Manfred Weippert: Historisches Textbuch zum Alten Testament

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978-3-525-51693-5I have searched high and low for a review of this volume, and cannot find one.  I can’t understand why.  Weippert’s work is always prudent and that this book hasn’t been discussed seems very odd.

It is a commonplace that the history of ancient Israel (that is, Israel and Judah) cannot be written and understood on the basis of the Old Testament alone. It is therefore necessary to make sources accessible that provide a kind of external perspective by which the statements of the Old Testament can be assigned to the world to which they relate or seem to relate. Due to scholarly research into the ancient Near East and its languages during the past two and a half centuries two groups of materials have emerged: Ancient Near Eastern texts and findings from archaeological work. The book offers a selection from the former group focusing on such written documents that relate directly or indirectly to conditions and events associated with Canaan/Palestine, Israel and Judah. All 338 texts have been translated from the original languages (Egyptian, Akkadian, Ancient North Arabic, Aramaic, Hebrew, Hittite, Moabite, Phoenician). Understanding the texts is facilitated by historical introductions, detailed comments on individual texts and references to relevant sections from the Old Testament. For further reading detailed bibliographies are provided. The book can also be used independently as an anthology of texts on the history of Southern Syria and Palestine in the 2nd and 1st millennia BC.

Make Your Summer Plans Now: Dig at Azekah

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Via Bob Cargill

Looking for something to do this summer? Come dig at The Lautenschläger Azekah Expedition in Azekah, Israel with the University of Iowa!

Watch the YouTube video playlist:

Pictures here:

Read about the Iowa summer program here:

You can also find more information at the Azekah dig website:

I understand that no tie-dye shirts will be allowed- so you’ll be ok…

Aren on the Road

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Via Jack Sasson-

Lectures by Aren Maeir, Bar-Ilan University.

On Tuesday, April 22nd, I’ll be lecturing at the Jewish Studies Program at the University of Kansas – the lecture will be entitled: “Canaanites, Philistines, and others at Tell es-Safi/Gath – The Hometown of Biblical Goliath”

On Wednesday, April 23rd, I’ll be giving the Annual David Kipper Ancient Israel Lecture at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. The lecture will be entitled: “New Light on the Biblical Philistines: Recent Study on the Frenemies of Ancient Israel”

You should absolutely go!

Nadia Abu El-Haj on Archaeology and Zionism

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It’s quite the interview.  Thanks to Manu Pfoh for pointing it out.

It opens thusly:

In order to understand the political uproar over seemingly innocuous archaeological projects, Ma’an interviewed anthropologist Nadia Abu El-Haj to discuss the broader historical context. 

Abu El-Haj is a professor at Barnard College and Columbia University and the author of “Facts on the Ground: Archaeological Practice and Territorial Self-Fashioning in Israeli Society,” among other books. Her work explores how archaeology played an integral role in the Zionist settler-colonial project and the legitimization of Israeli territorial claims in the region. 

And then the first question-

What is the historical relationship of archaeology to the Israeli state and society, both within the pre-1967 borders as well as in the West Bank?

The role of archaeology in the settlement project in the West Bank cannot be understood without taking into account the political and cultural work that archaeology did in the early decades of Israeli statehood, and at the same time, it is a significant reconfiguration of that project.

In the 1950s and 1960s in particular, archaeology had both disciplinary and popular prominence in Israeli society. Various excavations — the most famous of which were carried out in the 1960s at Masada and the Bar Kochba caves — were supported financially, logistically, and symbolically by the state and the Israel Defense Forces. They were sustained by the work of volunteers and the Zionist youth movements, and they received wide coverage in the national press. 

More broadly, archaeology became a widespread national-cultural practice in the Jewish public, especially among the Ashkenazim. Jewish public schools, Zionist youth movements, and the IDF (during its basic training for draftees) marched students and soldiers around the country in an effort to teach them the past and present of ha-aretz, that is, of the Jewish national home.

Read each word.

The Canaanites In the Land

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Via Joseph Lauer-

This morning, Wednesday, April 9, 2014, the IAA circulated English and Hebrew press releases announcing the discovery of “A 3,300 Year Old Coffin … Containing the Personal Belongings of a Wealthy Canaanite – Possibly an Official of the Egyptian Army — Among the items discovered – a gold signet ring bearing the name of the Egyptian pharaoh Seti I”.  The English release is attached as a Word document and it and the Hebrew release may be read (for now) at the IAA’s temporary “14” and “13” websites, where there is a link to a ZIP file of seven high-resolution pictures (detailed in the release).

Joe Zias on Various Tombs

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In Bible and Interpretation- is summarized thusly

If it is the tomb of Mattathias Antigonus, which the present owner wishes us to believe, then in the words of Nietzsche there are ‘those who choose to believe and those who choose to know.’ For the latter category, it’s simply but another Second Temple Period Jerusalem family tomb with an enigmatic inscription and an ossuary containing the remains of an elderly woman who tragically had been beheaded.

Enjoy.  It’s vintage Joe.

Eric’s Ark

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fink_clineOn the ASOR blog-

Listen to Dr. Eric Cline talk about Noah (yes, the one who built an ark).  We asked him about the biblical and ancient Near Eastern descriptions of Noah, and the claims by different teams that they’ve discovered Noah’s ark.

Dr. Cline is a professor of Classics, Anthropology, and History, & Chair of Classical and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at The George Washington University Columbian College of Arts & Sciences. He is a classical and biblical archaeologist and ancient historian whose primary fields of study are biblical archaeology, the military history of the Mediterranean world from antiquity to present, the Bronze Age Aegean, and the international connections between Greece, Egypt, and the Near East during the Late Bronze Age (1700-1100 BCE). He is also Co-Director (USA) of The Megiddo Expedition.

Since When Is David’s Reign Dated to 1800 BCE?

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What’s going on at the Jerusalem Post?

Excavators discover 3,800-year-old biblical fortress in City of David

Oh ok- fair enough. But then

Archaeologists finish a 15-year-long excavation of the “Spring Citadel” dating back to the time of Kings David and Solomon.

Ok I admit that I am not the best at math… but 3800 years is roughly 1800 BCE… David now dates to then? According to whom, exactly?

And then

The Spring Citadel is the largest Canaanite fortress yet discovered in Israel, and is believed to be the largest known fortress predating the reign of King Herod, according to the Antiquities Authority. The fully excavated site has reopened to the public and will offer fuller access to visitors who wish to explore a piece of biblical history.

Well hooray. Why not call it a Canaanite fortress in the headline and in the summation? Why do such lousy reporting that anachronisms are introduced when they needn’t be?

The media needs to consult someone before it publishes stuff about archaeology and the Bible. Otherwise, they just publish rubbish.  The Jerusalem Post should be ashamed of itself.  Such pandering to the religious right is unfitting.

Bob Cargill Debunks the ‘Discovery’ of the ‘Holy Grail’ On Inside Edition

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Watch the entire segment here.  The last sentence (along with the rest) is 100% on the mark.  Well done Bob!


If only GMA had bothered to allow Bob to go into more depth.

The Super-Stupendous-Amazingly-Awesome Biblical Studies Carnival: April 1, 2014

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tillingThis month’s carnival returns to the old standard ‘best of the posts’ format, sans frills (but not sans the necessary commentary when that commentary is necessary and well deserved and which will be offset by brackets – [...].  Accordingly, if you want pure commentary, just read the stuff in the brackets.  If you’re tender soul-ed and can’t endure asides, skip the brackets).

Posts will be annotated with stars. The more stars, the better the post. As you scan the Carnival, be sure to check out the 5 stars first and the 1 stars last. They are carnival worthy, but just barely. To be blunt- they are included just by the skin of their teeth.  Still, just imagine, since these are all the best ones, what’s still out there, befouling the world?!?!

Chris Tilling's newest tattoo
Chris Tilling’s newest tattoo

There weren’t many posts found worthy of inclusion, so this month’s Carnival is fairly brief- so I’ve added random photos to fill it out the same way that NT Wright adds endless footnotes to make his page count excessive.  You’re welcome!

Hebrew Bible/ Old Testament

Shoddy Greek: Why The LXX is Horrible and You Shouldn’t Read It ** [Or something to that effect].
The Historical Adam ** [Because there's no end to endless speculation regarding the how of creation even though it's a question for which we shall never have an answer- but only endless speculation (in spite of the fundamentalists in the evolution camp and in the bible camp- both having die hard "I'm right and you aren't" adherents in their rank ranks) ].
Jacob Wright’s New Book on David and Caleb ***** [It's getting rave reviews and is certainly something folk should get hold of.
Should One Get a PhD in Biblical Studies?* [I've noticed over the last few years that many scholars or scholars-in-training are gen-x in their attitudes towards everything.  What do I mean?  I mean they need constant advice and constant encouragement and constant reinforcement and constant affirmation.  Gone, evidently, are the days when people actually made their own decisions about

Chris Tilling and his psychic
Chris Tilling and his psychic

their future and then did what they had to do to achieve their goal.  Now everyone wants to pad their decisions with the tried and true ‘get out of responsibility jail free card’ by being able to blame others for courses they chose by saying ‘so and so advised me against it’ or ‘so and so told me to do it’.  If the present generation of upcoming scholars needs to be advised to do anything, it needs to be advised to toughen up, princesses, learn to make decisions, and learn to live with the consequences of those choices.  For pete’s sake.  And stop acting like they’re afflicted with whinefluenza].
Nouveauté 2014***** [In French.  For the Americans, French is a language they speak in a place called France and in some other places too].
Sons of Light and Sons of Darkness *****  [If I were to list the DSS Scholars whom I trust and respect the list would be fairly long, but no one would rank as highly as Larry Schiffman.  He's simply outstanding].
I Just Can’t **** [I wish these bible specials, which oftentimes feature people I like very much and whose scholarship I respect, also featured competent producers and editors.]
Can We Still Believe the Bible **  [This one is a blog book tour announcement.  Book tour's are an craig-crossley-debateinteresting approach to the spreading of word concerning a new publication.  Think of them as carpet bombings rather than precision guided missile strikes].
Eschatological Bicycling *** [A different sort of post but certainly worth pondering].
The Rape of Tamar *****
The Bible and Financial Increase***** [In which Bryan Bibb dismantles the abuse of a text from Genesis].
Jacob Wright on the movie ‘Noah’***** [Strictly speaking, not a blog post, but absolutely worth your 5 minutes].
Bob Cargill on Noah Posts*****

New Testament

θεόπνευστος and θέωσις in the Inerrancy Debate  ** [Because some horses are never really dead until you beat them for 200 years].
Two Differing Points of Departure for Jesus and Memory  *** [Memory studies are pretty interesting.  If only I could remember some of them].
Paul, Judaism, and N.T. Wright   *  [Comment deleted by the owners of WordPress, their families, friends, and everyone else who wants to remain employed and un-sued].
Reading Paul and the Faithfulness of God *** [Chris Tilling guides interested persons in the process he's using to plow through NT Wright's gargantuan and mildly sadistic tomes].
Leon Morris Remembered on His 100th Birthday: “This is Not a History” * [100?  Pssahhhawww.  Let's wait

James Crossley
James Crossley

till he turns 500 and see if anyone remembers him like they do Zwingli, Calvin, and even Luther and Bullinger].
When Leon Morris became Principal of Ridley * [If it seems to you that there's a lot of Morris stuff, it's because he would have turned 100 had he not shuffled off this mortal coil].
The Bible Says Women Should Lead **  [The Bible also says that adulterer's should be stoned to death (not move to Colorado) and that people shouldn't wear mixed clothing consisting of wool and something else or eat bacon.  Funny how exegesis often becomes eisegesis in support of a pet cause].
The Gospel of Matthew: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary *****  [It's a nice review].
“Paul and the Faithfulness of God”  *** [Larry Hurtado is reviewing it in installments- summarizing it as bultmann19'sprawling' and so massive that the danger exists that Paul will be lost in all of it, and that few will actually read the whole thing (though some have already claimed that they have.  Bollocks.)].
New SBL Consultation: Texts and Traditions in the Second Century *** [This will be followed by a new consultation called Texts and Memory and Reception and other ways of talking about the Bible that really are far-fetched and without scientific basis but which provide PhD students with fodder for their dissertation mill].
When Did Jesus Die? ***** [I'm going to spoil the surprise and say- a long time ago].
Update From the NT Wright Has Ascended to Heaven Houston Baptist University Paul Conference * [It only gets one star because it's too short.  More info is needed].
Cor Bennema’s New Book On Character in the NT * [His name sounds Dutch.  And since there aren't that many Dutch NT scholars (or Dutch in general) and the Dutch hardly ever get the notoriety they deserve, I'm including it].
Baby Jesus and Bible Reading ***** [A real delight on a blog recently discovered].
From Jesus to the Church **** [Another in a series of posts highlighting Craig Evans' recent book and barth92another blog tour thing (i.e., carpetbombing).  It looks like a good book though and so worth a bombing].
FC Bauer is going to heaven!  [Hey, if the testy heretics like Judas can be rehabilitated so can the curmudgeony Germans].
Stanton on Bultmann *****  [People who study the NT will be discussing Bultmann for the rest of time.  NT W. will be forgotten when his last first generation sycophant passes from the scene.
Doug Campbell is interviewed*  [Chris Tilling describes Campbell's work as exciting.  Exciting must mean something different in England].
Bart Ehrman and Simon Gathercole debate ‘How Jesus Became God’ *****  [Fascinating stuff- audio].
The Latest JSNT- All About Some Guy and Some Other Guy****


Simcha is Suing Vanderbilt University Now, and Robin Jensen ***** [As one does when one can't persuade bultmannthrough reason and evidence and one's livelihood is thereby 'threatened', because Adam Smith was right- it's all about money].
Tell Es-Sultan – A Pilot Project for Archaeology in Palestine **** [Go, dig, there!]
The Tel Burna Excavation Project *****  [Go dig there!]
Women in Archaeology ***** [A fine post by an actual woman!]
The Former Forger and Plunderer of Antiquities***** [Not a blog but a facebook group run by a guy who is a reformed forger and plunderer.  Some amazing stuff you should check out].


Bible, Critical Theory and Reception 2014: Bristol **
Jacob Wright et al on the TV Machine ***** [Jacob, Eric, and Seth yes, series no].
Translating Scholarship for All**
Are Biblioblogs Dying? *** [I wish they would. That way mine would be the only one left and people barthwould get only the true facts instead of the rubbish that they find so many other places. When only one man votes and everyone else sits out an election, that one voice counts for millions.]
Mike Bird is a giant **  [Who knows why].
The Socio-Historical Method ***  [In which Bart Ehrman is himself].
A Word of Encouragement *****  [I thought I'd do something different and add in a post with the pastor folk in mind since, let's face it, most people interested in the Bible are interested because they are people of faith].
Can We Still Believe the Bible?  [Sure- but we can't always believe the people who write about it...]
A new resource in Logos- a commentary for regular folk***** [Which, in light of the previous entry just above about reading the Bible, is terribly relevant.  In this new resource, believe me, you can believe every single word.  No really.  No, REALLY].
Ibid*****  [I've got to say- I've never looked better].
A New Blog Worth Following *** [According to the goodly Mark Stevens of Austria Australia New Zealand].
The Top 50 Biblioblogs- Spring, 2014 Edition ***** [Posted, as usual, by Peter Kirby.  Go ahead, see where your favorite blogs are ranked].


bultmann9And, finally, as a public service, consider this a public plea that you volunteer to do a Carnival. As Phil writes-

I desperately need volunteers to host in March (due 4/1) and April (due 5/1). Jeff Carter has May (due 6/1), but the rest of the year is wide open. If you have hosted a carnival in the past, consider  [something has dropped out].  If you would like to host a Carnival on your site, please let me know via email (plong42 at, or leave a comment below [ie., on his blog]. Carnivals [are] quite fun to assemble and are a great way to attract attention to your blog.

And don’t worry if you still aren’t as popular as yours truly.  How could you be?