’s about. Just a hint: think Jesus, and his milieu.
Luke Wisley (not to be confused with Ron Weasley) posted a short notice on a roundtable discussion of Michael Licona’s book on the resurrection of Jesus. I’ve added a link to the blogroll to Luke’s page- he’s moving to Edinburgh to study. We’re expecting big things from him.
Cliff Kvidahl posts ever so briefly on the forthcoming edition of the Greek New Testament called NA28 and its adoption of a reading in Jude which Cliff is overjoyed with (over, about). It does indeed look like a fantastic revision. And it even has its own website.
Johnson Thomaskutty has an intriguing post on Paul and women (featuring Dom Crossan). If you missed it (and face it, you probably did), give it a read. You may well have not read James McGrath’s post on the scanner as mark of the beast lunacy (and that suggestion has been around as long as scanners have been around) but you should. Just don’t trip over the popup ads which festoon Patheos. And after you read it, be sure to run your virus scanning software because popups are evil and are probably themselves the mark of the beast.
James Crossley made an indecent proposal. Vintage James. It’s just got to be read. And yes, it has to do with Biblical Studies.
Larry Schiffman addressed the always intriguing question of ‘who is a Jew’. And speaking of Larry…
In August Lawrence Schiffman took up the blogging pen and the twitter quill and commenced to join the happy family of biblioblogging twitterers. He’s – it goes without saying – worth reading. He also posted a document on the whole Raphael Golb fiasco which you can, and must, read here.
Jim Tabor (who recently seems to have come to the conclusion that regular blogging is something worth doing- because he’s been doing it a lot) took a look at a phrase in the Scrolls also alluded to by, he asserts, Jesus as, he asserts, recorded by Q. It’s a quite interesting thought. He may be on to something.
Geza Vermes appeared on BBC Radio with Paul McCarthy, as we learn here.
And ASOR announced that in September on the ASOR blog the focus will be the Dead Sea Scrolls and Qumran. Jodi Magness and James Charlesworth are contributing, along with Stephen Pfann. It will be worth checking out.
There was yet another round of ‘the Lead Codices’ from Jordan need a fresh view’ led by Margaret Barker (whose various idiosyncratic views stand to gain support if the codices are legitimate). But Jim Davila expressed himself rather forcefully on the subject to the contrary.
In Israel an archaeologist discussed what she believes to be the discovery of the oldest matches yet uncovered. It’s a really interesting story and it proves that sometimes things aren’t what we first imagine them to be. And a young guy who dug this Summer shares his experience on the ASOR blog. See, digging in dirt isn’t just for 3 year olds!
Bob Cargill shared a video with the gang- it’s an impromptu lecture at Azekah on lmlk seals. Alas, poor lmlk, we knew him well… Oh, and Bob also posted a cooler video- of his little boy taking those important first steps. He’s a smart little guy and adorable too. He gets all that from his mom.
David ‘The Canuck’ Meadows had a great post titled ‘The iPad in Archaeology‘. Who knew that Goliath didn’t just have a big bowl and spoon, but an iPad too! (At least, I think that’s what the post is about. You’ll have to read it for yourself).
Antonio Lombatti says, concerning Bethsaida- Bethsaida, la città di Andrea e Filippo citata diverse volte nel Nuovo Testamento e promossa a polis da Erode Filippo I nel 30 d.C., è al centro di numerosi scavi. E si cercano sempre fondi per finanziare la costosa campagna archeologica. I like Antonio and his work. I call him, when I’m sitting in the living room and watching ‘Mythbusters’, “Antonio the Mythbuster Lombatti”. #Fact.
Aren Maeir announced the good news about the City of David excavation report. I sure wish they’d find a seal with a great inscription about David at an undisturbed layer in an untouched square. Seriously. He also announced the dates for the 2013 Gath excavation season.
Phil Long is now the master host of the Biblioblog Carnival and he kicked off his reign as Lord and Grand Potentate on 1 August with this really brilliant contribution.
James Crossley offered a conference announcement at Leeds. Ah, Reception History, you’re all the rage. There’s another conference announcement that was made in August (for something happening 1-2 September, so there’s not much time for you to fly to Australia for it) by the Mustache that looks like a giant ferret.
Brian LePort discussed Jack Levison’s book on the Holy Spirit. Who doesn’t love a good discussion of the Holy Spirit (except the pentebabbleists who would rather babble and blather about their only interests- pseudo-healings and pseudo-languages).
Mark Goodacre looked upwards, and sideways, in order to discover how blogs, or more particularly, biblioblogs, interact these days. These dark, dark, dark dreadful days of darkness and, I might add, nightfall. How we all pine for the grand old days when there were only 10 biblioblogs and none of them were authored by those pesky ‘feel good’ women folk or the angry atheists or the rabble rousing trouble-making political activists. Darn-it I’ve digressed. Mark’s post is thoughtful and forward looking and it deserves your attention. As does everything Mark writes. Except, of course, for his dismissal of Q. THAT’S just the crazy talk of a man who spends too much time watching cricket!
Dave Jenkins takes a brief look at the history of the church and the process of the canonization of the biblical books. It’s pretty good, though a bit too fawning of the Church Fathers. (The Fathers, except for Jerome, what a wretched lot of weirdos).
On the ‘mythicist’ front Joel Watts takes someone named Dick Carrier to the woodshed for his (apparent) dreadful inability to comprehend basic ideas concerning texts. The ever-growing discussion of the mythicists and their bad thinking will, I think, be finally put to rest when Maurice Casey publishes his book on the subject. I hope so anyway. Mythicists are as tiresome as the peddlers of the ‘Lead Codices’.
Speaking of the bizarre, Rod Thomas’s post on some comic book (and his ability to wrest something worth discussing from the most banal rubbish) is ‘interesting’ reading. Why, you ask, do I mention it if I think little of it? Because, tiny pilgrim, I understand that what doesn’t interest me may – for some godless reason – interest others.
And when it comes to the really bizarre- we have the angry atheists. Christian Brady, always a delight and a half to read, offers some observations on the atheist on atheist violence taking place these days. The fetid angry atheists; they’re devouring themselves. I can’t really say it saddens me (but that’s a strictly editorial comment).
Chris Tilling gives readers a chance to take a quiz; because, heaven knows, students don’t take enough quizzes and Profs don’t have enough of quizzing either. Still, it’s a fun quiz because it includes Bultmann- the greatest New Testament exegete of all time bar none.
Sadly, Marvin Meyer passed away in August. First mention came here. Shockingly, the Telegraph posted an obituary that was gross plagiarism! Mark Goodacre has all the sordid details. We also lost Carlo Martini, a very, very fine biblical scholar and a Cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church. He will be missed by progressive Catholics and biblical scholars alike.
But on the up side, August 20th was the anniversary of the birth of the greatest New Testament scholar of all time, Rudolf Karl Bultmann. And that’s the way life is. We celebrate birth’s and we lament deaths. Even in the realm of biblical scholarship (and even if the media doesn’t ever notice, given, as it is, to it’s fawning over pseudo-celebrity).
Your friend and mine Eric Cline celebrates his birthday today- September 1. ‘Great Archaeology’ has a little bio…. (see here for the backstory to this little tiny snippet of mockery… you’ll see what I mean- for this is the picture of Eric that that silly site posted. I reduplicate it here in case they have by now changed it. Which they should have done!). Anyway, happiest of Birthday’s, Eric!
Finally it grieves my tender, gentle spirit to note the passing of Maire Byrne’s blog. It died on August 19, 2011. Mit Brennenden Sorge…
But it gives me cause to rejoice that Michael Pahl (all the old timer bloggers know him) is back to blogging. Yeah.
Gentle souls and wandering pilgrims, fleeting swallows and rampaging ravens- I hope your visit has been a delight. Now off with you.