This month’s Carnival has two wry twists: first, there will be no mention of the LXX. If, like me, you’ve grown weary of having people drone on and on about the Greek translation of the Old Testament; having it shoved in your face in bathroom stalls and whilst eating your lunch at Taco Bell; wishing the LXX pushers would stop coming to your door every Saturday morning at 8 and urging you to take one along with a copy of The Watchtower; and become exhausted hearing about it endlessly in faculty meetings, on the bus, on the train, and on planes, you’ll understand my reason for excluding it.
And second, it’s organized chronologically. Great posts from each day of the month. So, let the joyfulness commence!
August 1 - Luke Chandler has word on other discoveries at Qeiyafa which haven’t been mentioned in all the ‘David Slept Here’ hullabaloo.
August 2- Joel commenced a multi segment review of ‘Is This Not the Carpenter’ and I have to say I find no fault with it. It’s great to see Tom Thompson’s steady editorial gaze justifiably recognized.
August 3- Joseph Kelly has a very engaging post on evangelical scholarship and academic rigor which everyone everywhere needs to take note of. My friends across the pond in the great north countries (Britain, Denmark) regularly lament the paltry nature of North American biblical scholarship and not without reason most of the time. So, Joseph, nice work. And nice ‘summons’ for a bit of soul searching by Evangelicals. Meanwhile, Willem posted a thought provoking piece on the theology of theological education.
August 4 – The bibliobloggers were on some sort of ‘Dr Who’ watch all day Sunday and couldn’t be bothered to post anything while they waited for the announcement concerning the next actor to play the Dr Who character. Oddly, as an addendum, turns out the Dr Who guy is some old dude. Now honestly, if you were a real time lord, would you hop around in an old dude body?
When they did finally post, it was in an attempt to catch up to the already widely spread news of a newly imagined Carnival focusing on the issue concerning which this particular Carnival is a free zone and won’t mention. It’s fun to watch the late-comers pillage posts and pass them off as their own. Failure to attribute… it’s a commonplace behavior amongst the less-than-moral.
The theobloggers, on the other hand, didn’t dilly-dally around with sci-fi stuff. Here you can find a neat post highlighting three video lectures by John Webster on creation. While the bibliobloggers napped, the theobloggers kept vigil.
August 5- Matt Montinonini shared the happy news that even more audio recordings of G.B. Caird’s lectures are freely available. Caird was one of the brightest of his, or any, day and his work is really helpful and refuses to pander to the lowest common denominator.
August 6- Larry Hurtado had a bit to say about the critical edition of the New Testament presently in progress at Münster. Larry also passed along the very sad news of the death of Sean Freyne. Truly a loss.
August 7 – Because it hasn’t been receiving enough publicity, another denunciation (by Craig Evans this time) of Aslan’s wretched book on Jesus is aired. Publicity – it must be noted – is a two way street. Websites get traffic when they mention certain things and certain things get publicity when they’re all the buzz. Tit-for-tat-ianity is all the rage in these troubled times.
August 8 – Matt Montinini launched a page devoted to the works of Raymond Brown. Very, very much worth seeing, and using. Mark Goodacre offered some really nice thoughts in the wake of Sean Freyne’s death. It still saddens.
August 9- Scott Bailey did us, and the entire world, a fine service in pointing out the ineptitude of Glenn Beck as biblical exegete. I miss Scott. He used to be so cool and then he got all Canadian.
August 10- Mike Kok has some intriguing things to say about the Gospel of Mark as apocalyptic. He posted it on the 9th but I didn’t see it till the 10th so that’s why it’s the featured post this day.
August 11 – The University of Copenhagen will host a conference on the Dead Sea Scrolls in April of 2014. The call for papers and relevant information are posted here. Copenhagen is a lovely city with authentically warm people. Do go if you can. Or, even better, go to this conference.
August 12- Scot McKnight has some thoughts on early Christian eschatology. It’s brief, but interesting.
August 13- Preston jumped the shark this dread dark day and actually, get this, actually didn’t argue against infant baptism (also known as baby drowning)!!!! I couldn’t believe it either! Infants should only ever be in bathwater, just like the Bible says.
Happily, Bryan Bibb surfaced as a biblioblogger on the same day that Preston was found drowning tiny children, so, all in all, it was a good day in blogdom. Bryan is a great writer and you’ll like his work very much.
August 14- Larry Hurtado reviewed a film titled ‘The Polite Bribe’ – about Paul. It sounds good, but who can ever tell about these things. It’s dreadfully hard not to find more bad than good in ‘bible’ films so I’m always skeptical of them.
Torsten Jantsch chose to commence blogging- so add him to your list. He’s into all that Apostle Paul and Historical Jesus stuff. And he’s German, so if you don’t read his blog the Germans will find out and they will hunt you down, and they will send Liam Neeson to kill you.
August 15- Larry Hurtado exposes the silly ‘Jesus the Zealot’ book (you’ve already forgotten about it haven’t you) so much in the news for the zombie claim it is. Brilliant stuff, Larry. Brilliant analysis. James Spinti posts a brief snippet on ‘why Jesus prayed’. It’s an important issue.
August 16 – Eerdmans posted their weekly feature ‘Around’ and I mention it here because it’s a regularly posted item that deserves your attention. The folk at Eerdmans do really fine work. Really solid. They deserve your support. And on the same day, David Ussishkin posted an awesome bit on the ASOR blog on the supposed ‘Solomonic’ gate at Megiddo.
Oh hold on, it looks like Anthony LeDonne has posted something! Oops, false alarm. Nothing there.
August 18 – Theology Graphs posted a telling and insight filled introduction to Micah which one and all will benefit by reading. I’ve never seen a more accurate nor more appropriate introduction to a book of the Bible. Ever.
August 19 – Larry Schiffman continued his excellent series on how to study the DSS with a piece on consensus and dissidents. It’s great and if you missed it on the 19th, don’t miss it now. Great stuff too is David Lamb’s post titled ‘prophets in the former prophets.’ He begins it this way- This post is only for people who read the Old Testament and are confused sometimes. If the OT always makes sense to you, skip it.
I’m glad David, and so many other scholars, haven’t skipped their obligation to the public and followed the flawed advice of Peter Head to skip blogging altogether. Preferring the ivory tower to fulfilling the scholar’s duty to the widest possible public is always advice that should itself be skipped. More reason, coincidentally, to be sure to read the interview with Jacob Wright BLOGGED here. Jacob is one smart guy.
August 20 – It’s the anniversary of Bultmann’s birth. You should have gotten me something to celebrate the holiday. Scot McKnight informed folk of a bit of work by Claude Marriottini which seeks to rehabilitate the Levite’s concubine. And finally, Jeff Carter offers a little limerick for the mythicists.
August 21- Mike Bird weighs in with a bit of parody aimed at those insisting (at The Gospel Coalition) that Preachers use a hard copy of Scripture in the pulpit rather than their e-reader. Yes, apparently the medium of Scripture is a thing now. It’s a shame the debaters of the subject are unaware that the use, or non use, of a hard copy of the Bible was a big discussion topic in the 19th century. There’s nothing new under the sun. Well, not much. One new thing is Bill Loader’s new book on sex in the ancient world. You’ll want to take a look at the post on Eerdmans’ blog about it. Another new thing is the beating that ‘Answers in Genesis’ got this week, as pointed out by James McGrath here. New, and fun, and informative. (By the way, if you really want to know what Genesis is about, I highly recommend the commentary to the left. God has blessed the world sending its author to this planet…). James was also interviewed by little Josh Mann in his continuing series – and James does a great job answering Josh’s questions. Definitely worth a look.
Strangely, on this infamous day, several bloggers jumped in on some campaign which I’m calling ‘The Prom Queen Quest’. That is, they asked, on twitter, and facebook and on their blogs for folk to vote for them (like we voted for Prom Queen back in High School) in some sort of ‘Listy’ popularity contest. It’s very odd. The Quest For Prom Queen, coming soon to a blog near you.
August 22- The folk at the University of Tel Aviv issued a statement responding to a false and misleading advertisement placed in BAR which accused Yuval Goren of archaeological impropriety. Shame on BAR.
Deane Galbraith is a scholar you should know, and he’s interviewed – concerning his dissertation – here.
James Crossley announced the program for the Bible, Critical Theory and Reception Seminar conference in Chester. If you can go, go. Chester itself is worth the trip. What a lovely, lovely town. I’m sure the conference will be great too. But the main attraction is the town, which is just really lovely.
August 23- Cliff Kvidahl reminds us that there are lunatics in the hills (who believe that if you hold to Markan priority, you’re, get this, a liberal…). And they aren’t even Australians!!!!! One has to wonder why such people as Cliff cites bother with school at all. And how many of them are married to their brother or sister. And Brian LePort shows users of Logos’ Codex Bezae how to view original scans through the transcriptions! Some very simple steps leading to very useful resources.
August 24- It’s a post by Christian Brady. Just read it.
August 25- Twas a slow day. Other than J.M. thinking about Josephus, John and Jesus, not much else happened.
August 26 – Back on August 22 Tel Aviv issued a statement (see above) and Simcha responded to it (you can find it if you google it). On this particular day the folk at the Bethsaida excavation (where Simcha says he is a co-director) responded. You’ll find it a fun read indeed and you’ll appreciate Simcha’s employee Nicole’s sturdy though misguided support for her boss: it’s a delight. You’ll find equally interesting (actually, more interesting) Eerdword’s announcement of a new book by Jimmy Dunn on the oral tradition behind the Gospels. It’s funny how scholarship runs in circles. Most of you don’t remember the ‘Scandinavian School’ of Gospel interpretation but decades and decades ago the Scandinavians were all about orality and its importance for historical Jesus research. There’s nothing new under the sun- even in Gospel studies (though we like to pretend we’re innovators and innovative- but that’s only because no one reads anything older than 4 weeks).
If you’re keen to see a fantastic movie about Jerusalem which has just been produced and will air in various locations across the country, can I recommend this review and trailer? [I guess I can, since I just did. And since it's my own Avignonian carnival I am its free and sovereign lord and potentate].
August 27- James McGrath had a piece on the Mandeans published in Bible and Interpretation. As always is the case with McG’s stuff, very much worth a look. James Crossley had a word (and several follow-up words later on in the month) about the Liberal dems and their ‘bible’. It’s about politics and political uses of the Bible. Fun stuff.
Joel Watts was happy enough to mention the giveaway from OUP of a book about some Dionysius fellow or some such something or other. Honestly, from 150 till 1500 there’s just nothing that takes place in Church History that is even remotely enthralling. Still, some of you oddly turned weird folk may be interested, so, well, there it be.
August 28 – Dan Block has a new commentary on Ezekiel out. That, at least, according to the kids at Wheaton. It sounds like a good contribution. Oh, and since we’re chatting about good contributions- I cannot recommend highly enough C.L. Seow’s commentary on Job 1-21. It’s stunning in its thoroughness and intelligence.
Krista Dalton defended the Pharisees, suggesting that they weren’t all that bad… What next, Wagner was a good composer?
August 29 – I turned 53. It’s my birthday. You should have gotten me something to celebrate the holiday. Esteban ‘Estee’ Vazquez also had a birthday celebration today. He turned 13. You shouldn’t have gotten him anything because he’s too young to enjoy it and too old for crayons.
James McGrath didn’t get me anything- but he did post this bit-let on creationism and intelligent design. In the words of Jeremy Clarkson, ‘if I’m being honest’, I wish he had gotten me something instead. Like a gift card to Starbucks or something from Amazon. But then again, in the words of the Rolling Stones, ‘you can’t always get what you wantin…’ (or something like that. I can’t understand Mick’s mumbling).
Christian Brady posted mention of a newly published essay of his on the Targum of Ruth. A much more interesting topic than the never ending utterly boring evolution v. creation/intelligent design silliness.
August 30- The ASOR Blog posted a nifty ‘weekly roundup’ of all the stuff they posted the week ending August 30. A nice collection worthy of perusal. Bryan Bibb discusses the role of Syria in the ‘end times’… Oh yes, he goes there.
August 31- There’s only one post you must read from today: Chris Rollston’s. In it, he tells the story of events from his article about women through his departure from Emanuel to his work in Washington to his stint in Jerusalem. It’s a great biographical bit.
But if you want something else to read that’s downright interesting too, don’t skip Brice Jones’ announcement of the discovery of 3 New Testament papyri. Sometimes things we’ve never seen are right under our noses.
Other posts appeared in August but they didn’t make the cut because they weren’t as good as those assembled above. Step it up, bibliobloggers! Next month, come back and we’ll do something just as fun and just as stimulating in a Carnival titled ‘Provocations’. I may even throw in some snark or sarcasm or both for good measure. There’s an official Carnival somewhere. Maybe here. I don’t know. Look and see.