This is the inaugural issue of my own little Avignon-ian Carnival. It isn’t a competitor of or in competition with the regularly scheduled official Carnival. It’s just my own selection of the cream of the crop postings for the month. And it was a fairly thin month filled with lean pickins’ because, as is usually the case, May is graduation month and few there be who blog therein.
Hebrew Bible / Old Testament
Let’s kick things off in this section with a post from David Lamb on murderous prayers from the lovely book of Judges. Talk about carnage…
Carnage-esque too is Randall Buth’s attempt to get people to think about aspect in Hebrew, again.
Though, strictly speaking, not an Old Testament text- 1 Enoch is almost as important as the OT in terms of understanding it to understand the development of Judaism both before and during the early Christian era. Accordingly, I include here a podcast by the very learned and really immensely nice Phil Harland on 1 Enoch.
Announcement was re-made concerning the ‘Changing Perspectives’ conference scheduled to be held in Copenhagen this October. It’s going to be glorious. Andy King reviewed ‘Early Judaism’ – a VERY FINE volume indeed.
I interviewed Konrad Schmid on his new book on Old Testament theology here. It looks like quite the important tome. I’ll let you know eventually.
Mette Bundvad invites readers to play a new game called ‘Heaven Help the Working Girl‘ which though sounding like a reference to something unpleasant, actually isn’t. My how times have changed. When I was a lowly ThM student one of my advisers told me that things would have been better for me if I had been born a minority or a woman since, way back then, those were the persons sought for high profile academic positions. Yes- no kidding.
Antonio Lombatti has an entry on Uruk. It’s techie stuff. Uruk has been rebuilt, in 3-d. Knut Heim’s book on Proverbs appeared. It’s massively informative and massively technical. A great resource for Proverbs-Studies.
Other than that, nothing else happened. Everyone working in Hebrew Bible is on vacation. [May, June, July, and August are always slow months on the OT blogs. Sinners].
All the talk these days is of reception history (we used to call it commentary). LeDonne and company tackle the issue of Reception (commentary) in the first three centuries. Commentary. It’s still commentary even if you call it Reception History. COMMENTARY people, COMMENTARY! Oh and by the by, we all stand in congratulatory applause for Chris Keith who has been awarded a grant to pursue the history of reception. It’s really a fantastic bit of news.
Along the ‘commentary’ track, young Josh Mann has a list of Luke/Acts commentaries he says he regularly consults. Though his list is good, it lacks the most important of the entire genre (look to the left for it)… Josh also discusses (in several posts), John Carroll’s Luke.
Tony LeDonne expresses his admiration for Bart Ehrman. Anthony is thankful for people with whom he is in 80% agreement. I guess he thinks being challenged is important. Oh those Canadians.
Carl Sweatman is discussing the Synoptic Problem with Schnelle as his foil. It’s a problem long solved (thank you, Q!) but a guy’s gotta have something to do. And Carl’s a good kid. So you should take a look at his notions.
Chris Tilling is going to review Francis Watson’s new book. Hopefully soon. He probably could already have it done if he didn’t do so many drive by baptisms. Shawn White (hey isn’t he a skateboarder?) posted on the Didache (which is better than any of Paul’s stuff and really should be more canonical than Philemon).
Craig Adams asks ‘why didn’t Jesus know the hour of his return?’ His answer is brief. I’m not sure he’s right but at least he gives it a shot. And Stephen Thompson (a relatively new blogger with a pretty good, albeit infrequently updated, blog) asks what Paul knew about the teaching of Jesus.
Mike Bird sends along word that NT Wright will be
causing misery delivering lectures at three Australian locales. He’d best brace himself for the blank stares and vacant faces sure to be present thanks to the Aussie proclivity to practice inebriation. Word has it, by the way, that both James Crossley and NT Wrong will be in the audience- evidently to heckle or maybe because they’ve both become (*shudder*) converts to Wrightianity.
Sticking with Wright for a moment (and Bird)- you may have missed ‘Wrightgate‘. What a travesty of misinformation that was! It seems, in sum, that some book appeared which listed Wright as a co-author. Funny thing, though, was that NT knew nothing of it! Ruh Roh! Did someone hijack the name of a famed scholar and pass him off as a co-writer? So it seemed. Ruh Roh! But Mike stayed on the case and discovered the truth behind the wretched misrepresentation. You’ll not want to miss Mike’s coverage.
Staying with Mike for a minute… his book (I do admit it’s oddly titled) on egalitarianism takes an absolute beating from a reviewer (who just happens to be of the fairer gender). She hates it. She doesn’t say that outright, but she might as well.
Cliff Kvidahl reviews a book by a fellow who takes an amillenial viewpoint. It’s the only sensible way to read Revelation. Speaking of Revelation, have you seen this brilliant and delightfully explanatory commentary?
Mark Goodacre posted a video of John Barclay’s lecture on Paul at St. Mary’s (though the original notification came from Chris Keith on his facebook page. I guess Tony LeDonne was logged in to the Jesus Blog and the ethically superior and much taller Keith couldn’t post it there).
Mark seems to be uncertain as to the truthfulness of the tale told of the Nag Hammadi codices. Good heavens, first he abandons Q and now he questions the myths surrounding Nag Hammadi. What next? Is ‘mythicist’ on the Gooadacre-ian horizon? Pray, brothers, pray! [Speaking of Mark, congrats to him for being promoted at Duke to the rank of Full Professor!]
Mark also posted notification of the availability of George Caird’s New Testament lectures online. An astonishing gift to us all. And so does Matthew Montonini, who has it as well. Also available now, CFD Moule’s lectures on Christology (!) as posted by Matt Montoninininininino.
Nijay Gupta passes along word that a Festschrift celebrating the work of Beverly Gaventa is coming soon. It looks to contain some interesting work. And who doesn’t love a collection of essays? There are always some really good ones and some really dreadful ones all under the same cover. They’re the sweet and sour pork of academic life. And Brian Davidson takes a look at Luke 1:45 and asks who the speaker might be. Of course it’s neither the narrator or Elisabeth. It’s God…
Larry Hurtado did a bit of discussing the new Testament’s ‘literary environment’. As one would expect of Larry- it’s a conprehensive and cogent piece.
Michael Barber takes a look at the narrative in Acts 2 and reaches some interesting conclusions about the ‘tongues of fire’ part. It’s clear, isn’t it, that the NT folk are more industrious than the OT folk. Why is that? And yet, both are far more productive than the TC people… to whom we now (briefly) turn-
There were only a few lonely entries in the TC category this month. The first is about manuscripts supporting readings. Cliff K. discussed Ephesians 1:1 (those of you into TC know already what he discussed). And this on NA 28 also showed up on the blogs. But the most important TC news this month had to do with the discovery of the oldest complete Torah Scroll yet discovered. Huge news indeed!
Phil Long did a great job offering readers a summary of each day of his tour of Israel’s archaeological sites beginning early May and running through the middle of the month. Check it out.
Earlier this year Robert Deutsch took out an ad in BAR featuring a photo of what he said was Yuval Goren using a trench digging machine on an archaeological excavation. Not only was the photo taken out of context, but the very context of the dig itself was misrepresented. On May 1, Goren set the record straight in no uncertain terms.
Candida Moss talked a bit about the use of forged objects in academic research. Craig Falvo points out the despicable defacing and vandalizing of Christian archaeological sites in Israel (perpetrated by radical Orthodox Jews). This is an ongoing issue and the State of Israel needs to prosecute these vandals and punish them with sufficient severity that they never act egregiously again.
Todd Bolen announced the discovery of a giant hole in Jerusalem. From the Herodian era. Apparently stuff was dug out of this hole and used. More interesting archaeology is taking place at Jezreel, where they’re regularly posting updates and photos. One of their photos is here with links to their Facebook page where all the joyfulness is located.
Israel Finkelstein has a new book out. Though presently only in French, it is expected to be translated in a year or so into English. This will be boon to most American scholars since very few read anything but English (if that). As Niels Peter Lemche is fond of saying: “What do you call someone who speaks three languages? Trilingual. And what do you call a person who speaks two languages? Bilingual. And a person who speaks one? An American.”
Dead Sea Scrolls
Among others, Larry Schiffman took part in Yeshiva University’s first Dead Sea Scrolls conference. I certainly hope that many others will follow. If you don’t check in on Larry’s blog regularly, you ought to. Larry also offered a very fine post concerning the reasons that the Scrolls seem to be so captivating.
Brian Davidson pointed out that Ken Penner’s dissertation on verb form semantics in Qumran texts is available in PDF. Cool. Sure, it’s totally geeky. And sure, it’s just the geeks who will find it interesting. but if you’re here, reading this, that’s who you are!
Word was received on May 8 that Geza Vermes, that giant of Scrolls scholarship. had passed away. A genuine loss to the field. May he rest in peace. James Tabor has some thoughts here. ‘Oh Come on Already – You’ve been Near Emmaus for years, get there, for pete’s sake’ has a compilation of posts offering tribute to Prof. Vermes, but the best of all the postings I’ve seen on the sad event is that by Dom Mattos.
Unfortunately the never ending debate about evolution v. creationism continued during May with Ken Ham taking a pot shot at folk who don’t see things his way, denouncing them as atheists. Joel Watts responds. James McGrath also posted a bit on the ‘Evolution-is-our-god-and-my-grandma-was-a-monkey-and-surely-the-God-who-reveals-himself-in-Scripture-is-way-too-weak-to-actually-make-anything-so-he-had-to-just-let-nature-take-its-course‘ theme. Ham-ian denunciations aside, isn’t anyone tired of the impasse?
The SBL opened registration for the annual meeting. If you haven’t registered yet, you still have time. If you have not time- I would remind you as gently as possible that we all have exactly the same amount of time each day. it’s how you choose to use it that makes the difference. You can lounge around eating bon bons and playing video games or you can register for SBL.
Another conference was announced in May (to take place 14-15 November) down under – The Australian Bonheffer Conference. Sean also announces, in the same post, a new journal devoted to the German
In happier news Candida Moss has commenced blogging! You’ll know her name because she’s the author of ‘The Myth of Persecution‘. She’s certainly a welcome edition to the biblioblogging kingdom.
In bizarre news James McGrath wished everyone a happy ‘May the Fourth Be With You‘. I guess it’s a reference to Star Trek. And I guess since it’s a movie showcasing Mormon belief it’s appropriate to include it in the May Carnival, now, with more Carn…
In snarky news, Chris Tilling offers a dictionary of terminology which those who label themselves ‘evangelical’ will wish to read.
In good news, Michael Gibson, an acquisitions editor at Fortress (a premier theology/biblical studies publisher), is interviewed about his views and plans for the division over which he rules with an iron acquisitional hand. Those Lutherans… It’s a good interview and I have to admit that I like the way Michael thinks (except, of course, for the fact that he’s a follower of the dreadfully hateful Wittenberg Prof).
Other good news (or niuws) from Willem that folk interested in studying theology can do it in Cairo. In English. All the 911 (oh shoot, I think that’s 411 isn’t it…) is here.
And under the ‘interesting interview’ news category you can file this one wherein Dom Mattos is interrogated by the ‘Hidden Perspectives’ blog of Sheffield University. Dom, if you aren’t aware, is one of the most important folk at Bloomsbury Publishers (T&T Clark, Continuum) and a genuinely nice person.
The official Carnival is up somewhere hosted by someone. The Avignon-ian Carnival will be here next month, on 1 July, covering posts from June. Send along your suggestions. If they’re any good they’ll be included and if not I’m sure they’ll appear at the wicked Carnival hosted by the Sons of Darkness.