Welcome to this month’s Biblical Studies Carnival, the Avignonian Papacy Edition. There is an official Carnival somewhere by someone but, really, why? Anywho, I’m doing my own because that’s just the sort of person that I am. So, enjoy. And happy birthday Switzerland! And, the Zurich Football Club!!!!
Hebrew Bible/Old Testament
Drew shared the happy news that the Hebrew University’s Textus series is now freely available online. Tim Bulkeley did some thinking about irony in Genesis. Jona Lendering wrote an excellent post on Maccabees and methodology. It’s not to be missed, truly.
Joel Watts took part in a blog tour (a new methodology by which publishers enlist a series of bloggers to review books on a schedule so that the reading public gets a steady stream of publicity for said book over a period of days or weeks or even months. It’s the publishing world’s equivalent of ‘carpet bombing’ or ‘saturation bombing’) for TM Law’s new book on the Septuagint. Having not read the book I can’t comment on the appropriateness or inappropriateness of Joel’s effusive remarks but I can say that the best book on the LXX I have ever read is Mogens‘. Now that’s a book about which one cannot be too effusive.
Speaking of TML’s book, Peter Enns interviewed him about it. Loads of good info for you there. Especially if you’ve never heard of the LXX or known that it was the Bible of the first Christians (because you’ve never read Mogens’ book).
Andy King has a very short list of useful tools connected to the study of the LXX but he misses Mogens’. What’s wrong with kids these days? They’re like basketball fans who talk about the game’s greatest players without breathing Michael Jordan’s name.
Brian reviewed an Introduction to Biblical Aramaic which he snippet-izes here.
Wiilem discusses Brueggemann’s discussion of Psalm 146. I love discussing discussions of discussions. It’s almost kind of sort of like relatively being there!
Dead Sea Scrolls
Anthony Le Donne had some things to say about his thesis concerning memory and Crook’s (not the crooks who are thieves, Z. Crook’s). The memory smackdown continues. Tony was busy in July, announcing the impending publication of a book he’s written on Jesus’ wife. Here’s the blurb-
Approaching the subject from a fresh, historical perspective and without appealing to sensationalist stories or dismissing Jesus’ sexuality on theological grounds, Le Donne places Jesus firmly within his sociocultural context. By investigating gender and marriage norms – as well as a number of social outliers who defied them – he provocatively argues that Jesus might have been married before he was thirty years of age. Le Donne then points to several indicators that suggest that Jesus was a sexual non-conformist and probably was single during his public career. It is a quest that illuminates the humanity of Jesus, while also revealing important connections between ancient sexuality and modern spirituality.
Isn’t every mention of Jesus’ putative wife sensationalistic?
Stephen Thompson writes a bit about ‘special Mark’ and markan priority. I think most will agree with me when I say, Mark is special… (and not even remotely as awesome as John. Mark is, in fact, to John what a tic tac is to feeding the hungry of the world).
Abram K-J reviewed a Zondervan Diglot new testament. I don’t know if ‘Abram K-J’ is his real name or not. It seems suspiciously pseudonymous. Who names their son Abram K-J? And what’s his last name? It’s all very odd… but the review is good (except for his appreciation for the NIV… now there’s a rubbish translation).
Shawn Wilhite discussed the Keith / LeDonne collaboration on the ‘Demise’ of authenticity with the promise of more.
There was a lot of discussion during July about an interview on Fox News between some journalist without any academic qualifications as an expert in the history of religion or biblical studies and a Muslim fellow who wrote a book about Jesus. The implication of the interviewer was that a Muslim really ought not bother writing about Jesus (and basically had no business doing so). Funnily enough, though, the aforementioned Muslim seems to have misrepresented his scholarship during the interview, making claims of expertise he does not possess. All proving, nicely, that ‘every man is a liar’ (in accordance with the biblical testimony).
Brian Renshaw has a very interesting post on John 2:10-
The issue is over the translation of μεθυσθῶσιν (ESV – drunk freely). It was my recollection that this word means to “get drunk/intoxicated” but here it gives the connotation that John just means drinking as much or little as one wants. … Does anyone know why this is translated as “drunk freely?”
Drinkers and intoxicators, I’m sure you have a thought or two. Go tell Brian. (OK all you Brits, you know you love to tilt the glass…).
Mark Goodacre (who must always be included in Carnivals because he’s British) only posted one entry all month. At the end of the month. A few hours ago. I didn’t read it, but I’m positive it’s good. it has to be, right? He’s British, he doesn’t believe in Q, he’s been on TV, and he’s a nice person. So, go read it.
Oddness ensued in July, on the first of the month to be exact, when it happened that David Ussishkin’s suggestion that Oded Lipschits and two of his students had plagiarized in a publication received a withering denunciation. Israel Finkelstein and Nadav Na’aman came to Lipschit’s defense, publishing a very short note in Antiguo Oriente 10 (2012) followed quickly by David Vanderhooft’s Open Letter to Finkelstein and Na’aman also in defense of Lipschits et al. Peter van der Veen and David Ussishkin responded in a matter of days too, keeping the debate alive.
Archaeologists claim to have discovered the site of the Shiloh tabernacle. Antonio has the news. Frankly, more than just a few holes and pots are needed to demonstrate their claim.
Matthew Kalman passed along word of an Egyptian sphinx discovered at Hazor. He also broke the news on this side of the pond about a 10th century inscription discovered by Mazar in Jerusalem which will naturally be used to support an ideology it doesn’t and can’t support. Here you can find the full Hebrew University press release on the discovery. Shortly after the artifact appeared, George Athas weighed in with a preliminary analysis, here and Chris Rollston offered a precise examination here and Gershon Galil offered an observation here and one here and another alternative here as well as here. As well, Aaron Demsky had some sage and insightful things to say about the inscription here and so did Aren Maeir.
Take a look at Michael Satlow’s page for a nice instance of the investigation of a Bulla.
Aren had an interesting discovery at Gath this month as well- a remarkably well preserved Philistine bird bit of art on a pot.
Things archaeological were front and center all month. There was, as seems to happen every month, even another ‘discovery’ of a Davidic structure- this time a palace, at Qeiyafa… And lo and behold not a few days later, the ‘House of Elisha’ (though on this one the remarks of Gershon Galil are worth noting). Thrillingly, they’ve even discovered the jawbone that Samson used! [because if one absurd claim is good and two are better- three are best].
The best news of the month, archaeologically, is Aren’s happy news! See for yourself.
In October a Conference in Copenhagen titled ‘Changing Perspectives’ takes place. In July, registration information, program, and abstracts appeared. There’s still time to register if you wish to attend. It’s going to be fantastic. International SBL took place early in the month of July and the delightful Markan scholar Mike Kok offered a recap. He’s a great guy. Truly. And an impressive academic.
Philip announced a new book series titled Studies in Ancient Religion and Culture. Get on board if you’re looking for a series with which to publish.
Josh Mann commenced a new series of interviews by academic bloggers about academic blogging (and even the tiny mythicists chime in in various comments, as though they know anything at all about the biblical text and its study. Maurice Casey’s forthcoming disembowling of them is great fun and not to be overlooked).
Larry Hurtado had some good things to say about spotting expertise online. There are, as we are all aware, dilettantes aplenty online (witness, for instance, the mythicists) and Larry gives some good advice for spotting them (besides the obvious- i.e., the fact that they’ve been awarded a Dilly). Bryan Lewis has some thoughts in dialogue with Larry’s notions and so does James McGrath.
Post of the Month
A new category in the Carnival is ‘Post of the Month’. This month’s best post on a biblical/theological theme is this one by Christian Brady, which is just a must read.
That’s all for this month. Please exit the Carnival and be sure to claim all your belongings at the visitor lockers. Next Month the super stupendous Avignon-ian carnival will return more ival than ever before. In the meanwhile try not to get this