In what follows readers will be directed to the best posts of the first month of the year of our Lord, 2013. That’s what makes this the Premier Carnival (because it’s the first one). It contains everything that’s good. Naturally this means that if it isn’t herein contained, you didn’t miss anything if you missed what’s absent. And it doesn’t contain anything that isn’t good so you’ll not be troubled with any of that crazy angry atheist drivel or the lunacy of the feckless mythicists. Consequently, this entry will not be overly long (Carnivals do seem to be getting obscenely long of late, don’t they?) nor will it cover anything and everything ‘under the sun’. Just the meat, and none of the fat and bone, as it were.*
I hope you’ll enjoy it. It’s divided into subject subsections for ease of navigation and it’s generously festooned with artwork for your pleasure and to aid those of you who can’t read and must of necessity make use of pictures to gain comprehension.
I normally wouldn’t point to my own posts in a Carnival (since it seems like nepotism) but since no one else blogged from the Winter Meeting of SOTS, I’m sort of forced to. I posted photos here, Katherine Dell’s paper on Qoheleth here, John Healey’s go at Aramaic Texts here, Jenni Williams on childlessness in the Hebrew Bible here, and Janet Tollington on Ruth and Torah here. The highlight, for me, though, was Eryl Davies’ Presidential Address (and of course seeing folk like Philip Davies and Maire Byrne and Jim Aitken and Dom Mattos and all the rest along with buying a few books and getting a few more to review).
Claude Mariottini’s post on the marriage of Hosea is good stuff. Good stuff. Scott has a word for the tithers out there (and don’t worry Scott, not only do most Christians not tithe, they don’t even tip!).
The rise of Israel and the Song of Deborah occupied Danny McClellan- with good results. A song of a different sort caught the eye of the terribly talented (literally) Scott Bailey… a thing which you’ll have to read for yourself. Brian Davidson took a look at Jonah with some surprising (and insightful) results. Brian does some discourse analysis too- or rather points out the value of discourse analysis. I agree, it is useful. And a lot more useful than stuff like feminist criticism or reader-response criticism or any of the other fad approaches withering, as we speak, on the vine (thankfully).
Carly Crouch did a fine book review on TM Law’s blog about some prostitute stuff. A very fine review. And she’s from Nottingham where the evil sheriff lived and who turned many a woman to a life of crime, so she’s doubtless met many a scarlet Nottingham-er. Rusty Osborne briefly discussed John Walton’s ‘guiding principles’ for comparative study of ANE texts and the OT. I loved The Waltons, what a great show. I’m kind of surprised Pop Walton is a Biblical Scholar but I guess every actor needs a second career.
Scot McKnight outlined the various understandings of creation in a post he titled ‘Mapping the Origins Debate‘. They’re all there- from the crazy to the sensible with every point touched in between. Along the same lines Joel has a few words about Ken Ham, famed ‘bible scholar and interpreter / arbiter of all Evangelical truthiness’. I get the feeling that Joel thinks as highly of Ham as I do of Warren… but I digress. Along a similar line, Shaun Tabatt had an interview with a certain John Ashton. This Ashton fellow takes a different view of the evolutionary issue, and Michael Reeves informs us that if there’s no historical Adam, we’re all done for (but that’s due to his being influenced by Piper. Don’t be angry at the kid for it). Tim Gombis also rode the ‘creation’ train- announcing a Conference in Grand Rapids on the topic- Creation in Scripture. Creation is the big discussion topic these days isn’t it? I’ve personally never cared much about the how- it’s the why that interests me. Finally, Craig Bennett had a cautionary word for all those ‘tore up’ by the creation v. evolution hullaballoo.
Keith Whitelam has a new book and Jose Airton de Silva shares the happy news. Jose remarks Veja o sumário do livro. Ainda não tenho os outros dados: editora, número de páginas etc. I’ll translate- ‘See a summary of the book. And Jim West is super awesome and without his blog to read daily my life would be utterly meaningless’. Well gosh, isn’t that nice! Speaking of books, Andrew King mentioned a forthcoming volume titled ‘The King in His Beauty’. I’m a big fan of ‘Biblical Theology’ books as long as such theologies recognize the multi-faceted nature of the biblical texts and speak of Theologies instead of Theology (as if theology were monolithic).
James Crossley announced a lecture series to be given by Philip Davies called “The Good Book: The Bible and Secular Society”. These will take place February 26,27 and 28. Jessica Parks discusses Hebrew Lexica. Twice. Silly thing doesn’t link to the first part but maybe she will if enough people clamor for it. ’We want part 1, we want part 1!’.
Gordon Wenham’s post at the Baker Blog on the Psalms is mighty fine and if you missed it earlier take a look now.
Alastair Roberts continued his very fine multi-segment review of R.H. Evans’ ‘Year of Biblical Womanhood’. It’s a really good look- meticulously done. Someone named Tony discussed something called ‘speech act theory’ and Gordon Wenham’s forthcoming book on the Psalms. Fad theologies… ’Speech act theory…’ What next? ’Sit stand theory’ or ‘Roll over and Play Dead’ her.meneutics? Kids these days. So weird.
Speaking of weird- here are three posts from the fringes of sanity: Bob’s post on God as less than powerful (as sometimes so portrayed in the OT). Roland’s post on animals as members of the Clan. And Rebecca’s review of Andrei’s book on Enoch.
Very useful and appearing in January was a post at the Tyndale Tech blog focusing on computer resources for Old Testament Study.
James McGrath’s post on hell is worth a look, whether or not one agrees with his conclusions, as are his remarks about Jesus’ burial. James had several posts on mythicists but since I don’t believe such miscreants could really exist (how could anyone be that stupid?) I’ll leave it to you to root around James’ blog and find them.
Joel announced a project for which he’s seeking collaborators. It has to do with one of the umpteen-gazillion ‘synoptic theories’. It may turn out to be interesting so take a look and stay tuned. For me, the issue is settled. Mark wrote first and then Luke and Matthew utilized Q (in oral form) and Mark along with their own special material to compose their works. John went his own way and did his own thing, which is why he is both the most interesting and the most enjoyable Gospel-er. James Dunn, by the way, will straighten up all the misunderstands out there concerning the Gospels when he lectures in February on The Gospel and the Gospels. I sure hope Joel and Mark and all the other Q Deniers pay attention.
Not, strictly speaking, a blog- but blog-ish and definitely worth a look, is Phil Harland’s page on Greco-Roman Associations.
Evidently late in 2012 there was a symposium held at Fuller Seminary titled ‘What did Jesus Do?’ I’m sure a lot- but videos of the event are online via the Fuller blog. Some guy named JRD Kirk and another chap called Scot McKnight took part.
David Lincicum (pronounced ‘Doug’) of Oxford shared the New Testament senior seminar themes and presenters for the next several months. It looks like a great lineup.
In a stunning and astounding piece Anthony Le Donne revealed that… now hold on to your hat… Jesus was…. Jewish!!!!!!!!!!!! And why does it matter? ALD tells us (in a series that’s mighty fine). ALD also informed us that Michael Gorman is teaching a class on NT Wright. I guess they don’t have the Bible in Baltimore so they have to grab the nearest lesser thing. In an even more stunning (and authentically excellent) post, Alin Scicu discusses a Coptic fragment that names the two thieves crucified with Jesus. Great fun there. Alin also posted an English rendering of the Apocalypse of Elijah.
Phil Long described and discussed ‘History’ in Luke-Acts. And he managed, somehow, to do it without using the word ‘Heilsgeschichte‘! I know, right???? HOW? But he did…
Candida Moss is lecturing on “Resurrection bodies” in San Antonio. If you’re in the area, you really should avail yourself of this fine opportunity. She’s gifted. And at least she didn’t title her talk ‘heavenly bodies’ because that would cause nothing but trouble. NOTHING but trouble and crude sexist comments which would be wholly and utterly out of place.
Tim Gombis managed to say something interesting about the NT book that has had more said about it than any other: Romans. So did Chris Tilling (something about a Romans commentary discussion traversing the globe or some such thing. I didn’t read the whole post because it didn’t have pictures and it was almost as long as Doug Campbell’s ‘Deliverance’). The St Paul Center also discussed Romans… Oh come on people, there’s more to life than Romans!
Mark Goodacre posted a video on the life of Paul from back in the day when films were in black and white and there were no special effects so of course I couldn’t watch it- but you may want to. And he also lectured at Baylor (I hope the Texans didn’t shoot him- they all have guns and construct altars to them) on the question of whether or not Jesus was married to Mary of Magdala. He wasn’t.
On the Eerdword blog one of their authors discussed his new book on gender and sexuality and – of course- Romans 1. In part- One of the things Paul says about these relationships is that they are “contrary to” or “outside of” nature. But different people have very different ways to interpret what Paul means by “nature.” Nature= what is natural, normal, biologically viable. That’s my definition of nature.
Tommy Wasserman informed us all of the appearance of the perfect, free, app every text critic will want- P46. Yes, that’s right, P46 on you iPhone or iPad. Amazing.
Jason Goroncy wrote a review of a book about the Lord’s Supper – from the perspective of Pentecostalism. Pentecostals celebrate the Lord’s Supper? Who knew.
Chris Skinner pointed to the fact that John Meier is talking a lot lately about the Gospel of Thomas. isn’t that the ‘gospel’ where Mary Magdalene and Jesus get married and move to England to raise their children? I sure wish I could keep all that apocryphal stuff and Dan Brown-ianity with its admixture of Tabor-ism separate from the true facts. Also pointed out by Chris, a series of lectures in audio format by Ray Brown – on the Gospels. Worth hearing!
Mike Bird offered some fine observations vis-a-vis the complementarian controversy. Very finely worked out and presented.
Meanwhile, though he had blogged a bit before in January, Bryan Lewis officially launched his Blog on January 14. Bryan’s a grad student at Vanderbilt, so don’t expect to much from him. Still, as he tries, do be supportive and give his blog a read every couple of weeks on the off chance that he’s posted something interesting, engaging, scintillating, and/or not boring or about airplanes.
Dead Sea Scrolls
Antonio Lombatti’s piece on Qumran should be seen by all interested in that topic. It commences- Non che ci siano tesori tipo quelli che piacerebbero a Giacobbo. Non fraintendetemi. Il vero tesoro sta nella ricchezza dei ritrovamenti (testi e artefatti di vario tipo), che hanno aperto uno squarcio sul giudaismo al tempo di Gesù. Ne parla un lungo articolo sul Times of Israel.
Norman Golb offered some bizarre ‘my son didn’t do anything wrong’ rubbish defense of his criminal offspring but since I have a standing policy not to link to archaeoporn or scrollsporn (or any sort of filth) I here shan’t either. But I shall link to Larry Schiffman’s reaction to R. Golb’s conviction being upheld and to Bob Cargill’s take on Raphael Golb’s conviction being upheld as well.
Otherwise, Scrolls news was pretty much non-existent. I suppose there haven’t been any new ‘discoveries’ by persons who also work as pharmacists or veterinarians.
One of the best pieces on archaeology to appear in the month, or the year, or in a very long while, is featured on the Remnant of Giants page which points to an essay by Raphael Greenberg in Bible and Interpretation. I try to avoid the cliche ‘must reading’ but this one really is must reading- both the post linked to here and the essay featured at B&I.
Another fine piece was Nina Burleigh’s essay concerning Simcha Jacobovici’s suit of Joe Zias. Eric Meyers is heard to comment in it and that alone is worth the read (although the whole essay is very nicely done). Aren didn’t like it one little bit that the term ‘archaeologist’ was used, though. Not one little bit. And whilst I certainly take his point I do think, quite sincerely, that archaeologists owe it to the public to rebut misinformation or failed facts.
Peter Enns continued his one man war on ‘evangelicalism’ in a post deriding claims about ‘biblical archaeology’ (among other things). Pete’s disgruntled when ‘evangelicals’ say things that are erroneous and the sweeping claims they make: On occasion I come across some sweeping public claims made by Evangelical leaders about the state of biblical scholarship. These claims may be genuinely felt, but they are still false, though they persist in the Evangelical subculture. Says he in a sweeping claim…
Peter’s also persuaded that Evangelicals aren’t allowed to use their minds. So says he- The real scandal of the Evangelical mind is that we are not allowed to use it. Calling for Evangelical involvement in public academic discourse is useless if trained Evangelicals are legitimately afraid of what will happen to them if they do. (Another sweeping claim one would imagine, since there are many fine Evangelical scholars who do in fact use their minds all the time).
John Byron offered some very intriguing observations on texts related to slavery in the ancient world. Yes, very intriguing.
Bob Cargill invited folk to join him and Manfred and Oded at Azekah this Summer digging for ancient stuff and, I would wager, torturing folk by wearing multi-colored tie-dye shirts (if last year is any indication the place will be festooned with the wretched fashion). I truly wish, with my entire heart, that I could join them (for the dig, not the terrible clothing).
It would be unnatural for me to host the January Carnival and not mention the most important thing to ever happen in any January since 1484. So I will. January 1 was the anniversary of Huldrych Zwingli’s birth. Here’s the story. Failing to mention it would be a great evil and if you’re thinking that it has no place in a Biblical Studies Carnival, well, you just couldn’t be wrong-er.
Jeremiah Bailey dropped the fad blog ‘Her.meneutics’ from her his blogroll. For good reason. It’s rubbish. Her His own partial explanation is My enthusiasm for Her.meneutics has been waning significantly over the last couple years. I’m not certain if the editors there would be able to pinpoint a shift in the blog’s tone, but at some point it did take a decided turn toward idiocy. I’ve never thought it anything but idiotic and I’m surprised Ashleigh Jeremiah was as patient with it as she he was.
Jim Linville issued a call for submissions for a section on hermeneutics and academic freedom for the upcoming Baltimore SBL. I thought Linville, that wacky Canuck, had abandoned blogging. I’m glad he’s popped his head out like a groundhog and has seen his shadow.
You probably aren’t aware of this little factoid but no one does book reviews that are either well written nor impartial- so, thank God, someone has decided to correct that! ’Marginalia’ has launched: Marginalia aims to correct what its Publisher and Editor-in-Chief believes to be a downward spiral. “We want to rehabilitate the ailing book review,” said Timothy Michael Law, currently an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow in the Georg-August Universität, Göttingen (Germany). “We are hoping to create a new standard that puts a premium on quality in both style and substance. Penetrating analysis and engaging prose should be held together.” God be praised, the ailing patient will recover and book reviews will once more be what they always could have been should Marginalia have always existed!
Eerdmans violated most egregiously my personal rule that people not post those horrid ‘best of lists’ by posting a whole post on posts which posted such lists! Appalling, really. I do love the Eerdmans, and it’s only that love which inhibits me from mentioning the personal despair their ‘best of list’ posting has caused me.
Tommy Wasserman passed along the sad news of the death of Rene Kieffer. And Jack Sasson informed us of the authentically tragic news that Victor Avigdor Hurowitz had died. Mark Goodacre also brought to our attention that Frans Neirynck has recently passed away. Chris Skinner shared, finally, the news of the passing of Paul Achtemeier.
I would have posted other stuff from other people but there wasn’t anything else interesting. Maybe next year you people will try harder to do better.
To conclude I want to be completely and uncharacteristically serious for a moment and mention the very sad and still heart-wrenching news of the death (to my mind utterly untimely) of Christian Brady’s little boy Mack. Chris has been a friend for a good while and my heart goes out to him, his family, his colleagues, and his friends- all of whom have been deeply, deeply touched by this terrible sorrow. I’ve never dedicated a Carnival, or a post for that matter, to anyone before but I’m dedicating this post and this Carnival to Mack and to Chris. May this little boy’s family be blessed and may he rest in peace eternal in the presence of our Good and Gracious God.
Next up as Carnival host- this guy.
* All content of this Carnival was approved in advance by the ‘Divine Council’ ( ס֥וֹד ) and the views expressed herein are utterly and completely in accord with that Council’s decisions and recommendations.